All entries for Saturday 11 December 2004

December 11, 2004

Lesson 11 – Doing much better

Saturday 1:00pm – just had another lesson – circuits again. Weather was good – could actually see the runway all the way round the circuit.

Although my approaches were variable – managed to correct them myself and the landings were much much much better. i.e. didn’t land on nose wheel – landings were not too rough and I think I’m starting to get the idea of flying ~ 1ft off the runway to allow for a gentle touchdown.

Golden rules of approach
  • too high (overshooting) reduce power and and pitch down to maintain airspeed
  • too low (undershooting) increase power and pitch up to maintain airspeed
Interesting? Occurrences
  1. On one of the landings we had to abandon because there was an aircraft still on the runway. Air traffic control had told him to take off immediately but he was still sitting there. At about 300ft we had to abort landing -> so full power -> raise nose and away we went (not forgetting to set carb heat to cold and put flaps up one stage at a time).
  2. Conversation overhead on radio (well the gist of it anyway)
    Aircraft: Coventry tower this is G-xxxx can you direct to runway
    Air Traffic Control: G-xxxx follow heading 023
    Aircraft: Coventry tower I’m at toll bar roundabout (less than 1/4 mile away) – still can’t see runway G-xxxx
    ATC: G-xxx I promise you its there
    Unfortunately didn’t catch rest of conversation – hope they made a safe landing
Things to Remember
On the base leg – getting ready for descent
  1. Carb heat to hot
  2. Power to 1500 rpm – keep nose pitched up to allow speed to drop
  3. When airspeed decreased so that it is in the white arc then 2 stages of flap
  4. When just above 70 kts then, and only then, pitch down for descent

Aborting a landing
Always fly to the right of the runway


A great lesson – felt like I’ve made real progress – maybe just maybe its starting to fall into place

Note to any flight simmers – Its much more internesting and realistic if you allow for other traffic to be on the circuits

Lesson 10 – Hazy lesson on circuits

Firstly before getting into the lesson – answer to Steve’s question on Headng Indicators

The Heading Indicator uses a a gyroscope to give a direction indication. Generally it does not have a auto north-seeking sensor so you have to align it manually with the magnetic compass before flight. This is what the instructor was doing on your trial flight. The heading indicator reads the same as the compass but with the trailing zero removed i.e. 36 = 360 deg.

Apparantly is much easier to use than a compass so is the primary instrument for setting headings. Having read up a bit on the instrument – I now feel a bit more confident about how to use one!

The lesson

Once again the weather was difficult for circuit flying – there was a temperature inversion (condition in which the temperature of the atmosphere increases with altitude in contrast to the normal decrease with altitude – this is ideal condition for trapping pollutants). This meant there was some smog-like haze on the circuit which meant that it was very difficult to see – so once again I felt disorientated. Only did two circuits – both approaches were too high and – needed help with both landings.

too high – reduce power and pitch nose down – maintain 70kts

Learning Points
  • Apply rudder when applying full power on the runway – otherwise can veer to the left
  • Use heading Indicator to help keep idea of direction
  • need to almost raise nose to full extent to stop landing on nose wheel

Heading for left hand circuit of Coventry Airport. However these are ideal headings – if I overshoot on one of the legs especially the base leg – the heading could be different to get back on course

December 2004

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Most recent comments

  • Good blog! Glad you got back in the air again. I am also doing circuits at the moment (at Southend) … by Dave on this entry
  • I think I left a comment back when you were still flying in 2004; glad to see you back in the air! by Fred Woodbridge on this entry
  • Good luck with the lessons. Ciruits will soon become a matter of habit and will give you a chance to… by Tony Harrison-Smith on this entry
  • too scary for me :–) by Christine Smith on this entry
  • Hello. Go for the wingsuit – … by Paul on this entry

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