While I’m waiting for the CAA to issue my license, I can still fly solo with an instructors authorisation – I did this for the first time today, on a little local flight.
The wind was a little bit of a concern, as just as I was about to head out and start checking out the aircraft etc, it picked up a bit (such that it was still within limits, but only just, and I didn’t want to push myself too hard on this first post test flight!), however the rise was temporary, and it went back to a more reasonable level so I satisfied myself I was OK to go.
Once up I didn’t do too much as the visibility wasn’t brilliant, just went out to a major landmark (Grafham Water), and back, and then did a couple of circuits. On my second circuit (to land) there was a bit of confusion, with another aircraft ahead intending to do a touch and go, but ATC then instructing them to vacate at Charlie before they had a chance to get going (I’m fairly sure they had been cleared for a touch and go). I then had to make a rather late call ‘G-RC short final to land’ to remind the controller he hadn’t cleared me yet as he started asking the one ahead if they wanted to taxi back etc – fortunately the clearance came in time, otherwise I’d have had to go around, which would have been a little tedious.
During the flight I took the opportunity to try out Skydemon, a piece of planning / navigation software that runs on my iPad – so far I’m impressed, it gives a very clear representation of where I am and what my track etc is – I just need to be careful not to become over reliant on it. One of the handy things it does though is log my track, such that I can then view it later, either on the iPad or on the PC version. Today’s flight looked like this:
(For those who understand these things – I would say the reason my first circuit ended up going outside the ATZ is due to the one in front doing a rather long circuit, at which point I then had to go even further as I’m not supposed to overfly Addenbrookes Hospital, so I had to go past it prior to turning onto base leg. The second circuit was also quite a long downwind leg for a similar reason!)