Based on Murphy’s Law, I wasn’t surprised to wake up this morning and see overcast conditions out of the window, especially since we’ve recently had several cold, crisp, sunny Autumn days. I immediately checked the AeroWeather app on my phone and was informed that conditions were ‘MVFR’ – Marginal Visual Flight Rules. There was hope.
To say that today dragged is an understatement. I never thought 2.00pm was ever going to arrive. But arrive it did, and with it came a half an hour wait for my instructor, Iian. Patience is definitely a pre-requisite quality for aviation because there are so many factors that dictate when things can happen, and as safety is of the utmost priority, nothing can be rushed. The wait was an interesting one though, especially when a Chinook landed at the airfield. Weather conditions had also improved by this point as well, with clouds at a ceiling of about 4000ft and wind conditions calm, although it was still overcast.
At 14.50 GMT the engine of G-OFRY was started and within only a few minutes, following pre-flight checks, we were airborne. Taking into consideration my previous experience of real-world and virtual flying, the instructor chose to move on to what would actually be considered the aims of a second flight training lesson – the effects of the flight controls. This exercise however presented no issues at all and satisfied with my understanding and demonstration of the principles then chose to cover the next exercise in the syllabus – flying straight and level in balance at constant power. Demonstrating the principles involved definitely proved a little more tricky, however the instructor seemed pleased with my progress and commented that he is confident that I will make accelerated progress through my future lessons. Sweet!
I didn’t get alot of time for sightseeing (or an opportunity to take photos) as I was intently focused on the lesson , but what I did see was beautiful, if not a little grey from the approaching inclement weather. Cruising at between 1700-2000ft I was able to look out towards the Bristol Channel and see Hinkley Point looming through the mist. We circled out over Wellington towards Taunton, then back in the direction of Minehead, followed the M5 towards Exeter and then approached Dunkeswell via a turn over Upottery (Smeatharpe) disused airfield.
Like all good things though, it had to come to an end and probably at the right time too as visibility was dropping rapidly as rain and cloud descended on the area. The experience was as always exciting, thrilling and challenging and I just can’t wait for my next lesson.
Take Home Thought : – Wow, the C152 cockpit is really cramped!