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By Pete L
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
After not posting here for ages, two learning experiences in a week.

Quick mid-week dash for fuel for to Old Warden. A whole 15 minutes flying. Been to OW dozens of times but not since July 21. Probably in a bit of a hurry so trying to minimize airborne time but did all the ground checks carefully.

Skydemon running, duly pointing at OW.

Get into the ATZ at OHJ height. A few aircraft joining so join on the deadside and start descending. See grass strip of approximately correct shape and fly the circuit.

Looked a bit quieter than memory but had trees, buildings and farms in roughly the right place.

Quick distraction from another flyer about the radio screeching when I made the blind calls.

Nope - it's not Old Warden.

It's not even the Sandy Microlight Strip.

It turns out there's a reasonably well maintained grass strip of about the right length right in the N of the OW ATZ.

Why did I get trapped into the mistake, even with a working satnav?

Once in the overhead, I was only ever looking outside.

Didn't check for all of the features of OW that should be there - such as the distinctive lake where you turn final for 02, the country house, the tower...
Been there a few times-fortunately thought at last moment--somethings not quite right.
Probably combination of heat/pressue.
From experience have found it helpful to have someone with me on first visits to confirm we"re landing on an actual strip.
Think of it as good practice for a forced landing.