Friday, 19 March 2010

A bit of VFR 'on top'

Another two flights in a row last week-end, and that was quite enjoyable in the middle of the final revisions weeks.
I flew the Cessna 172 on saturday and the PA28 on sunday, both solo.

Me: 'G-BJWI at BCFT with Information Yankee, QNH 1030, Request taxi'.
ATC: 'G-WI, QNH correct, give way to a Falcon passing you from right to left to FR Aviation, then taxy behind, to November via Mike, for runway 26 departure'.

Holding at November (holding short of runway 26) after the power checks and 'before take-off checklist':
Me: 'G-WI at November ready to copy clearance'
ATC: 'G-WI, hold position, your clearance is to leave the zone on track to Sandbanks, not above 2000 ft, VFR, Squawk 7010'.
Me: 'Hold position, not above 2000 ft cleared on track to Sanbanks, VFR, Squawking 7010, and ready for departure, G-WI'
ATC: 'G-WI, readback correct, after the landing Citation line up and wait 26'
Me: 'After the landing Citation, line up and wait 26, G-WI'
And here I am, on that 2300m (7500ft) piece of asphalt facing west and ready for take-off.
Feet on the brakes, 2000 rpm, brakes released and full power applied. RPM checked, airspeed is alive, 65 kts, rotation, positive rate of climb, 80 kts.
Passing 500 ft I slightly bank the aircraft left to a heading of 217°, when Tower asks me to contact Radar on 119.475. (VFR Map is included, see below)
Me: 'Bournemouth Radar, G-WI passing 700 ft climbing to 1800 ft, on track to Sandbanks, VFR'.
ATC: 'G-WI, report leaving controlled airspace'.
Me: 'Wilco G-WI'.

Just on time to take a picture of Bournemouth town centre with its beach and pier, Boscombe pier in the background.

Leaving the zone to the South-West, I'm now heading towards Old Harry Rocks a bit further along the coast.

Turning left towards Poole Bay:

Right turn on track to the East (heading 085° with a 12 kts / 350° wind at 2000 ft), I soon reach 'The Needles' as it's called, which are the arm-shaped cliffs of the Isle of Wight (west side).

Left turn to Lymington and then Stoney Cross (a disused airfield now used as a VRP), cruising at 1800 ft as the Solent CTA starts at 2000 ft, just in between Bournemouth CTR and Southampton CTR. There's not much in this area and as the visibility inland isn't very good i'm giving it a better look out to find the grass-now-closed airfield. I see Brokenhurst just below me 3 minutes after passing Lymington, VOR set on the Southampton VOR (Sierra Alpha Mike), radial 260, the needle comes in, and I see my next turning point.
This is the easy part, I now have to track 261° (heading 270 to allow for wind) for 12 min before reaching Blandford. It happens to be aligned on the 260 SAM VOR radial all the way to Blandford.
I check the ATIS, it gives a cloud base of 4000 ft (BKN), I climb on top at Verwood to enjoy the superb view we get over the clouds layer.

Soon time to start our descent as Blandford is in sight, still on the Radial 260 of SAM, I contact Bournemouth Radar for rejoin, 2000 ft, left turn Heading 099 to enter the CTR via Tarrant Rushton (VRP). I'm cleared to join the downwind for runway 26, I turn 111° and the NDB needle is now pointing straight ahead. ILS frequency set (110.50), descent to 1000 ft, before-landing checklist complete, base leg and then final for a runway 26 landing. I put the camera with the self-timer on and it takes the picture right on time as I flare the aircraft a dozen feet above the runway.


Kayte said...

Must be great to do some solo flights, especialy so close to your exams. It's deffinatly a good way to have a bit of fun before you become too stressed. The pictures are great, I especialy like the pics of the coast and the Bay. Good luck on your exams!!! You'll do great!!

Mirco said...

Hi, i discovered this blog weeks ago, and i found this very helpful for people like me who are starting their training, and want to work in aviation industry.
Reading almost all of your articles i still have not clear some stuff.
You have built your flight time in the US and UK and France. When you came to the States i suppose you had your JAA PPL, then what you did to fly? Have you converted your JAA to FAA or have you did the exams afresh in order to attain the FAA and possess,at the end, both FAA and JAA ppl?
Thanks a lot for answering