What happens if the weather is utter pants?
Fly UK goes ahead as planned! Many have booked the week off work, so are determined to do the best they can in the weather conditions available. Pilots are expected to make their own planning and safety decisions based on the conditions, their aircraft and personal capabilities. This does inevitably end up with the group diverging somewhat.
Previous years have found us utilising the good half of the country while the other half is seeing wet weather. This can offer opportunities such as touring all the Orkney Islands as an alternative to reaching Lands End. It's not unusual for us all to get holed up for a day - bring a book! There's often something else interesting to do, and there's always a plan B. In 2018 poor weather over northern Scotland forced many of us to skip ahead to East Fortune; many took the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Flight nearby while others took the train for a day in Edinburgh.
It's entirely possible that we may miss a section or run a day late. If you're running off-schedule it's wise to call the airfields up to check they're still expecting us. Keep an eye on the tracker to see what others are up to. And update your own position!
How can microlights take part in a charity event?
Although microlights are not permitted to take part in sponsored events, this event is permitted by the CAA as the pilots are not sponsored for achieving the destination. The donation should be given irrespective of whether or not we achieve our objective of completing our routes and ideally given in advance of the trip. You're going to do your best to complete the route planned, but there's no undue pressure on pilots.
CAP1330 covers charity flights but is more about offering isn't quite relevant to the Fly-UK scenario.
Can I do just part of the trip?
Absolutely. Do as much or as little as you want. It can be tricky to take a syndicate aircraft for the whole week and both weekends; some people can't get enough time off work; or you may just have other commitments.
If you're new and not sure about committing to the whole trip, I'd try to join at the start and see how you get on. I did that in my first year, but ended up really enjoying myself and completing the trip.
Breakdowns (aircraft, generally not pilots) occur; we've seen people nip home mid-week for repairs and come back in time for the finale.
Where do we stay?
Almost everyone camps at each stop, and I have arranged that with each overnight airfield except where otherwise noted and alternative arrangements have been made. Generally we camp next to the plane 'under the wing' unless airfields want us camping land-side so it's not too bad a packing/unpacking problem. Occasionally we're lucky enough to sleep in disused buildings or hangars rather than tents.
It's certainly possible to do it without camping by finding hotels and B&Bs nearby each overnight stop, but as the weather plays its part or other technical issues occur you can't be entirely sure where you'll be. It's therefore quite difficult to book ahead. Even if you intend to find proper accommodation I would put a tent in as a backup option.
For the overnight stops I've tried to find airfields with food and ideally a suitable indoor venue (e.g. cafe, restaurant, clubhouse, etc.) so we're not holed up in tents if the weather is inclement. Sometimes it might be a short trek to the nearest pub. I've also tried to ensure we've got some form of fuel available at least every other stop - whether pumps (often AVGAS 100LL only) or a fuel run to the local garage. More details on this are sent out with the route out in early June.