Time: 12:55 - 13:50 (11:55 - 12:50 GMT) & 15:15 - 16:25 (14:15 - 15:25 GMT) & 16:25 - 16:35 (15:25 - 15:35 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
More Taildragging G-UFOX Training (with first solo)
More difference training with Mac today - once again it is runway 03 without too much wind so I will be fighting the float of the EuroFOX.
First circuit is normal but a bit floaty and I don't have enough confidence to go around, so it's a full stop. The next circuit is an abbreviated one, but feels a bit busy, so after a t+g I do a normal circuit. I'm still not being "man enough" with the controls and whilst Mac is describing how I need to be more positive, we drift to the west of the circuit - no matter. I follow this with abbreviate, full, 2 x abbreviate and full circuits. Getting better and I'm also beginning to use the rudders properly. But still not good enough - we take a break.
After the break and refreshed, we go for something different - we takeoff and leave the circuit to the north. Up near Hannington, we chose a field for a false approach - effectively like a PFL. This goes well, so we decide to return to the circuit and join overhead - again I'm forced on a big circuit by another aircraft. From now on, I stick to normal circuits, rather than the abbreviated ones. Things are improving and I'm beginning to gain some confidence. After 7 circuits (mixed full stop and t+g) I am just hitting the throttle to climb away from a t+g when Mac grabs my hand to close the throttle. He says that I'm ready for a solo circuit.
I drop Mac off near the threshold of 03. Final checks and I'm lining up - push the throttle forward, stick forward to lift the tail, wait for 40kts airspeed and then ease the stick back to unstick it off the ground. Continue level until 60 kts and then pull up into the climb. 300' up, clean up the flaps. The plane is noticeably more spritely with only one person in it. This makes me wonder how different the float will be. Round on a normal circuit, start descent and then turn onto final. Yes it does float a bit, so I have no chance of getting off the runway early, but I am down safely - Hooray!
You will never forget your first solo flight, but this does come a second to that - I does feel a bit like learning to fly all over again. Won't forget it anytime soon.
That's enough for today.
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