Steven’s PPL Diary 8: Circuits


Day 7 – ‘Ouch’
Stalling introduction cancelled, introduction to flying circuits.

[Exercise: 12,13]

This time, I was sure my lesson was going to be cancelled, low cloud, wind was really blowing some. Fortunately for me, and of course my loyal readers (Are there any? I’ve yet to have any fan mail…) it wasn’t, but we did have to change the briefing, cloud was too low for stalling practice so circuits it was.

The instructor sent me out to the aircraft (the wrong one again, although, I’m getting familiar with it now) to do the pre-flight checks whilst he went to check the weather (and possibly seek divine intervention for my flying).

May God have mercy on my soul.

May God have mercy on my soul.

Took firm hold of the control column as the wind was blowing it around a bit and it had hit my knee already and started with the various checks, which are now becoming like second nature.

Instructor jumps in, gets the clearances, weather etc. and off we go, some more checks and we’re soon in the air, wishing I was on the ground. The wind was pretty strong, my instructor made a joke about the windsock being blown over, then perhaps saw me turn white or maybe even green and assured me that it was probably just for maintenance.

It's SUPPOSED to look like that

It's SUPPOSED to look like that

Climbing out and turning slightly the wind bouncing us around a fair bit, levelling out from the turn the wind took a fancy to the aircraft the aircraft banked suddenly and I didn’t, hit my head off the side of the aircraft… Ouch.


Flying around to come back in to land isn’t too difficult, I’m keeping reasonably accurate altitude before setting up the approach and turning onto finals. First attempt I held the power lever at the top which, whilst comfortable isn’t very accurate whilst bouncing around, landing was made, whilst rolling down the runway, flaps taken off, full power again, and take off for another attempt. (This time, I didn’t bang my head). Second attempt held the power lever, as suggested at the base, far more accurate and I can ease off and add power to try and keep the runway in the same position on the windscreen, which isn’t as easy as it looks. Touchdown and take-off again come around for another go, and I can see a marked improvement in myself setting up and keeping ‘the picture’ of the runway on the windscreen. Another touchdown and another take off and we come around one last time as it’s starting to get really bumpy now, the instructor explains the pull back at the last minute before touchdown to get the aircraft to land on it’s back wheels, on touchdown notice some people (in high visibility vests) running around the collection of Cessnas parked outside, turning them into the wind.

Why are you all running away?!

Why are you all running away?!

Taxi back to the school and he shares a little information that the wind was up to 30 and it would have be higher at a higher altitude, sometimes this flying can be rather, shall we say, scary.

Next week – Exercise 10: Stalling.

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