After several months away, for maintenance and avionics fit, ‘433’ returned to base on 24 April 2019.
Paul and James met at Coventry to collect the aircraft, and after carrying out the usual preflight duties, got airborne for the first stop RAF Leeming.
All seemed to be working perfectly on the 40 minute flight, and we arrived at Leeming exactly on our ETA.
The usual efficient and enthusiastic service greeted us, with the visiting aircraft section swiftly refuelling her for second leg to Inverness.
‘433’ was previously based at Leeming, and is regarded with affection by many of the servicemen and woman at the base.
We took off after around an hour or so on the ground, and set course for home. A quick orbit of Northallerton was flown at the request of a pub owner, who has a JP in his garden!
Shortly after changing frequency to Durham airport we encountered some radio difficulties. It seemed we were unable to transmit effectively. After trying several fixes, and both radio boxes, it appeared to be some sort of compatibly issue between the two helmets. Strangely not occurring on the first flight.
With fuel endurance limited on old jets, and an uncertain fix to the problem, once we managed to make contact with Durham Paul decided to divert to their airport and land.
After landing we established a way of working the radios that would allow the journey to continue. Disconnecting James’ mike seemed to fix the issue.
Further refuelling and swift service from the handling agent, provided free of charge, had us on the way again.
A trip of around one hour and twenty minutes saw us safely landing back at Inverness. Good to be home!
The local newspaper even ran a story to cover her return!