Debrief – Saturday 22nd April

This was only a short session and I would have about an hour in the air. It was a nice day; clouds about at 4,000ft and a light wind blowing across the runway.

The agenda for today

  • Circuits
  • Cross-wind landings
  • Solo circuits

As I turned up at the airfield my Dad was just heading off for his first solo adventure outside of the circuit; a flight around the Isle of Wight. I wasn’t jealous at all!

I had a quick briefing with my instructor, started up the plane and headed off to join the circuit. As we taxied out my Dad actually returned from flying around the Isle of Wight to do a couple of touch-and-go landings and I had the pleasure of flying in the circuit the same time as him. I was literally flying around behind my Dad, how cool is that?!

I did five circuits with my instructor two circuits on my own. I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked due to the short booking on the plane. I can improve on this by being quicker with my walk around and checklists. I should spend a few hours a week reading it over and over and making sure I know what I am doing.

As I have mentioned there was a light blowing wind across the runway which meant I was finally getting in some cross-wind practice. I got the hang of taking off and pointing the ailerons into the wind, however I found myself flying away from the runway after take-off. To improve I will need to keep an eye on the runway below me and ease up on the aileron after take-off.

The cross-wind had an impact on my downwind leg; I was being blown back towards the airfield because I wasn’t crabbing into the wind. This is something I knew I had to do and I was annoyed at myself for not doing it multiple times!

The result of the above is that I found myself turning onto base leg closer to the airfield which resulted in less time to descend and I found myself to high when approaching on finals – this led to a couple of go-arounds! To improve on this I will need to make sure I crab into wind on the downwind leg of the circuit.

Key take-aways

  • Spend more time revising my checklists – I will save time on the ground
  • Try not to be too aggressive with the aileron on take-off and keep and eye on the runway below me
  • Crab into wind during a cross-wind to make sure I have plenty of time to descend on the base and final legs of the circuit

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