Date: 17/3/2007

Time: 14:00 - 15:00 (PUT) & 17:10 - 18:10 (PUT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDHR

Exercise: Ex 12 & 13

Today it is a bit windy, with about 22 kts, gusting up to 28. To be honest, if I didn't have a lesson booked today, I wouldn't have flown. OK, this is a daft statement, as I currently cannot fly without a lesson, but what I mean is that if I had already just qualified I would have bloused-out due to the wind. Of course, then I wouldn't have had the safety net of an instructor next to me.

More much needed circuits and low hops today. We take off from 26; due to the oncoming wind, the plane already has 20 knots of airspeed before even starting to roll, so we are almost immediately into the air. As the groundspeed is so low, (flying into the wind) the angle of climb is quite steep, and I am initially unaware that I am not supposed to exceed 500 feet until crossing the far end of the runway. A more marked angle on crosswind is required and the downwind leg goes by ever so quickly! The point at which we cut the power for the final glide approach is also later, as we are once again battling into the wind

Circuits aren't too horrendous, despite it being a bit lumpy. Still no good at the very last bit - the touchdown. Pity it is the important bit.

Unfortunately, the wind hasn't died down for the second session. We do some circuits, but mainly low hops, as it is an ideal opportunity, whilst there are few other aircraft around. I'm still finding it difficult to stop it swinging around a bit, which then in turn upsets the rest of the balance. Steve recommends that I try a different approach of trying to fix my head with the plane and let the world move around me (rather than fixing it with the end of the runway and letting the plane swing around me). This approach works better, and I seem to remember writing about having found this before. It's better, but I am still too tense, holding onto the joystick with white knuckles. Quote - " you managed to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, just then".

Despite the frustration, I enjoyed today. To be honest, it is turning out to be harder to learn than I believed. Still, it wouldn't be so worthwhile if it was easy!

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