Sunday, 29 November 2009

Familiarisation flight and Night Rating

This is getting quite hard with 35h of lectures per week, and the night rating at the same time, and the exams coming up in just over a month. But hey, I'm really loving it, it is just so great to fly again !

So yesterday, we went for a familiarisation flight on the Piper PA28-161, under the callsign Blackadder 26. Fourteen months seen my last flight as a pilot in command, what a feeling to be in control of a plane again ! I did pretty well, but my R/T in english was terrible. Not easy when you've been doing this in another language for several years. New aircraft, new airport (I didn't know until yesterday the airport layout, the taxiways, procedures and such), and new way of flying. And that might be in fact the most surprising bit, flying with a flying club, and flying with a flight school is just totally different. You've got to be accurate, precise, ahead of your aircraft at all times, and the checklists are 3 or 4 times larger.

"Blackadder 26, Bournemouth Approach, Standard Sandbanks departure VFR, 1800 feet". I really have to work on my R/T in order to fly solo in a couple of days (could be wenesday if things go well).
We did some engine failures yesterday, went over the 4 VRPs around the airfield, the landing was ok, and I was very very happy.

I just really have to remember that Pre-Landing Check :

B - Brakes off
U - U/C down and locked (fixed on the PA28-161)
M - Mixture, Master, Mags - Full rich, On, Both
P - Pitch Prop (fixed on the PA28-161)
F - Flaps (0-25° on the base leg here)
F - Fuel - On and sufficient
A - Alternate Air - A/R (as required)
I - Instruments, Engine Ts + Ps, Altimeters set
H - Harnesses
H - Hatches
L - Landing lights - On
A - Air Conditioning - Off

And the frequencies (tower : 125.6 , app/rad 119.475 , Atis 133.725, ILS/DME 110.50, NDB 339, ...).

Tonight was my very first flight at night, and it also was my very first time flying in clouds ! We took off on runway 26, standard special VFR (we are sVFR within the controlled airspace, IFR outside) departure via Sandbanks (track on the South-West). We did some general handling over the sea, and went into clouds (not really on purpose, but there were clouds everywhere). 180° turns in clouds, climbing and descending turns on instruments (all Rate 1 turns at night), etc ...
That was just awesome, this is such a feeling to fly at night, in clouds, on instruments !!!!

1h flying, and then back to Bournemouth EGHH, missed approach on rwy 26 to get an idea of the low and high glide slopes, right hand circuit and a full stop landing.

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