Time: 13:35 - 14:35 (12:35 - 13:35 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
Resuming Tailwheel Training
After the engine problem I had at the last training, the same thing also happened to Ian on his first training - so clearly we needed to look into this. After quite a lot investigation we changed the needle valves in the float chambers of the carburettors. This appears o have fixed the issue. Being conservative, we waited until Adrian had a chance to test fly it before resuming training. By this time, I was away on holiday (Australia and Thailand if you're interested - I had a lovely time) and hence the time gap from my last training 'til today. It also means that George and Ian have progressed past me!
I had booked two lessons for today, with a break in-between, but hadn't understood Mac's other commitments, so I can only have one. When I have finally got the plane out and prepped, we set off on 03. I'm obviously concentrating on other things and not my height control as I completely overcook the climbout. Better do better next time. Whilst downwind, another plane joins and we are forced to follow it all the way round the larger GA circuit. This usually makes me feel uncomfortable due to the long approach over the black woods and the potential (albeit very very slim) chance of an engine failure and nowhere for an emergency landing. Picking the right point to kill the throttle can be tricky. Runway 03 has a downslope and with the low headwind it means it is harder than usual to get it down and not float all the way down the runway. There are trees just to the south of the A303 and you need to get over these and descend to the threshold. Also the approach speed has to be nailed. I get it down OK, but don't have the confidence to climb away so I full stop and return to the threshold for takeoff. The next three circuits are more standard, but I go a little deeper over the woods, rather than following 08/A303. Improving and t+g's each time. Side slipping needs to be employed to increase the angle of descent. We then change to a very abbreviated circuit, inside of the normal circuit and at just 500'. This allows us to get circuits in quicker, but also means I have no chance to relax and have to be on the ball completely - it adds another element of stress and needs to avoid the local housing. Three t+g' like this, but the fourth I have to divert to a larger circuit. We follow this by another three t+g circuits and land as we are out of time.
I have been improving a bit throughout the hour but not enough. I have to admit that I am finding it more difficult than I had expected. This in turn adds to my frustration of simply not being good enough and this frustration doesn't really help progress.
Still we are getting there.
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