Cloud Dancing over Cornwall, 25th June 2015

After posting the ‘High Flight‘ blog entry for 25th June, I went up and did some High Flight for real. Flinging my ‘eager craft through footless halls of air’, I ‘wheeled and soared and swung, high in the sunlit silence’.

It was quite a memorable flight. Typical British pilot’s understatement, that. Throwing the aeroplane around the sky, using clouds as ‘anchor points’, so flying under, over, around the towers of piled cloud, swooping and soaring, rolling, banking, diving, climbing and turning. This is what I call ‘Cloud Dancing’. I can only do that sort of thing when I have no passengers on board, because I would not want to subject them to that kind of g-forces – pulling a maximum of perhaps 2.5 to 3g is not for the unacclimatised….

So here’s a few photos and videos to let you share in some small measure what happened that day.

Firstly, here’s my start position at 4,000 feet over Colliford Lake, Cornwall, UK:

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As you can see, the clouds are perfectly positioned for dancing around, just a couple of hundred feet below me. The idea is to use that bit of altitude to build up speed on the run-in to the cloud dancing.

Here’s my first video of the cloud dancing. It might not look like much through the camera, but the feeling is indescribable!

And then another, shorter video with some emphasis on the lovely colour of Colliford Lake.  A free airshow for the folks parked in the carpark there, although at 2,500ft above their heads they wouldn’t have seen all that much.

A note for any pilots viewing these videos: nose drop in the turns was intentional!
And finally, on my way home, I always pass the magnificent old warrior, the lovely English Electric/BAC Lightning F6 XS936 at Castle Air, Liskeard. This time I decided, as was only fitting, to stop and pay homage to this dignified old lady. Here she is, complete with dummy Firestreak air-to-air missiles.
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Gorgeous. What a fabulous day out!
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