Month: December 2007

Crosswinds

Got my crosswind limit upgraded to the maximum of 13 knots today! The heavy crosswind today was a blessing in disguise! I was afraid that my flights would be cancelled, however my instructor (and so did I) saw the crosswind as an opportunity to practice some crosswind landings, even if they were nearly up to and on some occasions over my instructor’s 17 knot crosswind limit. Most of the time the crosswind remained within limits, and for the times it was out of limits we just went around. It’s so much fun landing in a 17 knot crosswind! The instructor demonstrated the first one and the rest I did on my own. Crosswind landings feel a little odd at first since you’re crabbing your way in, but I think the trick is to keep your eyes on the runway ahead.

First FTE Solo!

After 8 hours of training and passing a pre-solo written test, I went off to do a solo circuit yesterday! I’ve done a solo before, so this one wasn’t as much of a big step as the very first solo. I still remember my first solo – my legs were shaking like crazy! I still got a great sense of achievement from my first FTE solo though and I really enjoyed it! There are plenty of solo flights ahead, and I’m looking forward to those.  Will be posting up photos of the first solo presentation/ceremony soon!

A friend mine invited me to his graduation, for Course 61, on the same evening I did my solo. The evening started out with Tapas and drinks at the bar and then a graduation ceremony where Course 61 were presented their wings. We had guests Captain Ian Cheese ( General Manager of the Turbo Prop Fleet, Flybe) and the liaison Captain David Given. The dinner ended with a light-hearted speech and a video presented by Course 61.

I’ve got a few more flights and groundschool before going home for just over a week… and so looking forward to the Christmas break!

Flying!

That’s me and my instructor in front of a Piper PA-28 Warrior II! We did a general external check, checked the fuel and then began the cockpit checks. Soon we were on our way out!

There’s so much more to learn beyond what we’ve done in groundschool so far.  I’ve had 4 lessons so far – about an hour each and will soon be going solo in a few more hours!  The first few lessons are just on the basics – knowing the effects of the controls, flying straight and level and climbing, descending & turning.

Preparation for each flight entails going through a computer based training (CBT) presentation, reading the reference manual that reinforces the points mentioned in the CBT and I then usually run things through in my head by memory, as I would do if I was in flight.  The instructor then gives you a briefing before the flight which involves going through the theory, checks and what we are going to do in the flight.  The flight then ends with a de-brief, which is a discussion of any errors, weaknesses and/or problems encountered during the flight.  This part is particularly useful, as it gives me pointers to improve upon and work on.

Despite having to wake up at 6am to fly on Saturday morning, this part of the course is lots of fun… will keep this space updated with my flying adventures!