More holds and some ILSs

After yesterdays poor attempts at holding, we were hoping to redress that a little with today’s flights!

The plan for the first flight was to take up the hold at Compton (it being a weekday it should be a lot quieter today), then return to Lyneham for an NDB/ILS approach to 24, culminating in a bad weather circuit to land on 06.

After a normal departure (they all seem like that these days!) I was soon under the hood. We tracked direct to the Compton VOR, switching to Brize Radar as we neared the beacon to receive a Traffic Service due to the fact that we were popping in and out of cloud.

The holds today went a lot better, although in fairness they were made a lot easier by the fact that there was next to no cross wind at the level we were flying. We carried out a number of holds at the CPT VOR, with each one going pretty much to plan. Once complete we again headed back to Lyneham.

Tracking direct to the LA NDB, we carried out a teardrop entry into the hold. Again, the holds around the NDB went pretty well, helped somewhat by the lack of crosswind. After a couple of trips around the hold we carried out the procedure for the NDB approach to runway 24. This involves initially tracking away from the beacon for some 8 miles, before turning to intercept the localiser and continue down the ILS.

Tracking an ILS is very similar to tracking a VOR, with the additional complication of having a glideslope needle to follow as well. The full scale deflection is only some 3 degrees compared to the 10 degrees for the VOR indication, so much smaller turns are required to maintain track. On the whole the ILS went Ok, but I never really felt I captured either the localiser or glideslope correctly, always being around half scale deflection on both.

Once down to 500 feet or so, Mike had me remove the hood and we positioned for a left downwind approach to 06. Being in the circuit at half the usual height was very alien to me, and I made a bit of a mess of the base and final legs, ending up very high over the threshold after having to track back in due to overshooting the centre line by a long way. At a more normal airfield this approach would have been abandoned, but having 2 miles of runway at Lyneham meant that there was plenty of time to get things stabilised.

The approach ended in a rather messy crosswind landing, far from my best!

Flight Overview

Flight Overview

CPT Hold

CPT Hold

LA Hold

LA Hold

For the second flight, we decided to manufacture a crosswind in the hold by heading up the Kemble’s relatively new NDB, and fly a North based hold around it. After a short hop to Kemble we were soon speaking to them, and entering the hold at 4000 feet to remain well clear of any other traffic operating around Kemble.

The holds again went very well, with a good capture of the inbound heading after each outbound leg. Things had certainly improved an awful lot since the first failed attempt at holds around the Brecon VOR!

After a few trips around the hold, we again tracked back to the LA NDB, for another attempt at the ILS. Things were a little more busy at the airfield, and we abandoned the plan to hold in order to fit in with other traffic. We headed outbound from the beacon, and the Controller asked us to turn much earlier (at around 4 or 5 miles instead of the usual 8). As a result, I passed through the localiser and never really captured it again. This was partly because of trying to capture it much closer to the field, and also not helped by me making heading adjustments that were much too large to attempt to recapture it.

As a result, I wasn’t happy with the performance on the ILS. Once visual, we carried out another bad weather circuit (this time positioning for a left downwind) and again the base and final turns weren’t executed very well, leading to us being much higher than we should have been over the threshold. I think this is something I’m going to need to work on again.

Flight Overview

Flight Overview

KMB Hold

KMB Hold

LA Hold and ILS

LA Hold and ILS

Mike seems generally happy with my progress on the whole, and we’ve been talking about when to get the flight test organised. I also have a written exam to prepare for, and there’s been some debate as to whether I can do the flight test first (as I’d planned) or whether I need to get the written exam out of the way. Must get that resolved soon.

Total flight time today: 2:50
Total flight time to date: 119:10

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