Archive for April, 2014

First Flight : Post PPL (Duxford, almost)

Friday, April 18th, 2014 | Permalink

It may take weeks to get your license, even once everything is signed off.   Thankfully the aero club runs a policy whereby if you trained with them, then once they’ve signed everything off and your license is effectively “in the post”, you can fly solo without instruction/checkflight before every trip – but you can’t take passengers.

Duxford :  Maybe / Maybe Not / Maybe……Maybe Not.

I took them up on this policy, planning a short hop of a trip out to Duxford – the intent to do a local, land away.

On arrival, this was a bit of a tricky issue, with new instructors, a degree of confusion set in about whether I was allowed to do this or not.   Not helped by a Chinese whisper effect occuring regarding if I had a medical or not – what I’d said is I didn’t have my license or logbook, but had my medical.  This became “I didn’t have a license, medical or logbook”.    Anyway, eventually we got there and the flight was on.

Unfortunately the storms at the beginning of the year took their toll and on ringing for Prior Permission (PPR), got told the airport was closed 🙁

A quick tweak to the route (i.e. cut out the landing bit) and the flight was back on.

Wimpole / Royston Route

Wimpole / Royston Route

The green line is the outward route, the blue line the return route.   So instead of flying the last leg of the route out, I’d just turn around at Royston, point the plane back to ‘Point Alpha’ and head home.

Runway 23 - Lined up

Runway 23 – Lined up

Scenic:   Radio Telescopes & Wimpole Hall

Having only been down in this corner of the map once or twice in training, I’d always wanted to go back as there are a few nice land marks to see.

The radio telescope and a few minutes further south west, Wimpole Hall.

Wimpole from the Air

Wimpole from the Air

A really nice day to go flying, good visibility, very few clouds and seemingly nothing else up in the air trying to borrow the same real estate.   The radio seemed to suggest otherwise, but just not in the area I was flying.

Radio Telescope

Radio Telescope

It took 15 minutes to get off the ground at Cambridge with the power checks etc, the flight itself would last just 20 minutes with another 10 to get back into the circuit and land – but as short trips out go.   A nicely scenic one, a little bit of nav, but no risk of really getting lost – so a nice trip out given the current licensing position.   Plus a chance to try something a little different, start the nav from a different landmark, instead of flying straight for Point Alpha (M11/A14 junction) and starting from there.

It’s a shame Duxford was closed, I was feeling very aware that since my QXC I’d clocked up maybe 8+ hours of flying without having landed anywhere else but Cambridge (could I remember how!?!?).   Those sorts of crazy thoughts begin to creep into your head.   Maybe next time.

Getting back into Cambridge was easy enough, a police helicopter was operating in the area but that didn’t add too much of a complication to anything.   Air Traffic obliged my request for a crosswind join and the landing was pretty good, ending a very nice flight the right way.

A fantastic little trip out, now for that license to show up so we can take passengers for the first time.