ADF and VOR Tracking

The plan for today’s flights was to do some NDB and VOR tracking, followed by some holds.

The day was pretty much ideal for anything except IMC training! Barely a cloud in the sky and next to no wind.

The first flight was planned to head to the Gloucester overhead (tracking the GST NDB) then out to the Brecon VOR and back to Lyneham. If possible we would carry out a PAR back into Lyneham.

Checks and takeoff were normal, and I was soon under the hood. The GST NDB had been identified on the ground, and we then tracked it to the Gloucester overhead. Mike handled most of the radio work to give me chance to concentrate on the flying initially.

The tracking to Gloucester went fairly well, and once we passed the NDB we tracked towards the Brecon VOR on the radial we were on. Again, this went fairly well, and the tracks show a distinct improvement in my tracking of the various radio aids over the course of the flight.

Overhead the Brecon VOR, we then tracked back to Lyneham using the NDB, being passed from Cardiff to Bristol and finally to Lyneham. It felt like being a proper airline pilot!

The approach into Lyneham this time was a PAR. In the past I’d done an SRA with Matt. The PAR is similar, with addition of height information being available to the Controller on the talkdown frequency. As a result rather than just being issued target heights, you are given regular updates as to whether you were on the glideslope or not, as well as progress towards the runway centre line.

It was very satisfying to remove the hood at about 500 feet and have the runway appear directly in front of us!

VOR and ADF Tracking 1

VOR and ADF Tracking 1

The plan for the second flight was to practice some holds at the Compton VOR. Again, a normal departure, and the tracking towards the VOR went fairly well. As we approached the VOR though, we were receiving lots of traffic information. There appeared to be a number of gliders thermalling not far from the beacon, and as usual it was a bit of a funnel point for GA traffic too. As a result we decided not to practice holds in the busy airspace, and just continue the NAV part of the flight.

So once we reached the VOR we headed for the BZ NDB. I was back on my old stomping ground again, although this time I couldn’t see anything! Mike said we passed overhead the field at not far from the midpoint of the runway, so my tracking was obviously Ok.

Heading back to Lyneham to the NDB, they were unable to offer a PAR this time, so Mike established us on a left downwind and I removed the hood. The rest of the approach was standard VFR flight, to the ground.

VOR and ADF Tracking 2

VOR and ADF Tracking 2

On the whole a couple of pretty good flights. I need to pay a bit more attention to my height keeping, and I still have the tendency to over-bank in turns when I’ve got a lot on! Must pay attention to that.

Total flight time today: 2:45
Total flight time to date: 114:30

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