I was awoken Saturday morning by my flight school calling me – a mix of emotions went through my mind in that split second before I answered the phone – luckily it was to reschedule it to a slightly earlier time of 11:30 instead of the original planned time of 12:00. This was to make the flying schedule fit in slightly better for the weather for the day as well as instructor availability.
I arrived at the school around 15 minutes early, this was so I could read up on the items we were going to be looking at in the lesson in the Air Pilots Manual Volume 1 – Flight Training. During this time I set up my payment method for my lessons as this was the last of the vouchers I purchased in a previous post. As mentioned in the previous post the school has a fantastic view of the airfield and does call for a spot of plane spotting! As soon as my instructor arrived we went in to the briefing room, and talked through the lesson, what to expect and if I remembered anything from the previous lesson.
After the briefing we headed out to the aircraft, G-BHIN, the aircraft I had my first lesson in, the instructor handed me the key to the aircraft, and we headed out – from last time I knew I had to set the GoPro and voice recorder up quite quickly otherwise it eats in to the lesson – I’d managed to set them up just as the instructor got to the aircraft. We performed the walk-around checking the aircraft was serviceable before jumping in to the aircraft to set her up.
The aircraft has a few slight differences compared to the last aircraft I flew in, namely a few gauges in different places, different radios and an ADF radio, but the main flight instruments are the same. I started working through the checklist preparing the aircraft for flight. My instructor said that he would be doing the radios today, however if I felt confident enough by the end of the lesson, he would start feeding radio in to the next lesson. I feel fairly confident with the radio calls required for local flights and flights in the circuits – it’s a massive advantage recording both audio and video during the flight so I can review and learn from the video. I dialed in the ATIS Frequency and got the airfield information and who we should make first contact to, which was Shoreham Approach, and got our taxi clearance to the hold of Runway 02 – my instructor talked through the radio call prior to calling them up so I could listen out and understand what was being said.
We were parked on the grass just outside the main terminal, and with the cold weather, the grass was quite damp, so it took quite a lot of power to get us moving. After a short time trying to find the power setting to get the aircraft to move – it felt like i was adding full power at one point to get the aircraft moving – eventually she moved under her own weight and became a lot easier once she was underway, we crossed on to the main taxiway and on to the concrete to perform our brakes test, with everything working as it should we continued to the holding point to perform our run up checks. Taxiing with some wind is a challenge to start with, but after a while you get used to it, I started off being very off centre but eventually made it on the short taxi to the centre line! Once we had done the power checks we requested clearance to take off, lined up and set full power and started down the runway. Because of the cold weather, the air is quite dense, as well as the strong headwind, this meant the aircraft climbed out quite quickly and at quite a high vertical speed.
My instructor handed me control at 300ft agl and said to continue the climb out and then said at 600ft continue climbing at 70kts and make a left turn to a heading of 300 degrees. Now due to the wind, the aircraft was flying along on a heading of 300, but flying a track of 270 degrees; we continued along the Downs and then headed out towards Littlehampton, continuing our climb to 4500ft. When we reached 4500ft I set the aircraft up for straight and level flight, which is becoming quite natural now, and my instructor started talking through what we would be doing.
The first part of the lesson we looked at the effect of flap and how it increases the rate of descent, I started by turning the aircraft inland towards the wind, reducing the power to idle and putting the aircraft in a descent at 70kts and trimmed off the pressure on the yoke, once it was trimmed I added each stage of flaps, trimmed and then looked at the rate of descent (RoD), and with each stage of flaps the RoD increased by around 200-250ft per minute. My instructor then showed me how to perform the go around from the landing configuration, we turned back to the coast and climbed back up to 4000ft. For the second part of the lesson we looked at how the power of the aircraft changes the RoD, again i turned in to wind, reduced power to idle and pitched for 70kts. As we slowed down we got a rate of descent of around 500ft per minute, once the aircraft was trimmed I added around 400rpm and the RoD decreased by around 250ft per minute. Finally I increased the power to around 1900rpm, another 400rpm, and the RoD decreased again pretty much back to straight and level flight. I increased power turned back to the coast and climbed back up to 4500ft. For the third part of the lesson we combined both of the two previous exercises and turned back in to wind, set power to idle, pitched for 70kts, and then adding flaps when we were in the speed range for them, but not trimming until all the flaps were in. Still pitching for 70kts and monitoring the rate of descent to see what the rate of descent was. We set the aircraft up as if it was on final approach and selected a field that we could use as a ‘runway’ to practice approaching to maintain the correct descent profile and adjusting pitch and power to maintain the correct profile. As this would be the landing configuration we got down to around 2500ft, increased full power and raised the 3rd stage of flaps up, when the aircraft was climbing we took another stage of flaps out, and made sure she was climbing and speed increasing before removing the last stage of flaps, and climbing away at 70kts up to 4000ft.
After completing these exercises we headed off practicing climbing and descending turns, before turning east and heading along the coast to join back at Shoreham. I performed a slow descent from 4000ft to 2000ft, during this time we discussed what we would be doing on the base leg of the approach, and how to set the aircraft up. As we were descending there was quite a bit of turbulence coming off of the coast, due to the wind and the built up areas. As we got closer to the airport we tuned the ATIS to find out the current information, before contacting the tower with our landing intentions, we got cleared not below 1600ft for a left base join, but to report passing Worthing pier. As we were only descending from 2000ft to 1600ft, as there wasnt much altitude to lose there was no point re-trimming the aircraft as otherwise we would have passed our target altitude before the aircraft had settled.
As we approached the airport we performed the pre-landing checks, contacted the tower and they told us we were number 1 to land on runway 02. The circuit at Shoreham had a a few aircraft in or near it, with us G-BHIN, another Cessna G-BFRV and a Diamond TwinStar performing asymmetric approaches – ill put the transcript below again – the radios got somewhat busy as we were landing. The Twin was number 2 behind us which put some pressure on me as we were on quite a long final. I was in full control during the final approach all the way down to around 200ft, where my instructor took over. In the approach it put in to practice what I had learnt during the lesson, with the use of flaps, power and pitch to maintain the correct descent profile. As we approached the ground my instructor talked through the landing process.
The taxi in from Runway 02 is a long taxi, but this gave me time and experience to practice the taxiing, which got better as we got further along. After landing we completed the necessary checks and taxied to parking. When we got to the ramp my instructor took control as the grass was still damp and I was having difficulties getting the right power setting. Once we were on the parking spot we shut her down and went in for the debrief. This was very positive and we discussed what we would be covering in the next lesson which would be stalls and then building in some circuit work. In the mean time he’s given me the chapters to read up on before the next flight. My next lesson isn’t for a week and a half so the next post will be slightly different, but I’ll still try and get it up for Saturday.
G-BHIN – My Aircraft is in black writing, ATC is in red writing, Other Aircraft are in blue writing
G-IN Pass your message.
G-IN, C152, 2 POB, Line 5 with India, QNH 1020, VFR Local to the west, requesting taxi to the hold, G-IN
G-IN, Taxi to the hold BRAVO1 via the ALPHA taxiway, Squawk 3763
BRAVO1 Via ALPHA, Squawking 3763, G-IN
G-IN is holding BRAVO1, ready for departure.
G-IN is cleared to take off runway 02, surface winds 020 degrees 15 knots
Cleared to takeoff, Runway 02, left turn out, G-IN
Shoreham Approach, G-IN is clear of the zone now, would like to stay with you on a basic service on 3763.
G-IN, thank you, Basic Service, no reported traffic.
Basic Service, were seeing a few gliders over the downs, G-IN
G-IN, thank you.
Shoreham Approach, G-BHIN, Inbound.
G-IN pass your message.
G-IN, C152, 2 POB, About 1 mile west of Worthing Pier, with information KILO, QNH 1020, looking for a Left base join for Runway 02, G-IN
G-IN, Report passing the pier, not below 1600ft, Left base runway 02 the circuit is active.
Report passing the pier, Not below 1600ft for a Left base join, G-IN.
G-IN, departing Worthing pier, 1600ft
G-IN descend to circuit height, Report Final Number 1.
Circuit height and WILCO, G-IN.
G-IN, just joining left base Runway 02, could I get a position check on MI?
G-IN, just at the beginning of the downwind leg.
Ah roger, G-IN
G-MI is downwind for an asymmetric touch and go.
G-MI report final number 2, following a Cessna on Left base.
Report final, G-MI.
G-RV is turning downwind touch and go.
G-RV, Report final number 3, following a Diamond Twin.
Number 3, WILCO, G-RV.
G-IN, is finals runways 02.
G-IN, cleared to land, surface winds 010 degrees, 22 knots
Cleared to land, G-IN.
G-MI is finals.
G-MI continue approach, traffic ahead is landing.
Continue approach, G-MI.
G-MI is going around.
G-RV turning final.
G-IN, vacate KILO, taxi to Pumps or Parking.
Vacate via KILO, and were off to parking, G-IN
This map is a rough route of where I flew, from memory and from the video I managed to get, sadly the flight recorder didn’t fix on a GPS so didnt record my route, it’s a lesson learnt for next time! If I get the time I will go through the video and try to get a better, more accurate representation of my flight.