What’s Really Gone Before – Part II

Following on from Part I of my previous real-world flight experiences, I’ve had a few more in more recent years. In 2008 I visited Malta with a friend. Not long after arriving at the island I saw that there was a seaplane transit service between Valetta and Gozo. Thrilled at the prospect of not only seeing the beautiful island from the air, but also taking off and landing on water, we booked up for a trip and I paid for the co-pilot’s seat. I enjoyed a wonderful up-front cockpit view of the trip and learned a good deal of information from the pilot about operating a de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Turbo-Otter. Enjoy browsing through this aerial gallery of Malta…

Through my flight simulation exploits, I came into contact with OPUS Software, a company that has written a wonderful program for generating real world, accurate weather depiction for Microsoft FSX and Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D. The husband and wife team also own their own plane and on several occasions I was able to meet up with them for a cuppa and some lunch when they flew into EGLG Panshanger. In September 2013, during one such visit, I was surprised and delighted to be offered a short flight around the skies of Welwyn and Hatfield in their lovely Europa XS ‘G-OSLD’.

g-osld

Just six months later I was back at Panshanger and this time being offered a passenger seat in a G-BOOF, a Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer II. A friend’s son had been bought a birthday present of a flight experience, and knowing my love for aircraft, had asked if I’d like to jump in as a passenger. Would I?! They didn’t need to ask twice!

Coming up in my next post will be some details of my finest and most extensive flight experience to date.

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