Well, at least we got off the ground!

Odd lesson today. Weather had (as usual) been threatening to cancel, but when I phoned to check at mid-day (lesson at 1:30) they thought we’d be Ok.

Got to Brize in good time but my instructor was still out with someone else. Weather looked Ok at this point (typically!).

Chris returned and briefed me about the lesson. We were to do some taxying practice, and then move on to straight and level, and perhaps straight and level at different airspeeds and with flaps if we could.

So, out to the aircraft, and did the ‘quick’ check, with me doing all the checks from my checklist. Similar for the pre-start and startup, followed by Chris getting our taxi clearance before I taxyed us out. Having a little trouble getting used to the toe brakes, need to find a comfortable position for both my seat and my feet when trying to use the rudder and brake at the same time.

Taxy practice and checks went Ok, so we proceeded to the hold for the power checks. After this we received our line up clearance, and as I falteringly took us out onto the runway, we were given our take-off clearance. As Chris coaxed me to the correct line-up position on the runway, we hear another aircraft call ‘Final’ behind us. This being Brize Norton, the other aircraft could have been anything so Chris got us out of the way sharpish!

About 100 feet up I was given control, and told to take us up to 500 feet, maintaining climb speed of 75 knots. Managed to do this Ok, but the wind was very variable so I think I made a bit of a hash of keeping us ‘balanced’ while doing this. Chris then had me make the climbing turn to head out to our departure point at Burford.

The theory was that the weather out over Burford was still Ok, but as we completed the turn the picture ahead was somewhat grim to say the least. No clear discernable horizon, and general visibility wasn’t up to much.

Chris decided that we were probably wasting our time, so called Brize Zone advising them that we were aborting the sortie, and getting clearance for a circuit to land, before we were handed back to Brize Tower.

I flew most of the circuit, including lowering flaps and beginning the descent. I flew the ‘military’ final turn (a constant turn started where the base leg would normally start on a standard circuit) and flew the descent down to about 200 feet. I think we were pretty well lined up, and Chris took over for the touchdown proper.

Once we were comfortably down again, I was given back control to taxy off the runway to the holding point, where the after landing checks were carried out. Finally taxyed back to the club parking area where we parked in front of the fuel bowser, shut down and proceeded to fuel the aircraft ready for the next day (in the rain!).

Pushed the aircraft safely back into the hangar, and walked back with Chris ruing my continuing bad luck with the weather. Still, it’s another log book entry, even if it is only for 15 minutes! Got some sessions booked for next week (we’re away at a wedding this weekend) so hopefully the weather will be kinder to me then.

Total flight time today: Dual 0:15 – Solo – 0:00
Take-offs: 0 – Landings: 0

Total flight time to date: Dual 1:10 – Solo 0:00
Take-offs to date: 0 – Landings to date: 0

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