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.
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.
After a couple of solo flights (flying alone without pilot instructor) in the airport control zone and with the airport in sight, it was now time to leave the control zone to make some exercises and then find my way back to the airport.
On the agenda for this lesson was different maneuvering and basic navigation exercises. I had to use the VOR beacons for finding my way using the VOR radio in the aircraft. By entering the frequency of the VOR beacon on the VOR radio in the aircraft, a needle in the VOR instrument gives a left or right indication depending on how the directional selector (OBS) is set. This can be used to fly either direct inbound towards a VOR beacon or to intercept and follow a radial to or from the VOR beacon. Finally it can be used for finding the position of the aircraft by reading the radial of two different VOR stations and use the principle of triangulation to decide the position of the aircraft. All these three things I had to do today.
I think it was fairly easy but still complicated by the fact that attention should be shared between flying, looking for traffic and playing with the VOR radios and maps – that makes it easy to make mistakes. In the video you will see that it took me a little while to see that I had forgotten to enable the frequency of the second VOR beacon.
Now the practical flight training is half way done (15 lessons of 30) and now is actually the point where all the fun stuff begins; long navigation flights and getting more comfortable maneuvering the aircraft.
I am quite comfortable with take-off and landings as long as there is not too much cross wind. I still have a feeling that every time I do a landing Circuit, there is something to improve almost every time still, but I have been told by mu instructors to be patient – it will improve further, and there is still lessons with plenty of chances to do some more landing circuits (especially cross wind).
Today it was time to go solo. For the last 4 lessons I have just been struggling with the landings … or to be more accurate: the flare. The difficult part about the flare is that you need to balance the aircraft over the ground and raise the nose without causing the aircraft to either “balloon” over the runway or smash into the runway too hard. It took me at least 50 landings to get it right. Today there was a 10-14 kt wind so it was also a good day for cross wind landing training. Usually you would always land with a headwind, but for training purpose we requested the tower to allow us some cross wind landings. That was fun and difficult, but actually it didn’t take me much more than a couple of attempts to get it right, so finally all my landing training has paid off in more than one aspect.
After the training, my instructor left the aircraft and I was free to do the first flight on my own. A very simple flight; take-off, one circuit and then land Again on the same runway. Airborne for approximately 7-8 minutes. The total block time including taxi and checklists was 25 minutes.
Finally I got my solo approval in my log book, so for the remaining lessons I can now on my own prepare the aircraft by refueling and parking on apron. This will save time for the instructor and I will get more flying for my Money.
Finally a selfie with my plane after a successful solo flight: