Despite the fact that there is still patchy snow and ice on the ground, the skies were clear and wind relatively calm today.

Fill her up

Fill her up

After checking out G-SACS it was time to leave.

Sherburn flight desk

Sherburn flight desk

My instructor Jonathan Anderson (centre) took some pictures while I was flying. The view is lovely. Especially seeing the little bits of snow still thawing in some of the fields.

Just after take off

Just after take off

There was an eight Knot crosswind at the surface, which is the limit for students flying solo. So I was pleasantly surprised when after three circuits, Instructor Jonathan, asked me to stop and carry on for another four circuits on my own.

Phil taxi solo

Phil taxi solo

Before Jonathan could escape though I managed to force my camera into his hands so he could capture the glory of a Pendlebury taxi and take-off. Haha! Basically that dot in the distance is me, on my own, in the plane.

Phil solo rolling

Phil solo rolling

I did four circuits (three “touch and goes”) and then landed. I still find it very surreal being up there on my own. Obviously I am getting more comfortable with it and having more time to relax and look around and enjoy it all. On days like this though, when the air is so smooth, it’s difficult to appreciate that you are up in the sky and not just sat behind the wheel of a car. Or even behind the comnputer on the flight sim.

There are huge difference really of course.

Final 29 full stop

Final 29 full stop

Really enjoyable stuff. Especially as all my landings were good. I am my own worst critic and if there were any problems I would admit it to myself that’s for sure. I suppose that minute for minute, the landing is the most difficult part of the circuit. It is also one of the most enjoyable parts too. Especially when you hear the wheels screech and you know you’ve landed well.

Phil solo taxi

Phil solo taxi

On the last circuit today my concentration was doubled (who would have though that possible) as there was quite a lot of other air traffic around. One guy who had no radio (we discovered later), was obviously trying to get in on final, I was ahead of him and lower than him. I just stuck to the rules which give the lower aircraft the right of way. There were three or four others queuing up for the runway too which means they all scrutinize your landing technique.

All went fine and I touched down and taxied back feeling great.

Then back into the club house where I would normally stop for a coffee but had to dash home today as there is much to do there.

Fantastic!