After my last (somewhat poor) attempt at Diversions it was time to give it another go. I decided to plot a sort of similar route to last time to see if I could manage it better. Basic planned route was Redhill to Borough Green, then to Cranbrook and Tunbridge Wells. I hadn’t planned beyond Tunbridge Wells as the Instructor would then get me to calculate a route in the air.
It was another very windy day with a 25kt wind blowing from the west. Fortunately it was blowing straight down Runway 26 so no issues with a crosswind this time.
So over to the Aircraft, usual walk around, pre-flight checks and start up. I was cleared by Redhill ATC to taxi to hold A1 and from there to Runway 26L with departure via Godstone. Take-off was very quick with the aircraft climbing rapidly due to the strong wind. Climb to 1200ft, turn downwind, head for Godstone departure point and turn onto a heading for Borough Green. This time I paid attention to by turning point but managed to read the time wrong off my watch but it soon became obvious what I’d done. A quick recalculation on timing and I arrived at Borough Green more or less on target.
Next turning was to Cranbrook and after reading my watch correctly this time I arrived at Cranbrook on schedule. Next turning was to Tunbridge Wells, which was easy as I could see it. Instructor then asked me to divert to a point on the map which was a wooded area near Borough Green. After plotting my route and some very helpful advice from the Instructor about planning a diversion and flying at the same time it was off to the diversion point.
At the appointed time I couldn’t confirm that I had arrived at my destination so Instructor suggested I had a good look around. As it turned out I was slightly to the left on my target and couldn’t see it as it was under my right wing. Lesson here – is have a really good look around.
Next it was plan a route back to Redhill and the Instructor covered the flight instruments with a map so I couldn’t see them. Objective was to fly on visual reference alone and to get used to where the horizon should be in relation to the aircraft nose. This helps when planning a diversion a a quick glance enables me to check if I’m still straight and level.
I re-joined Redhill on the downwind for Runway 26L and the strong wind was making things a bit bumpy. Still managed a reasonable landing and taxi back to Hanger 8 for shutdown.
Did a bit better this time but still needs a bit of polishing.
Flight time 1 hour 10 mins and Ex 18