Albi 27 juillet

  • July 27, 2018

Now, when someone asks me: “And what was it like in high school for you?” I could answer: “Well, I mostly slept there…”

…since we had breakfast at the flying club brasserie!

We don’t have far to go to reach the Albi-Le Séquestre racetrack where our organizers surprised us by reserving the circuit just for us. We’ll be doing laps of the circuit in Mitjets. These are special circuit cars with 230 HP Renault engines and 6-speed sequential gearboxes.

The route is very fast, mainly made up of long straights with 15 fairly closed turns and chicanes. After putting on a regulation helmet, I sit on board next to the driver and off we go for 2 laps of the track.

On board a Mitjet

Acceleration and braking are very impressive on a racetrack, and I’m using my feet to support myself on the floor of the vehicle, so as not to be tossed around in all directions, despite a 4-point harness, similar to that on an airplane. We’re going over 180 km/h in a straight line, which is fast, but that’s my daily routine these days with my little DR 400!

The sides of the car being open, upon arrival, my sky blue suit has black polka dots. These are the tire debris which entered the passenger compartment. It’s a reminder of how much stresses these racing machines have to endure.

After this early-morning automotive episode, it’s back to the planes, where a young audience is already waiting for us. The amphi-cabin takes place in bright sunshine and, as my FFA President says, with the heating on full blast, since it’s 36°C in the shade, and over 40°C on the tarmac.

Albi - Open day at the airfield

I’ve given a lot of 3D printed flames and planes, as Albi is the penultimate stage of the tour, and I’ve still got a few left. I think I’ve made a bit too much…

At 4.15pm, aerobatics with a CAP 10C, C for carbon. The one I flew at ACRIV is from a previous generation. It’s the plane of the Midi-Pyrénées Voltige club, registered F-GMPV (guess why) !

CAP 10 C avion de voltig

I’m the last to board for the day. Obviously, I flew with an instructor, Myriam. This aircraft is significantly sharper at the ailerons than the ACRIV. My first barrel roll was really fast!

A series of inversions (including from the right, despite the opposite rotation of the motor), loops, avalanches, immelmanns,…. everything was covered. Spins are very easy, you can get in and out as you like. Myriam then performed a few aerobatics of her own, and I managed the landing, after half an hour of pure pleasure.

Cars are good, planes are better!

At 5:30 p.m., the airfield closes its doors to the public and we attend the briefing to prepare for tomorrow’s flight, which will take us to Aurillac, the last stop on the HOP! tour, already!

8:00 p.m., gala dinner in a reception hall, with souvenir photos of this memorable day for all. Back to the airfield to catch the bus back to the school for the night (…again, for sleeping!).

My airplane ready for the night
Tags :

Related Posts

The flight computer, a pilot's essential tool!

The flight computer, a pilot's essential tool!

  • August 15, 2020

The flight computer, better known by its name E-6B, is a slide rule designed for aeronautical use.

Read More