As I mentioned in my previous post, I sadly had to re-arrange my first proper lesson due to the low cloud and visibility – much to my annoyance the day before and the day after were both really good days – the new lesson was booked for Tuesday afternoon. Having woken up and checked the weather forecast for Shoreham it was touch and go for quite a while due to the cloud base. After two phone calls it was confirmed that the lesson would go ahead as planned – Hurrah!!
I arrived at Shoreham about 10 minutes before my booked time, this was to sort out the paperwork and admin side of everything, in this time my instructor comes in to the reception area and introduced himself. We then went in to one of the briefing rooms and discussed what the lessons would consist of, the aims of the lesson and special information about the flight. He also went over how the course was structured and what to expect from each lesson and each part of the training.
The briefing lasted around 30 minutes, we went through what we would cover in this lesson, the primary effects and the secondary effects of the control surfaces, how to maintain level flight in the aircraft and changing airspeed whilst maintaining level flight. We discussed the use of the carb heat and how and when to use it, as well as any experience that I had already – to my advantage I have had 2 flying lessons, one back in 2009 and the one recently, the 2009 cant be used towards my PPL, but my recent one can so my logbook has got 2:00 in it already! After the briefing we booked out the aircraft and headed down to the aircraft.
My instructor informed me that he had pre-flighted the aircraft before I had arrived and that he, in a few lessons, will go over what is required on a pre-flight check. We got to the aircraft and he said to make myself comfortable in the left hand seat and to stow my bag behind my seat – in hindsight I should have used the time that he was checking the fuel in each tank to set up the GoPro and Audio Recorder, but didnt think so sadly missed out on this lesson being recorded but its a lesson learnt! I did have time to start a tracker on my phone to track my flight so I could see the route that I flew.
My instructor went over the important safety aspects of the flight, and then started the engine, got our clearance and headed to the runway, he maneouvred off of the apron and on to the taxiway where he gave me control of the aircraft and to get a feel of the steering and brakes. We taxiied to Runway 20 at Shoreham, did our power checks and then departed out over the sea. The instructions were “no turn before the coast” and we had requested a westerly departure, when we got airbourne we noticed a weather cell over the area we wanted to go so asked to head east over the airfield. We continued our climb up to 2000ft.
When we got to the top of the climb the instructor handed the controls over to me and allowed me to get a feel of the controls, working the roll and yaw together to create a smooth motion and comfortable flying. I levelled the wings and the instructor took control to set the aircraft up straight and level flight. He trimmed the aircraft for 90kts and then gave me back control, he said to remember the picture outside, place your hand on the dashboard so you can remember how high up your hand the horizon is.
The lesson then consisted of recovering to straight and level flight at 90kts, following the power attitude trim rule, moving on to slow flight at 70kts, this involved bringing the carb heat in before the power change as the engine would be running at 1900rpm, reducing the power, changing the attitude of the aircraft to maintain 70kts and then trimming off the pressure. We practiced going between slow flight and normal flight speeds before moving on to fast flight at 105kts. We then put the aircraft in to different attitudes, power settings and trim settings for me to get to the desired speed all while maintaining a straight course to a focal point. We covered a fair distance as you can see in the picture below, I have also put a link at the bottom of the post so you can see it in more detail with speed and altitude graphs.
The lesson was starting to get closer to the end and the instructor asked me to head back towards the aerodrome, as we got closer he explained the use of flaps and how they work with the aircraft. He explained that as you increased the flaps the aircraft would pitch up and you would have to compensate for that, and to maintain the airspeed i would have to trim the aircraft pitch down. It was the opposite for the reverse. We circled back around and headed for the aerodrome and requested joining instructions. The controller assigned us a direct left base entry for Rwy 20, number 1, the time was getting on for 15:40 and the light was starting to go, there was very little traffic movements on the aerodrome which meant we didnt have traffic to worry about.
We got lined up on Runway 20, the lights were on and we descended towards the runway, there was a mild crosswind from the right which made it a little bit of a challenge but with some help from my instructor, I managed to bring the aircraft down smoothly and safely. We rolled out on the runway and turned off at the end. We took the aircraft back to the apron and shut her down, locked her up and tied her down before heading back to the terminal. There we debreifed the lesson, discussed what we would be covering the next lesson and then filled in my logbook. It feels real now! I asked when I got back if it was alright to set a GoPro up behind us on my next lesson and record the conversation, to which it was allowed, so I’ll have that set up ready for the next lesson.
My next lesson is booked on the 23rd and I cant wait! I’ll hopefully get some photos and videos on the next lesson so the next post isnt just text.
This is the link if you want to see where I flew – CloudAhoy – It also gives the speed and altitude of the flight as well.