Disused Airfields Tour

Lovely weather at the end of June, and with the coronavirus restrictions starting to ease, time to have a look at various disused military airfields to the northeast of Perth…

Up the coast to Gourdon and Inverbervie before turning inland to the first target:

Got a bit sidetracked on the way and did a quick 360 to get this shot:

The first airfield, Fordoun, with the old runways and some new hardstanding used as storage, probably for the oil industry up the road in Aberdeen…

The former RAF Stracathro, now back to farmland but with the perimeter track still evident:

Kinnell, with barns and sheds using the hard runways as ready-made foundations. The portion that looks usable as a runway is often covered in hay bales, back in the 80’s there was some parachuting activity from here:

The remains of East Haven, a former naval air station called HMS Peewit. Many moons ago I did a Practise Forced Landing (PFL) down to 500ft here in a Grumman AA5 G-BDCK (yay for logbooks!), and in those days the concrete runways were still visible, now they are long gone:

Tealing, to the north of Dundee. Long disused, one of the old runways is covered in chicken sheds and there is a small solar farm, a wind turbine and a power distribution centre (where all the wires go to die)…

In 1942 Soviet Foriegn Minister Vyacheslav Molotov landed at Tealing on a visit for talks with Winston Churchill. The aircraft was a Petlyakov PE8. Originally known as the TB7, it was the Soviet Union’s only four-engined bomber during the war, and was even used to bomb Berlin in August 1941. Only 93 were built.

Picture courtesy of: http://www.tealingvillage.org/throughthewar_aerodrome.html

During the winter war of 1939/1940 between Finland and the USSR, the Finns called Russian bombs “Molotov’s Bread Baskets” in a disparaging reference to Molotov’s propaganda broadcasts. When they came up with the idea of a simple petrol-filled bottle with a burning wick to throw at Russian tanks, they decided that the Soviet Foreign Minister needed a drink to go with his bread baskets, and thus the “Molotov Cocktail” was born. History is great!

Despite having blocked runways and numerous obstructions, the old airfield at Tealing continues to live on in an aeronautical capacity. Dundee airport has an official Visual Reference Point (VRP) at Broughty Ferry Castle but there are several unofficial ones: Piperdam, Monikie Reservoir and Tealing being regularly heard on the radio as aircraft report their positions to Air Traffic Control at Dundee. Today’s trainee pilots in their Cessnas share the same skies over Tealing as their wartime counterparts of 56 Operational Training Unit as they got to grips with their Hurricane fighters.

There are several other old airfields dotted about the area including Edzell and Errol, and some relief landing grounds which were just grass fields back in the war and are still grass fields today. There is one about 1500m from our house, but it’s just a big field with no trace any more.

If you’re ever in Lincolnshire with time on your hands, may I recommend the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby? Website at  https://www.lincsaviation.co.uk/ – in the museum there is a poem about disused airfields, written by Warrant Officer Walt Scott, who was a Lancaster mid-upper gunner on 630 Squadron. It makes more sense when you know that the code-name for East Kirkby was “Silksheen”…

I lie here still, beside the hill

Abandoned long to nature’s will

My buildings down, my people gone,

My only sounds, the wild birds’ song.

But my mighty birds will rise no more,

No more I hear the Merlin’s roar,

And never now my bosom feels,

The pounding of their giant wheels.

From the ageless hills their voices cast,

Thunderous echoes from the past,

And still in lonely reverie,

Their great dark wings sweep down to me.

After, sorrow, hope and pain,

I shall never know these things again,

Emotions that I came to know,

Of strange young men, so long ago.

Who knows as evening shadows meet,

Are they still with me, a phantom fleet,

And do my ghosts still stride unseen,

Across my face, so wide and green.

And in the future, should structures tall,

Bury me beyond recall,

I shall still remember them,

My metal birds, and long dead men.

Now, weeds grow high, obscure the sky,

Oh remember me when you pass by,

For beneath this tangled leafy screen,

I was your home, your friend, Silksheen.

A Race Against Time

When I did the RV flight test I had to start a new page in my logbook, and adding up the totals I found that my grand total was 10,999.1 hours – only 0.9 hours to 11,000.

How good would it be to pass 11,000 hours in my own RV6? It would be kind of cool to do it at work, where they could get the publicity, but then again they milked the 10,000 milestone with cakes, photographers, newspaper articles and the like. I managed to save a newspaper cutting for my logbook:

So this time I was hoping to pass the 1000 mark in my own aircraft. Unfortunately I had just sent the permit renewal paperwork for the RV away to the LAA, and nothing had come back yet. With not so settled weather on the way and having to go back to work in a few days, it was a race against time to see if the permit paperwork would return in time.

It was looking increasingly unlikely so it was time to bring out the small guns! The Eindecker just needed a bit of TLC to be ready to launch on patrol…air in the tyres, fuel in the tank, inspection of linkages and flying wires, greasing of hinges and a bit of a wipe to get the dust off. Trust me, at the speed this thing flies at, the wind doesn’t blow any dust off. There’s a boundary layer of low speed air which just doesn’t shift the dirt. I once spotted a fly sitting on the wing at 1000ft over Dunkeld, cheekily enjoying the ride.

I like to think of the Eindecker as a kind of aerial jetski…owning it makes no sense but it’s bloody good fun when you do get it out and go for a blast. Last year was a low utilisation year but this year I plan to do a lot more. It likes low wind days so calm high pressure days are ideal. And we’ve had a lot of those recently.

I had applied for permission from the airfield operator for an “out of hours” flight as the tower is currently unmanned. The microlight school at the field was doing engine runs and solo hire, so it wasn’t totally dead.

Take off was to the east with a left turn to the north past Balbeggie, hoping not to annoy the neighbours too much with the mighty 40 horse power drawing us sedately through the sky at 40 MPH. This is a by-the-numbers machine…most things are done at 40. Take off, climb, cruise and land. Wouldn’t be surprised if the oil pressure was 40 psi as well. Oh, and the tyre pressures too…

Passing the fruit farms near Blairgowrie:

We did a little bit of patrolling over the lines. Power lines that is:

And then southwest towards the River Tay at Murthly. Taking photos with a phone in an open cockpit Great War replica is fraught with danger. I had to make sure the phone was angled so that the airflow was pushing it back into the cockpit in case I did drop it. You’re seeing these photos now so obviously I didn’t lose my phone…but there were a lot of rubbish ones where the autofocus was fooled by the wires. These five are the only usable ones out of about fifteen…

Here we are passing Stanley Mills towards the appropriately germanic sounding Strelitz Wood, which is (allegedly) named after Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George 111:

After ensuring the skies over Strelitz were clear of any marauding tommies, we wandered over to Kinrossie to have a look at a burning field of stubble, which was visible for miles. Smelling the smoke in an open cockpit aircraft is an experience, much more pleasant than the smell of fish I got in the cockpit of a rented Cessna 152 as I turned from base leg to final for Reykjavik’s runway 19 many moons ago…

Brenda always laughs when I say things like “we wanderered over…” when I’m in a single seat aircraft. I also say it when solo in the RV. I just smile and claim it must be a “man and machine in perfect harmony” sort of thing!

After checking the results of the (…artillery…) fire at Kinrossie we had flown 50 minutes. I only needed 55 to break the 11,000 but from Kinrossie back to the airfield took another 20 minutes!

It’s only 2.8 nautical miles, but with runway 09 in use I had to sneak my way round to the dead side of the circuit. Hopping from brown field to brown field to take advantage of the thermals to gain some height. Also I had to go around when a Eurostar missed the second turning and had to backtrack.

Go around! With 40 HP. That was interesting…and a fairly tight low level circuit to land. We taxied over to work and shut down:

Paramedic Julia (known as “snapper”) was on shift and I needed a photo to mark the occasion. Here’s a sign I made earlier. Just as well I didn’t land out in a field after only 50 minutes:

Work machine from Airbus, formerly Eurocopter Deutschland and play machine, replica of a Great War German army fighter. Bit of a German theme going on here…

As an extra bonus of the one hour engine health flight I was able to test the performance of the hand held radio when it was hooked up to the aircraft’s internal aerial. Result: MUCH better than the “rubber duck” style aerial. I can actually hear other aircraft transmitting from more than a few miles away. A great improvement.

As I put the aircraft back in the hangar the wind had shifted slightly, and the smoke plume from the Kinrossie stubble fire was more vertical, leading to the pretty cool meteorological phenomenon known as a pyrocumulus – a cumulus cloud where the formation trigger is rising air caused by a fire. It was only a wee one, not like the massive ones that are sometimes seen over wildfires in California, Canada and Australia. They are pretty rare, because the air needs to be a little moist, and moist air isn’t usually associated with the dry conditions which set off wildfires. In this case the gentle easterly wind was bringing in just enough water vapour off the North Sea to give the smoke plume a little cap of cloud. It didn’t last long.

The nice weather conditions have made for some good photography from the work machine. Paramedic JP took these on the way to Campbeltown. A view of Goat Fell on Arran:

And the town of Dunoon with Holy Loch just to the north (right):

Aerial sightseeing is awesome, no matter how many hours you have.


Perceptions are strange things. When I was flying the police helicopter over Glasgow, everybody down on the ground was a potential criminal, but when I transitioned to flying the air ambulance as well, then suddenly everybody on the ground became a potential patient, in need of help at a bad time.

Likewise while the aircraft was laid up waiting for new piston rings, or for the oil leak to be fixed, my perception of the aircraft was “that multi thousand pound paperweight at the back of the hangar” – and that’s pounds in monetary terms (£), not weight (lbs). But now that it has passed the annual inspection and the test flight is complete, with paperwork submitted to the LAA, the perception has flipped again into “that awesome aircraft, which is great fun and ALL MINE!”

The test day was a lovely sunny day. The permit inspection was complete, I had booked out with the airport operator, my insurance was back up to full cover (it had been downgraded to “ground risks” only for 2 months). All I needed was some fuel:

No self respecting test flight would be complete without some stirring music and a Guard of Honour for the take off, supplied here by the duty crew from work:

…and then it was off into the wild blue yonder to test climb rates, stall speeds, maximum and minimum oil pressures, performance in a simulated baulked landing, radio reception and so on.

Once the bulk of the flight test was complete it was just a case of flying around to run the engine at flight operating speeds for an hour. Always being mindful to stay within 10 miles of the airfield as per the guidance. The Skydemon trace showing the 10 nautical mile ring:

…and the same flight as recorded on Flightradar24:

It was great to be flying again in the RV:

Great views in the sunshine. Here’s Perth from the south:

…and some random fields taken out the other side:

1.1 hours of flying, with a landing on the grass runway back at Perth. Best landing in the aircraft so far. I have adjusted my seating position so that might be it, although grass is very forgiving.

That was to be it for 28 days until the next engine health flight, but now several days later there are aircraft in the sky again, so it looks like it’ll soon be back to some semblance of normality as the lockdown eases. Once the paperwork gets back I’ll be able to get airborne in “that awesome aircraft, which is great fun and ALL MINE!”

Perceptions are everything.

Inspection Time At Last

I was beginning to think it would never happen. The RV’s “Permit to Fly” ran out at the end of February just as we were starting to feel the impact of the virus. Access to the hangar was limited and so I couldn’t get to work on the aircraft as much as I would have liked to. Over a few weeks I did manage to get all the panels off ready for the annual inspection…piled up at the side of the hangar they look a bit like the pictures of the aircraft in kit form (usually accompanied with a statement like “With our kit you can be flying in six months. Engine, instruments and paint not included”)…

Inspector Sandy made it over from the West Coast to complete several permit renewal inspections, and ours was one of them! A portrait of the engineering guru in his element:

With an inspection in the bag and a Permit to Test Fly, we’re just waiting for good weather and a chance to get the flight test done…then the paperwork gets sent off and with luck a renewed Permit returns soon after. I say with luck because the Light Aircraft Association who administer these things are all working from home at the moment. The post is getting picked up from head office and the system seems to be working fine. There are no internet rumblings about any major delays so fingers crossed!

In Scotland we are still under “lockdown” and recreational flying is not at the top of the priority list, but a permit renewal test flight is classed as essential maintenance activity and can go ahead. Engine maintenance flights are allowed every 28 days as well to enable engines to get up to operating temperature which evaporates any moisture in the oil and avoids internal corrosion. A ground run just won’t cut it, so the guidance is a flight every 28 days of (I think) up to 30 minutes for a Continental engine and 60 minutes for a Lycoming. The RV has a Lycoming engine.

The flight test normally takes around half an hour to complete if you take your time, so I’ll have an extra 30 minutes to wander around and enjoy the views. Sadly the guidance also says no further than 10 miles from the airfield, but it’ll be great to be up and about again.

At least I get to go further afield with work. Some views…

Windfarm on the Ochill Hills:

Kirriemuir International Airport…saved on my iPad as a Skydemon user waypoint called Aaronsfield, ‘cos it is run by Aaron. We landed here during Ian’s training:

The old and new Kincardine Bridges:

Flat lands by the River Forth near Kincardine:

The Forth at Alloa, looking upstream towards Stirling. Can’t wait to see the views from the RV…

All that previous talk about wishing for things, and getting my L4 Cub model from Ian? A REAL one has just popped up for sale, manufactured in 1944 in the US, shipped to Europe after D-Day and transferred to the French armed forces a few months later, then post-war with a French flying club before coming to the UK, passing through several owners and now for sale at Blackpool:

(photo courtesy Lytham St Annes Spitfire Ground Display Team)

It’s old and slow, but very cool. No need to spend millions on a warbird like a P51 Mustang when for a fraction of the price you can have this real warbird. Great for floating around at low level looking at stuff. Which is what it was built for. Nowadays you can stick your camera out the (open) window for some great aerial photography, but in the old days the observer in the back could call in some well placed artillery fire.

A Cub does not fly very fast – about 70 MPH or so, which translates as 60 knots. At 120 knots in the Sting it took us 15 hours flying over 3 days to get to Sweden, so in a Cub it would take 30 hours and almost a week. Definitely not an ideal commuting method for a short break, more of a spring migration type flight.

There is a group of L4 Cub owners at Kjeller airfield in Oslo. Last year they flew a formation of 3 Cubs all the way to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. It took them 3 days of pushing hard, quick fuel stops and long flying days to get there, but they proved it can be done. They made a few videos of the trip…if you are interested, the first one is here:

If the purpose is to get to Sweden in a hurry, then 140kts in the RV6 beats 60kts in a Cub. If the mission is just to float along on a summer evening enjoying the view, the Cub is perfect. Truth is the RV does both and as everybody in the aviation press says, the RV is the best all rounder. I think we’ll keep it. Also, while it would be nice to own a WW2 aircraft, having three would be just greedy…but I cannot promise to not go and inspect the Cub when lockdown eases!

It’s all academic at the moment anyway as we can’t fly to Sweden because of viruses and border restrictions and quarantines and rules. Pesky rules.

Some rules are good though…remember to stay one caribou apart! Then we can get over this virus and get flying again…

That Was Quick!

Just under a month ago I signed off by saying:

And last week it arrived! The power of the mind in action…although this has shown that you have to be specific in what you wish for. This is the L4 Cub which is now all mine!

It’s a 1:48 scale plastic model kit, and it came all the way from Poland. I have to say that I did NOT cheat and order it myself – it came as a huge and welcome surprise. It was a thank you present from new pilot Ian for the 12 days of training we did to get him up to speed on air ambulance operations after many years flying straight and level over the North Sea on oil and gas support flights. Thank you Ian for my Cub kit, although I should have been more specific and ordered a full size flying L4 with military history and D-Day invasion markings, fitted with an 8.33 radio and Mode S transponder, and with a current and valid LAA Permit to Fly….

…but I didn’t say all that, so the universe delivered me an L4 plastic kit. I’m not complaining, ‘cos it’s great! Thank you once again Ian (and the universe)…

The weather has been awesome for flying for the last few weeks, excellent Cub or Eindecker weather, although as I write this it is raining outside. Yesterday there were some cool cloud formations around as signs that the weather was about to break:

Despite the good weather there have not been many air ambulance jobs to do. The frequency of routine ambulance transfers has dropped off and so has the number of emergency calls. Normally at this time of the year the motorbikes would be out in full force and riders would be falling off regularly. Also horses and mountains. People fall off them all the time too. Since everybody is staying at home we have been quiet at work. Here’s one job we DID respond to, we just didn’t get very far:

That yellow track line is NOT us drawing rude things in the sky, we got stood down from the job. In this case we weren’t needed because the casualty only had a few bruises after being cut out from the wreckage, so we did a graceful 180 degree turn using the autopilot to head back to base for “tea and medals” – the views were pretty good, even if we didn’t reach the patient.

Here’s Loch Lomond taken by paramedic John on another job:

…and a random hill in Perthshire quickly taken by phone:

Days off should be spent flying the RV and the Eindecker, but the current advice is essential journeys only, so the renewal of the RV’s annual will just have to wait – the inspector is stuck at home over on the west coast anyway.

A lot of free time at home on days off means that stuff gets done. The greenhouse is all fixed up and producing salady stuff, the hedge has had its annual haircut, and I have spent some time at the garage door contemplating the mess and wondering if there is enough room to build an aeroplane…?

Other aircraft projects don’t need as much room. I have to get the Eindecker model finished so that I can get on with the L4 Cub…

And we’ve also been making use of our copious free time to get on with learning Swedish, although the Duolingo app seems to have an unhealthy obsession with turtles. Sentences such as “The turtle has a yellow hat” are surely designed to teach grammatical rules rather than being an indication of real life in Sweden? Having said that, all the dogs we have met over there are slightly crazy…and we think we may have found the reason:

Can’t wait until this is all over and I can get back to tinkering on and flying the aircraft. At the moment it looks like this inside, with various panels removed for the annual inspection. We’ll all just have to be patient…

Right now we should be approaching Hook of Holland ferry terminal after the “Great Cross European Driving Adventure 2020 – Scotland to Sweden” – but that had to be cancelled. Maybe later in the year?

In the meantime, there is a lot of Skydemon fantasy flying to be done…onwards and upwards!

Panic Buying

Pandemic. Panic buying at the shops. Here’s our local Tesco store in Perthshire. Now panic buying bog rolls I can understand (a little), but who on earth panic buys Easter Eggs? Carnage…

After much deliberation and soul-searching, we decided to do some panic buying of our own. As it was only for the essentials, we headed to Hobby Craft where Brenda stocked up on a little wool:

…and I wandered off unsupervised to the model kit aisle:

As a result of this I now have four Eindeckers in my life…two replicas (one flying, one not mine but in our hangar), one balsa kit (incomplete), and one (unstarted) plastic kit.

As you know, the (not ours but in our hangar) Eindecker is in Sweden, at Siljan Air Park. Sweden has slightly more relaxed rules about “lockdown” (hate that word) during the pandemic. Life there continues more or less as normal, but with some restrictions. Flightradar24 shows a few light aircraft making use of the wide open airspace. Our neighbour sent this photo of the house with another neighbour Alexander putting his Rallye away after a quick local flight. The Rallye is a temporary resident until his own hangar is completed:

As we had to cancel the “Great April/May Cross European Driving Adventure” we decided to put the free time to some use and dust off the Swedish lessons. We have quite a mountain to get through – you can decide which is my favourite book:

Yep, “Här kommer helikoptern” (Here comes the helicopter) is a cracking read, and the illustrations are very accurate. Here we see Halvan putting the number 2 engine switch straight to “Flight” – unfortunately he has forgotten to switch on the Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) switches, as the First Limit Indicator (FLI) on the top screen is a yellow circle with no needles displayed…and the engine would not start:

But hey, it’s a kid’s book, and not real life. I’m so lucky that Air War Pacific on the iPad is not real life either…

Fortunately we are not grounded at work, and still get out and about all over Scotland:

Some of the views are amazing. Here’s an unnamed Scottish mountain still with snow on the top:

And here’s Glenforsa airstrip on the Isle of Mull. Normally at this time of year the Glenforsa Hotel would be opening up and airborne visitors would be planning to arrive from all over the UK and further afield. But sadly, due to the restrictions there are only sheep on the airfield:

And the fly in programme for the summer seems in doubt:

We were over on the West Coast doing some training for a new pilot. Some of our landing sites (Glenforsa, Fort William, Lochgilphead, Barra) can be a little more tricky in the dark, so we mandate an initial training visit by daytime.

On the way back from Glenforsa, we popped in to Clyde Heliport for fuel, passing an eerily quiet Glasgow Airport on the way.

These 8 British Airways Airbus were spotted parked up on the disused cross runway. A couple of days later there were two more:

Returning to base it was very quiet on the radio with only one other aircraft on the Scottish Information frequency. We had to call a couple of times before we got an answer, maybe the controller was having a nap?

A few posts back I mentioned troubleshooting for a slight leak from the RV fuel tank…it seems that most it was coming from the fuel drains themselves. I bought new fuel drain valves from Andair and am waiting to put them in.

Sadly there is no access to the hangar for the foreseeable future due to the restrictions so I can’t. The aircraft permit has now expired and it needs an inspection. I did say that the sealant for the fuel tanks and for the drains needs about 20 degrees for it to work properly, so delaying as the weather warms up is actually a good thing in that respect, but it’s one of those “Be careful what you wish for” things…

I think I’m going to wish for a Piper Cub. J3 or L4. Either is fine.

Destination Gibraltar!

As Storm Jorge “batters” the UK (also known in Scotland as “get your bigger coat on”), and with the aircraft having its annual inspection, there’s not much flying going on. During a session of distraction on the iPad I came across a trip report where two members of the Ulster Flying Club at Newtownards flew an RV7 down through France, Spain and Portugal, ending up at Tangier in Morocco. On the way back they landed at Gibraltar…

Photo shamelessly borrowed from their excellent trip report, which can be found at https://ulsterflyingclub.com/2017/the-trip-of-a-lifetime/

I’m off to do some Skydemon dream planning…

Eindecker Build Progress Report

Quick visit to Sweden to check the house is still there and do some work on the Eindecker build.

YES! I’m finally building an aircraft. It’s an Eindecker, just like the one in Scotland. But this one is a little bit smaller.

There IS an Eindecker replica at the airfield in Sweden, it belongs to the Siljan Flying Circus and has not flown yet:

The Nieuport replica behind the Eindecker HAS flown, as part of the Flying Circus display several years ago. It’s parked up in the hangar at the moment…note the ingenious use of wooden block under one of the wheels to tilt the whole aircraft and get the wings to fit over the tail of the Eindecker, which has had its rudder removed. Both aircraft sit under the wing of Toffe’s Luscombe, which shows the dayglo markings required for flying in the “Mountainous Area” – there are other stipulations such as survival equipment but the main one is high visibility markings on the aircraft to aid Search and Rescue. Luckily the airpark is outside the mountainous area so we didn’t have to carry all the stuff on our long trip to Sweden a few years back.

One reason for the Nieuport being out of action is that the tail skid is broken. It should be an easy fix though as both aircraft have tailskids featuring an ice hockey stick as the main component!

The Eindecker I am building is much much smaller – and it is taking a long time. I got a balsa wood kit for my birthday a few years ago, and do a little work on it each time we visit:

With an average of 10 days a year spent on the kit so far, it will take just as long to complete as a full size kit!

Cold Weather Leatherwork

It’s that time of the year. It’s cold outside and effin freezing in the hangar, especially when sitting still or lying on the cold concrete looking up trying to locate the source of a really slow but persistant fuel drip from a fuel tank. I have the fuel tank sealant ready for action but it needs a temperature of 20 degrees to work properly so we might wait a bit…

In the meantime the Eindecker needs a bit of work. Readers will remember when I took the old radio out and fixed the battery charging problem (a wire had come loose at the back of the ignition switch).

To do those tasks I had to take the instrument panel off. The only problem is that the mounting screws are underneath the leather trim around the cockpit, so that had to come off too. Here it is in its “unfurled” condition, with the foam padding (pipe insulation) on the starboard wing:

Workplace preparation is essential for the smooth completion of any maintenance task, it says here. So the replacement laces were laid out within easy reach ready to be installed:

Sadly I couldn’t find any “Eindecker cockpit coaming securing lace (200cm)” at Light Aero Spares or on ebay, so I grabbed several packets of the longest bootlaces I could find in Tesco and ended up tying them together as I went along.

Starting at the back left corner it was easier than I remembered:

Working round the front I noticed a problem with the throttle cable, and made a mental note to come back to that afterwards. Note the leather throttle handle, the unit itself was 3D printed by the previous owner during a refurbishment:

And finally, the completed job, looking good again:

The throttle cable mounting had come loose, which meant that the last bit of throttle movement was flexing the throttle cable rather than transmitting the movement to the butterfly in the carburettor, and with the throttle fully forward the engine would not have been producing full power. All secure and fixed now, ready for the weather to improve, the evenings to lengthen and the winds to die down a bit. Evening patrol season is coming!