Learning to Fly

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mattmoxon
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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:11 pm

Flight 15, 29/06/15: Circuit consolidation
After my first successful solo my next lesson was more circuit work, this time with less instructor input. He sat there for three circuits watching me doing the flying. I keep a running commentary going during the manoeuvring which I do for my own benefit as much as Johns because it allows him to hear what I am thinking as I am going around the circuit.

After three successful observed circuits (me handling the retraction of the flaps just before the take-off) John left the aircraft and went and sat in the light aircraft park to watch me as I fly around. The first circuit went well, it’s getting less of a surprise now as to how much differently the aircraft handles without John on board, the climb rate is startling in comparison. I ballooned on landing a bit, other than that it was a good landing, I could have held the nose off a little longer, though I was soon throttle up, flaps up and taking off again – the process is much more hurried (or seems so) as the aircraft accelerates much faster with only me on board. I held for a single right orbit to keep the spacing with some departing traffic before re-establishing myself on the base leg and made another landing, I held the nose off a little longer this time which slowed the aircraft a bit more, making the throttle up, flaps up sequence less hurried, though I didn’t relax the back pressure enough and it lifted the nose wheel a little resulting in a slightly squirrely take off whilst I lowered it, I had to hold in a right orbit again just before the base leg as the usual KLM flight was inbound; the total hold time cost me 15 minutes extra (more seat time is no bad thing though I’d rather have the seat time learning new things rather than orbiting a fixed point – I’ll be an expert at flying in circles in no time :P) I maintained a 1000ft orbit at around 15 degrees of bank before finally being cleared to re-establish my pattern. The final landing was the best of the bunch and I taxied in and parked up.

John didn’t seem too bothered about the nose wheel lift and slightly squirrely take off; I think because I recognised my mistake and corrected it and proved I was paying attention because I knew exactly what I had done and didn’t try and bullshit my way through it when I gave my debrief at the end of the flight.

Night school has returned on the Monday nights with Human Performance & Limitations, now I have a reasonable knowledge of Air Law and Operational Principles I intend to get Air Law, Operational Principles and Human Performance & Limitations exams out of the way in the next month or so as I don’t want the flying hours to run away too much ahead of the exams. Once the Human Performance & Limitations ground school is complete it’s on to the Radio ground school which includes theory and the R/T practical.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:24 pm

Flight 16: 03/07/15, Look ma, no flaps
The next phase in the training; different landing techniques normal approaches and landings are made with 20 degrees of flap (the C150 has 40 degrees of flap at maximum) which gives a nice comfortable approach path to the runway. There are a number of landing techniques I am going to be taught over the next few lessons (Humberside International Airport is having its money’s worth in landing fees from me):

1. Normal (flaps 20 degrees).
2. Flapless (flaps up).
3. Glide (no power).
4. Short field (full flaps).
5. Side slip (crossing the controls to slow the aircraft).
6. Cross wind (normal approach just with the wind at the ‘wrong’ angle).

For this lesson it was the turn of the flapless approach and landing; I had already done a little flapless in a previous lesson (aborted) so hopefully it wouldn’t be too hard to get into it. Taking off this time from runway zero-eight (the opposite end of two-six, the short runway I have used a number of times before) the procedure is fairly familiar to get to pattern height (1000ft above the airport) and fly as normal, the turn onto base and the power reduction and carb air go on hot as normal and the aircraft is trimmed to 75 knots and that’s it. The approach is much flatter than a normal approach and it feels very odd, carb air to cold at 200ft and keep the picture constant all the way down. The aircraft doesn’t settle as quickly as I’m used to as it doesn’t have the drag of the flaps to help slow you down and as we are on the short runway if it hasn’t settled by the cross point it’s a case of abort and go around again, thankfully I didn’t need to do that and made three successful landings with John watching my every move. It was then my time to go solo again and other than a fluffed radio call and a hold on left base for other traffic it went well, my altitude keeping could be better though the turbulence didn’t help with that neither do the up and down drafts, but dealing with that will come eventually. My next flight will be a similar drill just with one of the other approach methods listed above.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:41 pm

Flight 17: 11/07/15 the wind is on a funny angle today
Another lesson another set of circuits, for once the weather was doing something useful and allowed me to do some crosswind takeoffs and landings the circuit drill is much the same in terms of flying to the turning points for a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) circuit, the differences in handling comes on the takeoff and climb out and of course on the landing approach and flare out. During the takeoff roll the ailerons are turned into wind until just after the rotation whereupon the aircraft crabs into wind with the application some rudder, the trim for climb and the climb out aren’t much different other than using more rudder than normal to maintain the appropriate heading. The crab angle is maintained on the landing approach again with the use of some rudder the normal points for lowering the flaps, setting the carb heat, and trimming apply. Coming in looking down the runway (aiming to the left of the centre line as the wind was coming from the right) is an interesting sensation. The approach and flare are relatively normal with the aircraft being kicked straight with considerable opposite rudder just before the wheels touch the ground, then its throttle up, flaps up, opposite aileron and go around again. That was the theory anyway; It took a couple more circuits than normal before John was happy to let me go solo – I certainly have a new found respect for the pilots that fly into airports like Leeds Bradford in regular high crosswinds.

Five dual and three solo circuits later with a hold at the end of the downwind leg of the second circuit as the shuttle to Jersey departed. I was left to park up for the first time on my own, John normally waits in the light aircraft park using one of the concrete filled barrels (they are used to tie the aircraft down to) as a seat but this time he had evidently decided that his office chair was more comfortable ;). John leaving me to it is a massive confidence booster.

Next up: more circuit work – it’s probably a bit samey for you reading this at the moment, though no less enjoyable for me. After all I am getting to fly and aeroplane :D

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:14 pm

Flying lesson 18 20/07/15: no flaps – again, look at me drifting in the sky

Today was flying lesson 18 and more circuit consolidation, on today’s lessons agenda was side-slipping, slowing the aircraft and losing altitude using crossed ailerons and rudder. The wind was more or less straight up and down the runway (180 degrees on runway two-zero (200 degrees)), I was chucked the keys and told “I’ll meet you at the aircraft, its one hour out of full on the fuel, only a transit check is required” so I toddled off and did the check on my own, by the time the instructor arrived I was ready for start up. Normal start-up and run-up checks complete and clearance obtained I was off down the runway and airborne. Normal circuit discipline maintained all the way around. The approach is interesting; the turn onto final is done at the normal point for a flapless landing and then before you are squared up you start feeding in opposite rudder, more aileron, more rudder, you can push it so far that you run out of movement on one or the other, or both – not advisable. Its rather uncomfortable being banked like that on approach, but it doesn’t last long, squaring up and setting the carb heat to cold at 200ft (landing clearance already obtained) for a touch and go, in the normal manner for a flapless approach.

After three circuits we called it a day, persistent drizzly showers were hampering visibility and though they are something I will need to deal with at some point, this early in the training is not the time. The landings all went well, well enough that the start of my next lesson to be the three solo circuits, the ones I didn’t get to do before this one was called off, the lesson may be extended to a solo – dual – solo lesson that’s an hour and a half long covering another landing technique (glides and short field remain).

This brings my grand total flying time to 18 hrs and 30 minutes, of which 2 hrs 20 minutes is solo.

The revision for the first three CAA exams kicks off this week, my aim is in a couple of weeks time to use the first sitting to get the three exams I mentioned in the last post done.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:44 pm

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about this thread.

The weather has cancelled the last two lessons (one booked for last Friday (24th) and Sunday (26th)) both cancelled due to weather, which has been annoying (part of the joys of any weather dependant sport or hobby in the UK) hopefully and so far the Met Office predictions look favourable for Friday I’ll get airborne again.

The radio theory course has started (Monday night was the first one) which is going to be interesting I hope. That will be followed by practical sessions and will end in me doing the theory exam and hopefully the ART exam to get that out of the way.

I have also booked in my first three exams, Air Law, Operational Principles (before the lesson on Friday) and Human Limitations and Performance the week after. The idea being as I have mentioned before to get them out of the way in the first of the six allowed sittings. I want all the exams bar the Navigation and Flight performance out of the way before I start the navigation part of the flight training then I have two things that interlink nicely.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:25 pm

Flying lesson 19 31/07/15: what no engine?
This lesson was glide approaches, with the three solo side slip landings that I had to abort at the last lesson tagged onto the end.

Pre-flight briefing complete we headed out to the aircraft and after the normal check of the tech log and walk around (full A-check as it was P-J’s first flight of the day) the engine was started and with me handling the radios for the flight to (without fluffing a call this time) – more progress.

I did the first glide approach, calling downwind for a glide approach touch and go (you have to tell the tower when you are doing glide approaches) and doing the CBUMFTHC check at the normal point and then turning onto base early, the throttle is chopped to idle (carb heat to hot at the same point at the aircraft trimmed for 75 knots in the descent. Before turning onto final the flaps are lowered to 10 degrees and the call for “final for glide touch and go, Golf Papa Juliet”, with clearance obtained before the turn onto final.

As soon as I roll out onto final the flaps go to 20 degrees, more nose down trim, the flaps now go down to 30 and then 40 degrees in short order, trim is used to help keep the nose down so control forces are minimised. The carb heat goes cold at 200ft AGL as normal, interestingly due to the approach angle the speed is somewhere near 80 knots at this point. As I approach the runway threshold and not far above the ground I let the nose come up and begin the normal flare out procedure, the drag of 40 degrees of flap slows the aircraft rapidly and the touchdown is quick and smooth. With the flaps confirmed and then raised its time to take off again and off for two more dual circuits.

I stop the aircraft on the grass taxyway at the rear of the light aircraft park and John departs and heads back to his office. As soon as he is clear I request taxy to the runway and with clearance I head to holding point ‘bravo’ and complete the normal run up checks and pre take off checks. I’m soon airborne again. The feeling of taking off on your own and flying is still quite magical and one I hope never gets old as it is quite fantastic :)

After three successful glide approaches I completed my three sideslip approaches and nice landings, the last one was nearly but not quite a ‘greaser’ and taxy to the southern apron so Papa-Juliet could be refuelled ready for the next lesson.

I headed back to the club cabin to fill out my log book, sign the tech log and hand over a large wad of money.

This week wasn’t all practical work, I did the first three of nine exams, Air law, Operational Procedures and Human performance & Limitations; the scores:

    Air Law: 100%
    Operational Procedures: 75%
    Human Performance & Limitations: 92%
Not too shabby and as I have another 10 days left on this sitting I am going to cram for Aircraft Technical and principles of flight and try and knobble them next Friday, five exams in one sitting will really take the pressure off on the theory side of things.

Lesson 20 will be my last lesson of circuit consolidation and will be sort field landings, then it’s on to advanced manoeuvres before the navigation exercises begin.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby cati » Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:25 pm

Matt I keep thinking about starting my lessons again, if it's not to rude to ask what costs have you run up so far

Would be grateful if you could pm me

Many thanks

Nic

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:38 pm

cati wrote:Matt I keep thinking about starting my lessons again, if it's not to rude to ask what costs have you run up so far

Would be grateful if you could pm me

Many thanks

Nic


PM sent

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby cati » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:30 pm

thanks Matt

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:49 am

Flying lesson 20 07/08/15: Not a lot of room at the inn
This lesson was the last of the circuit consolidation lessons and it was covering short field landings.

The pre-flight transit check (P-J had already been out for a flight) was left to me. By the time John had booked us out on the circuit, sorted some paperwork and walked to the light aircraft park I was ready to start up. The engine was still warm from the previous lesson so the time from start up to getting off block was fairly short. We headed off down the grass taxyway to zero-eight.

It was handy to be able to use the shorter cross runway because today’s lesson was short field operations. Once the run up and pre take off checks were completed and permission granted for takeoff I manoeuvred P-J out to the threshold of the runway. The takeoff on short field operations is somewhat sporty – if sporty is an attribute that can be applied to a Cessna 150. The takeoff drill; 10 degrees of flap to shorten the takeoff run and go full throttle against the brakes, release the brakes when you are satisfied everything is good, maintain some back pressure on the yoke (holds some weight off the nose) and rotate at 45 knots. Once the aircraft is off the ground the nose is held down to build the speed up before easing her into a climb. Once climbing steadily and over 100ft AGL (Above Ground Level) the flaps can be retracted and a normal climb out at 65 knots and 500ft/min maintained.

After a regular pattern and base leg (75 knots, 10 degrees of flap and 500ft/min descent rate) I turn onto final approach, report ready for a touch and go and then the flaps are lowered incrementally to 40 degrees, more power is needed on the approach to prevent the extra drag of 40 degrees of flap from slowing the aircraft down too much and the inevitable happening. The approach is flown powered and literally at the last minute (just before the flare) the power is cut to idle and the aircraft settles, and touches down – on the numbers.

John departed after doing three successful dual circuits, leaving me to do four solo (there was enough time as we didn’t need to taxy all the way back as John was happy to walk down the maintenance vehicle path). My first landing ended up being a go-around as it just didn’t feel right, not enough airspeed coming over the fence, nose too high, and the numbers not where I wanted them in the windscreen. So I powered up and went around, discretion being the better part of valour. I figured out on the downwind post checks what I had done wrong and after that the remaining three approaches and landing went without a hitch. I hit the numbers on zero eight on my full stop landing and got the aircraft stopped before the main runway crossing point (no heavy brake usage either :)
Another 35 minutes dual and 40 minutes solo in the log book, I was happy with how it went, John who was listening to the radio on a receiver in the office obviously knew about the go-around but seemed happy that I knew what I had done wrong and was able to make the right decision rather than try and force a landing.

Another lesson that wasn’t all practical as well; I managed to knobble the next two exams in the same sitting as the last one, Aircraft General and Principles of flight; the scores:

  • Aircraft General: 88%
  • Principles of flight: 83%

That leaves me five sittings to do the remaining four theory exams; Communications, Navigation, Flight Planning & performance and Meteorology, as I am currently doing the radio night school that will be the next theory exam, followed by the navigation related reading and exams because I am not far off doing my navigation exercises!

Next up (Sunday all being well) is steep turns and general handling revision.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:35 pm

Flying lesson 21 09/08/15: turn baby turn
More good weather today (always nice) meant I got another flying lesson this weekend, today’s agenda - steep turns, sadly the CAA doesn't want us doing max rate turns in the PPL any more so we are limited to 45 degrees but that is still enough to have a bit of fun with the C150. The lesson was to teach me what happens in a normal steep turn, what happens if you don’t apply enough elevator and what happens if you don’t put enough power on. Naturally the lesson would also have general handling (climbs, descents etc.) and if we had time some more stalling practice. The first part of the flight was the normal full pre-flight inspection, P-J was on the GA Apron rather than the grass as she had just been fuelled up, so the taxi out was quicker than usual, and after the usual run up checks we were cleared for immediate departure as there was another aircraft on long final. Once airborne and trimmed for a 65 knot climb, I flew the aircraft out to the north-west training area, levelling out at 2,500ft and 82 knots indicated air speed (KIAS). As much as I enjoyed practising my take-off and landing techniques and doing the circuit work, it was nice to be out in the free air again.

The steep turn is just that, more bank than a normal 30 degree turn, hence the ‘steep’ part. The aircraft is turned into the steep turn exactly as it would be for any other turn, coordinated use of the ailerons and rudder; the throttle is opened slightly to put another 100rpm on so that there is a bit of extra power there for the steep turn once the wings reach 45 degrees angle of bank the ailerons and rudder are neutralised and the turn maintained with elevator. The aircraft turns at one hell of a rate and it is bloody good fun pulling a few extra g’s, after a few goes left and right I was losing little or no altitude (despite the light up and down drafts doing their best to disrupt things) and John was happy that I could do the manoeuvre without hurting me or the aircraft (it will of course be different with only me on board but that is for a little bit later on).

When things aren't right with the steep turn was the next bit of the lesson, firstly not applying enough elevator during the turn; the aircraft simply starts to lose height at quite a rate as the nose drops to try and maintain the trimmed airspeed, recovery is simple; more elevator (the power is there to do the turn normally) stops the descent and brings the turn back to normal steep turn rates, roll out, apply more power and climb back to the original altitude. Not having enough power for the steep turn and trying to maintain altitude is a different kettle of fish. Normal entry and normal elevator forces but leaving the power where it is, the speed starts to bleed off, the stall warner starts blaring at around 55 KIAS, recovery is similar to incipient stall recovery, power on, roll out and raise the nose once the speed has stabilised.

The rest of the lesson was spent on general handling and doing some practice stall recovery.

The next couple of lessons are going to be practice engine failures and emergency low level returns to base before I am set loose for an hour on my own to do some solo general handling work.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:48 am

Lesson 22 16/08/15: MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY
Now that the general aircraft handling and stall recovery has been completed its time to learn about what happens when the shit really hits the fan; engine failure. With the proper handling and maintenance aircraft engines these days are very reliable and failures are thankfully rare, however, all pilots need to know how to handle an engine failure so that they have the best chance of landing safely should the situation arise. Time for Practiced Forced Landings (PFL).

The flight began with an extended briefing on how to handle the situation, and the crux of the matter is flying the aeroplane, the administration work; calling in the MAYDAY, figuring out why the engine has failed etc. is done after ensuring that you have it trimmed out for best glide speed and can get it down on the ground in a suitable field.

After the usual checks and takeoff we were climbing out towards the training area and 2500ft, the radios were all my doing this time, I need some polishing up because although I am getting everything through that I need to its sometimes in the wrong order, which though it isn’t critical it is something that could affect the outcome of a flight test and it annoys the controllers I would imagine.

Once over the training area John took the controls with me following through and observing what he was doing. The training area has a nice array of fields (both suitable and unsuitable), obstacles (trees, power lines etc.). The first decision to make after trimming for best glide speed (65knots) is a base turn point for the field you have chosen; and it is important to maintain visual contact with one of them at all times when preparing to approach and land. The flaps are used in stages, the same way as they are making a glide approach to a regular runway, each time lowering the nose to maintain airspeed and re-trimming where necessary, after a few steep turns to bleed off some height, we were in (100ft AGL) and I got the controls back to do the go-around and climb out. After a few attempts at it I was getting better at sorting the aircraft out and getting it set up for landing before calling the MAYDAY (done on the intercom not over the radio – the controllers would have a fit if I called MAYDAY and there wasn’t an emergency).

The approaches were made from a variety of positions; downwind, overhead, straight in, it’s clear I need more practice though I have another lesson on Friday which is the second of the PFI and low level Return To Base (RTB).

Speaking of which after the last climb out I was instructed to climb to 600ft for a low level return, simulating a 700ft cloud ceiling with weather closing in, we re-entered the pattern on right base to make a normal landing, albeit the flaps went down to the first stage a little later in relation to the final approach turning point than normal as we were 300ft lower than usual.

I have purchased the last book and revision pamphlets I am going to need for the final exams (Johns notes and practice papers will be more than sufficient for the Radio exam) which I intend to do in a couple of weeks; Air navigation (it’s quite a thick book that one), and the revision pamphlets for Meteorology (the Meteorology study material is in the air law/Met book), Navigation and Flight Planning & performance. I’m going to have a look on eBay for the last few bits and pieces I need for the navigation course (I already have an ARC-1, which is in mint condition for half price courtesy of somebody selling up).

Next week: more PFL and low level RTB, will I be good enough afterwards to be given the keys to the aircraft for an hour to head out to the training area on my own? I hope so.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:30 pm

Lesson 23 21/08/15: MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY part 2
This week was more practice forced landings, developing my judgement and making sure I am capable of getting her down should a problem occur. We did a few from 2500 ft and a few from 2000ft, more of the same from last week though I was getting things right this week (apart from the first one which I aborted at 1000ft) so on with the engine failure drill; “Oh dear we have an engine failure” hold the nose up, convert speed to height and trim for 65knots – best glide speed. Turn downwind (we had wind this week so there was no simulated its coming from the north/south etc.) and select a base turn point. Now I can try and determine what’s happened; Fuel is on and sufficient, mixture is rich, carb heat is on, mags on both, primer is locked, pump the throttle, try a re-start – nothing; so we’re going in. Make your MAYDAY (simulated only over the intercom) call (often whilst turning onto base for the field). Line up on final approach to the field, using the flaps in stages to stop the aiming point shifting up the windscreen as necessary. Crash drills (simulated), fuel off, mixture off, mags off, throttle closed, hatches loose (unlatched), harness tight, everything electrical off (except the master switch – you need that for the flaps as they are electric). At 100ft MSL (you know you are in the field (or not) then) full throttle and execute a standard missed approach and climb out. After a number of practices and getting it right I performed a low level return to base (600ft) and a flapless landing (John likes to get you to perform different approach types on dual lessons to keep the practice up on the various types of approach).

The wind made a big difference to this week’s lesson, as the aircraft tracked downwind much faster than it did the previous week, and of course turning into headwind meant the ground speed was much lower too. It also made the choice of field much more critical, why would you want to think about crosswind landings on an emergency if you don’t have to.

Next week: more PFL and low level RTB, with some steep turns and stalls thrown into the mix. Though there will be one difference – I’ll be on my own. Yes John will be tossing me the keys to Papa Juliet and telling me to go and get on with it. Heading out to the training area solo will be a tad different to flying the circuit solo! Big compliment to me knowing that he trusts me to take the aircraft away from the circuit and bring it back mind :)

I will also be having a crack at the next (sixth) theory exam – Communications, I am consistently getting mid-ninety percent scores on the practice questions now, with the radio exam out of the way (the theory part of the RT course is now complete, practical has started).

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:00 pm

Lesson 24 28/08/15: Solo general handling
I was unsure whether this lesson was going to happen, rail squalls, bit on the windy side and me a student pilot. I need not have worried John gave the green light and I headed south of the river for my pre-flight briefing and my first flight away from the circuit on my own.

I carried out the pre-flight checks as normal and fired up the engine, the ATIS (Automated Terminal Information Service) gave the wind as 250 (direction its coming from) at 18 knots (speed); that pretty much made my decision to use the short cross runway (26). Pre take off checks complete I took one last look across the panel to make sure everything was as it should be before calling the tower, I was instructed on what transponder code to use, it was the same as the previous flight so I turned the transponder from Standby to ALT (transmits my altitude to the radar) and waited. With clearance to take off granted I lined up, did my final checks and opened the throttle.

The feeling of climbing away from the runway with nobody in the aircraft but me still hasn’t gotten old – I doubt it ever will. I swapped over to Humberside Radar and requested a basic service as I climbed through 1500ft to my target altitude of 2500ft.

I settled into a comfortable cruise towards Scunthorpe, I wanted to be north east really, just south of Reads Island in the Ancholme Valley but a large and rather heavy rain shower meant that would just make things a pain, I decided to stick North of Brigg to avoid the skydivers from Hibaldstow and start on the exercises I had to do. First on the agenda; steep turns fairly, remembering to put some power on as I roll past 30 degrees angle of bank so I don’t run out of airspeed. I did a couple of left and rights, happy with those I levelled out and flew to the upwind side of the rain shower that was now starting to push towards Barton and clear the Ancholme Valley, a strong updraft gave me 300ft of free altitude (nice of it).

Setting up and remembering my HASELL checks I performed a few stalls, the first one went badly, losing 500ft (yes confused me initially too), all I can assume is that it was the downdraft that accompanied the previously encountered updraft. The next two went far better ~150ft recovery, the best being a recovery within 100ft – I can live with that :)

With the rain shower well clear of the Ancholme it was time to practice a forced landing – my first ever one solo. It went well aside from my choice of field – happened to have large round bails of straw in it, not good to crash into if it was a real engine failure situation. There was sufficient space between them but there were better alternatives around. I powered up as normal once I knew I could get in and climbed back to 2000ft. I completed another three more on different fields before returning low level (600ft) to Humberside airport.

After completing the hand over from Humberside Radar to Humberside Tower I joined right downwind on runway two six (the wind was still 250 according to the ATIS). Turning onto base, my pre landing checks already completed I prepared myself for landing, as I passed east of Kirmington Village I throttled back, carb heat on and flaps to 10 degrees. Turning onto final approach I get my permission to land after reporting final the landing though interesting (quite bumpy) was a good one.

After parking up and heading back to the club cabin for the flight debrief I settled down for exam number six: Communications, the result: a pass with a score of 100%. That’s six of the nine exams dispatched in two of six sittings.

A good Friday afternoon all round, 25 hours 30 minutes flight time now in my log book. Next up; instrument flying.

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mattmoxon
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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:14 pm

Lesson 25 01/09/15: Can’t see shit Captain
The weather despite looking like rain all day was kind and I managed to get lesson 25 in today, today it was about simulated instrument flying, so that if I ever need to I can fly my way out of any cloud and low visibility and get back on the ground, so at least I’ll be alive for an ear chewing and ass kicking by the CAA for departing VMC without the appropriate rating.

I headed out to the aircraft to give her a thorough check as it was the first flight of the day for P-J. All was well, as it usually is but we have to check. John arrived at the aircraft just as I was finishing, and had accidentally left the simulated instrument goggles behind so I’d have to concentrate doubly hard to make sure I wasn’t using outside references. The goggles essentially restrict your vision so that you can only see the instruments, I’ll get to use those next time. The taxi to runway zero two as the wind was coming from a north north westerly direction for the normal run up and pre-departure checks. Once airborne and at altitude it was time to demonstrate the lag in the instruments, more of a “this is why you are very gentle with the controls” demonstration, we had been through what happens effects of g-forces on the instruments (sudden pull ups can make the vertical speed indicator momentarily indicate a descent even though you are climbing for example).

The first port of call was keeping straight and level, the aircraft is trimmed at 2,500ft, 82 knots heading 360 degrees. Keeping the aircraft on track by scanning the instruments, attitude indicator (AI) to altimeter then, AI to direction indicator (DI), this is done constantly and any corrections made with very small control inputs on the yoke and pedals (mainly just the yoke). With that sorted I then had the task of making 180 degree turns (all I will actually have to do in the PPL test), the turns are done at what is called; rate one, which is three degrees per second; there are some handy marks on the turn coordinator (TC) to tell you that you are making a rate one turn (also a balance ball to tell you that the turn is coordinated. The aircraft is banked around 15 degrees to start the turn, maintaining altitude with the elevators (very little required at this kind of bank angle). The scan goes from AI to altimeter, then AI to TC keep scanning like that with the occasional glance at the DI until you are around 10 degrees off the desired heading then the scan is AI to altimeter, AI to DI until you finally roll out on the desired heading. Yes it is as mentally tiring as it sounds. Climbs and descents on instruments were next, cruise descents and normal climbs, trimmed for 500fpm climb / descent on the vertical speed indicator (VSI). The instrument scan is AI to DI then AI to VSI, occasional checks on the altimeter so that I know when I am approaching my new altitude, the aircraft can be trimmed out at the new altitude on the same heading and at 82 knots, next was combining the descent / ascent with turns; quite a lot to think about and do whilst scanning the instruments.

Once we were ready to head back to Humberside we went in on a Simulated RADAR Approach with the tower talking us down (giving us headings etc. I’m still flying the aircraft under simulated instrument conditions. The RADAR controller cleared us to land and the instrument conditions ceased at 1 mile to go; a nice, slightly crosswind flapless landing followed.

Today’s lesson was quite intense mentally but still quite enjoyable; all that with radio navigation aid fixes next. However, that is going to be a couple of weeks as P-J goes in for some much needed pampering, yes its annual time for P-J and also time for my instructor to go on his holidays. I’m going to keep up the study (navigation book ready to read) so I am ready to hit the ground running when P-J comes back from her annual.


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