I think I must have flown up almost every hill in Hampshire by now, so until the seasons change and we get some snow I am casting my aerial net slightly further afield, and so today I have a new fly site to show you – this time we’re over in Surrey, just south of Shalford on the road to Wonersh at Chinthurst Hill. My childhood home was Wonersh so I have a lot of memories of country walks up here when I was young. I was hoping that the hill would be smaller than I remembered it (I had much littler legs last time), but it wasn’t, and it was quite a trek to the top !
The View from Above
Well worth the climb though – when I got to the summit I was met with the nice wide open space I remembered, with spectacular views under a muted sun, some very interesting trees and the last of the Autumn colours – a lot of the outer ring of trees were quite skeletal as Winter gets here, but some still have their leaves, so we get lots of nice colour. There’s a folly here as well, which I was very careful not to fly too close to, but technically I did consider it a ‘building under my control’ being as it was empty and stationary, so I didn’t feel the need to remain 50m away from it all the time, and did some carefully controlled rises a little closer than that. I was also careful to avoid overflying the Chinthurst Estate over on the right there, so kept to the ridge of the hill whenever I was over that side. there were only 3 other people on the whole hill, so it was nice and easy to stay away from them and their dogs, no matter how curious they were.
Whenever I am in Surrey I am aware of my proximity to Dunsfold Aerodrome, and while I am always flying way outside any legal boundaries I do find I have to watch the skies like a hawk to make sure my UAV won’t be in conflict with any other aircraft. Indeed while I was on the ground I saw a helicopter flying at what I estimated to be 400 ft above the hilltop, and a small light aircraft which was even lower than that (illegally so I thought), so I had to wait for both those to leave before I could launch. Fortunately once I was in the air I had the skies to myself and no avoiding manoeuvres were needed for the remaining 3 flights.
All this month the weather has been largely unsuitable for flying, except for this one freak day of no winds and sunshine, so glad I took the opportunity while I had it. Weather is looking quite ropey for the next few weeks, and while it’s all rain and wind there’s not much flying to be done. Let’s hope we get some snow, and then I can redo all my home grounds while they’re all looking different.
See you next time