Date: 10/11/2006

Time: 14:50 - 15:40 (PUT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDMS

Exercise: Circuits, PFL's and EFATO's - Ex 12 & 13

Only a single lesson today. When I booked, I hadn't realised the hour change would put the last lesson in the dark.

We are on runway 21 this week, but the wind isn't in an ideal direction. Coming from the South of possibly even SSE, means that it is in a fair angle to the runway. There are also two other odd effects. The wind over the trees to the East causes a fair bit of turbulence and rotor effect. Also the hill seems to give a bit of downdraught effect so you need to aim to land half way along the airstrip otherwise you will end up short. You could of course add power for a powered approach, but we are taught to always do glide approaches as it is good practice for power-fail landings.

We take off and almost immediately Steve pulls an EFATO (Engine Failure At Take Off) - to be honest, I'm almost expecting this after his warning last week. Stick forward to keep airspeed OK, but the landing wasn't the most elegant.

We then basically do circuits with the occasional PFL (Power Fail Landing) at different parts of the circuit. The turbulence is more than I am used to, particular on final approach. Also the upsloping runway can also affect the perception of the position to round-out. These are my excuses for poor landings, but it is probably just my lack of skill.

At one point Steve pulls a power-fail at about 300 feet, towards the end of the runway. I think about side-slipping some height off and landing on runway 26, but apparently this would be a difficult crosswind landing, especially with the rotor from the trees (with southerly wind). He demonstrates turning a full 360 to land on the same runway - this proves to also be difficult and we can't actually make it back along the runway. But we could safely land across it into the grass, but obviously we abort this and go-around. Later Steve has another go to prove it, but sadly it proves equally difficult. It seems that there may not be a clean landing solution for a PFL at this point and during these particular conditions.

I'm not too impressed with my landings this week, but it's all good practice.

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