Circuits for currency

To keep in line with the new currency rules at Lyneham, pilots with less than 60 hours P1 have to fly every 30 days or so to maintain currency. I would obviously rather fly more often than this, but in this prolonged spell of bad weather that’s been pretty difficult!

I had hoped to be able to go for a bit of a ‘local’ today, but given the combination of bad weather and an airspace upgrade for the Lyneham Zone, I opted to just play safe and try to squeeze in a few circuits. After a bit of a communications failure on my part, I finally managed to book out with ATC (realising that I’d asked to take off slap bang in the middle of the Class A upgrade time, rather than 45 minutes before as I actually wanted to!) and headed out to the aircraft. I’d already checked it out, so it was a simple matter to get it fired up and ready to go.

We were on runway 06 today, so a long taxy down to the threshold gave me plenty of time to get the engine warmed up and ready for the power checks. These were carried out normally, and on calling ‘ready for departure’ I was given immediate clearance to take off (despite still being on the Ground frequency!).

Not a lot to say about the flight really. On the first circuit I had to level off at around 800 feet to maintain VFR below the low cloud base, and I maintained this height for most of the flight. All of the landings were pretty good, although I was perhaps touching down a little fast, not allowing sufficient speed to bleed off in the hold off. Something to be aware of in the future.

On the third circuit I was informed of another PA28 approaching from the West on a long straight in approach. This rather surprised me, as I was in the airfield’s only PA28 at the time! I couldn’t get visual with him, but the Controller informed me he was ‘probably in that cloud bank to the West’ so I continued. As I turned Final, the other aircraft reported visual with me, and I continued for my touch and go. He was obviously just practising a low approach and go around, because I saw him pass me off to the right as I continued on short final.

A slight disappointment to be only flying circuits, but at least I was up in the air again. Hopefully my next flight will be a bit more enjoyable!

Total flight time today: 0:35
Total flight time to date: 106:20

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