Saturday morning was bright with cumulus clouds at about 3,000'. There was a fair southerly breeze and it would undoubtedly be a bit bumpy under those serene looking fluffy clouds. As late morning came and with no particular destination in mind, we made the short trip to the airfield. Walking into the hangar and checking out 'HP brought an immediate sense of familiarity, and manhandling her outside reminded me just how much I appreciate the service we receive from Ravenair at Liverpool!
I booked out with the tower and climbed into the wonderfully simple aircraft, strapped in with the lap belt and 4 point harness and started her up. After a small delay for the oil to warm up, we taxied to hold A5 for runway 20. 20 is rather short but with the southerly wind was easily long enough for our purposes. From a short ground run we were quickly airborne and heading skyward and with an early right turn to avoid flying over some housing we set course to the north west, intent on nothing more than some aerial sight seeing.
Circling the small tower at the top of Rivington Pike saw people on the grounds watching us go by and inspired us to try and locate another tower that we'd been to before. Heading around the north of Winter Hill, we found the Roddlesworth and Rake Brook reservoirs and above them Darwen Tower, seeing from the air somewhere that we had walked on the ground.
The predictable bumpy air was making Rachel feel a little queasy so we headed back to Barton, the southerly wind slowing our progress to a measly 65kts across the ground. An overhead join to the standard right hand circuit saw me cut inside someone as I hadn't thought to look that far away for someone on a downwind leg! They were about twice the distance from the airfield we were. We had landed, vacated the runway and were on our way back to the hangar before they even touched down.
It may only have been a 50 minute bimble, but it was great to get back to flying the simple Citabria from the relatively relaxed and informal Barton.