Saturday, 9 June 2012

Even More Diversions

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

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