Saturday, 19 November 2011

What a superb day!
I flew for just under an hour....three sets of circuits, interspersed with time on the ground waiting for cloud to clear through. On my first take-off I hit a cloud bank at about 600', turned and scuttled downwind and lost sight of the runway in cloud, only finding it again at 300' on base leg! That was hairy! There was a lot of sink near the threshold of 09, requiring power-on, so that my approach was rather heavy -but I didn't bounce.

After flying at Great Oakley and packing away (which now takes far too long, the way the land-owner is packing planes in), I drove over to Wormingford Airfield to do some gliding. And, without having to wait almost any time at all, was taken up in a Ka13 by the CFI. There'd probably been talk of my disappointing intro to gliding and someone may have felt that I needed a boost, which was very good of them. Anyway, I did three launches, the second of which had a cable break at 600' (they are designed with a weak link, designed to break cleanly - I have seen them being made), which was quite dramatic.

(I flew 9 mins, 2 mins and 6 mins......there is little thermal lift this time of year to speak you generally just take off, fly cross-wind, fly down-wind (parallel with the runway), fly a base leg and finals (though it is diagonal for gliders...and I need this bit clarified)...and land. You are quite busy, but it is over in minutes. And then you queue up for another go.

The CFI said we were packing a lot of lessons into my intro
because he knew I already knew quite a lot, so I flew my last circuit mostly unaided, with him taking over for the touch-down. It was fantastic. I asked if he could judge from my three flights how long it would take to go solo and he said he really didn't know, but that it wouldn't be very long. I am definitely hooked.

(I was so busy gliding that I didn't have time to take pictures - except for this rushed one of packing away. Will do better next time)

That canopy is new. It cost the equivalent of about 85% of my entire microlight!


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