Saturday, 9 July 2011


It’s been a few weeks since my last flight and I’ve had surgery to remove a lump from my head in between.  So off to Redhill this morning for a refresh flight / lesson – which I need to complete before I can fly solo again.

Today, weather not too bad.  Bit of cloud around, some of it a bit low, a few showers possible and wind not too strong.  New instructor today (as I don’t normally fly on a Saturday) and he was a bit concerned about the bandage on my head.  Still, good to go so off to the Aircraft for usual walk around checks.

After that start up and taxi to holding point for Runway 26L.  Air Traffic Control sent me to the “wrong” holding point so I had to ask them what they were doing – easily and quickly sorted.  Then on to power checks and line up on Runway 26L for take off.

Plan was to depart the circuit to the east over Godstone VRP, on the Bough Beech and then on to Bewl Water.  I’ve flown this many times before so just estimated the track rather than preparing a flight plan.  Visibility was good so I could see the points from the air.

Anyway, got to Bough Beech, switched to Farnborough East ATC, climbed to 2100ft and headed for Bewl Water.  As there was a low cloud in the way had to descend to 1700ft to get under it, then into a gap in the clouds and climb to 3000ft.  Actually entered the edge of a cloud when turning but could still see where I was going – also a bit bumpy on the edge of a cloud.  Lesson here was stalling.  This is where you slow the aircraft down so much that it simply ceases to fly and then recover it.  So into the stall and then the recovery and levelled out at 2500ft – so I lost 500ft in the recovery.  That’s OK at 3000ft – not so good at 400ft.  Then it was a practice forced landing where the Instructor simulates an engine failure by closing the throttle.  I need to find a suitable field to land in and set the aircraft up for a landing approach.  Went reasonably well, though I changed my mind on which field at 1500ft as I wasn’t going to make my original choice.  Again all OK.

Than it was set a course back to Bough Beech and onto Redhill.  Cleared for an overhead join at 1500ft and an early right turn into the circuit.  Instructor asked me to do a “touch and go” where I land the aircraft, run along the ground a bit and then take off again without stopping.  This went OK then it was back into the circuit.  Next landing was without flaps.  With this the approach is much flatter and a bit faster so needs careful judgement.  Again a reasonable “touch and Go” and back to the Circuit.  Next approach was a “glide” where I have to close the throttle and land without using any power.  Basically aim for the centre of the runway and then adjust as needed.  Reasonable approach and landing and put the wheels on the numbers.  Finally it was over to re-fuel and then back to the hanger.

Overall I was reasonably happy with my flying and the Instructor seem OK as well.  Vital statistics below.

Flight time 1hr 5 mins.  Exercises 10 (stalling), 12 & 13 (circuits) and 15 (practice forced landing).  3Landings, 1 normal, 1 Flapless and 1 Glide.

That's me cleared for solo flying again – as long as I fly within 14 days.

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