It's been a while since I've had much positive to report but during my last lesson with Skytrek at Rochester my instructor and I noticed problems with the VHS-NAV1 unit. This was logged in the tech log as without it being resolved the situation would threaten our future capability to use the plane for precision instrument approaches.
I'm sorry to report that following several calls to the flying school it transpired that they didn't actually own the aircraft and yet worse still there was no information forthcoming as to when (if at all) it was to be fixed. This left me quite gutted not to mention stranded in terms of next steps as effectively the situation ended my IMC course as no Plan B was on offer! Needless to say this was a huge blow and very disappointing as I was really enjoying the course.
So, following all this, I made the decision to carry on my IMC course but with Southend Flying Club. I had been there in the summer to do some aerobatic lessons in a C-152 and I had really liked the place. It has to be said, for me it's a bit of a trek (100 mile round trip) but in my opinion it is totally worth it. Being based at Southend should be great for continuity as well, because its H24 and the facilities are very good. Naturally it is ATC, not AFIS also, which means this should also keep my radio work sharp. The instructor Peter is also a really great guy and I am so looking forward to benefiting from his vast experience.
There is one slight adjustment I am going to have to make because the IMC course at Southend is done in a PA-28-151 Warrior. This basically means I need to become familiar with a new aircraft. This shouldn't be a problem though.
So on Sunday (5th) I headed over to Southend Airport for some general handling and (as it transpired) some IMC work in the new plane. She was really stable and a real pleasure to fly. The other difference at Southend is they use screens to obscure the view for the pilot not 'foggles' (special glasses that only let you see down at the cockpit and not up through the windshield). I was pleasantly surprised actually to find how much I preferred the screens!
During the last two weeks Britain has been battered by storms and flood warnings are everywhere. Many people in Kent were flooded over Xmas which couldn't have been nice at all. Despite this Southend was open and it was Business As Usual (no doubt helped by the fact that EasyJet operate out of there). I discovered yesterday that Rochester has been shut because of all this rain we have had. Understandable really but a reminder I guess of the advantage of switching to a different more commercial airport.
I have a lesson booked for Sunday and I can't wait to get back into the swing of things.
Brakes Off: 13:05 Brakes On: 14:15
Total Time: 1:10 | IMC Rating: 0:35
Total Hours = 60:35 DUAL + 21:00 PIC [P1] + 2:10 [PICUS]
Total IMC Rating: 7:00
Total Time = 83:45