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”Is everything okay?” my passenger asked as I had became extremely quiet and focused.

“Um, I think so, it’s just running a bit rough, but don’t worry… we are in gliding distance”. Only just.Keeping high and tight in the circuit as we approached the freshly cut grass strip, the windsock hung limply as we landed and climbing out. As we shuddered and took the wing off, tying it to the ground, Andy from the sole shop on the island arrived on the off-chance that we’d landed.What timing. A hot shower had never felt so well earned.

CARLISLE – GIGHA : 18:50– 20:40
Total Flying: 5 hrs 40 mins


Gigha has a magical quality that seems to lure people to return time and time again. The Internet guestbook for the island is crammed full of people that have enjoyed its position in the Hebrides, making it accessible only by air and sea. This isolation makes it feels all the more well earned when you fly in by Microlight.The morning of day two dawned to light winds and we took a walk to the North end of the island. The paps of Jura were just visible xx miles away, and we decided to spend a couple of days relaxing and exploring the island before pushing north. We were also reliably told by the hotel receptionist that the wind was forecast to increase to Force 7 north of our position during the night.

I was eager to find out why the engine had been running rough. I had suspected carburettor icing, but also wondered if the carburettors might be out of synchronization? I had only done 40 hours on the aircraft and it was still running in.A routine check of the oil level in the bottle revealed that the engine had used nearly half a litre in the last few hours. I was definitely not happy with flying on without topping up, even with immersion suits.After a discussion with my Pegasus dealer, I opted to top up with a small amount of Castrol GPX, just to get us to Perth safely. I was hoping to be able to catch up with Marcus Dalgetty whose wife was imminently expecting twins, and buy some from him.

We were lucky enough to have access to the newly installed free Internet connection in the Gigha Hotel. We downloaded the charts and checked out the weather forecast for later in the day. With this in mind and a weak warm front on the way, we set off for Perth into a murky sky at midday. By the time we were within 15 miles of the town, we were confronted with a lowering cloud-base which was reaching down and capping some of the mountain tops. The ground was visible through holes below, and I decided we could go back through the clear valleys either side if it became too bad.3 miles from the airfield and at 900ft, I was looking for fields below as I was starting to feel a bit uneasy; the visibility was now only about 5km. Just as Perth town came into view, I radioed to call that I was going to approach the airfield from the east of the town on the deadside of the active runway circuit. I didn’t really want to meet the Cessna I could hear in conversation taking off to the southwest.

Marcus and I only had time to say hello and goodbye before he had to rush to check on his wife. He had thankfully balanced the well out of synchronisation carburettors for me, which took all of 5 minutes. The engine purred.Armed with the latest weather reports from the tower, we noticed that the cloud was lifting over the airfield and we set off for Wick, for what would be a spectacular 1 hour flight over the Cairngorm Mountains.

Wispy clouds sat high above the peaks marking out up-draughts and, flying at 5000ft, we had a tailwind accelerating us along to 104MPH. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to orbit several times and take some video of the barren snow-capped mountains. The only aircraft we saw in the sky for the whole journey was ours, and it felt humbling to be up there and a part of it, with the spectacular view to ourselves.

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