My navigation instruction continued on Friday with a trip to Hornsea (on the East coast of England). Instructor Jonathan gave me the OK to bring a passenger which was really neat. So I met my old friend Pete Neville in the morning and we finished off the flight plan and route calculations at home before heading to Sherburn. Pete took a few pictures with his phone which turned out quite nicely.
Today’s route involved getting from Sherburn to Selby to start the navigation exercise. Then heading to Hornsea on the coast, turn left up to Driffield inland and then back to Selby. From Selby back to Sherburn for landing.
It was little windy which is good as it helps to put the theory of the whole navigation thing to the test. Compensating for wind etc. Everything worked out really well although I have to admit I am finding it tough doing radio calls correctly, listening out, reading the map, looking for landmarks, writing estimated arrival times and of course flying the aircraft. And there in that very sentence is one of the key lessons that I learned on this trip – Flying the aircraft comes first. Everything seems to happen at once. But this is normal. I felt the same way when I first started doing circuits and now I’m very comfortable with that. It’s just a matter of time… Hopefully.
It was great to see my old mate Pete and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed the whole day as much as I did.
Well, the sick bag didn’t get used so I can only take that as good sign.
Pete also volunteered to try and grab some video footage – A tricky task when in the back seat of a small aircraft bumping up and down with the gusting winds. Some of it has come out OK, although it will probably only be of real interest to any other light aircraft pilots or at very least, of interest to Pete and myself.
Here’s an edited version of the video. It is quite extremely edited in places. The whole flight took about an hour and fifteen minutes. Partly due to having to “go-around” on final approach due to runway activity. There was, as mentioned, quite a strong wind which made the landing a little challenging. All good because I’ve had a long period of no wind landings. All went as it should and Pete even managed to capture the sound of the tyres screeching as we touched down pretty smoothly (the tyres screeching is generally a good thing).
The video is cut down to about 10 minutes, including an edited walk-round before departure.
Back to my earlier statement about flying the aircraft. Something we learn very early on as students:
ANC – Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.
There are times when as a student you really feel you want to tell the guy behind you on downwind that you are slowing down to make space between yourself and the guy in front (we don’t have brake lights) – or you want to tell the glider pilot who’s aircraft is half a mile away, turning towards your position that you have spotted him and ask him if he has spotted you – and so on. But of course, as instructor Jonathan makes very clear – Not your problem – Fly your aircraft first, every thing else is secondary to that.
Once again, I recorded the track with Motion X on my iPhone. Here’s the actual track we flew. It’s surprisingly close to the planned route. Of course there are a few GPS track error spikes as usual but generally the plot is pretty accurate.
Thanks for reading.