First day back after the christmas holidays, first flight of 2015 and first solo!
I started the day with a dual flight with my instructor, which includes 4 full circuits to make sure I am still flying safely, my instructor then jumped out of the aircraft and I went up for another circuit on my own.
What an experience it was! It felt equally exciting and terrifying to be left alone with an aircraft after I’ve only been flying for two months. Once I started to taxi away from the school line all of the nerves disappeared and I really enjoyed the rest of the flight! I should be doing lots more solo flying over the coming weeks.
Its been a few weeks since I last posted mainly due to how busy I have been but also because, although I have been flying quite a bit, the training has become very repetitive. On Christmas Eve I passed my first flying progress test (PT1) and all of the lessons until that point were centred around preparing for that test.
PT1 primarily tests that you are flying safely, not only though the flying but also through the pre-flight planning and the decisions you make in the air. Passing PT1 means you are at the necessary safety standard to fly solo. In the days leading up to my PT1 the weather around Oxford was not suitable so we made the decision to fly to Gloucestershire Airport where the wind was blowing directly down the runway. As we were going to be leaving the Oxford circuit it meant I would also be assessed on my ability to fly the aircraft enroute, which also included a practice forced landing after an engine failure. I would also be required to deal with an engine failure immediately after take-off, which my examiner simulated straight after the forced landing drill. The rest of the test is performed in the circuit where I had to demonstrate three safe landings; one normal, one flapless and one glide. My examiner told me I had passed as soon as we landed back in Oxford which was a massive relief as I didn’t think all aspects of the flight had gone as well as it could have. This also felt like the perfect stage to reach before the Christmas holidays.
Christmas was nice and relaxed this year and the first time I have had any kind of time off since I started in Oxford almost a year ago!
Also over the past few months I have been writing my essays that go towards the foundation degree awarded by Bucks New University. The first essay was 1,000 words about the changeable nature of the airline industry and the second was 3,500 words about air transport management. Both essays seemed like a pain while I was writing them but in retrospect a lot of the information I found during my research was actually quite interesting.
In November it was also COAA’s open day which I was helping at. I was showing potential cadets around the Cessna’s – it was great to be able to talking about flying with people who are as passionate about aviation as I am!
Next step of my training will be getting my first solo done and then moving onto a bit of instrument flying then I start navigation.