Date: 19/5/2007

Time: 14:25 - 15:25 (PUT) & 17:15 - 17:55 (PUT) & 17:55 - 18:50

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CEAN

Exercise: Ex 12, 13 , 15 & 17b

At last! Finally a flyable day, although once again it is a bit windy - far too windy for solo at about 15 gusting 25 knots.

In the clubroom, Steve decides that we are going to do some "Dangerous and Unusual Attitudes" (What's wrong with my attitude?). I suggest that we have done a bit of this already "That's where you throw the plane into an odd situation and say - there you go". "Thanks Dave - that really helps my professional standing" he complains.

This time we are in G-CEAN which is the newest C-42 in our fleet with only about 300 hours on the clock. It has a Neuform prop which is different to the previous one I have flown, with a coarser pitch and hence feels a little different. It doesn't quite achieve 5000 rpm at full throttle and doesn't have quite the same climb rate.

We take off on 26 and head to the north-west for some exercises. It's windy and I feel perhaps I should be scared of the task given that it is putting the plane into a bad situation and then getting out of it. However once you get used to the G-forces and seeing all blue (sky) or all green (ground) in the windscreen, it's OK. Some of the high G manoeuvres make an odd clank from the plane somewhere, but we're sure it's nothing to worry about - probably just the UC drag struts.

I feel fairly at home with the exercise - it's just a case of identifying what the situation is (stall or dive) and appropriately either fully opening or closing the throttle and levelling the plane (using correct procedure). This has gone OK, so we get bored and go back to the airfield.

Another approach to join and done better than last time. Landing is shoddy so we move on to some low hops. I'm not as good as I would like to be, but I do like low hop as they are quite challenging and require you to really control the plane. It's also flying in the landing state of mind (throttle=speed, elevator/ailerons= position & rudder= direction) instead of the usual flying technique (throttle = height, elevator=speed, ailerons=turn direction & rudder=balance). Not as good as I would like to be, but it is a bit gusty.

All too soon this stint is over, so back to the clubhouse for a break whilst Steve takes someone else up.

Refreshed after the break, we do a few more low hops - not good, but a bit better. We then move onto circuits and try powered and glide approaches. After about 40 minutes, Steve gets out and I'm off solo again!

The wind has dropped to about 10, gusting 15 knots now. Once again it seems to take a bit to get used to the lighter plane. I initially enter the glide too early and have to use some power to correct.

I have to say that my landings were a bit dodgy at first, but at least they are on the mains each time, rather than the nosewheel or flat. One I get quite wrong, rounding out too high and bouncing it back into the air - I hit the throttle and go-around, which was exactly the correct thing to do.

Inelegant they may be, but they are getting better - and not under the ideal conditions of last time.

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