The Next Step

Chapter Two:

At the start of 2005 I bought a share in a T.45 Swallow glider. The Swallow isn’t a high performance glider by any stretch of the imagination. She has short 13.2 metre wings, a boxy fuselage with a single seat, and, most importantly, a shark mouth painted under the nose.

  • The Swallow at rest
  • The Swallow at rest
  • Piloted by Bob Fennell, the Swallow returns to runway 29
  • The Auster returns to runway 29
  • The Auster and Swallow climbing away
  • The Auster and Swallow depart of runway 29
  • Auster 5J1 Autocrat G-AHAU moving into position for the tow
  • Slingsby Swallow BJY waiting for the tug

When I first flew the Swallow, I had 2h 53m and 29 flights in Boggles as pilot in command. I found converting to a single seat aircraft quite an intimidating thing to do, especially on a winch launch.

Throughout the Summer and Autumn of 2005 I flew the Swallow, just missing a Bronze Badge (2x 30m flights) by one minute. I completed the Bronze Badge at Bowland Forest Gliding Club later that year.

As well as the Bronze gliding badge, 2005 saw me climbing aboard a SNJ6 Texan, or what the RAF would call the Harvard – a World War Two training aircraft with a 600hp Pratt and Whitney Wasp radial engine. We launched out of Kissimmee Florida for a flight of 40 minutes including some formation flying with another Texan.

Texan 4 – Warbird Adventures

I’d bought myself a pilots logbook, and because I couldn’t remember the name of my instructor in G-CCCC from two years previously, SNJ6 N455WA is the first aircraft in my power flying logbook!

A month and a half later, power flying was back on the agenda.