First Solo Land Away
Friday 17th September – The weather was finally good enough to allow me to head out solo to land at Humberside.
After completing this exercise with instructor Peter last week, I felt pretty confident that I would be able to manage this one on my own. Especially with all that extra space on the empty seat, to put maps papers and iPad. Hehe.
The preparation was quite simple, as the route is just a straight flight to Elsham Wolds from Selby and then visual the remaining distance to Humberside Airport. (Although I did include the two airfields in my track). Then reverse the route for the trip home to Sherburn. There was quite a strong wind, so that has to be accounted for in the planning.
I decided to use the ipad a little more than usual for this flight. So that I could concentrate more on the radio procedures. The iPad worked great as a navigational aid. I used Air Nav Pro for the majority of this. Glancing occasionally over, showed me that my planned track was working extremely well. (See below GPS track).
On approach to Elsham, I received a message from the Humberside Tower saying “Golf Delta Bravo – Reports of bird activity in your vicinity, unknown height” – to which I reply:
Roger, Looking for birds Golf Delta Bravo
I have to confess, it made me chuckle, although the last thing you really want to see at height is a bunch of birds, as any pilot will verify. Luckily I did not see any sign of the suspicious bird activity.
I was given “Number 1″ to land on runway 02 and decided to do a nice steady descending turn approach to keep that huge runway in sight. The landing went without incident and I then got instructions to taxi for parking, which took ages due to the length of the runway!
The tower controller asked me to park behind a rather large helicopter that was preparing for flight.
After a short stop to pay the landing fee and book back out again I was soon on my way back to Sherburn. The taxi run to the start of runway 02 seemed to take forever and on the actual take off I was well and truly airborne by the time I had reached the first tenth of the runway distance. This was actually quite neat as I could still see the runway below me as I was climbing and therefore judge how the wind was affecting my heading and course.
Arriving back at Sherburn was challenging as there was quite a lot of traffic in the circuit. It really made me realise how much more confident I have become, as I had to slot in between the traffic. On arrival I did feel like making a radio call saying “Golf Delta Bravo – Champagne on Standby Please” but decided against.
Here’s the usual GPS track of the actual flight (there are a few spikes of inaccuracy as usual).
Next I need to be landing at East Midlands which is a much more busy, controlled airfield. Then following that, it will be time to do a round trip from Sherburn to East Midlands then to Humberside and back to Sherburn. That’s the “Qualifying Cross Country”. Then after a bit of revision comes the all important Skills Test.
Won’t be long now…
Thanks for reading.