Today's lesson was to be a cross country navigation trip taking us East to Maypole Farm airstrip and then turning onto a South Easterly heading over Canterbury, Ashford on towards our next turning point Battle (Scene of the Battle of Hastings). From here we were to turn North up through Maidstone and home to Rochester.
En-route we were to fly low though two hills while approaching Ashford. This involved slowing the aircraft down and putting one stage of flap down. This technique allows you more time for getting your bearings and deciding on your next move. With one stage of flap, your visibility is improved.
During the ground school my instructor taught me how to calculate "on the fly" a detour to another location. He had a detour calculator (like a ruler really) which was rather simple but like all things in this sense quite clever. I need to get one of these and practice. He explained that the examiner at the end of the course would be asking me to demonstrate this skill. Note taken!
I climbed out and turned west climbing up to 2,000ft and then looped back upon myself for an overhead departure on a heading of 94 degrees magnetic.
The first leg went fine although the wind appeared to be from my left (which would have been from the North). Sky Demon and also the Met Office Spot Wind Chart I took in the morning had forecast a tailwind and a groundspeed of 140 knots! Still, I made a correction once I got to Whitstable and found the Maypole airstrip fine. Turning around and heading down SW over Canturbury and Ashford everything went fine. During the low level flight it wasnt too easy to get the plane in trim but then climbing to 2000 ft again things were calmer.