Following my solo it was time for some circuit consolidation. This was basically doing multiple circuits in either a standard, flapless or glide configuration. Certainly something to get nailed but not the most exciting trips.
I did the required 4 hours over a couple of sessions. Progressing well.
Now onto some more interesting flights again. First off is advanced turns. Basically these are steeper turns at 45^ or 60^. In normal flight you wouldnt make such turn, these are primarily for collision avoidance. Typically 2g would be pulled in a 60^ turn which whilst not sounding like much it feels significant to a new pilot!
Mostly went well. The coordination of pulling the yolk back and applying additional power to maintain enough lift, then not climbing on the rollout took a few tries but soon got the hang of it. I found the sight picture surprisingly different though!
Next lesson was PFLs or Practice Forced Landings.
Hopefully never to be needed in real life but very important to know how to do!
Im sure there are many ways to do it but I was taught the following process:
- Firstly fly the aeroplane. Get the speed to best glide and trim for that attitude.
- Find a field. Think about the five ‘S’s size, shape, surface, slope, surroundings and a cheeky 6th ‘S’ sheep (sheep normally mean a solid and short grassy surface in a normal field). Also dont forget, it doesnt have to be a field. My instructor said the examiner had in the past done a PFL with a student near a disused airfield. The student ignored the perfectly useable runway and set up for a field still!
Whilst thinking about the field think about the wind. If possible a headwind is preferred. You can find the wind from things like smoke or steam from chimneys, wind turbines and of course the wind from when you were last told it either at the airfield or an ATIS.
- Once you have your field set up some markers mentally. A high house at the upwind end, low house at ‘downwind’ and 1000ft marker on final. From these you can make your circuit out.
- Next do a reverse L shape of checks. Fuel on (and some left), mixture (rich), Throttle (in an appropriate place) Carb heat (apply heat), Mags (on), Master (on) and try a restart.
- If you have time do a mayday call:
Mayday Mayday Mayday, Who you are speaking to, Call sign, Aircraft type, Emergency type, Intentions (forced landing in a field), Where you are (if its not a forced landing a heading might be useful too) and POB. If you havent time for that call, and remember its Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, squark 7700 so others can at least see there is an emergency.
- Set up for the landing. The engine isnt coming back so same items but to off. So fuel off, mixture cut off, throttle closed, mags to off. Leave power on so you have flaps.
- Commit. By now you should be near final. Check you are strapped in make sure you are going to make your field and pop the door.
- Good luck!
Obviously in real life you may not be at 3000 ft so may have less time to do all this.
Again lots of practice of these to firmly seat the plan in my mind.
Logged time: 22 Hours