Thursday, 18 September 2008

learning circuits

Following a crappy day at work yesterday that seemed never ending, I managed to get away early to get over to the airfield for another lesson.
The whole week I was in Font I kept wanting to go flying, I think I could probably get as obsessive about it as a hobby as I am about climbing. Ok, maybe not ;)

Anyway, it was a slightly shorter lesson than usual because I was a tiny bit late, and you can't fly circuits after 1800. Yes, this was my first go at flying proper circuits! Woo!

I am amazed at just how much I had forgotten, in a week. The basic skills were still there - I could still fly the aircraft passably competantly, it was just that I could not for the life of me remember the appropriate airspeeds, altitudes, flap configurations, engine rpm's etc for each stage of the circuit (to be fair to myself, I had never actually done it before and so it was all just theory I'd been told).

Anyway, notes to self:
  • Take off - airspeed around 55kts when you pull up, 10degrees of flap, climbout at 65kts, trimmed
  • 300ft raise flap
  • 1000ft level out, reduce power to 2100rpm to settle at 85kts (this is just for my first starting circuit training lessons, there are other things to do for real apparently)
  • Turn 90degrees onto crosswind
  • Turn 90 degress onto downwind (there is a point at which you commence turn)
  • Trim for straight and level at 85-90kts, 1000ft, do downwind checks (BUMFFICH)
  • Turn onto base leg, reduce power in turn to allow base leg configuration
  • Base configuration: 75kts, 10degrees of flap, descending
  • Turn onto final - long sweeping 10degree turn to straighten out in line with runway. 20degrees of flap, 65kts, trim (not much throttle at this point)
  • Use throttle to control rate of descent, not pressure on control column - 65kts needs to be maintained!
  • Once getting close in to the runway drop the power back, allow airspeed to stay at 65kts (the aircraft will nose down of its own accord), flare at last minute to glide down onto runway
  • Once touched down, immediate take off needs: 10degrees of flap (reduced from the 20 used to land), full power and pull up at 55kts
Other points of note: my [new] headset from John works great :)
I need to read the Aero club notes and sign myself off on the T-card system (this is all new, very painful)

I still love flying!

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