It has taken four or five attempts to get this particular exercise done. Once because of a mess up with timings but mostly due to our often mentioned and oh-so unreliable British weather. Finally, on Friday 3rd September I managed to fly to and land at Humberside Airport, which completed my first landing at an away airfield. This one was not a solo flight. The next time I do it, I will be on my own.
Landing Away – An exercise involving landing your aircraft at an airfield other than your home airfield.
The most daunting part of the whole thing was the radio communication. As is usual though, most of the work load happens in stages and if you are prepared for roughly what to expect then it shouldn’t be too hard. I managed to stay ahead quite well and am feeling a lot more comfortable with radio now. The controllers at Humberside were very helpful as well.
The PA28 G-BODC performed beautifully as usual. There was very little wind and lovely clear skies, if a little hazy at height.
The flight involved leaving Sherburn via the east (Echo Departure) to Selby. On to Elsham Wolds and then land at Humberside. We had to orbit around Elsham whilst another (much larger) aircraft landed and then, with runway in sight, we were pretty much followed in verbally all the way by the controller.
To any PPL student this has got to feel like it did to me… A major achievement. The runway at Humberside is huge compared to Sherburn. I remembered what I had learned in the exams about how objects that are larger than you expect can seem closer – in other words a big runway may cause you to flare too high… The landing went great and we were then guided to a parking spot by the ever-helpful controller.
When you walk out of the airport after having landed and head outside to the canteen, it all becomes real at last. Instead of ending up at Sherburn (which is still great of course) – Suddenly it becomes apparent that we have actually travelled across land from one place to another. Which, after all, is one of the reasons for learning to fly.
After a cup of tea we headed back to Sherburn. We elected to take off with a slight tail wind, which would never normally be done but with such a long runway, it wasn’t a problem.
The GPS track was recorded as usual but I forgot to charge the iPhone before leaving so it ran out on the way home.
Shortly I will be doing this trip solo and will endeavour to get some more pictures when I do.
Thanks for reading.