Date: 23/6/2007

Time: 15:25 - 16:25 (PUT) & 17:55 - 18:55 (PUT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CEAN

Exercise: Ex 16a

My first lesson in Phase 2 training and I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, but better than recently. The actual weather isn't ideal with low cloud, variable wind and rain showers.

Running about half an hour late and it becomes much more late as we have to wait for a band of rain to go through. Take off on 21 and fly off to the west - the objective is to get some familiarity with the local area and the boundaries of where I am allowed to fly for my phase 2 exercises. We are also doing power failure landing (PFL) practice.

First PFL is pulled quite soon, but I remember where Charles Churches airstrip is and double back onto this - apparently a good choice but not really testing what we need to do today. I seem to be having difficulty choosing a suitable field to do an emergency landing in and taking far too long in doing so. If it happen for real, then you only get one crack at it. I'm not always correctly detecting which direction the wind is coming from and I need to be better than this, like I have been before.

However, especially at this time of year, it is quite difficult to tell how high crops are in the fields and you can't land in standing crops. Also, most of the fields also seem to be occupied with crops - damned inconsiderate some of these farmers! If you know where to find them or how to spot them, there is also a surprising number of private airstrips around - lucky people.

Second stint and we take off on 26 this time. More PFL practice and I think I'm improving a bit. But rather strangely I seem to have forgotten how to sideslip - well perhaps not forgotten, but having confidence problems just when I need to use some slipping. My choice of field is improving and thankfully so is my speed of choice which needed to be much more snappier.

Today is also the first time for quite a while since I have flown out of the circuit, and it seems a bit strange going over 1000 feet high. The clouds are plentiful and we are trying to fly around, under or even over them. I think that it is also the first time that I have really flown in the rain, although obviously we are trying to avoid it.

Finish off with a major sideslip practice on the approach to landing on 21. Steve won't let me start my descent until he says so, where of course it is far too late for a normal glide approach.

Not too impressed with my initial performance, but I believe that I did improve. Enjoyed it which is good, because this morning, I didn't think that I would get a flight at all.

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