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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

SOLO !!!

I knew it was due some time soon, yet fully unexpected I got to fly solo!

I had not flown in 4 weeks, and in my opinion it was only then that I had shown true proficiency in circuittry. And because the weather looked marginally at first, we were going to use this lesson to practice circuits again in all their variants. That is to say: normal landings, but also flapless, and glide-ins from 1000ft. I had expected this lesson to be all about speed control, and the next one focussed on forced landings. Maybe my first solo would be the lesson after that, or even after that one. Probably in December or so. But no! It was this lesson already! :)

Piet leaving the plane...

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Emergency Procedures

After practising circuits, this time we'll look at what to do when the engine stops mid-flight. Not that that happens so often, but should it ever happen, it's good to know upfront what to expect, and what to do (or not do!)
There are two low-flying areas in the neighbourhood of Lelystad Airport, where it is allowed to fly lower than the minimum VFR altitude of 500 ft over uninhabited terrain. One is located a few miles to the south of the airport, the other is located between the cities of Deventer and Zutphen (south of Teuge Airport, EHTE).
While driving to the airport, the entire southern part of the polder it is located in is covered in mist. Visibility varies between 200 m and 1000 m, but no more than that! For a moment, it looked like it was going to be a no-go that day. But north of the "Knardijk" (a dike that divides the polder in two more or less equal parts), the weather was all clear. There were some Cumulonimbus (CB) clouds, which looked very active, and high, so the chances of thunderstorms and turbulence were high. Better stay well clear of those clouds...

I arrive early, as usual. So I have plenty of time to set up my camera and headset, so I can re-play today's flight, and maximise the learning experience. I also take the opportunity to try out my new photo camera on our Piper Arrow II, PH-KAX, which is taxiing out for an hour of local flight. While I'm at it, I re-do a shot I made with my previous camera already: the cockpit of my plane. In my previous shot, the fuel selector and parking brake lever were not in view, so I corrected that. :)