The offer to fly a light aircraft over Boston and into New Hampshire was difficult to refuse. The colours of autumn leaves in the American North East are stunning – seeing them from the air is a rare treat. Flying small planes in the UK is a pretty casual affair. You show up at a tiny airport with a storied history; many airfields in the South East served as bases for Spitfires in World War 2. You take off and land from a bumpy grass runway, the nearest homes less than 100 feet beneath your wheels. The clubhouses date from the war era (as do the toilets and the plumbing). Flying in America is a little more structured. Without the requisite security pass I was told that I couldn’t even use the Port-a-Potty without an escort! We pulled up next to a row of small hangars. My friend 20/20 man casually revealed that he’d built our tiny aircraft himself. 20/20 man builds machine vision systems for robots when he’s not putting together aircraft in his garage. I hope he’d tightened all the screws on the plane.
The views were spectacular – come along for the ride by clicking here or on the image below
Cost Centre #1 joined us for Bloody Marys and brunch afterwards at Aquitaine, a Back Bay institution. The Bloody Marys looked better than they tasted, being curiously watery and without flavour despite having plenty of spices. Brunch is an American institution and Aquitaine does it well – in what passes for French bistro style in New England. We swapped our Bloody Marys for rather delicious glasses of chilled Pinot Grigio. The cinnamon rolls, dripping in moist sugar are to die for. Duck hash (shredded confit duck, potato and a fried egg) and Lobster Benedict (when in Boston….) are both a twist on familiar dishes – and delicious. Aquitaine is popular with locals so book if you plan to visit.
Fortunately we waited till after flying to eat since landing a small plane in cross winds can be a stomach churning exercise. If you are a nervous flyer don’t watch the next video.