Yes - yes - yes! Finally back in the air today - and what a relief! I loved it. I have to say the met office got their forecast spot on. It was chilly at around 3C, but it was dry and the pressure was 1021 hpa and falling. We had medium level cloud cover with a wind about 8mph gusting to about 16. Visibility was good though. Clouds were at around 1800ft-2300ft.
The wind made it feel really very cold and completing the checks my hands were so numb from the chill it was a pain undoing the tie downs. When we were all ready, we were both surprised to see the old girl (India Victor) wouldn't start. She offered a few "click-clicks" and that was it. There would have been more life in a chicken McNugget! This was strange as she had been out twice earlier in the day and when I arrived to do the checks the master switch was off.
Anyway, after a couple of attempts, Brian came out from the comfort of the flying school portakabin and after a few failed attempts she was fired in to life the old fashioned way - by hand cranking.
Eventually we were on the 02 Relief runway and rotating and I made a conscious effort to keep level after a bit of buffeting, and keep the attitude correct. No "keep the nose downs" from Mike this week and before no time it was time to hang a right at 1000ft and proceed over to Sheppey. I climbed through some cloud up to about 2,300ft with the Isle of Grain on the left and then a further climb to 3,400ft for Sheppey. Once there, nature had given us a big hole in the cloud with the ground in sight and glorious sunshine to the east.
Today's lesson was all about stalling, and some more stalling. And when that was done (you've guessed it) some more stalling. We must have done around 20 - 25 different stalls in various configurations.
Note to self: These were steady even flight stall, with and without flaps, recovery with and without power. Left and Right Bank Stalls, with and without flaps, recovery with power.
Takeaways being - HASELL checks! HELL checks, keep that nose up (pull the column right back), level the wings while you can, don't use the ailerons just above the stall speed (<10 knots). When stalling on the bank - keep the (banked) attitude as it stalls - DON'T TOUCH the ailerons, power in and recover roll by use of the ailerons ONLY when the Air Speed has regained.
I really enjoyed the lesson today, it was a beautiful day up there. I definitely want to take some pictures pretty soon.
Heading back to Rochester Airport and a little RT practice for rejoining the ATZ, landing felt heavy to me but apparently it was ok. No bounce or anything so maybe it was just the relief runway I wasn't familiar with.
Anyway - I loved it today and I can't wait for next week. My homework is to be researching about Circuits.