It was a solemn day for Mumba. People had gadhered to remember the day in cities all over the country. As I quietly watched the emotional gatheings on TV that night our pilot friends from Sweden had arrived into Mumbai and begun their journey from the airport to Kamshet. Last year too, same date same time they landend at the Mumbai International Airport and were transferred without incident to peaceful Kamshet as the city rocked with terror and confusion. On reading about it from quiet Kamsht it felt as if it was just a bad dream. The reaality of the situation excaped no one but life goes on and we must continue to have faith , to live and fly and that is exactly what they did. Welcome back pilots! Astrid & Sanjay Rao
We have been busy the last two weeks training naval cadets and officers from INS Shivaji ( Lonavala) and INS Trata ( Mumbai) The conditions were great, training went on without a hitch and the students got many flights each. INS Trata students stayed at Native Place and enjoyed not just the training experience but the sylvan surroundings and peace at Native Place. Astrid & Sanjay Rao
While driving up to Kamshet on Thursday afternoon I scanned the hills in the east. The wind seemed to be bang on and as I approached Tower hill I spotted a few gliders peacefully floating about in the sunshine. As I watched them glide about gracefully in the sky I felt this desperate urge to be up there with the wind in my face and a song in my head.
The wind was smooth and consistent and I could almost feel that amazing sensation of being high up above it all. It’s been a while since the season has started and I have not yet had a single flight. Tomorrow – I must get out there.
So the next day I went to the site with Dylan, Ravi and the rest of the gang to find strong gusty winds and a long long unfruitful wait. The skies are evading me but this cannot last. Saturday came and I decided not to go to the flying site but head out with the students and do some ground handling and what do you know – we had no wind at all but out at the tower we could see gliders floating in the distance. Damn! Another opportunity missed. Sunday turned out to be my lucky day. A nice hour and a half long flight and an uneventful landing in catabatic wind. Whew!
It was a great long weekend. I had promised Saurin that I would see him before the week was through. There was a great bunch of students and pilots at Native Place. David, Graem, Soren Bruno, Femka and Tjhis from across Europe. Vijay from Hyderabad as well as as a group of students from the Indian Navy.
The season has begun beautifully for me. Can’t wait for next weekend!
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings