Flying around Co. Meath

We went flying today, and Yuko brought her camera.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very good (for flying or for photography) but Yuko got some good photos nonetheless.

Here we are on the take-off roll, just on the point of leaving the ground.

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Cows don’t pay any attention to aeroplanes.

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Here’s our flight path:

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I decided to fly one circuit to a touch-and-go before flying east towards the coast. A touch-and-go means that you land and then take off again without stopping. This was partly for me to practise landing and partly to get a view of the surrounding area from circuit height (1000 feet) before deciding whether to continue the flight.

This was the (very unpromising) view towards the coastline to the east. The cloud base was around 1500 to 2000 feet, but visibility was generally poor.

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A short distance to the north, conditions were even more murky, which caused me some anxiety later in the flight on the way back to the field, as I considered the possibility that we may have to divert to another airfield if weather conditions at Navan deteriorated.

Flying east along the Boyne, we made a loop around Newgrange, a 5,000-year-old prehistoric tomb, older than the Pyramids.

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This is the town of Drogheda, looking east towards the mouth of the River Boyne. The railway crosses the river on the Boyne Viaduct, whose monumental stone arches and iron truss central span date from the 1850s.

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The little fishing harbour of Clogherhead.

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Waves racing towards the beach….

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…and breaking on the rocky coastline.

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Some rays of sunshine broke through the cloud layer.

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My intention was to fly down the coast as far as the Skerries Islands and Rockabill. These islands are just outside the Dublin control area. As long as you remain outside controlled airspace (in Class G airspace), you are not legally required to talk to anyone on the radio (or even to have a radio). However it is good practice to talk to ATC and let them know where you are and what you are doing.

In the end we didn’t go that far. The weather was a bit rough and there were showers of rain, so the prudent choice was to turn back to land and head for home. Coasting in near Balbriggan, you can see the mouth of the River Delvin, marking the boundary between Dublin and Meath:

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On the way back to Navan, Yuko took some beautiful pictures of Stackallen House, one of Ireland’s finest 18th-century houses. Check out the formal gardens!

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All in all, flying in these conditions isn’t a wholely enjoyable experience, and there were a few anxious moments, but we arrived back on the ground safely and home in time for lunch!

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