Tuesday, 9 February 2010

First Circuit at Redhill

This morning dawned sunny and cold with a few scattered clouds – but there was a bit of a NNE wind blowing.  Looking at the Redhill Aerodrome website, it said all the runways were open – first time I’ve seen that since I started flying there.   So, off to Redhill for another lesson and when I got there the Instructor suggested we did a few circuits.  As the wind was NNE, Runway 36 was in operation with Right Hand circuits.  After the usual checks and taxi it was on to the runway – all the “proper” runways at Redhill are grass surface.

Lined up for takeoff and bumped along the runway – it surprised me just how bumpy the runway surface actually was.  The Instructor did the first circuit so I could concentrate on landmarks and turning points and generally getting my bearings.  He did a “Touch and Go” and handed control over to me.  As I climbed out and began to turn the wind really started blowing us about.  The circuit on Runway 36 is very short as it’s close to Gatwick airspace so there is no time to hang around – the workload is fairly high.  With the wind bouncing us even more, the Instructor decided the wind was now just a bit too strong and as I flew “Downwind” he advised Redhill ATC that we were going to land.  It’s important not to overshoot on the downwind leg as we would then enter Gatwick airspace and they would be a bit unhappy.  So a sharp turn onto base and then onto finals with a rapid descent towards the Runway.  I did the final approach and landing – went into the flare a little early but the landing was just about OK.  Then taxi back to the hanger and park up.

Now that the weather is getting a bit better and I’ve started in the circuit – I suspect, if the weather permits,  I’ll be flying circuits for quite a few hours now.

I’ve also scheduled my Aviation Law and Human Factors and Pilot Performance examinations for next Thursday, so I’m in for quite a bit of revision for the rest of the week.

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