Archive for December, 2014

Equipment: Torch

Thursday, December 25th, 2014 | Permalink

As you progress along the Private Pilot License (PPL) course, you will inevitably accumulate equipment:  Bag, headset, flight computer etc.  In coming weeks I’ll be doing some posts on the equipment that I’ve accumulated, when it became useful and what has found a permanent home in my flight bag.

For the PPL course, a torch is unlikely to feature on your ‘things to buy’ list, but if you decide to do a Night Rating, then for obvious reasons I suspect like me you’ll start looking around for which one to buy.

Beam Colour

The text books will tell you that night vision (which can take up to 30 minutes to fully develop) is best preserved with red light, while even a few seconds of bright white light can destroy it and set you back to feeling like you’re in total darkness.   There’s an argument that subject to the intensity of the light, that green is better for your night vision then red, but I’m not going to get into all that – lets stick with the text book answer (the exam question does not start “discuss…”).

Torches Considered

It’s actually harder then you might imagine to find torches that put out red light, but of the ones I could find, I considered:

  • Gerber Recon Task Light Torch (~£20-30)
  • Coast PX20 (~£25)
  • LED Lenser V2 Aviator Torch (~£30)
  • LED Lenser P7.2 (~£40-60) – but would need a Red Filter kit (+£8)
  • LED Lenser P7QC (~£60-80)

The Gerber Recon came pretty close to being bought, I liked the fact you had options on colour (e.g. White to check the plane as the sun goes down, red for when you’re up at 2,000ft and the electrics fail etc.).  While the Coast PX20 and Lenser V2 could both be argued as capable of doing this, what I didn’t like about their approach was that they use separate ON/OFF buttons to achieve it – in the heat of the moment when you want red light, I very much suspect you’ll grab the torch, press the wrong button and be blinded in a sea of bright white light 🙁    Moments later you’ll be cursing why didn’t you buy the other torch.  Oh that’s right, it was more expensive… mumble to yourself while burning £3/min @ 2,500ft 😐

The P7.2 also got pretty close, what lost it the sale for me was:  First you’d have to buy the filters which bumps its total cost up, but more critically while this would then let you do the whole swapping of colours – without the risk of hitting the wrong button.  The idea of having to swap little filter caps around in the twilight before dark, it seemed inevitable that sooner or later I’d lose the little red filter cap and would have to shell out another £10 for a setup that’s already consumed £50-70 🙁

So in the end, even though at first glance the price seems pretty extreme for a torch, I went with the LED Lenser P7QC

LED Lenser P7QC

LED Lenser P7QC Horizontal

LED Lenser P7QC

As you’d expect from the price tag, the build quality is top end, aluminum with all the switches and colour rotary dial feeling engineered – nothing loose or ‘clicky’ anywhere to be found.   The case it comes with is quite a snug fit, I’ll admit I didn’t like this in the moments immediately following taking it out of the box but with a bit of usage, I now think I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It does ensure the torch can’t escape its case or leave you worrying it might do, which in turn has meant it goes very nicely into the flight bag.

Size wise, it’s the length of a closed fist (little finger, to thumb).  This feels about the right size, one thing to consider – especially if your first thought was to look at the “keyring” type sized torches is that most of the time you won’t need a torch in the plane.  You need it to check the compass in a C172 as it’s not illuminated and you might use it if the map light bulb has died etc.   But you’re generally not going to be flying along holding a torch in your right hand.   This means you’re going to have to put the torch somewhere between usage, but more importantly, it means you’re going to have to be able to find it again:  Amongst your chart, kneeboard, headset wires, flight computer and any other paraphernalia you fly with!  In the dark, potentially having just had a full electrical failure – do you really want to be rummaging around for a keyring?

It’s powered by 4x AAA batteries that go into a nice little holder device inside the handle, again someones put some thought into the design rather then just being cheap.  Nothing rattles and the weight doesn’t change as a result of loosely fitting batteries etc.   Batteries are included in the box, which is nice and at least saves you from the disappointment of getting a new toy and not being able to immediately have a play 🙂

Red / Greed / Blue / White :  Rotary Selectable

Independently selectable switches is just asking to go wrong, the Coast PX20 has 5 white LED’s and 1 Red.  So the red button is going to be quite dim, but press the wrong button and you will be assured of blinding white light by comparison.  Much the same story for the Lenser Aviator.

The P7QC solves the problem of switching colours, without using filters, by using an RGB LED and controlling the LED’s colour output via a rotary dial (which is part of the head of the torch).  This is a firm rotary selector, so there’s no chance it’s going to accidentally drift from Red to Green for example.

Set and forget…..

Power Modes and Flashing

So far you might be thinking that I’m a sales rep for this torch.  It has a lot of good things about it, especially compared to the competition – unfortunately for reasons that I suspect come as part of wanting to appeal to a wider sales base then just night pilots of general aviation aircraft, it has a couple of things I wish it did differently.

High Power / Low Power

The torch has 3 modes of operation:

  1. High Power
  2. Low Power
  3. Flash (SOS)

Turning the torch on for the first time it defaults to high power (~120 lumens, colour dependent).   This is my first real gripe as it’s not the default you really want for a confined cockpit.   Oh don’t get me wrong, I very much think having a high power mode is beneficial, I just wish it wasn’t the default – I’d have much preferred it to toggle through:   Low Power, High Power, Flash.   This to me would more naturally let you find the mode that achieves an objective, rather then starting out full wack and if that’s too bright letting you turn it down 🙁

Here’s the torch on its side, set to red light and turned on at High Power:

Red - High Power Mode

Red – High Power Mode

Now compare the strength and throw of the beam, to what it looks like in the same setup but on Low Power:

Red - Low Power

Red – Low Power

Hopefully it’s strikingly obvious which one you’d want to use for reading a chart or compass about a foot in front of you! I’ve purposely shown the beam strengths like this because how far the torch can throw a beam of light might be a requirement for someone looking to do hiking/camping at night, but it really isn’t a major concern for flying.

This “how bright can we make it” issue however is true of almost all torches you’ll find.  The selling point is all about how bright they are or how far they can throw a beam of light, rather then how dim they go 🙁

Having flown a simulated electrical failure with the LED Lenser P7QC, I found the low power (manual says its ~40 lumens) was actually pretty much perfect for what you want.   On low power you can chuck the torch on your seat and it very nicely lights up the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon, RPM etc. but at the same time. The beam isn’t blinding to the right seat passenger and while it still means you can just about see the flaps lever of a C172, it’s not flood lit, so you’re not inadvertently distracted.   I could have lived with it being a touch dimmer actually, but when it came to landing the plane in simulated electrical failure, I was very glad of the fact I didn’t need to hold the torch in one hand to see the airspeed indicator and could keep my left hand free to fly the plane and right hand on the throttle all the way down to landing.   A torch forcing you to have only intermittent throttle control with no flaps/electrics I feel would be bordering unsafe, because with no flaps the stall speed is increased & you’ll be trying to fly a faster airspeed on approach – you want good airspeed monitoring all the way down and to be able to fly the plane, rather then starting to let it fly you because you’ve ran out of hands 😐

I just wish low power was the default mode.


When you need a torch to flash, you’re having a very different sort of emergency or more to the point you’ve had the emergency, are lucky enough to have survived it and now just want to go home 🙂   So for all those times when you want to work with a torch (i.e. read a chart), rather then hoping it will do something for you (attract attention/rescue), you won’t want the thing to be flashing!

They could therefore have dropped this feature entirely for me.  I can accept that if you’re incredibly unlucky you might find yourself in a situation where you want your only torch to maximize it’s attention grabbing capabilities – but it’s going to be a pretty rare case (or I’d hope it is).

The torch toggles its modes if turned OFF/ON within 2 seconds of turning off, so if you want Low Power you turn the torch ON, then OFF, then reasonably quickly (or very quickly) back ON.   Great, unless you accidentally go past it and then you’re into Flash 🙁   It won’t return to default unless left OFF for 5 seconds, so if you turn it off low power accidentally, more then likely you’ll have to cycle through flash.

If they had to have a flashing mode, I just wish it was accessed through a much harder to activate process rather than as part of toggling through the modes via the ON/OFF switch.


I bought this torch after my 2nd Night Rating lesson, prior to buying it I’d borrowed torches off instructors – which was getting a bit tedious.

It’s heaviest usage to date has come in my second aircraft failures/emergency lesson as I’ve mentioned above, which simulates internal lighting failures, full electrical failures etc.   If I wanted to be convinced it was a good torch to buy, this lesson alone convinced me.   It’s low power is not so bright that it will illuminate the world, but bright enough that you get a nice red hue across all the important instruments, while the torch can just sit on the seat, allowing you to keep flying the plane almost entirely as normal.

LED Lenser P7QC

LED Lenser P7QC

The size and weight are both excellent, making it easy to find amongst charts and kneeboards.

Being able to ‘set and forget’ the light beam colour and have no risk of pressing the wrong button mid-flight was a major feature for me.  Especially as the solution they use doesn’t involve hot-swapping filters.

High Power mode is way too bright for usage in the cockpit, but good for externals checks and/or finding the plane keys should you drop them 🙂

Low Power mode is near perfect, perhaps a little dimmer would have been nice.  It’s a bit of a shame though that this is 2 clicks away to access rather then being the default mode – it’s absolutely fine for when the internal lights fail, but it’s a little bit tedious when you just want to check the Heading Indicator & Compass are aligned.

Flashing mode, it isn’t really needed for 99.9% of GA flying – but perhaps should you ever be unfortunate enough to fall into the 0.1% you’ll be thankful it was there and all the times you’d accidentally clicked past low power mode and on to flash will be forgiven (A lot like wearing a life jacket over water, it’d be more comfortable if you didn’t have it, but if have to land on water you’ll quickly forget about creature comforts 🙂  ).

So given it’s around the top end of the price range for what you can spend on a torch on most flying websites etc.  (I’m sure there are tactical super torches that have bells and whistles that cost much more).    Am I happy with it?  /  Would I buy it again? :    Yes, it’s found a home in my flight bag and I’m not looking to replace it at all, the cost is now lost in the noise of an hours flying etc.

Recommend it to a friend/learning to fly (at night) etc.   Absolutely.


Night Rating: Part 2 (Failures)

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 | Permalink

You could also call this lesson “emergencies” but most of the things we’d be doing were more about getting experience with landing the plane under an acceptable failure condition (e.g. loss of approach lights), rather than a genuine fully fledged emergency (e.g. engine failure).

In my PPL training I was swapping instructors almost every lesson, but it was pretty normal to be back flying with a familar instructor again every other month or so.   I was now swapping instructors for my night rating and to my slight amazement, I had to actually go back several pages in my log book to find when I’d last flown with this instructor – even though they’d been instructing me right to the finish of my PPL.   Goes to show how many flights I’ve done in the year I got my PPL, it’s been a good year 🙂


PAPI lights

PAPI lights

We’d go fly some circuits, the first one would be completely normal just to settle down into things (flying can be a bit like stage fright, you can do it, but in the hours before turning the key you do sometimes find yourself wondering “Can I remember how to fly?”).

Then it would be a progressive set of challenges:

  • Landing without the PAPI lights
  • Landing without the approach lights
  • Landing without the airplane landing light
  • Landing with none of the above.

Check the Fuel and Oil and lets go

My training has drilled me to check everything, even if an instructor has just landed the plane and swears it’s all good – I’ve been drilled to check it anyway, if you go on any flight safety training lecturers the old and the wise (pilots who are one, tend to be the other) they will also stress to check everything.

This all sounds great in text books and it’s good safe, sensible stuff.   What it also means though is that when I try to deviate or short circuit around blocks of the check list, I find it all gets into a starting up muddle.

You find stupid things happen, like you jumped past the pre-startup internal checks and you’re now trying to start the plane – but wait, turning the master switch on was on the previous page, so you haven’t done that, so you have no electrics.   Switches get missed, flaps get left down etc.  and as you try to untangle the “must change state of” items from the “just check” items, you begin to feel surrounded by an aura of feeling like you should know how to do this……and yet you’re messing up!   You’ve done it hundreds of times before, feels surreal therefore that an 80+ item checklist isn’t engraved into your memory (hmmm, strange that!).

So I sort of hate doing the “lets just jump in the plane and go” approach.  I can do it at farms & places I’ve just landed, but I can’t seem to do it when I’m getting in a plane that someone else has flown before me – I’ve found on too many occasions that the previous hirer has left the radio on approach instead of tower, or the lights set weird or the fuel selector set wrong!

After a little bit of awkward faffing about and looking like a student all over again, the engine was running, ATC had cleared me to taxi out and we were away – the nerves could begin to calm down now.

Circuits :  Lights On, Lights OFF

Approach Lights, PAPI's & Runway Lights

Approach Lights, PAPI’s & Runway Lights

The wind at night is a strange thing, it can seem like the calmest day and then you get up 1,000ft and find it’s 20 knots crosswind to the runway.

On my first circuit I turned downwind and was quickly finding myself getting pushed more and more towards the runway.   There’s a good roundabout reference at the end of the downwind leg which is an excellent guide for both ensuring you fly a sensible sized circuit and going just beyond it, a good turn point for turning base.   I found that by the time I got there I was left of it, meaning my circuit was tight and the wind was pushing me in – no surprise then that when I turned left on to base leg, the crosswind became a tailwind and made matters worse.

I could lose the height ok, though my groundspeed was feeling pretty rapid in which to do so, but I found I had to turn on to final approach sharpish and while still trying to lose the height.   If you do all this to close together your nice rectangular circuit pattern starts to look like a military style continuous turn.   That’s ok, but I’d overshot the centre line of the runway and had to correct it to get it all lined up on final.

Other then the overshoot, the height was good, the speed was good and everything came together in the end for a nice enough landing.

Do it again without the PAPI’s

What the PAPI’s give you are a visual guide on your height, you want 2 red and 2 white, this means you’re on an approach angle of 3 degrees, keep the PAPI’s looking like this all the way down and they’ll guide you gently in over the runway at a nice casual approach.   More red then white equals low, more white then red equals too high.

One interesting point, typically GA aircraft in daylight don’t do 3 degree landings, they tend to do 3 white, 2 red and come in at a steeper approach angle then a jet would.   At night though, 3 degrees is what I’ve been told to fly.

Without the PAPI’s all you have are the approach lights and the runway side lights and you have to use these to judge your approach angle manually.   Which isn’t as easy as just following 4 lights in blind faith that they’re set right 🙂

Farms, Farms and Farms……..I love farm strip flying, I can’t encourage you enough to get an instructor to teach you how to do it and then go get some practice doing it.   My landings got better when I started farm strip flying, nothing I’ve done has improved my landings more.

So without the PAPI’s, there’s a pretty simple way to ignore all that text book stuff about runway perspective or trying to lean on your local knowledge of what the runway looked like the last 20 times you circuited on it etc.    Remember that the book says “Constant bearing, constant danger”, well the same rule applies to landings:   If you keep a point (e.g. the runway threshold lights) held constant at a position in the window all the way down – you will/can land there!    Of course if you have too much speed on at that point you’ll go into ground effect and float for another 150m but that’s your airspeed control going to hell, you’ll still be given every possible opportunity to flare it and make a good landing on the runway.   PAPI’s or no PAPI’s.

All you need to focus on therefore is that you want your airspeed in check around the same time as your landing point out of the window begins to stabalise its position.   Once you’re doing 65 knots, with the runway threshold held constant out of the window, your approach angle is going to be about right.

I found myself again getting blown in like crazy, again overshooting on the turn on to final.   However, the lack of PAPI’s really didn’t come as any bother at all.   I found I made a whole bunch more minor adjustments on the throttle and elevator as I point and powered my way to the landing point, but it was still a pretty well controlled landing.

No Approach Lights

This is stranger to fly then not having the PAPI’s, there’s something quite welcoming about the approach lights leading you to the runway.

Still you have the A14 and A1303 as visual references and the green strip of threshold lights at the near end of the runway.  So the main thing the loss of the approach lights does is make the runway/airport feel much, much smaller.

I messed this landing up a bit, as I touched down my left foot slipped and tapped the brake causing the unwanted sound of the tires to screech.   The touch down speed was slow and we hadn’t landed with the brakes on but the rolling speed was too high to be touching the brakes without them making noises about it.    There’s a good reason that ‘feet clear of the brakes’ is on the pre-landing checklists, if you were to land with your brakes on during a skills test – you’ll very likely fail for a dangerous landing.  The fear being that if you touch down at speed, brakes on, if both are on then the wheel that touches first will want to rotate the plane, or both will touch down and the tires might quickly want to give up the game.  With only one brake on you’ll be at risk of flipping the plane as it rotates around the differential braking.  Not a great idea.    This was nothing quite so serious, but I totally accept the principle it’s a bad thing to be doing, so I wasn’t thrilled with myself on this landing.   Still, you’re always able to learn from events.

No Landing Light

If you’ve ever seen a light aircraft come into land at night, you’d be forgiven for wondering why bother with that landing light anyway – it’s hardly illuminating anything.   True until about 30ft, when it is quite effective at illuminating the runway surface, critically what it provides is depth perception.

With the landing light on, those last 30-50ft before touch down can be done watching the runway come “up” to meet the plane (I know technically the plane is coming down to meet the runway, but it appears the other way around as you fly it in).

So without a landing light, getting the plane down to 50ft and over the runway should be easy enough, but judging when to flare it and estimating when the main wheels will be touching down on the runway becomes tricky.

Making sure my heals were on the floor and my toes were handling the rudder this time, I got it about right.   I was off maybe a couple of foot on the last few feet of height in the flare so a little flat, but not bad for a first go without a landing light.

All the lights (except runway lights):  OFF

The rule is you cannot land and must go around if the runway lights fail.   The reason is that without them, you’ll just be aiming for a now black centre line, somewhere in a sea of blackness.   It’s really not a safe idea!

Everything else is desirable, but not essential to the safe landing of a light aircraft, so time to see if I could put the plane down without any of the other lights.

Getting down to the runway I found easy enough, but again the real decider on whether I could pull off a perfectly smooth landing or with a slight thump seems to be the lack of a landing light.   Without it, it’s just hard to estimate those last few feet of where the main wheels are relative to the runway.

Still other then the one in the middle, all my landings I’d been happy with.


Again not a lot to be said really, everything seemed to up to a sufficient standard to keep progressing.

The plan for the next lesson would be to get the Navigation done, before the weather really turned on us.   This could be any route of my choosing as long as the flight took 1 hour and covered at least 27 nm (I can’t imagine how you do a one hour flight and fly less then 27nm to be honest, but the distance is a CAA criteria – I’m sure someone has a good rational for why there’s a distance requirement).

Night Rating: Part 1 (Night Familiarity)

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 | Permalink

The night rating is one of the easiest ratings to add to a license, so as winter is now well and truly here and any hope of farm strip flying would now be the reserve of the incredibly lucky or foolish (generally I like to think I’m neither of those).  Seems like a good time to go get another stamp on my license 🙂

Why get a Night Rating?

Everyone’s reasons will vary, I’ve already given one of mine above but here’s a few more:

  • Escapism:  Want to escape into that childhood fantasy of getting into a bomber and taking off in search of finding a dam?    Just turning a Cessna 172 on at night with a red torch in hand is fun.
  • November – February in the UK:   It’s typically damned cold at 8:30am, during my training I quite enjoyed taking a broom to an aircraft’s wings on several frosty winter mornings.  However, if you’ve done it three or four times, you’ve probably done it enough.   Flying later on in the day is typically warmer (but not by much).
  • If a city looks nice during the day – it looks better at night.
  • You might not want to do loads of night flying, but from October-Feb, a flight taking off at 2pm is going to be at risk of coming back in the dark and if you have to divert, then what?   A night rating will keep it legal.

What’s involved in getting one?

No exams, just five hours of flight training, to include:

  • Three hours duel instruction
  • One hour (at least 27nm) Navigation
  • 5 solo full stop landings.

For more information, see the CAA website.

Lesson One:   Night Familiarisation

To get used to the essentials of night flight:  From airport lighting and how taxi speeds will appear very differently (out of the front window you’ll feel you’re going slow, now try looking left!).  To what cities look like and gain an appreciation of just how far out you can see at night.  A town you wouldn’t normally see straight after take off in the day, can be instantly visible at night – which can be disorientating.

Now technically I’ve sort of done this lesson before, but that was so early into my PPL training it’d be good to repeat it.

Satisfactory handling, must learn to land before continuing.

That is what I’m told it says in my training record for that first night flight – gives you an idea of how long ago it was!   Since then my landings have come a long way.

Checklists at night

Pilots love check lists, if you don’t I’d suggest strongly that flying isn’t for you – checklists, charts, plotting routes and manual calculations are all part of the ground fun that should be an aid to building the anticipation of next going flying.

Checklists in the day are one thing, at night with torch in hand, an array of instruments & switches before you.   It doesn’t get much better, at least not on the ground.

The Route

The plan was a pretty leisurely local area flight, we’d take take-off and then turn around to fly north to Newmarket.

From here we’d do an orbit of the town, before heading back to the airport.   Ask them for a zone transit (to allow us to fly through their aerodrome traffic zone [ATZ]), to get more familiar with the lights of the airport and when you can/can’t see them.

Head north west towards Bar Hill, getting familiar with the A14 at night and then turn it around and come back to Cambridge for a few circuits and get familiar with landing it at night (remember the last time I did a night flight I’d NEVER landed a Cessna 172 – I’ve done it hundreds of times since, but this would still be the first time an instructor had ever let me land it at night).

……even when you have your license, the first times can just keep coming.

Clear Skies – amazing views & almost incredible distances.

No sooner had we took off, you could immediately see Newmarket and the A14 leading the whole way.   I did find myself feeling a little unsure of what I was seeing and where things were for sure.   When you have the background noise of a Cessna 172 engine and you’re so used to seeing the day time landmarks etc.   It suddenly is a bit weird for example to not be able to see the wind farms to the east of Cambridge, but instead be able to see the bright lights of Newmarket & the runways of Mildenhall / Lakenheath.

Some great views of the town centre while orbiting, at only 2,500ft I sort of wonder how it looked from the ground 🙂

Sandy Transmitter Mast

Sandy Transmitter Mast

Heading back to Cambridge Airport we were cleared for a zone transmit, not above 2,500ft, as they had a fast jet coming in at 3,000ft.   Suddenly 2,500ft ceiling sounded very wise, the last thing we need is to go arguing with a fast jet – the approach speeds of a light aircraft flying at 115+ MPH and a fast jet doing 250+ MPH alone will make your mind boggle.

There is a big transmitter mast near Sandy, in the day it’s quite impressive to fly past (and will make you think twice about any low flying ideas you might have!).   Normally you cannot see this mast until you’re within a few miles of it.   However, at night because it’s over 300ft above ground level, it is lit by a red beacon light.   This makes it visible from Cambridge!  (20 miles away).

Heading north to Bar Hill we could hear on the radio that another club student, also getting their night rating, clearly had an instructor on-board who liked the idea of the route we were doing and was copying us.  Normally you wouldn’t know, but they also had to get a zone transit to follow us.

On the way out I got some top tips on just how dark the dark parts of the world were and a reminder on the idea of trying to land at an unlit runway was just going to be impossible.  You can really see why, from 2,000ft you just have black and bright light.   Who knows what is in the black parts – sure it could be a field, it could also be a house with its lights turned out!

Coming back to Cambridge:  Engine Failure

The plan was to come back to Cambridge and do a couple of circuits.  We joined the circuit and followed a PA-28, which rather tediously seemed to then go and do the worlds largest circuit!  🙁   As we were number two I had to entertain trying to follow them round, they were so wide that their base leg was pretty epic and to try and give them some time on final I told my instructor I was deliberately going to extend the downwind leg.

As I turned onto final, I was pretty pleased with how well my separation plans had worked out.   There was no reason they wouldn’t be able to land and taxi clear and then we could get clearance for our touch and go.   What could go wrong?

Cambridge Tower:  We’ve had an Engine Failure on the runway.

You’ve what!?!?   On the what?!?   How the what?

Go Around

It was followed by an immediate call to go around from ATC, the training drilled into me, kept me going here – but my brain was still racing to figure out what had happened to the PA-28.

They were landing, in fact they HAD landed!   So how had they had an engine failure?   Is that even possible?   Like I said, you can have first times – even after you have your license.

Whatever the cause, they were stressing air traffic control out, you can understand why.   They now had their only runway blocked by a plane, with two Cessna’s destined for Cambridge in the local area and a fast jet a few miles out.   Now this is a fully fledged & night licensed airport, so they can shift a plane – but having to, while managing a load of other circling planes isn’t going to improve their day.

Best theory in our plane was that they’d landed, brought the throttles back to idle and the PA-28’s idle setting had been set too low and this had just let the engine stall.

This theory was, very likely, soon confirmed as while we were getting back on to the downwind leg for another go as if by magic the “failed” engine had been restarted – bet that did wonders for their avionics 😉


I don’t mean to sound grumpy about it, but their little antic on the runway cost me a touch-n-go, so I would have rather they not have had the issue.   Sometimes these things can’t be helped though and one day it might be me having the awkward moment, so I try to sympathize.

Got a nice approach, brought the Cessna 172 down over the threshold and touched down just past the numbers so I was pretty pleased with the landing.

Still a bit unfamiliar with the lights leading off to the taxiway, it’s one thing to know the theory, it’s another getting real experience, so a few words of advice for where to turn off and some local knowledge that ATC wouldn’t ever ask me taxi past Charlie as Delta isn’t lit.

Nothing significant to be said in the debrief, think all in all the instructor was generally happy with my flying.

Next lesson would focus on landing the plane with various failures, both at the airport and within the plane.