Going back is hard

Going back is hard

Visibility: about 10 miles, sunny

Temperature: 21°C
Wind: 230°, 8kts
QNH: 1013hPa
Location: EDAY
Equipment: Rider MD3 (D-MPCO)

I am back to fly an ultra light for the first time in a while. I have been busy flying Cessnas and Pipers and my trusted Riders have been neglected lately.

My old flight instructor is teasing me. „Back to flying real airplanes, are you?“

I smile but he is right. In many ways, the very light two seaters are more demanding than the stable and tranquil larger Cessnas.


I’m flying „Charly Oskar“ today. With her 100hp Rotax engine, she is very well powered for her weight. I take time to go through the short check list and taxi to the runway slowly. I push the throttle forward and the world accelerates around me. No time for watching the airspeed build up before rotating eventually. The airspeed indicator comes to life and the needle shoots past the rotation speed. I pull slightly on the joke, the rumbling stops but the acceleration does not. I can’t hold the „Yee-Haw“ in!

For the first few moments I’m a bit overwhelmed and very busy managing the energy. After that, the fun starts.

D-MPCO in flight

I have no big plans for today. Just getting comfortable with the Rider again. I start with a few patterns. The approach is easy. The glide slope feels natural and the landing is acceptable. Good.

After three or four landings, I take a quick strool around the hood. The sun is shining and I relax. Holding my altitude requires a bit more attention than on the Cessna. The ultra light is more agile but also more nervous.

D-MPCO cockpit

After the last landing of the day, I taxi back to the apron. I shut down “Charliy Oscar” and finalize the check list. The flight was fun but I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed the simplicity and agility of the Rider but at the same time I missed the tranquile solidity of the Cessnas and Pipers. Going back is hard.

To be continued…

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