After a rather stressful and challenging lesson the previous week, I was understandably a little apprehensive about climbing into the cockpit once more. The weather earlier in the day had been quite cold and rainy and my daughter was adamant that she had seen sleet on the car windscreen that morning. The breakfast show presenters on the radio announced that there had been snow at Okehampton, so I should not have been surprised when I saw that the hedgerows and fields around Dunkeswell were white with a light snowfall as I travelled to the aerodrome. However, such a pretty sight did little to quell my feelings of uneasiness. My scheduled lesson had already been cancelled the day before due to strong winds and despite the pale winter sun, a quick look at the horizon indicated a possible repeat.
There are days when you know you should have just gone back to bed. Today was one of those days.
The morning started with what was described by my instructor as ‘wierd weather’ – one weather front had passed through in the early hours of the morning, with another quickly chasing it, leaving a mixture of cumulus and stratus clouds and low visibility. When I got to the aerodrome for my 09.00 lesson, there wasn’t an aircraft in sight and I was informed that we would need to drive over to the hangars at the far side of the airfield and retrieve my aircraft from overnight storage.
It was at this point that the day started to nosedive. While moving the aircraft from hangar storage back to the GA parking area, my instructor decided to allow me to have a go at taxiing. It did not go well. I over-compensated with my rudder pedal movements and couldn’t manage to use the toe brakes equally to bring the aircraft to a straight line stop. “Oh well,” thought I “practice makes perfect. Plenty of time for this in another lesson.” But I remained annoyed at my incompetance anyway. Continue reading “A Turbulent Day”
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. Continue reading “Let That Be A Lesson”