Date: 18/11/2005

Time: 15:50 - 16:35 (PUT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CCYR

Exercise: 10a - Slow Flight

Weather was excellent, despite being very cold - the ground still frosty. This again was a relief given the poor weather we get that restricts the time available to fly. You just have to hope that it coincides with the time you have a lesson booked.

Due to the time spent defrosting aircraft, we are running late again. Do my first solo refuelling and we are soon on our way. Take off from runway '03 right', which is a smaller grass area to the right of runway 03. The purpose of this is to reduce use of the main runway and therefore keep it from getting too muddy.

Climb to the North for the exercises. We start by re-doing some of the previous work (as I didn't do it too well last lesson); climbing turns, descending turns, applying and removing flap etc. Feeling much more confident, this time, but probably still a little hesitant on the throttle. I still need to spend more time looking out the window rather than at the instrument needles.

Moving on to the Slow flight exercise, we see what a ridiculous angle the plane is pitched and how you need more power to fly slowly. This is because we are on the back of the drag curve, where the induced drag become more significant. We try the effects of flap and also push the aircraft towards the point of stall. The airframe shudders and the nose attempts to drop from the stupid pitch we are at. It is obvious that the plane is complaining and seems hard to believe that you wouldn't realise that you are entering a stall - mind you, this is under controlled conditions where you are looking out for it.

Time has again got the better of us, and we have to land by 30 minutes after sundown. This means a short lesson. We head back to Popham and land on 08 with Steves brave assistance. It is the closest I have come to landing myself, and I don't think that it was too horrendous - nothing broke! Also realised that I still had my sunglasses on - prat!

Generally a much better flight, this week, and also more enjoyable. Some lovely sunset views of the distant clouds bunching up over Didcot power station. Flying into the low sun did make some of the exercises a bit more difficult. Celebrated with a swift lovely pint and some crap games of pool, with some other pilots.

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