Date: 19/3/2008

Time: 17:25 - 18:30

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDMS

Mile High

The poor weather is still ..... well, poor! I don't know if I am just taking more notice now, or if this winter is just really irritating. The weather has canceled the last two weekends and next weekends flight looks unlikely. Today (Wednesday) looked the best chance around, so I decided to leave work early and get a quick one in.

The clouds are relatively high (3000 - 4000') so shouldn't be a problem, but then during the drive to the airfield, large gaps start appearing in them. I've got no real plan for today - just a bit of a whiz around, but now I thinking of going up though one of the gaps and having a look from above the clouds.

When I get there, I find that my aircraft has already been put away, so I inspect it and get it out again. By the time I have fueled it and I'm on my way, the sky had really cleared up and there are no clouds in the vicinity to fly above!

Heading north towards Hannington I continue a cruise climb and get up to 5800' - that's about a mile above ground level, Just for a bit of a look around. Then I descend a bit and have a go at some steep-banked turn practice which goes quite well. Bit more of a whizz-around and then some fixed radius practice. I also should do a PFL (power-failure landing) practice, but this is something that I have a bit of a confidence problem with - not for doing the landing, but worrying about upsetting someone whilst doing the practice, which inherently involves flying very low. I don't want to attract any complaints and there are many people who seem to love any excuse to complain. Although I chose a site where there are suitable landing areas, the practise goes well.

Then back to the airfield for a join and landing on 03 - I seem to float quite a way and use more of the runway than I would have liked. I do a circuit and have another go, but it's still a bit long. Could have done with some more practice, but my bladder had other ideas. Later I ask my instructor why I seem to have trouble with 03, but he explains that it has a downslope which keeps you up longer, along with the turn for short finals makes it a bit more challenging. Also, there was no wind tonight to help shorten it up.

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