Friday, 5 July 2013

Cessna 172 Checkride and a visit to Eastchurch

It was a gloriously sunny and warm day today which was absolutely fantastic as I had planned to take the day off work and do a checkride in a Cessna 172! Yup more flying!!!! It's just fantastic at the moment. 
So for todays treat, I headed over to Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey. This is where the instructor who took me through the PPL course is based. This little airstrip of his is situated in between a collection of farms, is totally charming and full of history. Check out the Eastchurch link above for details.

This little farm strip runway runs East - West and has a noticeable downhill gradient which runs West. Fortunately we had an easterly wind today so our landing was uphill making it a lot easier to make it in. There is also a slope running across the runway, which you can just make out on the picture below.
A look down 27
So G-FACE was the chariot for an hour and a quarter and I was absolutely struck by how clean and immaculate it was. When I climbed up to inspect the fuel I had a short sleeve shirt on and my skin literally 'squeeked' as it moved against the polished surface. In terms of the flight, I did the usual general handling type of stuff. Stalls, clean and with full flaps, recovering with no power and then with power. Glide descents, PFLS, Steep turns and finishing with some circuits. It was great experience as the airfield circuit pattern was not a typical rectangle due to the proximity of my instructors neighbours houses! 

I found the extra power in the 172 very good and in a few instances had to use a good bit of right rudder to stay in balance. A lot more than a C152. Take off was fine (extra power was appreciated here), the approach seemed a bit fast but then I was coming in at 45 degrees to the threshold, turning right at 50 ft to track over the runway which was something I've never done before.

I found the nose attitude quite a lot lower than a C152 and the leg room very spacious indeed. Visibility was excellent, you can see right down the leading edge of the wings. Visibility is also very good behind the front seats as well. My instructor also used a TCAS unit. This little device gives a visual and audible warning of nearby traffic. It was the first time I had seen one in action and I would like to look into this interesting technology in some more detail.

At the end of the session I was getting a feel for things around the circuit and I have to say the C172 feels more solid, stable and much more powerful than the C152s that I have been used to. I think its definitely the way to go in the future although for building hours I guess the C152 will also suffice for now.

HOURS = 47:50 DUAL + 18:50 PILOT IN COMMAND [P1] 
Total Time = 66:40

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