August was set to be the month that I finally passed my flying license; nine months of flying and I was set to finally have my PPL. It was not meant to be! One of the last things I had to do was complete my cross country; fly 150nm solo and make three landings and three different airfields. I attempted it three times in August and each time it was cancelled by bad weather!
My first attempt was was thwarted by forecasts of poor visibility and heavy rain. I wouldn’t be flying my cross country but I would be able to get a flight around the Isle of Wight before the weather closed in. I was also excited to get a look at the USS. George H. W. Bush anchored in the Solent. As I departed the airfield I caught a nice look at the ship – it looked smaller than I expected – but I was alarmed to see the oil pressure making it’s way up into the red on the gauge. I made a quick decision to fly a circuit, land and get it checked – better safe than sorry! Whilst the plane was absolutely fine (over reading gauge). I was glad to have not been heading out on my cross country that day. Very quickly the bad weather came in and I couldn’t see the Isle of Wight from Lee on the Solent beach!
My second attempt was struck down by forecasts of rain in the area of Swindon and Bournemouth. I headed down to the airfield ready to go but as I turned into the entry road heavy rain started falling. I felt a bit grumpy about it all at this point. The sun actually came out straight after this, but due to the bad forecast I wouldn’t be able to head out.
My third attempt was supposed to be third time lucky. I spent all week looking at the forecast; sun, clear skies and warm temperatures. Imagine my dismay to wake up at 4pm to find out that weather warnings for strong winds were cropping up all over the south of England. I still went down to the airfield, but it was all called off! Instead I was able to fly around the Isle of Wight and get a bit of solo flying practice in. I also got to see the brand spanking new HMS Queen Elizabeth from a distance which was pretty cool!
So after three attempts I still haven’t been able to do my cross country and it looks like I won’t get another chance until atlas September 19th! I have another week booked off work to make the final push and get my flying license completed!