More circuits…

Another day in the circuit. Weather was looking dodgy in the morning, but by the time we were ready to fly it was actually a pretty nice day.

Arrived early as usual, went through a second practice paper for the Air Law exam in the Q & A book. Did pretty well, so I think I’m virtually ready. Will try to sit the exam this coming Saturday if possible.

There’d been some chopping and changing of the schedule today, with Felix not flying and the guy before me deciding not to go up due to things running a little late. So that meant Asma had plenty of time to give me a thorough briefing and revision of circuits, as well as a bit more information regarding the actual process of landing.

Once we were ready, I did an ‘A’ check on Alpha Fox before we headed off. Landing light wasn’t working but as we weren’t planning to fly at night this wasn’t too much of an issue.

Went through all the pre-start checks as usual, and gave the engine plenty of priming as this was the first time Alpha Fox had flown today. Engine actually fired into life without too much difficulty, so perhaps I’m finally getting the hang of starting it!

Headed to the hold after the taxi and power checks, and got our clearance. Circuit direction was right hand today, which meant turning right at 500 feet instead of left (must remember!). We did the first two circuits like this, and then Asma asked for the circuit direction to be changed (apparently it’s easier to the left) which ATC allowed us to do.

About half way through we had to orbit at the downwind mid point to allow an Antonov to take off. He seemed to take forever to get into position and finally report ready for departure (but then I guess his checklists are likely to be a bit longer than the one for our little Warrior is!).

Just as he took off a Hercules then reported ready, so we continued to orbit as he carried out his checks and took off. We then needed to allow a few minutes to allow the wake turbulence to subside before we continued.

In all we did 6 touch-and-gos (rolls in military parlance) and 1 full stop landing, making a total of 7 in an hour and 10 minutes. Can’t remember exactly what happened in each circuit I’m afraid, but the main things I seemed to have to work on where the crosswind turn (turning too steeply so losing our rate of climb), the level out (again!) and then I was turning onto base (or final as the military call it) too early. By the end I had started to get the knack of these and the last circuit was pretty good on the whole.

In terms of the landings, none of them were perfect, and Asma had to assist on a number of them. I almost did a perfect ‘greaser’ but fluffed it at the last minute. As I rounded out and kept pulling back on the nose, there was the slightest of squeaks as the mains hit the ground, before I continued to pull back a little hard and we started to climb. Oh well, I’ll get there in the end I hope!

Asma seemed pretty pleased with my flying on the whole, and as I get a bit more confident I’m finding that I have more spare capacity to be able to spend more time on the lookout and scan which can only be good. It’s certainly something I need to pay more attention to in the future.

So, I’m edging ever closer to (hopefully) solo, but I’ve still got these three exams and a medical to sort out. Better get my finger out and do something about it I suppose!

Supposed to be flying Saturday and Sunday, so we’ll see how we get on.

Total flight time today: Dual 1:10 – Solo – 0:00
Take-offs: 7 – Landings: 7

Total flight time to date: Dual 9:35 – Solo 0:00
Take-offs to date: 13 – Landings to date: 13

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