Tag Archives: flightplan

The long solo navigation flight

Finally the day came for the long solo navigation flight to Odense (EKOD) and Aarhus (EKAH). A total distance of 228 NM (422 km) and a total airborne time of 2h40m.

Route
Click
to see large map

It felt really good to fill the fuel tanks almost to the maximum knowing that I was going to burn almost all of it during this day (when not thinking of the cost of course).

The weather had been teasing me a bit, and originally the flight was planned for Wednesday but I had to postpone it to Friday because of bad weather. Even Friday there were a couple of weather concerns so I had actually made two flight plans; a safe one with minimum altitude to allow flying under low clouds and an optimal plan in case I was able to fly high. Fortunately the weather turned out fine. Near Vejle I did however pass some quite heavy comulus clouds with rain and turbulence, but the weather was moving slow, so on my way home I could go high in FL75 over the Kattegat sea home to Roskilde.

Flight plans:

For some reason I did not perform very well with the landings during this flight. Maybe because there was a thousand other things to think about. I discussed the landings with my instructor and I actually had extra training in cross wind landing and use of rudder. Not that I didn’t know how to do it, but to get the procedures into my bones.

Nevertheless this was a brilliant day – a great experience – that fulfilled all my expectations. I really hope and look forward to being able to fly cross country again when I am done with the school flights.

Enjoy the video. I hope you sense the great feeling of flying cross country.

Finally just a couple of pictures from the day:

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The long dual navigation flight

One of the best lessons in the entire lesson program is the long cross country dual navigation flight. The destinations are Billund Airport (EKBI) which is an international airport in mid Jutland. Second destination is Sønderborg (EKSB) which is a small airport that operates a view domestic routes and some general aviation. On the route from Billund to Sønderborg is the military air force base Skrydstrup which requires clearance for crossing of the airspace.

I grew up on a farm with my family not far from Billund and my parents still live there, so I planned a route going north of Billund to get a nice view of my home town before approaching Billund Airport.

Video from the flight with my instructor Ivan (in Danish):

The video starts where we are overflying my home town just north of Billund Airport. We did a 360 degree turn and started the approach to Billund Airport. Next we depart towards Sønderborg and get clearance to climb into the TMA (controlled airspace) because the air was quite turbulent in low altitude. Finally approaching Sønderborg in a quite strong cross wind – so because of my lack of cross wind training, my instructor had to help a bit with that one. The next day I actually went out and had 13 cross wind landings just to catch up on that one.

I had prepared the flight the day in advance and created 3 separate flight plans, and sent 3 separate ATS (ICAO) flight plans. As said the first one going a little bit north for a sightseeing at my home town, and the other two flights more or less direct.

Lang nav route
(Click on map to enlarge)

Flight plans:

During the flight there was time to focus on things that I really never had time to do during the short school flights previously – e.g. leaning the mixture correctly and play with the GPS. Also this was my first flight climbing to flight levels – more precisely FL65 on our way crossing Storebælt from Zealand to Fyn and Jutland.

One of my friends is working as a pilot for Primera Air in Billund Airport flying the Boeing 737, and unfortunately he was flying at the time I would land in Billund, but I got another surprise when I called the tower for the initial taxi clearance in Roskilde; “Cleared for taxi to run-up runway 11 via A and B, information X 1027 is correct, and then I have a greeting from Nikolas from Primera Air wishing you a nice flight.” So my friend obviously called the tower is Roskilde when passing during the morning on his way to Copenhagen in his B737.

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A brilliant day with a lot of things to learn and a lot of great impressions.

Navigation flight training

The 9th lesson was the first navigation flight training, which is something I have been looking very much forward to do. Navigation is one of the core subjects in the practical flight training and this is were one get to combine theory and practice and make it all together reach another level.

The first navigation flight was a one hour flight around Zealand and back home to Roskilde. For the flight briefing I had to prepare a flight plan, weight and balance calculations and a full weather and NOTAM report (NOTAMs is signeficant airspace notifications/alerts which can be anything from airglider activity to temporary airspace restrictions or broken lights on tall masts).

It is no secret that I love Excel, so of course I have designed an Excel spreadsheet which calculates all the speeds, headings, times etc. Very convenient! The idea with the flight plan is to calculate the courses/headings for the entire flight taking the wind into account and calculate the speed and thereby the timings for expected arrival at all reporting points of the flight. When having a good and detailed flight plan, it is very much easier to just follow it and fly the aircraft.

During the briefing there was a couple of modifications required (had forgotten alternative airport information and I was wrong on the minimum altitudes). So here is the updated and correct flight plan with the handwritten times from the actual flight:

Flightplan 22-05-2015(Click to open PDF)

The instructor also had a couple of comments on my weight and balance calculations. These calculations ensures that the aircraft weight and balance is within limits and that I have enough runway for take-off and landing. Here is the updated weight and balance calculations:

VB 22-05-2015

(Click to open PDF)

 The flight was so much fun. There were some low hanging clouds this early morning, so we couldn’t go as heigh as planned – I completed the entire flight in 1200 feets, which is alright in the low terrain of Zealand. One of my friends had recorded the ATC from the internet from this flight – and you can listen to it here and hear me getting my clearences and reporting all the reporting points to the Copenhagen Traffic Information. I have cut it down and removed all other communication:

Download MP3 file

After landing at the debriefing I was of course excited to see how much I had actually deviated from my flight plan – both time wise and track wise. It could be better, but for a first timer I am actually quite happy with the result which you can see written in the ATO column in the flight plan and on this GPS map from my Garmin watch:

Navigation flight route 22-05-2014

You might notice the loop in the track north of Roskilde – that was basically because I was a little too late getting my check lists completed before entering the control zone of Roskilde Airport, so the instructor advised be to do a loop to get a bit of extra time.