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Club Events - Romance in the Air?
Another new Biggles Story by Capt. P.W.Dodds
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Briefing FEBRUARY 2022
The Story

Biggles had been in Toulouse for a week on leave and was relaxing big-time now the war was finally over. He had another week's leave left so was looking forward to another day by the hotel pool. He had met the lovely Hélène again and they had been chatting - mostly about their wartime experiences. They had been getting on really well - so much so that he was having some difficulty thinking about anything, or anyone, else! He had never been a romantic chap and the afternoons and evenings spent with Hélène this week had been friendly but respectful. Hélène had been a member of the French Armée de l'Air until 1939 when she went underground and worked for La Résistance for the next 5 years. She'd had a few scrapes with the Nazis but had always managed to evade capture. Biggles had told her that she was very very lucky, which she acknowledged.

So he was caught somewhat off-guard when she suggested taking a plane ride to "somewhere I think which you would find interesting". "We can hire an aircraft at Lasbordes and take a short trip through the mountains into Spain", she said. Also, it being winter, we can possibly do a bit of skiing. What do you think?" Biggles had been somewhat frustrated by his lack of flying in recent weeks so he agreed that it was an idea worth pursuing. So the two of them took the short drive from his hotel to the airfield and were amazed and delighted to find that there was a brand new type, a DeHavilland Chipmunk, based at the field. After some persuasive discussion with the airfield staff, Biggles was given permission to hire this aircraft for his planned trip.

So the planning started in earnest. They would hire the aircraft for three days, and would first fly to Les Pujois, about half an hour's flight, where they would meet Hélène 's parents and brother for lunch. "French lunches can take all day", said Biggles, "We won't be able to stay too long". "Mamon et Papa will understand that", replied Hélène, "but they would love to meet you, I'm sure." Meeting a lady's family was usually something, in Britain anyway, which was deemed to be an advanced courtship ritual, and Biggles was certainly not planning anything so audacious. After all, he had only met Hélène 3 or 4 times previouslty. However, he kept that thought to himself, as Hélène continued enthusiastically. "From Les Pujois, we can fly following the road through the mountains to La Cerdanya - yes, we will have crossed into Spain by then." She wasn't slow to notice Biggles' raised eyebrow at the Spanish-sounding airfield name. "We can go skiiing just south of Alp on the second day", she continued. "How do you know this area?" asked Biggles, discovering that he knew little of Hélène's background or interests. "We used to go there when I was about 14-15 on school trips and other times with my Dad and my brother", she replied. If she had that local knowledge, it was going to very very useful, thought Biggles, as he did not have a chart or even a map of the area.

"From La Cerdanya, we will fly east, over the col at Fontpédrouse then down the valley to Rivesaltes - Perpignan, stay overnight and the next day, fly back to Lasbordes. The scenery and views are spectacular". Helene obviously knew the area quite well. "Let's start the trip on 14th", she added. "Why 14th?", asked Biggles. "Oh, I don't know, just a nice number". She was blushing, Biggles noticed. What was going on in this interesting lady's mind?

Event Notes
  1. The flight should be made on February 14th. ideally. Yes - St Valentines Day. Maybe Hélène knew a bit more about Biggles than she was letting on!. However, you can fly on any of the seven days from 14th to 20th to be awarded the event star.
  2. The flight must be conducted on VATSIM or IVAO.
  3. The flight is fairly short, but the scenery is stunning, so don't rush it.
  4. Radio navigation aids were not available during World War II and just afterwards. Don't cheat!
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