Next stage is to learn to navigate. Its time for a dual navigation triangle. This involved planning a flight from the airfield, up to Harrogate, east to Filey and then back.
Sounds easy right? Well there is a little more to it. Need to think about the weather and what its going to do all the way around the planned route. Whats the wind doing and how will that affect your heading and times for legs.
So you have written you plog out. Calculated all the leg lengths and times and headings and heights. Time to get the rest of the information needed!
First NOTAMS. Check there are no notices or restrictions which would affect you.
Fuel. Have you got enough.
Weights and Balance. Is the plane safe when loaded with people, bags and fuel?
Alternatives. If the weather comes bad or someone is unwell or what ever reason, where you going to go?
Ok so all set. Off we go.
Depart the circuit and we are soon at the first turning point.
The new concept of 4 Ts. Turn (make your turn to new heading), Time (reset your stopwatch), Talk (maybe tell the nice lady on radio you are at your turning point), Task (anything else needed to do, maybe a FREDA check would be good right about now, maybe you have a new pressure setting).
On track and one last task, a gross error check. Does anything look way off? Is the sea at the wrong side of you? A river in the wrong place? City not where it should be?
Basically is there the big clue you are mostly heading in the right direction?
After a short while the next turning point is coming up, but so is some weather. Its starting to rain. Soon the rain is coming down. Thankfully we just about make the turning point and fly back out of the rain.
As we get towards Filey again the weather is coming in. We decide to cut that leg short.
We get back to the home airfield. That was the first ‘real’ flight in my mind. I absolutely loved it!