On Saturday 1st March Alan flew his airplane to Erfurt in Germany with the band and their sound engineer Colin for two concerts, one in the afternoon in Jena and the other in the evening in Vacha. You may recall that the weather that weekend was quite stormy and very very windy. During the flight which was uneventful until about when they were passing Frankfurt where they started to pick up quite a lot of ice on the wings of the airplane and being to heavy to climb above the weather Alan had no alternative but to come down quickly through the cloud making it very bumpy and apparently according to the guys extremely scary for everyone.
Everyone but Alan that is who seemed to enjoy every minute. After what seemed like ages being thrown around Alan landed the plane safely, as always, and thankfully everyone recovered soon enough to do the shows. The next day they returned to Erfurt Airport at 13:00 for the journey home but discovering that the weather was just as bad as it was the day before so Alan announced that they would not be flying in his airplane that day as it might be too dangerous but he would send them home on the next available flight the 20.30 Lufthansa flight to London Heathrow from Frankfurt which was two hours away by train. Everyone seemed relieved and happy about this although it meant Alan staying behind until the weather got better.
After they had left Alan went back to the flight briefing office in Erfurt to ask once more about the weather being told that it would be very windy until you get on top of the cloud but O.K. after that so as the others weren’t with him he thought he would in his words Take a look after all if it was too bad he could always come back and stay the night which was the original plan. So off he went. Up through gaps in the cloud till he reached beautiful clear blue sky on top. It had been a little bumpy but nothing like he had been expecting. He had taken off at 15.30 and after three hours landed back at his local airport in the U.K. at 18.30 it had taken slightly longer that usual because of the strong headwinds but still two hours before John, Mick, Mark and Colin were due to take off from Frankfurt.