Saturday, 30 July 2011

Lesson 25: Pactice Force Landings

It was a lovely day today with scattered cumulus clouds and lots of nice warm sunshine. A gentle wind from the north saw runway 34 in use but as I had been given Papa X-Ray and with the circuit busy I headed off with my instructor to do some Practice Forced Landings (EX16) . 

This was the first time I had covered this drill and it was certainly very interesting. We went off over the Isle of Grain and then Isle of Sheppey and carried out numerous drils. Papa X-Ray seemed very underpowered so it took time to climb back to 2200ft to repeat each exercise.

My instructor Mike was very good in getting across the (lack of) glide range of a C-152 and by the end of the hour I was getting a reasonable feel for "what field" I would go for!

Coming home we were hoping to practice a glide descent but was not to be as somebody was on final approach so we went round from overhead and did a normal circuit. 

I need to complete my solo circuit work and the longer this is hanging over me the more it will feel like another first solo again, so I'm keen to get this out the way and also start some cross country work. 

Speaking with my instructor in the car park afterwards I assume the first one to be Rochester, Canterbury, Ashford, Bewl Reservoir and back home to Rochester.

I have a lesson booked for Wednesday. Not sure which aircraft it will be in again but hopefuly it will be back in India Victor. The other problem (aside from the power) with Papa X-Ray is the radio. At times it was very difficult to make out Rochester Air Traffic Informaiton Service.

It was great to be back in the air again today. Some interesting information on emergency landings (and especially metrics on airline passenger survival rates) can be found on the wikipedia link below..

25.30-07-11 C152 G-CEPX EGTO EGTO 15:05 16:15 1:10 1-1 EX16

02:25 SELF

Friday, 29 July 2011

Navigation Exam

Pleased to say I sat and passed my Nav exam yesterday with a score of 96%. Like the other exams I had put my share of study in so was well prepared. I have to say, the Q&A simplifier book is rather good for preparing you for it because it has 3 mock papers. The first section of the exam involves ploting a multi-leg course and answering questions based on that. Outside of the exam area doing the same exercise is interesting (for me at least) because you can program the wind factors into x-plane and then go fly the course!

So then, this leaves my Comms exam to 'complete' my PPL ground school so to speak (although of course with flying like other things, you never stop learning).

I had a lesson booked for first thing this morning but the weather was rubbish (see pictures). Visibility was about an arm length! I rebooked for tomorrow, although the wind is due north which could put a stop to circuit flying.

In talking with my instructor if circuits are off limit tomorrow then we can do some Practice Forced Landings.

Why would circuits be off limits? Well, this is because at Rochester Airport, Circuits are not permitted on Runway 02 on Fridays, Weekends and Bank Holidays. This is to appease the local residents (noise abatement).  

Monday, 25 July 2011

A Day Out in a Piper Warrior: Headcorn to Elstree

Had a lovely day out yesterday, flying with a friend from Headcorn to Elstree in a Piper Warrior. Weather and visibility was great. Learnt that Elstree has no circuit as such, so it's a straight in approach. The VRP on the half mil chart says "Golf Course" but I swear there must have been 3 or 4 of them as we made our way in from the east side. Perhaps we called early? Anyway - nice aerodrome and a friendly welcome.

It was the first time I had been to Headcorn and I was so impressed with everything going on there. What a lovely place!

Some more pictures are included on the page "A Day Out in a Piper Warrior: Headcorn to Elstree ... "

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Lesson 24: Back Flying

A lovely morning and I was up early at the airport in G-BNIV ready for my lesson. I had not flown for over a month and so I needed a confidence booster lesson really. I was worried I would be rusty  with such a layoff but it felt good. That said, I did not fly solo preferring instead to go through the circuit practising my landings with Mike my instructor. Everything went well, even a glide descent went perfectly well. The runway in use was my nemesis Runway 34 with the "take-off ramp" in the middle but she gave me no problems today. My first landing was a "skimmer" but the rest went very well.

I have booked a NAV exam for thursday July 28 so have some studying to do. I have also booked a lesson for Friday to crack on with more solo circuit work. The solo circuit work is a real bind but once through that it should start to be a thril again.

24.23-07-11 C152 G-BNIV EGTO EGTO 08:40 09:35 0:55 1-1 EX12E, 13C

02:25 SELF