Date: 12/9/2007

Time: 13:50 - 14:25 & 14:55 - 15:30

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CEAN

Exercise: 18 Cross Country, Clench Common (solo)

First qualifying solo today, of the two that I need to do. Basically I need to repeat the two runs that I have already done with Steve, but on my own.

But first I need to do my navigation exam, so I need to be at the airfield relatively early (for me). I do this in the quiet of the pilots briefing room and it consists of being given a theoretical journey that you need to complete the flight plan (PLOG) for. Then there are multiple-guess question on this and other questions. There are a couple where my calculated answer is halfway between two of the options - I obviously choose the wrong one, but 90% is a clear pass.

I then need to sort my own PLOG for today's journey. The weather is good, I've got the aircraft out, fuelled and prepped it. Steve has to check my PLOG and sort out the other required paperwork, such as the all important form that I need to get signed by someone who has witnessed my landing at the away field.

I need to make my prior permission required (PPR) phone call to Clench but can't get an answer after several attempts. We have a bit of an investigation to see if there is an alternative number, but no joy. Eventually we decide that we will just have to take a chance and go. However, after the obligatory visit to the loo, I give it one last go and get through.

I take off and climb for an overhead departure. I remember that I have to deviate slightly to pass to the north of Whitchurch, which is where I SHOULD have noticed that I was going much further to the north than would be required. As I'm going round the small town I realise that I've got the wrong Whitchurch - DOH! A quick correction leg later and I'm back on plan.

The rest of the flight goes without incident and completely to plan and very enjoyable. All too soon though, I get to Clench and have to picture the circuit which is different to last time (different runway today). No answer on the radio, so I check the signal square and it's still on runway 34 so I join the circuit and do a landing that I'm happy with. Phew!

Fortunately the airfield engineer (who was struggling on his own - hence the calls not being answered) has seen my landing and marks me as 'good' for both landing and airmanship. I've got time for a cup of tea.

After a quick checkover, I'm back off on my way back to Popham. Once again it all goes spot-on to the PLOG followed by a reasonable join and landing.

Tick - another thing done. Apart from my initial cock-up, all went fine and was very enjoyable.

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