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Jan 23

Flying Update

I’ve not posted for a while, as January has turned out to be a rather hectic month for me work wise. I have managed however to find a couple of chances to go flying thus far that are worth documenting…

11th January

I went up for a local bimble, with greggj, a student pilot and fellow forumite on the Flyer forums – this was all a little last minute, and a little random (given Greg is based in London so had a reasonable drive!), but it’s always nice to have company when flying, so all good.

It was a fairly ‘normal’ flight in terms of route etc:

11-01-2014

During the flight Greg took some really quite nice photos, which I’ve included here (with his permission):

IMG_5951 IMG_5945 IMG_5959 IMG_5967 IMG_5968 IMG_5973 IMG_5975 IMG_5977 IMG_5978 IMG_5980 IMG_5985 IMG_5987 IMG_5991IMG_5998

The landing proved to be quite interesting – I was asked by ATC if I could accept the grass, I think as I was quite close to the one ahead and they probably thought it wouldn’t be able to vacate the runway in time. I accepted, and so lined up on the grass. The wind at this stage was quite blustery (from memory it was somewhere around 12 gusting 21 knots), so I had to try and keep the speed up on final in order to avoid a sudden drop in the wind from causing unexpected sink etc. This led to me having quite a bit of excess energy once I reached the runway, so I ended up floating quite a long time, and landing very long (albeit nice and smoothly) – had this been a touch and go I’d have had to go around as I wouldn’t have had enough runway left to get back up to flying speed had I landed, but I made the judgement that it was OK as I was landing only, and indeed there was still a good amount of runway remaining after I’d come to a stop, without requiring excessive braking etc.

All in all, quite a nice pleasant flight, with the little challenge at the end to make things interesting 🙂

19th January

Another local flight, this time taking up a colleague from Citrix, who actually has previously obtained a PPL at Cambridge, but then didn’t have sufficient time to keep it up, as such this was his first time in a light aircraft in about 7 years.

From what I could see and the airport weather information was reporting, I didn’t think this one was going to happen, however after chatting with a couple of instructors who’d just been up they reported that actually the cloudbase was at a reasonable height, and there were plenty of holes in it as well to get higher if needed, so I decided to give it a go.

The preflight checks etc were uneventful, other than discovering my GoPro camera had run out of battery (I think it had switched its WiFi stuff on and just drained it sitting in the bag), which was a shame.

The cloud ended up with a base around 2000′, so initially I tried to get above it, however I decided that there weren’t enough gaps for me to be entirely comfortable, and the views were going to be a bit rubbish, so I went back down and sat underneath them (hence the beginning of the vertical part of the log below looking quite amusing!).

19-01-2014

The rest of the flight was spent at around 1800 – 1900′. There were a number of other aircraft about, including a couple of microlights, one of which appeared straight ahead as we were returning to Cambridge, so a slight deviation to the right required, along with a close eye on it as it was a little all over the place in terms of altitude etc.

My passenger grabbed a few photos, including a reasonable one of me during final approach, taken while we were about 200′ above the ground:

2014-01-19  2014-01-19_2

2014-01-19_3

I was very slightly off being completely straight when landing, so there was a very slight bump when the mainwheels touched, but I was pretty happy with it, and my passenger thought it was a good one, which is always nice to hear!

I’m hoping at some point in the next month or so to take advantage of an offer the club is doing, and pair up with another pilot and spend a day doing lots of flying around – I’ll make sure to get lots of photos if that happens and have the Go Pro up and running to get some nice video!