Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last Ireland Flight

On the morning of Saturday 12th November, I woke up at 0700z to more or less CAVOK conditions. I headed off to the airport for my last flying lesson before heading to Phoenix. I had booked a two hour slot in Bravo Charlie Kilo, my solo aircraft! 

My regular instructor was not available. I have always relished the chance to fly with different instructors. During the duration of my training I have flown with approx. six different instructors.

I have come to realise there is no one way to fly an aircraft correctly. Each instructor has his or her own take on how things should be done. For example, I normally climb at 75KIAS. During the flight today, the instructor suggested I target 80KIAS on the climb out.

At Weston Airport (EIWT), the rejoin procedure is 1500' overhead on the QNH (airport elevation ~150'), join the downwind and then land. For the last few flights I have struggled to get the height off. Quite often, I found myself turning base at >1000' which always resulted in being too high on final. Armed with a new instructor, he instantly realised what I was doing wrong. We called up the tower and asked if we could go back round to the overhead 1500' point. My issue was that I was trying to bleed to speed from 100KIAS cruise down to 75KIAS before losing the height . This time, my instructor had be reduce the power but simply point the nose down. As expected, the height dropped, and before I knew it, I was at the circuit height. At that point whilst maintaining the height, the airspeed fell back to the desired 75KIAS. Turned final and landing with 30degree of flaps (40 available in Bravo Charlie Kilo).

During the flight I had my first real introduction into navigation. We flew for 75 minutes west of the Weston Control Zone but below Dublin Controlled Airspace. Since the solo, I have been become more confident about trimming the aircraft and letting it fly with the smallest of corrections. 

Confidence Points - This allowed me time to focus on the map and look for those confidence points. The instructor taught me to focus on rivers, roads, pylons, towns, villages. Even the simple thing of a road passing a railway line, or a river being parallel to a road can be used as a confident point along your planned route.

Landed after clocking up another 75 minutes. Very enjoyable flight. Pleased I had a chance to fly with this instructor.

Time to wrap up my Irish training. On the 1st January 2011, I had no idea what the year had ahead. New job, back flying and now moving to the US for a couple of years. 

When I next fly in Ireland, I better have that PPL Ticket! 

Goodbye Ireland, see you in 2013.

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