Learning to Fly

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mattmoxon
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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sun May 31, 2015 8:02 pm

Hopefully I will be flying again on Friday but much like last Friday the weather will ultimately decide.

This thread won't be picture heavy because I am learning to fly not sightseeing - that can come later.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby waylander » Sun May 31, 2015 8:44 pm

mattmoxon wrote:A bit about me

Image



a real disappointment to see you don't look anything like your avatar :( :lol:

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby cati » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:53 am

Brings back memories and good ones too..... houses get smaller houses get bigger. The exams are a big deal and rightly so... just time and patience! there are some great apps on the apple store with tests and log books well worth looking at.

If you get chance to go up with aerobatics I would really recommend it... at my last club there was a guy who made Pitts Specials, he was also an Ace radio controlled plane flyer and he took me up in one of his muscle planes. well I managed to keep my lunch down but what an experience, hesitation rolls, loops, as much prop hanging as you can do with a tub of lard in the front and the best of all the Lomcovak.

I think I need to reconsider my car plan.........

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:07 pm

waylander wrote:a real disappointment to see you don't look anything like your avatar :( :lol:


Sadly I have only ever passed through Wimborne, doesn't qualify me to the the 13th Duke :cry:

cati wrote:Brings back memories and good ones too..... houses get smaller houses get bigger. The exams are a big deal and rightly so... just time and patience! there are some great apps on the apple store with tests and log books well worth looking at.

If you get chance to go up with aerobatics I would really recommend it... at my last club there was a guy who made Pitts Specials, he was also an Ace radio controlled plane flyer and he took me up in one of his muscle planes. well I managed to keep my lunch down but what an experience, hesitation rolls, loops, as much prop hanging as you can do with a tub of lard in the front and the best of all the Lomcovak.

I think I need to reconsider my car plan.........


As long as you are medically fit I'd go for it, but don't leave yourself short of a Mustang!

When I mentioned the exams initially remarking that they are multiple choice with a 75% pass mark you get the response "that must be easy then". Not so; the air law paper may be 20 multiple choice questions. However, the Air Law section of the Pooleys book is 200 pages (plus additional CAA publications) which means you really have to know the subject (and lets face it you really want to as falling foul of the CAA is not something you want to do) well to be able to answer the questions.

An aerobatic rating (or basic course at the very least) is on my list of "things I might do" once I have a bit of post skills test seat time, mainly because of the enhanced upset recovery techniques you learn (spinning in basic trainers is prohibited these days sadly) and secondly for fun (though I did end up a bit green around the gills when I did aero's back in my Air Cadet days.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby badhand » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:16 pm

[quote="mattmoxon"]Image

Blimey. They're small them planes!

Wouldn't get me up in one! :o

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby waylander » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:40 pm

badhand wrote:Blimey. They're small them planes!

Wouldn't get me up in one! :o



stop eating the pies then - sure it'll be able to take off then :lol:

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby badhand » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:08 am

That was almost funny.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:40 pm

badhand wrote:
Wouldn't get me up in one! :o


Wuss. Seriously they are great fun nothing like being bounced around like a ball in a box with some of the up-drafts and down-drafts I have had to contend with courtesy of the nearby refinery and steel works.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:44 pm

Flight 9: 05/06/15 last of the stalls, onto circuits

Other than being a bit windy the day was lovely other than a small amount of haze. The lesson started with moving the aircraft from the grass parking area onto the apron so that it could be re-fuelled, then no messing straight into the air. A few minutes in cruise out to the northwest training area to do the last few practices with power on stalls and flaps deployed after a few practices at that, the same HASELL and HELL checks used as on previous lessons. I won’t go into any more details on that manoeuvre as I covered it on the previous post, anyway once John was happy we headed back to Humberside for some circuit practice.

Our approach was interrupted with “Cessna Golf Papa Juliet the grass cutting machines are back tracking down runway two zero please orbit at your current location” I put the aircraft into a steady left hand turn around a village, after three orbits of the village (the love it they do, they love it - honest). And Humberside tower describing the grass cutters speed as “a snail’s pace” I turned back towards the airfield.

On the first approach and landing I followed John through on the controls as the wind had moved around and was a fairly stiff crosswind, he demonstrated a cross wind landing and he demonstrated a cross wind landing and as soon as the wheels touched the ground I was passed control back, John brought the flaps up and I accelerated away and took off again. Climbing to 500ft I then turned left as per the ATC instruction onto the crosswind leg and once at 1000ft turned left again onto the downwind leg of the circuit. The downwind leg of the circuit is the section that you fly parallel to the runway but going in the opposite (180 degrees to) direction to the takeoff and landing direction. The C150 is trimmed for normal cruise speed 80 to 83 knots, then we report downwind as we pass the runway threshold. Once given clearance to land we begin the pre landing checklists:

Carb Heat - ON
Brakes - off
Undercarriage down and locked (it’s fixed on the C150)
Mixture – Rich
Fuel – on and sufficient for a go-around
Temps and Pressures – Normal
Hatches and Harnesses – Secure/tight
Carb Heat off

When we turn onto base another 90 degree left turn and 180 degrees to the crosswind leg, now the descent for landing starts, carb heat to hot, reduce power and trim for a 500fpm descent. Just before the turn onto final the flaps go to 10 degrees and re-trim. I turned onto final approach and with permission to land given the flaps went to 20 degrees, I extended the landing approach to land further down the runway at the behest of John to clear any potential rotorwash turbulence from a Helicopter sat waiting to depart (as his power setting is unknown you treat all helicopters that are live as if they are hovering i.e. generating a lot of turbulence from the rotors an uneventful bump and go and I took off again. The same procedure repeated except we were instructed to perform a right circuit as the helicopter (AS365 Dauphin) was departing to the left (probably heading out to the North Sea oil rigs). The only difference with this fight is for reasons only known to my subconscious I kicked the aircraft straight (as we had a cross wind the nose is not pointing down the runway) early and incurred a bollocking from John – oops. Still no bounce and it was a smooth enough landing. One hour and five minutes and three landings :)

My learning curve is going to steepen over the next few lessons as I start handling the radios and doing pre-landing checks without being prompted, getting ever closer to that first solo.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:38 pm

Flight 10: 07/06/15 First full session of circuits

I arrived at the airfield early as I had a bit of a longer briefing for the full circuit detail and I had the Humber Flying Club Air Law Exam.

The HFC air law exam is an internal exam that unless you take the actual air law exam has to be taken before first solo as there is now no requirement to take the real thing before first solo anymore and John calls it a duty of care to ensure that you know what you are doing. It took me around five minutes to answer the 20 question paper, getting 85% (17/20) correct, the pass mark being 15/20 or 75% I’m happy with that so now there is only me and my practical training standing in the way of going solo.

Onto the flight then, it was the first flight of the day for Papa Juliet, so full A checks were in order and thankfully the grass on the light aircraft parking area had finally been cut. The normal pre-flight checks which I am getting quicker but no less thorough at, in the interests of getting going John checked the oil and the fuel drains whilst I got on with the rest of the checks.

The wind was a bit cross for the main runway so we taxied out to runway two-six down the grass runway and waited as instructed at holding point Hotel (H) for a PA-28 (also doing circuits) to do its touch and go before back tracking down two-six to turn around and take off, full throttle and we were away initially for a right hand circuit to allow traffic to clear runway two-zero where for the first time ever I caught a glimpse of the local police helicopter from above as the pilot was landing (land on the runway and hover-taxi to the heli-pad; makes sense :roll: ). Anyway back on with the circuit the base leg was a bit long as we had to fly out over elsham so the CBUMFTHC check:

Carb Heat - ON
Brakes - off
Undercarriage down and locked (it’s fixed on the C150)
Mixture – Rich
Fuel – on and sufficient for a go-around
Temps and Pressures – Normal
Hatches and Harnesses – Secure/tight
Carb Heat off

came slightly early as the downwind leg was a bit further away from the runway, anyway, on to the landing; carb heat to hot, power 1700rpm flaps 10degrees and trim for 75 knots (86mph) the idea is to turn onto final at around 650 to 600ft as I am levelling out on final approach flaps go to 20 degrees and I trim for an over the fence speed of around 60-65 knots, runway 26 is quite short so you need to be in on the numbers. Carb air goes cold at 200ft and chop the power when you know you are in. I managed that but incurred a telling off for throttling up early (John is still handling brining the flaps up at this point) but we were away again and into the climb for another circuit, a normal left circuit this time, John did a demonstration on when to throttle up after touch-down (flaps up) and handed control back to me. Four more circuits later I taxied the aircraft back to the grass parking and shut down.

I am still gripping the controls to tightly which means I am being heavy on them, I am getting better but I guess that will come with time, hopefully fairly soon because John isn’t going to trust me to go solo with his pension otherwise.

The work load in the circuit is very high, I’d describe it as intense at the moment, I assume as more and more things become second nature it will get easier, though using the radio still hasn’t been added yet. This is going to get a lot more challenging before I go solo.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:01 am

I haven't forgotten about this thread, weather this weekend caused the cancellation of both lessons I had booked, Friday was supposed to be good but the sun didn't manage to burn off the clouds and clear the air - result ~500ft cloud ceiling which means no flying for me.

Saturday was much the same but with rain thrown into the mix just for added annoyance - hopefully Friday will be better, still I have my new copy of X-Plane 10 to keep me amused, though it doesn't help with the flying part it does help with memorising the various procedures (FREDA, CBUMFTHC, HASSELL et al).

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:25 pm

Flight number 11 19/06/15: my second session on circuits

I'm now 11 hours into my PPL and things are starting to slot into place my second lesson on circuits today, flying left and right hand circuits on the shorter and narrower runway 26. After a forty five minute delay due to a PA-28 developing a flat tyre and having to be moved from the runway it was time for the first take-off and then circuit and landing, repeated six times. Sounds dull, far from it, though less intense than the first circuit detail I did two weeks ago the only time you have to collect your thoughts is on the down wind leg post CBUMFTHC checks as you watch for your turn point onto Base then you are back on it again as you set the aircraft up for the descent to the runway.

The diagram at the bottom (not mine) will explain what I am talking about in terms of downwind and base legs.

My next lesson will include an aborted take-off, an aborted landing (go-around) and shifting the focus of using the radios onto me (yikes - time to get that 'classic' pilots radio voice perfected) and a few more circuits and according to John I will then be about ready for my first solo.

Image

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:28 pm

Flight number 12, 21/06/15: wind, wind and more wind
We managed just 30 minutes and two circuits today as the wind was gusting quite badly, and as its strength appeared to increase throughout the short flight the decision was made to call the lesson off and return to the club office for a bru.

I was hoping that today was going to be first solo day but the wind was quite horrific so the agenda was going to be practicing flap less landings, only one very slight bounce the second one was pretty good; all experience is good experience in my book, though it’s hard to learn when you are fighting it all the time which is why on the second circuit the landing was a full stop.

We shall see what Thursday the 25th brings as I have a couple more lessons booked in then.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:38 pm

Flight number 13, 25/06/15: Better weather
The weather was considerably better today than Sunday, warm slightly humid with light winds good visibility and a nice cloud ceiling.

Today was another lesson on circuits with a practice go around and a practice engine failure after takeoff. Fairly routine circuits, some right hand some left hand all bits and pieces that I have spoken about before. The practice engine failure after take-off was an eye opener as to just how quickly things go from a nice climb to “better go for that field” I think I’d be able to handle it but hope I never have to, the checklist comes at you fast, is a variation of the CBUMFTHC check but shutting the fuel off, making sure the mixture is lean, mags off and throttle closed, and electrical off. Naturally we went through the drill without switching anything off (that would turn a simulated emergency into a real one :yikes:). The go-around was fairly simple, at 50ft AGL throttle up, bring the flaps up as the speed increases and climb away and go around again, simple but you have to know how to do it should you need to abort the landing.

I’m certainly feeling more confident at this point, and I have noticed that John isn’t following me through on the controls until I am over the threshold (buy the last one he was nowhere near the controls), other than a couple of light bounces the lesson went well.

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Re: Learning to Fly

Postby mattmoxon » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:54 pm

Flight number 14, 25/06/15: It is time
As I have the day off work I booked in two lessons and after an hour and a half on the ground having some lunch we were back out at the aircraft doing the pre-takeoff checks, it had gotten warmer and the doors stayed open as long as we could keep them open.

Back onto circuits again, with a practice engine failure just after takeoff to come and an aborted landing, I am also handling the radio calls (downwind, finals, cleared to land etc.) now for the circuit work. Five circuits including one power failure at 250ft and a practice aborted takeoff, which is as simple as it sounds, close the throttle and then begin applying the brakes to bring the aircraft to a stop.

Then it was my turn, John radioed the tower to inform them of a crew change, that’s right my first solo was upon me.

I waited for John to get clear and commenced my pre-takeoff checks, and then I radioed the tower to inform them I was ready to depart. The next few minutes were one of the most incredible things I have ever done, after waiting a couple of minutes for wake turbulence I opened the throttle and I was away. The aircraft lept into the air with only me onboard and I was at circuit height much faster than I normally would be (maintaining the same climb speed the vertical speed is a little higher with only me onboard).

Once trimmed out for level flight at 1000ft I turned parallel with the runway and after completing my CBUMFTHC checks I made my downwind call to the tower. Prior to turning onto base I had a few moments to take in what I was doing before it was time to turn onto the base leg and bring her in. I was on final approach before I knew it, having to make slight adjustments on the power to keep the attitude correct for landing. Followed by a nice gentle touch down, the first time I have landed smack on the centre line and bang on the numbers, I exited the runway and parked on the grass as normal.

John was there to congratulate me and take a photo for the club facebook page.

The learning curve flattens somewhat for a while now I have advanced handling techniques to come next.


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