More flying at last

After a nearly 2 month gap due to work committments and my general stress levels not being conducive to flying, I had two lessons this week.

Both lessons involved circuits, as the cloud base wasn’t suitable for going out in to the local area. My first circuit was (as you might expect) a little all over the place – getting the right attitudes back into my head etc, though the landing was actually one of my better ones, which I was quite glad about. The other circuits went fairly well, including a couple of flapless ones. The main issues I had were that I was not kicking it totally straight before touchdown, and was often a little flat as well, which is not ideal as you want to try and keep the weight off the nose wheel for as long as possible.

Today’s looked like it might not happen at all at first, as the cloudbase was reported as broken at 700 feet when I arrived, but fortunately it rose sufficiently to let me get some flying in. We did a couple of precision landings – the first I ended up turning on to base a little too early, and so nearly the entire approach was done at idle, and I ended up a little fast by the point I reached the numbers, thus touched down beyond them. The second was better in terms of aim point, but I did have a small bounce on touchdown, I think because I effectively ended up trying to drop it onto the numbers (my target) rather than smoothly taking the power out and allowing it to land on them – i.e. I didn’t anticipate taking the power out early enough.

After the precision we were able to avoid the clouds sufficiently to do a couple of high glide approaches. The first one ended up quite long (I should have taken my 3rd stage of flap, but by the time I realised this it was a little late to do so) – unfortunately I then over-corrected for this on the second, and ended up having to sneak a bit of power in to avoid landing short, the actual touchdown was then a little all over the place (it was sufficiently bad that if I’d been solo I’d have gone around, but the instructor helped me control it).

All in all, I was quite happy – despite two months not flying I seem to be at pretty much the same point I was at (in fact the glide / precision landings I did today were much better than my last attempt at them) – if the good weather continues I’m hopeful of being at test standard in the relatively near future!