Date: 3/6/2007

Time: 09:05 - 09:25 & 12:30 - 14:00

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CEAN/G-CDRO

Exercise: Ex 17b

Bit of an expensive cock-up last night. Got home and found that I still had the aircraft key in my pocket. How could I have driven home with such a big keyfob (like a hotel one) in my back pocket without noticing?

Decided to get up early in the morning to take it back, rather than taking it that night. A wasted 60 mile round trip. Got to the airfield at about 8:15 - quite early for me, keys returned before they were needed. Decided not to hurry home as it was a nice day.

Found Steve had an empty slot at 1:30, probably a cancellation, and was debating hanging around to fill it. When he eventually surfaced from his pit (9:30), Steve suggested that I could take Alpha November up solo for the first slot, if I liked. Of course it took me 40 minutes to get the plane out, inspect and fuel it, so that only gave me 20 minutes before the 10:30 end of the slot, when Gerry needed it. Still, at least I got three or four circuits done on 26 - not elegant, but better than yesterdays disaster.

It's still a nice day - shall I go home and do some work? Let's have a cup of tea and oooh a bacon buttie looks nice. It's not ideal conditions, but eventually I decide to wait for the 1:30 slot. Different plane this time - Romeo Oscar and it's available a bit before the slot. Have time to prep it and get going - once again the plan is to do some solo, with Steve joining me later.

Once again I'm finding it a little bit bumpy but I'm getting a bit better. Still letting the port wing drop a bit and flying out of balance, though. After about 30 minutes, I make a landing that I think had gone OK, but as the nosewheel gently sinks onto the ground, everything goes very wobbly. I manage to power it off the active runway onto the turnoff between the runway and the taxiway, and it becomes obvious that the nosewheel has a flat tyre. I call on the radio, then cut the engine. We have to find a spare wheel and some tools and between me, Steve and John (the CFI) and 35 minutes later we have changed the wheel. I am told by some other students that the landing was fine, so I guess it was just bad luck.

Back up in the air for the last 25 minutes of the slot, but there isn't really time for any dual training. Last two circuits, the roundout and flare are OK, but I don't allow the sink before the flare. Much better than yesterday, but still not as good as last week (but not such ideal conditions).

So eventually turned out even more expensive, but at least I got some flight out of it (and a nice day at the airfield).

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