Time: 14:35 - 15:30 & 17:05 - 18:15 (PUT)
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CCYR & G-CDRO
Something new today - we are flying to Membury airfield. This will be the first time I have been out of the 'playground' and to "somewhere else" But before that I have a single lesson of supervised solo, to go off and do some much needed practice including some steep banked turns.
In between the two stints I do the wind allowance calculations for the journey ahead and workout the correct heading we need to take. However it appears I have misunderstood the object of todays exercise. We are supposed to be looking out for potential landmarks on the chart that we can correlate to what we see during flight.
We set off from 21 and circle to gain height so that we can start from directly overhead the airfield. We then head between Whitchurch and Overton and then cross the A34 noting the bend also seen on the map. To the right we can see Hannington mast and the raised ridge to the left.
We carry on to Hungerford that we leave to the left on track for Membury, but them I'm instructed to close my eyes - I feel more comfortable by putting the chart over my face so that I can't see. Steve then flys around for about 5 minutes at different angles and speeds - judging by the wind noise, quite fast at times. The idea is to get me lost and then I will have to find out where we are.
When I'm allowed to look again, we fly around in a square to have a look about and gain height for better visibility. I can see the river and a small town nearby. It's important to keep an eye on where you started, otherwise you will never get a fix. Steve tells me to look wider. We can see three towns in a row, including the one we are near - I wonder if it is Marlborough? As we fly around, I can see there is a railway line and Marlborough doesn't have one, so it can't be there. A bit more of a lookaround and eventually I realise that it's Hungerford! The river split and railway all fit. I had not really considered Hungerford before because that's where we started - that Steve can be a bit sneaky, can't he!
Now, despite knowing where we are, we call a practice PAN call to London Control and ask for a vector back to Popham. They can then tell our approximate location from their measuring equipment from our radio transmission. This is a useful facility in case I really do get very lost.
Finally, we head back and make a landing that I'm quite pleased with. Great to be doing something new.
Apparently were off to Clench Common next time.
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