Meet Charlie Oscar

Meet Charlie Oscar

Visibility: about 10 kilometres
Temperature: -7°C
QNH: 1042 hPa
Location: EDAY
Equipment: New Rider MD3, 100hp engine (D-MPCO)

Late last season, my old flight school got a new aircraft. It is another Rider MD3, like the ones I trained on. But this one is brand new, has a lot of bells and whistles and a stronger engine.

I took D-MPCO (“Charlie Oscar”) for a spin today and was very impressed. All the aircraft of the flight school are well kept but you can tell right away that Charly Oscar does not have as many hours under her belt. She is new and shiny.

Fresh snow fell last night and the airport is white. A little cloud of snow dust blows around me as I start the engine. I have not been in an ultra light since I started my training for the private pilots license on the Cessna. But Charlie Oscar handles well and I feel comfortable taxiing out to the runway.

The air is very dense today, the aircraft is light with only one person and half full tanks but I am still surprised how quickly she takes off. It feels less like a take-off run and more like a big leap into the sky. I have reached pattern altitude before the first turn into the crosswind leg and I have to reduce power well before that. Wow, this is fun!

I do a bit of pattern work to get to know Charlie Oscar. The runway is snow covered and although it is not very much, it is very slippery. After the first landing I drift to the left and the aircraft starts turning before I can catch her. The fresh snow breaks the wheels a lot but not necessarily at the same rate. On the second approach I set full flaps to come in as slowly as possible. I am prepared this time and manage to hold her steady.

After that I go north for a quick trip around the block. Visibility drops out there and I turn back. The sky to the south is blue and the sun warms my face. I smile, this is pretty sweet!

To be continued…


(originally posted on February 10, 2012 by tilbo at

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