|This being a commercial course I am not getting to take too many pictures but I love this one of Miami|
Never mind the RAF didn't have google earth before setting off on their many bombing missions in 1945 at night, so I would have to trust in my ruler and compass and flying skills.
The last time I did a navigation flight in the previous flight, it wasn't one of my best days out in the plane and my confidence was a little low before todays sortie.
I planned the flight, then went through over once more, just to check there were no silly errors there.
All checked and it was time to collect my passenger and head on our way.
Strapped in and heading out on runway 28L which put me directly over my start point for the nav.
Time logged, heading and altitude set, and we were off. With a briefing to the passenger with an ETA of just over 20 minutes.
I found the first check point ok and on time, i was happy with that. It makes so much difference when the weather is clear, and you finally get the plane trimmed correctly. (I have been spending way to much time arsing around trimming, instead of getting it right at the start, its a lot less workload then) the second check point came and went and we were right on the button I could see the huge lake in the distance so it was time to wait for the parts of the picture to come together and confirm where we were with various roads and the lake in the right place. As the time ticked on the picture came together perfectly and the grass strip was right off our nose. I was pleased as punch but it was an easy day to do it on.
Then it was time to get the goggles on and start the instrument work, I had a complete brain malfunction here with the drill on what to do you in accidently go into cloud. I have been reading and reading this over the couple of days i was sick, and there I was goggles on and mind blank...... totally blank. Flying can be so frustrating, I think it was probably the shock of getting a nav right.
I managed to get my act together with a little prompting, but that was a serious failure.
I managed to get my radio nav fixes done properly and a little quicker than the previous times and then there was partial panel time and unusual attitudes. These seemed to be ok but my timed turns were not up to scratch, i need to stop and think whilst doing this rather than rushing straight into it. Careless mistakes.
It was then time to rejoin, and I was not an A grade student with that today I can tell you.
I could actually see myself buggering it up, slow and indecisive getting the plane ready for landing, and my passenger had pulled the fuse on the landing gear, so no green lights for landing, once again, slow decision to go around, all of this whilst I was 4 miles on final and there was someone else landing ahead of me, and I didn't think to slow us down..... Just Go Around......silly.
So I did go around and was about 500ft lower than I should have been making that decision.
The circuit I managed well and got us ready and came in for a reasonable landing, a little flat but ok.
I really need to start being the boss in the plane and not sitting behind it like a horse on the gallops.
On a side note I really did realise why I am putting myself through all of this today and why I really do know that instruction is for me. One of the fellow international students and Italian called Michele whom I have met on a couple of occasions whilst he's studying for his first license, the PPL . Well I saw him going out in the plane this morning with the examiner and it took me back to my first test. He arrived back and I saw him having his debrief with after and then saw the look on his face when he was told he had passed. It was amazing, all of the hard work had paid off I thought he was going to explode with joy. His instructor must be so happy to take someone who can't fly at all to now being a Pilot. That's why I want to become an instructor. Well done Michele.