Sunday, 4 September 2011

Grounded - Bad Weather

I had to cancel my lesson today due to the weather. Shame - yesterday was so nice. The 215 Met Briefing Form extract is enclosed. The south east cloud base is too low resulting in poor visibility. I was to fly within the area marked [D]. There is no way I was going to be able to do a Navigation Excercise in that. When I phoned the school I was told it wasnt even good enough for circuits.

As I'm studying for my Radio Telecomms Exam I treated myself to an Airband Scanner yesterday. For this I jumped on a train and popped up to Victoria Station in London. The Transair shop is very closeby so I was back home and listening to lots of (actually quite bad!) RT by early afternoon.

This neat little device will scan across three bands : Aeronautical, VHF and FM. I opted for the Uniden UBC30XLT. It has some good faeatures and in my opinion is well worth the money. The SQUELCH control is good and I like the PRIORITY Channel feature which will ensure the scanning goes back every second to the channel you mark as a Priority. You can set one channel per band. By default it is the first one. Scanning can be done across the whole frequency range in the band or it can be across the memory channel bank you programme. I set my priority channel up to 121.5 Mhz and caught a MAYDAY event. Thankfully it resulted in somebody landing safely in a field. A happy ending.

Earlier on in the week I took delivery of a flight timer for my cross country work. I went digital in the end (the analogue ones look lovely though) and opted for the ASA Digital Flight Timer. I was hoping to try this out for the first time today but it was not to be. This device clips onto my kneeboard and is packed with features.

In summary, it has :

  • Large  LCD backlight display
  • Multi-function clock (AM/PM, Universal Coordinated Zulu time, and military time options)
  • 3 simultaneous timer options
  • Exclusive digital notepad for squawk codes or frequencies
  • Approach timer which can store up to 12 different approach times
  • Audible and visual alarm modes
  • Fuel timer
  • Stopwatch with 1/10th and 1/100th second digits
  • Push and rotate dial for quickly and easily setting times
  • Multiple mounting options

  • The route I was supposed to do today I did on the simulator this week (twice!). It takes about an hour. With the VFR scenary loaded I had a good look at the track afterwards and made a mental note of some mid leg visuals ready for when the time comes and I need to estimate my leg arrival times.

    I suppose I better sign off now, and get on with the rest of Sunday. I really can't wait to get up into the air again and be in an aeroplane.

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