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HeliTorque Forum Index » Student Pilots & Hour Builders

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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

28th March 2011 Note to self....

I was reading on another forum about an engine overspeed issue with a student pilot. One of the comments from other pilots was "From the mouth of Frank Robinson himself...in the R22 you MUST roll on throttle and reduce collective SIMULTANEOUSLY to recover from low RRPM".

I must ask my instructors about this as throttle control in low RRPM situations hasn't explained and I've just been focused on getting the lever down along with using the cyclic to load the disc during entry into autorotation.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that guy has also posted here before...

A scary episode regarding the reporting of the incident Sad

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been following the same thread. It sounds like the instructor rolled off throttle to induce a low rpm condition, and the student hadn't yet been properly coached on how to "milk the throttle." Unless you are really DA limited in the R22 there is sufficient excess power available to overspeed the engine just by opening the throttle. When you add reducing collective significantly - ouch. When describing how much to roll on the throttle while lowering the collective I suggest imagining the fingertips of the throttle hand are lightly touching the leg. If you lower the collective slightly (about an inch or so of travel) and keep the finger tips touching the same spot the throttle opening will be coordinated with the reduction in pitch. It's not an exact solution, but it gives the student some idea of the amount of control input required.
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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2nd April 2011

I arrive for a lesson with Jonathan Penny and its been a while since I have flown which was the nav ex with Jonathan about 3 weeks before. A couple of lessons in between have been cancelled for the weather so Jonathan decides we should continue with the nav exercises and do the dual qualifying cross country solo. We are out of Denham rather than Wycombe but Jonathan is happy that we can do the Denham route and I can then choose to go from Wycombe as we did in the last lesson or from Denham as we do today.

The route is from Denham to Sywell (landing) then to Wycombe (landing) and then back to Denham.

We discuss the routing and decide to try the more difficult routing close to the Luton CTR up through Milton Keynes for the first leg with the standard routing to Wellesbourne via Daventry with its prominent masts on track and to left of track and then from Wellesbourne back to Denham which basically follows the M40 just North of Shennington gliding airfield, south of banbury, overhead Bicester, South of Aylesbury, over Amersham with its 4 chimneys and back to Denham.

I do the preflight planning working out the maximum possible drift, checking the winds at 2000ft, checking the tafs for airfields along the route, checking notams, working out my tracks allowing for winds.

We head out from Denham and follow the planned track which is proving to be accurate to our planning and bring us easily onto the just to the right of cheddington which is our marker to ensure we dont enter the Luton CTR surface + area. We follow this up through Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes comes obviously into view. There is a clear route throught MK that is over fields which Jonathan had described to me as the "MK Heli route" that keeps us safely over emergency landing zones. Coming over the north side of MK we cross the M1 and I can see the forest with the hole in it from the exercise a few weeks earlier and the water tower that marks the route to Sywell. Following this up and as we get towards the tower I make the call to Sywell for joining instructions. The southern R22/R44 route is close as I had learned on the prior approval phone call so we are joining from the south east route shown in Pooleys.

We enter into the zone from the south east and I call our position but omit to call final on approach to the grass on the east side of the fuel pumps and get reminded by the tower for my ommission - oops. I bring us down to the hover, land and shut down to go pay my fees at the control tower. Jonathan stays with the heli why I do this and i settle the 10+vat landing fee for the R22.

I head back to the heli which Jonathan has started up for me and enter the aircraft with just the last few checks to make. I call for lift and we hover taxi out and are cleared to cross the active runway for a westerly departure. Out over Northhampton I take up a heading and Daventry comes into site after a few minutes with its clear mast and the mast off to the left of track. Past Daventry and Jonathan points out some landmarks in particular draycott water which is clearly visible and the Cement works at Stockton. At this point the a423 is below us and Wellesbourne white hangers are pointed out to me not to be confused by some other white buildings off to the left. We make the call to wellesbourne and are cleared in low level from the South east tracking to the west of the control tower before turning south olongside the runway to area Whiskey for landing.

Touch down and we dip the tanks to ensure we have enough fuel for the return to Denham Jonathan had planned to refuel at Wellesbourne but we have made good time and have sufficient fuel with a 25 minute reserve which is sufficient. My touchdown had a bit of indecision with me briefly touching and then lifting back again as I wasnt happy with a bit of drift and Jonathan reminds me to touch and then get the lever down. He asks me to lift and turn 180 degrees and touch down again which I do much better despite being downwind - touch and then lower the lever firmly but not abruptly. We radio to say we arent shutting down and ask for clearance to leave to the South East and depart behind a landing cessna.

This leg takes us out over fairly featureless terrain and I am relying on my heading indicator until some recognisable features come into play. The first of these is the glider site at Shenington which is obvious although does not look active today. From here banbury up ahead is clearly visible and we route just to the south of Banbury with the M40 clearly to our left which we are joining a few further miles ahead.

We approach Bicester and Jonathan wants me to route overhead along the railway line keeping the gliding site to our left which has 6-7 gliders airbourne. I would personally have gone to the south of the town but follow his direction and head out to the other side. From here we head out to Aylesbury keeping the Thame gliding site to our right.

From here its a local flight that I recognise easily with WAP off to the right and we head on down to denham for the Maple Cross join.

On final approach Jonathan asks me what I would do if we had an engine failure and I reply enter autorotation and take the run on landing that is facing me. Jonathan says "ready for anything" and I reply "yes" at abouyt 400ft AGL and he chops the power and I lower the level entering autorotation. What I dont do is keep the cyclic back to load the disc thinking that I need to get some airspeed back which Jonathan quickly corrects for me. We approach the ground with sufficient rotor speed and about 40kts airspeed and I perform the flare preparaing for the run on hard landing that is inevitable as Jonathan takes control for a powered recovery.

Jonathan flies us back to the fuel and hands me back control for the touchdown which is crosswind from the left which is the most tricky and I put it down a little hard but its down and its safe (given my earlier lesson on touching down).

Jonathan debriefs and says that he is happy for me to now do the route solo on my next lesson weather permitting and reminds me of the need to not "mess around" on touch down. My altitude and speed control were well within PPL requirements although I should concentrate on getting these even better especially during overload situations.

Total time was 2h 18 mins (2.3 hours) for the dual flight.

Total 30.8 hours
Solo 2.0 hours
Instrument 1.0 hour.
Exams passed - FRTOL practical, Communications written, HPL, Air Law.
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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday 9th April 2011

I arrive at Wycombe at 12.15 for my 2pm allotted time as the weather is fantastic and I am hoping to do my Solo Navigation cross country and want to have plenty of time for the planning so that the flight is not too rushed.

Pete comes over and says Hi and I tell him I am hoping to do the solo nav today and he comments that we have the weather for it which makes a change given the bad luck i have had with weather in the first part of the year. He goes off and tells my instructor of my plans who comes over and introduces himself - Paul Wilkes. Paul is new to heliAir and we havent flown together in the past. He tells me he has been training for 20 years including in the military focusing on instrument training so he clearly knows his stuff. He asks me about my previous flights with Jonathan and says he will give Jonathan a call to double check I am good to do the exercise.

I get on with the planning. Out comes the 1:250000 map and I draw out the route noting down the track required next to each leg and the distance. I check notams (using the narrow route brief function) and check the 214/215s. I am planning on flying at 85kts and work out my maximum possible drift which is 10.5% with the wind coming from the NE and I draw the wind direction onto the map next to my track lines.

I get out my flight computer and work out the heading allowing for drift and determine ground speed which allows me to then assess flight time for each leg. I add 15 minutes to each leg to allow for start up/shut down and final approach. Total flight time is forecast to be 2 hours and I add 30 minutes for contingency. i am flying a Beta II (G-OCOV) and so need 2.5*9 gallons but given i am flying solo and there are no weight/balance issues get the tanks topped up to 25 gallons - I dont want fuel to be an issue as have enough to be thinking about.

I get out Pooleys and photocopy the plates for Sywell and Wellesbourne. I assess which radio frequences I will need and also those that I may want and write those down clearly on the map at the various stages I expect to use them. My plan is to switch to Sywell from Wycombe, switch to Wellesbourne from Sywell and switch to Wycombe from Wellesbourne. I may need to use Cranfield, I hopefully wont need to use London centre, and probably wont need to use Benson.

I have a bit of time before Paul is ready to check my planning and so check over the emergency drills and warning lights for the R22.

Its now 2pm and Paul and I go over my planning. I talk him through all the planning, show him my calculations, show him where I have to be careful in navigation, where various landmarks will help me, who I will talk to on the radio. He suggests that I could get a basic service from Cranfield on the way up to Sywell for additional safety and also gives me the gliding frequency of 129.975 so I can listen out for traffic near the gliding sites on the home leg. Overall Paul seems comfortable that I know what I am talking about and at this point I tell him about my fixed wing experience.

The wind is from the NE rather than the West (which is was for my dual the previous week) so we talk about the approach paths and likely final approach. Paul has flown into both airfields but isnt as up to speed as some of the other instructors having been working in the US for a few years before returning to the UK. The approach to Sywell we plan to be low level from the South following the route out to the West of the ATZ avoiding the towns marked on pooleys. These are quite easy to identify as there are a few lakes that clearly mark where the routing should be. From the west of the ATZ at 700ft final approach is down to the main runway before crossing over to the grass area by the pumps.

We phone up Wellesbourne and ask about their runway and are advised that we are able to make an overhead join which is fine with me.

I make the call to Sywell to book the flight in and we book out the flight from Wycombe.

Paul gets the Heli Air Solo cross country authorisation check list out and we go through it to double check that we have done everything needed.

I then go out and preflight G-OCOV doing a full A-check. The fuel is 25 gallons and there is plenty of oil so all good. I get into the aircraft and program the GPS for the flights although I wont be flying the exact GPS direct paths. For the first leg I will be staying out to the west of Aylesbury and Milton Keynes before turning to Sywell and for the last leg there is some navigation to avoid gliding sites, avoid overflying Bicester and avoid the Benson MATZ.

I am good to go now and go get the paperwork for the aircraft and sign off the heliAir documentation which Paul also signs. I have a sheet that needs to be signed by the Control towers at Sywell and Wellesbourne to confirm the out landings which I take with me as well.

Its now about 3pm and I am glad I came in early to do the preflight planning as 3-6pm is going to be doable but doesnt leave a huge amount of time at each landing location.

Out to the aircraft I start her up and make the calls to Wycombe ground and then tower and lift and taxi over to November for departure. Wycombe keep using my student prefix so I continue to respond as Student Helicopter Golf Oscar Victor.

Out over Bradenham station I set course for the western tip of Aylesbury which looms into view shortly after. The visibility is fantastic and there isnt a cloud in the sky so its a perfect day for flying. Wind speed is supposed to be c15kts but even though I am flying into wind my ground speed on the GPS is close to the IAS so must have settled down a bit.

Past Aylesbury I next cross the electricity lines running e/w and to my left can see the relay station just to the sout of winslow and Little Horwood up ahead. All good so far. I can also see the prison off to my right and MK north of that as I carry on heading north. The big roundabout to the NW of MK eventually comes into view which is my turning point for the 031 track to sywell. I can see the hole in the woods and just about make out the white water tower beyond that but concentrate on track and speed/height control which I am happy to say is much better than my efforts last week. I change to Sywell and radio in for joining instructions.

The joining instructions are "to join from the west" which gives me something to think about as I am approaching from due south. I could route around the west of Northhampton or continue on my current approach and remain outside the ATZ routing out to the west and joining the ATZ at the western point for final approach. I choose the latter and radio in my intentions. I call entering the ATZ and on final approach and then get clearance to cross the runway and land over at the far side field by the pumps for shutdown.

Over to the tower for their signature and I get a "good" tick in both boxed for airmanship and landing, pay my 12 landing fee and go and get a well deserved bottle of water... its a hot afternoon.

I note down the times (first leg was a 0.Cool which was a bit more than I had planned but primarily reflected having to wait a while on start up to get onto the radio to lift at Wycombe and the bit of extra routing into Sywell.

Start up and lift and hover taxi over to the northerly runway for departure and take off at my discretion climbing out before turning west towards Wellesbourne. The wind is quite a bit stronger up "north" and I have the wind behind me and my ground speed is up around 100kts and Daventry comes up into view very quickly with the mast at its southern point distinctive and the further mast off to the left of track. Draycott water is clear off to the right as well and the cement works at Stockton also visible.

Its taken not much time at all to get here and I try and change to Wellesbourne frequency of 124.025 and realise that I can only select 124.00 or 124.05 neither of which are going to work. I listen out on 124.00 to see if that by some miracle is wellesbourne but a radio call from a Ryanair flight clearly suggests it isnt. Im out over the M40 now within 5 miles of the ATZ and so slow down a bit to think through my options. How would I approach without radio? Should I do that or give up and fly back to Wycombe. Grrrr. Somewhere in the back of my memory I dig out that 0.025 is selected by pulling out the knob and turning it and with relief I manage to select the frequency and make the joining call. Im at the ATZ by the time I get this far and get the QFE for the overhead join. Overhead join is approved so I drop down on the dead side and cross the runway then descending down further to helicopter height of 600ft for the turn onto final approach down towards Whisky.

I call for permission to land on the grass to the right of whisky and shut down and head over to the tower for a chat with the controller. She is very chatty and we have a good discussion about the overhead join and I ask how she would like me to depart and she offers me a straight out departure from whisky to the South East. Happy days.

For those helicopter pilots or students that have no idea what an overhead join is the safety sense leaflet below should help.
http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/ga_srgwebStandardOverheadJoinPosterJan09.pdf

Back to the helicopter and log the times etc (the second leg was only 0.5) and then start up and radio for lift. I hover over to whisky and then request departure behind the landing aircraft to the SE which is approved with a request to "expedite" with a further plane a fair way out turning onto final.

Departing out I set course and start to look for some landmarks which are not extensive for this first part of the leg until the gliding site at Edgehills is visible. I keep that well out to my right and focus on banbury up ahead with the M40 running parallel ish to my track off to my left. I come over the top of the M40 further down the track as it bends from right to left and the railway line to my right into bicester confirms my position which I now pick up. Paul had suggested in the briefing that I avoid overflying bicester if at all possible and had thought flyiong over the north side would be best although bicester gliding club is there. I cant see any gliders but dont fancy risking them so head across the southern tip of bicester keeping me outside of the western on the green parachute ATZ which I am very conscious of as helicopter blades and parachutes would not be a good mix.

I keep the railway line off to my left and track parallel to it down to Aylesbury which is easily identifiable and concentrate now on keeping myself outside of the Benson stub on my right. Once at Aylesbury it is easy known territory and I make the call to Wycombe for join just before Princes Risborough. Its now 5.45pm so I am running close to the "end of the lesson time" again highlighting just how much time is needed for a student to plan and carry out this exercise as I havent exactly been hanging around at any point and have been concentrating on keeping 85kts IAS throughout the flight.

Into Wycombe and low level to November before getting permission to cross and return directly to Hotel for shut down. A 0.9 final leg (the wind was firmly against all the way back from Wellesbourne)

Paul comes out and congratulates me and asks how it all went which was all good. It helps that I had texted him after each landing to let him now my progress so he knew what time I was expected at each location and could keep tabs on me etc.

I complete and sign the paperwork and give Paul the sheet with the stamps and signatures and then get a well deserved cup of tea to celebrate. A long afternoon with a high workload not helped by the pressure of my radio issue into Wellesbourne but very enjoyable and satisfying in the end.


Total 33.2 hours
Solo 4.2 hours
Qualifying cross country completed.
2.2hrs solo nav completed
Instruments 1.0 hour
Exams passed - FRTOL practical, Communications written, HPL, Air Law.


Last edited by MintedMav on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:33 am; edited 3 times in total
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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunday 10th April 2011

I am back with Jonathan out of Wycombe for a 9am to 1pm lesson following yesterdays solo cross country nav exercise and the weather is again glorious with a lovely high pressure sitting over us.

Jonathan arrives about 9.10 and congratulates me on yesterdays flying and asks me what I want to do today. I suggest we could do some advanced autorotations or get cracking on the instrument work I have to complete but Jonathan wants me to continue with my solo navigation work. I hadnt realised there was a 5 hours of solo navigation required within the course so I will be let loose to go explore again. Good news.

Jonathan asks me if I fancy a challenge and suggests a flight out to Milton Keynes then turning east past Luton keeping outside the luton controlled airspace before turning down towards the heathrow airpace and returning to Wycombe. I suggest I dont have that much time for planning that flight and would prefer to do some research on it before attempting so we agree to keep this one for next week (Next saturday out of Denham weather permitting). Jonathan also says I should plan for the flight all the way round londons airspace which is a fun 90 minutes of flying.

I suggest I quite fancied flying up to Silverstone and taking a look around the circuit for my first flight of the day which keeps me within the "triangle" that I flew for my qualifying cross country so quickly plan the flight and sign the paperwork before heading out to preflight and start up the aircraft.

I call wycombe tower to see if ground is open which it isnt for 10 minutes and I am asked to remain on the tower frequency. Checks complete and I get permission to lift before heading out to the north side following the route of yesterday out to the western tip of Aylesbury. I fly just to the west of the electricity relay station with Buckingham clear up ahead and then follow up the A413 where silverstone comes clear into view.

I radio in to Silverstone Ground and request overfly the circuit at 2000ft. They are happy for me to do this and advise of one helicopter operating at 1000ft carrying out pleasure flights. I'm carrying out my own pleasure flight and enter the ATZ with the famous circuit beneath me looking very impressive from my vantage point. i can see Turweston off to the left and keep a good look out as had been advised that traffic for Turweston do use Silverstone as a turning point although there is no other traffic today.

I make a couple of orbits of the circuit and then leave the ATZ to the north before changing to Turweston. I was originally planning on heading west past turweston down towards Banbury but checking on the time that is going to take too long given the 10 minutes of play I had over Silverstone.

I radio Turweston and request to overfly from North to South heading back to Wycombe which is approved. There are a couple of aircraft transitting in the opposite direction which I keep my eye out for one of which is on my level so I choose to gain a couple of hundred feet to ensure seperation. I spot the aircraft off to my left soon after so all safe.

I head back down towards Aylesbury using the electricity pilons as a rough guide off to my left before heading back to Wycombe for the join from the golden ball to the North side grass. Back to HeliAir and a good 1.2 hours of flying and a fantastic experience to fly oneself over silverstone in a helicopter. That was one of things I was really looking forward to doing when I started the course.

I head back in and discuss the next flight with Jonathan and I suggest I would like to fly down to Henley, pass the north side of Reading, out west to Membury services with its mast (ive used this as a turning point before in my microlight flying) and then heading up towards oxford before returning back to Wycombe keeping north of the Benson Matz. Jonathan is happy with the plan and I double check Notams before setting off.

I choose to depart to the North on the normal route before heading south west to Henley outside of the Wycombe ATZ. I have clearly marked on my map in red "<2500" to remind me of the London class A airspace not far away. I am keeping to 1900ft so that I am no where near it just in case I stray off course although Henley is so distinctive (and beautiful) that navigating this section is a breeze allowing some time to reflect on the surroundings and the joy of helicopter flying.

Past Henley which kind of merges into the sprawl that is Reading and I head out south west keeping Benson way off to my right. I can see Chiltern Air Park in the southern part of the zone off to my right so I am happy with my position.

I follow the river heading west and then switch to using the M4 off to my left to assist with my westerly heading. Off to my right the huge Didcot towers are clear from miles and miles away and once I am abeam Didcot the Firs FM comes clearly into view just off to my left. I am slightly left of the track I had planned but not by much. Membury service station appears below and I turn just before to set course towards oxford.

This is a section of the world I havent flown in and there are a few things I have to be aware of for this leg. There is the prohibited zone (P106/2.5) to the right of track, Abingdon parachute ATZ and the Benson MATZ all to be avoided.

P106 has a big circular dome in its centre and ive no idea what it is but keeping that off to my right is straight forward enough. (note - I've just checked on google maps and it is the Harwell science and innovation campus so not sure why it is prohibited.)

I follow on course with Didcot to my right and cross the A34 keeping abingdon to my left. The hard runway at Abingdon is clear off to my left and I ensure I am well away from any parachuting that could be happening (there didnt look like any activity at all at the airfield which was surprising given the glorious weather).

I take a look at the clock and its going to be tight to get back to Wycombe for 1pm so I decide to traverse the stub of the Benson Matz. I tell Wycombe I am changing to Benson and make the call in. No reply. I make a second call in. Again no reply. So "Benson, this is student helicopter Golf Oscar Charlie Oscar Victor transmitting blind, R22 helicopter currently at Oxford at 2000ft and intending on crossing the northern stub west to east past Chalgrove". A PA28 comes onto the radio and confirms their movement to the south of me and that they have me in sight so all good.

I cross the stub of the MATZ keeping Chalgrove off to my right and Lewknor well off to my right - im nervous being anywhere near a parachute zone !!

I call on leaving the MATZ and changing to Wycombe where I make my rejoin call and come in low level from the golden ball to November before returning to Heli Air touching down at just before 1pm. Another 1.2 hours of solo navigation completed and a very enjoyable mornings flying.

I head inside and complete the paperwork and have a brief discussion with Jonathan. He reminds me to gem up on the Luton CTR circumnavigation for next week.


Total 35.6 hours
Solo 6.6 hours
Qualifying cross country completed.
4.6 hrs solo nav completed
Instruments 1.0 hour
Exams passed - FRTOL practical, Communications written, HPL, Air Law.


Last edited by MintedMav on Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Mav! Good times ahead!

Just to quickly go back to the previously mentioned low RPM situation.

In a low RRPM situation we need to reduce drag on the rotor, so we lower collective. However...

Q: What does the correlator do when you lower the collective?

A: It starts to close the throttle butterfly, reducing engine power.

...so we must increase throttle aswell to help keep the engine driving the rotor to aid RRPM recovery aswell as lower the collective.

Simply lowering the lever will not recover RRPM quick enough in many flight profiles.

It is worth taking time every so often to refresh yourself with the safety notices in the POH and its guidence to handling various situations.

Fly safe,

HH
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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great explanantion HH... many thanks.

Had forgotten to have that conversation with my instructor so you have reminded me to ask the question.

Jonathan Penny is planning on doing advanced autorotations with me in a lesson soon (when the weather isn't as amazing as last weekend which was just perfect for solo x-country flying).

Will have a re-read of the POH as not picked that up since around my first solo time. I do keep a laminated page with the emergency drills, warning lights and actions etc that I check before every solo flight but worth going back through the whole handbook.

Cheers

Mav (Geoff)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Geoff

I had my 1st lesson at Wycombe on Sunday morning in the R44 with Paul Lewis. I watched you leave in the R22 and felt very encouraged and inspired that you handled the helicopter very well and are still classed as as student.

I found the whole experience excellent fun and have booked my 2nd lesson - this time with Pete Rafferty.

This was my first time in a helicopter and was amazed how difficult it was trying to hover! Tell me this gets easier.

Would you recommend sticking with one instructor or using a number of different instructors? I notice you have varied your training with numerous instructors.

Reading your posts have been very interesting and inspired me to book my first lesson.

Regards
Paul
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

Welcome to Helitorque. And congratulations on getting bitten by the heli-bug!

It's been a while since I've mentioned it, but you might want to take a look at my training diary, from when I was PPL student, almost 10 years ago!!

Very Happy
Smile
Shocked
Yes, 10 years.
Confused
Sad
Crying or Very sad
10 whole years.

I'm getting old.
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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul

Good to hear you have taken up the challenge of learning to fly these amazing machines... there really is nothing like it.

Thanks for the compliments on my handling. Its always nice to hear that it was looking good and stable (ish).

Re hovering everyone has different experiences of how difficult it is and how long it takes. I was one of the lucky ones in that I picked it up pretty much from the first lesson and by hour 4 or 5 I was very stable in the hover and able to sideways and backwards etc. I definately benefited from previous flying experience and had done a LOT of reading up on how to hover, the perils and pitfalls, watching you tube videos of how to hover and really focusing on the two key aspects which are very small cyclic movements and looking out into the distance to judge the aircraft attitude.
After a while you wont think too much about the cyclic and the challenge comes with LTE in crosswind conditions which require a lot of peddle work. You have the advantage of being in the R44 which is a more stable machine and you learn to hover higher off the ground in safety increasing margin for error before the instructor has to take over.

In terms of varying instructors I think in the early stages of your learning through to getting close to first solo it is good to have some variety. They all teach in slightly different ways and I found that useful. Some you will click with more than others and you can then "select" the one you enjoy training with the most. When you are getting close to first solo you need your instructor to have the confidence in your flying including emergency procedures, circuits and taking off/landing and hovering of course and so having the same or maybe a couple of instructors is useful. Similarly as you are gearing up for your navigation and solo qualifying cross country having consistency is useful. That being said I have found all the instructors at HeliAir (I've only flown from Denham and Wycombe bases) to be excellent and have enjoyed flying with them all.

Enjoy your flying, good luck cracking the hover and next time you see me come and say hi Smile

Cheers

Geoff
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Geoff

I will hopefully see you around.

Regards Paul
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday 16th April 2011

I am flying out of Denham with Jonathan from 9am to 12am and have planned the flight around the Luton CTR the night before with forecast of very light winds, a cloud base of 2500ft and viz if about 8000km and improving.

I arrive at Denham just after 9am and Jonathan asks if I am up for the Luton flight and I say I have planned for it if he is happy for me to go which he is. I head out to the hanger to G-WINR and do the morning A-check which is all fine. There is 4.5 quarts of oil and 4 gallons so it needs some fuel.

I head back in and print out NOTAMs for my route but there is nothing of note to worry about. I discuss the route with Jonathan and state that i intent to talk to Luton once out of Denhams ATZ and take a basic service from them round to Panshanger where I will change frequency for the overhead and return back to Denham from there. Jonathan warns me Panshanger can be busy and the a/g radio can be from an instructor in the circuit so i should expect things to be a little "non standard" and to not worry about it.

We go out and fuel the aircraft to the brim so I dont have any fuel issues and so the next lesson wont need refuelling.

Jonathan shows me to how change the transponder code as WINR has a transponder that isnt exactly helicopter friendly. Its nothing too tricky though and I show that I can make the necessary changes if required. i head back in to complete and sign the paperwork and then head out to the aircraft for start up.

On my initial radio call I cant hear any response so have to fiddle with the volume controls a bit and repeat the radio check and airfield information call. Given this is my second attempt I just get given the radio check readability 4 and i reply readibility 4 also. I then request again the airfield information but through habit and some of the confusion ask for a radio check again doh !! The FISO ignores my error though and just gives me the necessary departure information of 24R and I thankfully respond and request lift and hover taxi.

Out over St Giles and I climb up to my planned altitude of 1900ft setting course over Amersham and Chesham and then switch to Luton. I listen in on the frequency for 2-3 minutes and cant hear anything which surprised me. I double check the frequence which is correct so dive in and make the call "Luton radar, this is student helicopter golf whisky India November Romeo, request basic service". i am glad to hear Luton come back loud and clear with "November Romeo, basic service pass your message" and I respond with "Helicopter November Romeo, Robinson R22 from Denham returning to Denham on solo navigation exercise, currently over Chesham at 1900ft on QNH 1023, intending to route around your zone clockwise, basic service". Luton confirms and doesnt ask me to squark a distinct code which saves me a job.

I head up and pick up the railway line to the east of Tring with Cheddington up ahead and Leighton Buzzard at the far end of the straight railway line. Up at Leighton buzzard and I go over the western edge of the town rather than overflying the whole town ensuring I have somewhere to land if required. I cross over the railway line now and pick up the roundabout on the southern part of MK which is my planned turning point. I go a little bit further as there is some high ground to my right which is forrested and I choose to keep away from overflying this as much as possible.

Heading east now keeping cranfield well off to my left and heading towards Shuttleworth I see the vehicle proving ground which Top Gear have used in a number of their tests which is a huge banked circular track that is enormous. Ampthill is up ahead of me confirming my position.

As I approach Shuttleworth I can see Henlow off to the right. I am planning on flying in between the Henlow and Shuttleworth zones which is a tight squeeze and I rely on the GPS to ensure my position as I go past both ATZ's. Out past Henlow and I turn course to the South East.

I set course and after a minute or so double check my position against some ground features and its clear I am not going in exactly the right direction bearing more east than south east. I double check on the GPS which confirms I am indeed heading out that way and to get back on course I have to set an almost southerly heading. This is weird as the map is clear I should be south east not south. I finally remember to double check the compass which is about 40 degrees out against the DI now. I had linked the two before taking off but had forgotten to double check along the route. I reset the DI to the compass and everything settles down again and I can set the correct path and GPS and ground features all tell the same story again. Happy days.

i reach my turning point east of stevenage and set course for panshanger. I spot the grass strip next to some woods by a valley off to my right which is Benington and make change radio frequency to Panshanger. Luton confirms basis service has ceased and I can change. I radio into Panshanger and they are happy for me to route overhead giving me the runway and circuit in use and advising of one aircraft on final approach. I confirm I will be overflying at 2100 ft, confirm when overhead and when leaving their ATZ to the south west before changing to denham.

The M25 is a very clear reference once I am out the other side of Hatfield and I follow this along, looking for Plaistows farm which is just before the M1/M25 junction on the right hand side and I spot this easily as I approach.

I follow on round before making the call to Denham for rejoin and am asked to report at Maple Cross which I do before making my final approach ensuring I am below 1000ft on the QNH as I get close to the London CTR.

A simple final approach to the hover on the north side grass and hover back to HeliAir for the touchdown in front of the hangers. Another very pleasant and interesting flight across territory I have never flown before all adding to the experience bank. Total flight was 1.3

I head up and talk through bits of the flight with Jonathan (and Paul Wilkes who was also there) in particular highlighting my DI error... I wont make that mistake again !! Jonathan suggests I plan to go round the London CTR next time with a land away at Rochester. I am with Paul from Wycombe next time and he says he is happy to let me go off and off and do that route weather permitting. If the weather isn't good enough we will do Instrument work and given Paul taught instruments in the air force for years here and in the US I would love to get the benefit of his experience so I'm almost hoping the weather isnt that good!

I also mention that I think need to do some more work on radio navigation. Jonathan says this can be done "under the hood" as part of the instrument work which ensures I am really using the nav aids and not cheating by using outside visual references. Jonathan tells me I can also work on being able to take avoiding action on instruments with a sharp turn and then roll back out level after 90 degrees of turn as a challenge. If i can get that I will be doing very well.

The final thing for me to do is go through the requirements of the skill test to make sure that I am not missing any exercised or skills that I am required to be able to do.

Given I am making really good progress through the course I am going to focus on getting my Met and Navigation exams out of the way. My skills in both disciplines are good so I just need to do some final work on building confidence in the exam questions. I am on holiday for two weeks in St Lucia so will be taking my books with me. Next lesson is with Paul out of Wycombe on Sunday 1st May 9am to 1pm.


Total 36.9 hours
Solo 7.9 hours of which 5.9 hrs solo nav including q.x.country.
Instruments 1.0 hour
Exams passed - FRTOL practical, Communications written, HPL, Air Law.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunday 1st May 2011

I arrive at Wycombe for my lesson with Paul Wilkes under beautiful blue skies but with a 15kt wind gusting to 25kts+. I had planned on flying solo around the London CTR with a landaway in Rochester but this is not going to happen with these winds.

Paul asks me what I want to do this morning and I suggest solo is out of the question and he confirms and so I ask to do a quick refresher on radio navigation and then some work under the hood to get some instrument time.

I mark on the map the morse code for Bovingdon, Cranfield and Hampstead Norris transmitters so I can quickly identify I have the right one in flight.

I preflight the aircraft (G-OCOV) and take the foggles out with me and start up and lift into the hover. The heli is much heavier than when flying solo and it uses quite a bit more power before lifting which I comment on and then get steady in the hover with the winds from my right hand side. We have clearance to cross 06L to November and I head out flying crosswind and then downwind which is a bit challenging although I am pleased that I have it under control.

We head out towards Aylesbury and I tune into Bovingdon, check the morse identifier and then test the instrument is working. I then select the 250 degree radial which I am expecting to be off to our left and indeed the instrument confirms this and I take a heading of 45 degrees less than 250 (205 degrees) to intercept the signal which takes a couple of minutes.

after intercepting this one Paul asks me to select the 180 degree radial for Cranfield which I do and the set course to intercept this at which point Paul is happy that I seem to know what I am doing and suggests we get cracking on instrument work which is the main plan for the flight.

I put on the foggles and we do some straight and level work to get me back familiar with the instruments I need to be focusing on. I have a habit of flying a bit nose high which means I am flying at 60kts and tend to climb a bit which takes a good few minutes to iron out and is something I have to constantly watch for during the lesson.

We then do some rate 1 turns to the left and the right onto headings Paul gives me and again I am a little nose high and tend to climb as a result which I have to work at.

(note a rate 1 turn is airspeed *15% so at 70kts you need to turn at just over 10 degrees to turn 180 degrees in 1 minute).

I do a couple more and then we do some climbs and descents. For the climb pull the cyclic back a bit to wash off some of the speed back to 60kts (not always that hard given my tendency to fly a bit slow under the hood), applying additional power and leveling the nose to climb at a normal attitude (rather than nose up which would continue to wash off more speed if not corrected). with 50 feet to go nose down to increase speed to 75kts and then set the power for straight and level. For the descent apply CARB HEAT, maintain 75kts and lower the collective to 15inches of power to give a nice 500ft per minute descent not forgetting to apply some pedal for flying in balance (I have done a good job of this throughout the lesson which Paul commented on and said many people struggle with this in learning instrument flying).

We then do some climbing and descending turns which are all fairly straightforward again onto set altitudes and headings.

Finally we do some unusual attitude recovery. Paul briefs me on the order of receovery which is to get the rotor level in bank and then pitch then get the power set and then finally trim for straight and level. Paul takes control and I shut my eyes "you are only cheating yourself if you dont close them" Paul reminds me as he cant see if I have or not under the foggles. I'm not cheating and try and feel for what the heli is doing although Paul is doing a good job of confusing my inner ear. I open my eyes and find I am nose high in a right hand turn. I level and lower the nose and then set the power (which was high) for straight and level flight.

We do another one and this time we are in a left hand descending turn for recovery which I do with no problems.

At this point I have been under the hood for over an hour and Paul suggests that is enough for this lesson and that I have done well for this second lesson other than the tendency to fly slower and hence start to climb.

Out of the goggles and I see that we are over Princes Risborough so I make the call to rejoin with Wycombe and bring us into area November from the left hand circuit before returning to heliair.

At the heliair pad there are two R44s with rotors turning at either side with a fairly small space in between so Paul suggests he take it over for touchdown as there wasnt any room for error especially in these winds so I hand over the controls for him to position and land. A total of 1.5 hours with 1.1 under the hood.

In the debrief Paul shows me a useful VOR nav program which is free to use and will help you learn how the instrument works etc. It can be found at http://www.dauntless-soft.com/products/freebies/navsim/

It is now 12 and we have the aircraft for another hour so I suggest that we do some emergency work in the circuit to refresh and start to get me prepared for the skill test. Paul doesnt brief me as he wants to pull a number of emergencies on me to see if I know how to react to them in flight.

Out into the circuit and the first emergency is a tail rotor failure which Paul simulates by applying full right pedal and holding it on and telling me I have tail failure and asking what I would do. I suggest that I am ok whilst still flying along and that I would look to return to the airfield and make an autorotation landing. Paul asks if I would choose the grass or the concrete runway and i think about it and suggest I would prefer the concrete which he agrees would be easier to land on. Paul then reminds me of the need to call a Mayday in this situation to get fire trucks mobilised which is a good point and also tells me that I would also need to hold the power off into the detent (on the collective you can override the correlator by turning thumb down into the detent area). If I didnt do that then the correlator will apply power to the rotors on the flare for the autorotation and this in turn would apply torque and I would then crash right at the last point which would be a shame given the rest of the good work !!

Next emergency is a standard chip light question followed by a clutch light staying on question. I suggest the time is 5 seconds before you start to get worried about the clutch light being on and Paul tells me the book actually says 7-8 seconds but he is pleased that I know to pull the circuit breaker if it stays on and then look to find a suitable place to land immediately. I point out the field below that I would be happy to go down to and that it would be a powered landing with an awareness that I may need to enter autorotation if the engine did quit at any point.

We continue on the circuit into Wycombe and I bring us into the hover over area November. Paul asks me what I would do if this happened and I scan the instruments and warning lights and nothing is showing up as a problem. No warning lights are on, I am steady in the hover and all looks good. I have to have another better look and notice that the Engine tachometer is now not working. I still have rotor tach though. In this situation I say that the engine is still turning the rotors and so I would look to land at the nearest airfield to try and get the problem fixed but I wouldnt be immediately panicking.

Paul then pulls the rotor tach so both engine and rotor tachs are now not working. Again the heli is still working fine, its just the tachs arent working but not having a rotor tach could cause a major issue if any further emergencies happen (engine failure or governer failure) so I suggest I would want to get the heli down into the nearest safe field for a powered landing. I ask if the low rotor horn would still work and Paul confirms that it would as it is seperate from the tach so that is good to know.

Out into the circuit and Paul now asks me to turn off the governor. I suggest that this isnt a major problem as you can fly with the governor off without a problem and in fact some helicopters do not have a governor at all (the Rotorway for instance). Paul asks me to fly us back and land with the governor off. I bring us into the hover over area november no problem. Paul then asks me to land and I ask where I am supposed to be looking as I cant look out to hold a stable hover whilst looking at the engine/rotor tachs. Paul tells me the technique is to get the hover stable, check the tach is in the green and then land as normal. Once on the ground to then check the tachs again and make adjustment as required.

I am then to take off with the governor off. I have only done this once before in a lesson I think with Mark Walters early on (about 12 hours into the course from memory) I so I ask Paul the technique. He tells me to watch the tach up to 18 inches of pressure with glances and peripheral vision on the outside in case skids go too light. Just before skids are light check the tachs are in the green and then lift to a steady hover and then check the tachs again and make the necessary adjustements. I do 2 or 3 or these lifts and touchdowns till I am happy with it which is also good practice given the gusty wind conditions.

Next circuit and the emergency this time is a small loss of power so only 20 inches of manifold pressure are available. I slow down to 53 kts to do a power available check and am flying straight and level at 15inches of pressure so I have about 5 inches available which from memory is enough for a run on landing or maybe even a zero/zero landing. I plan to make a run on landing from a shallower approach and talk Paul through my plan.

The higher winds are helpful in this and I complete a zero/zero landing using only 18 inches of power so there was probably enough to bring into the hover but a zero/zero landing was good practice anyway. I must check back onto my lesson on confined areas to see what the 5 inches available did actually allow me to do. I will put together a cheat sheet on this amoung other things in preparation for the skills test.

Paul radios in to get the wind speeds and is told it is currently 11kts with gusts up to 24kts. This spread is a big concern for doing autorotations as you could come in to the flare on a gust which then goes and you lose height quickly forcing a ground landing when you may not have wanted it. Paul isnt happy teaching/refreshing autos in these conditions and I concur and suggest that we head back on the basis. Another 0.7 hours in which I learned some new good points and had a good refresher on other aspects. Key thing for me was the tail rotor failure landing with the collective into the ident and also the governor off work which was very useful.

I am now at 39.1 hours so no chance of completing the course in the minimum time but I should have it down by 55 hours with a bit of luck. I need to get the rest of the solo and the instrument work out of the way to then focus on the final preparation for the skills test.

I didn't get to study on holiday (call me lazy I know but I got hooked on the Stig Larsson "girl with" trilogy on holiday as well as the Alan Sugar autobiography, the autobiography of Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue and the autobiography of Steven Adler of Guns N' Roses which were all excellent reads). So now I really DO need to finish work on Met and Nav to get those exams done.

i have now found out the power requirements from my earlier lesson which are as follows:-

For Take off
<1 would require a running take-off
>1 would require a cushion creep take-off
>2 is sufficient for a towering take-off
>3 allows full vertical take-off

For landing.
<4 would require a running landing
>4 a zero / zero landing where you come to zero descent and zero airspeed as you touchdown.
>5 allows you to hover IGE (in ground effect)
>6 allows you to hover OGE
>7 full vertical performance available.

So for this exercise I would have had enough for Hover IGE especially given the wind giving additional ETL (effective translationary lift).

Total 39.1 hours
Solo 7.9 hours of which 5.9 hrs solo nav including q.x.country.
Instruments 2.1 hours
Exams passed - FRTOL practical and written, HPL, Air Law.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunday 8th May 2011

Arrive at Wycombe for a 9-1pm lesson with Simon Browne and its at the top end of the wind allowable to go solo. I havent flown with Simon for a while so am happy that he thinks it is just a bit too windy and I suggest that we spend as long as possible getting more instrument work done. He asks how much I have already (2.1 hours) and I go through the skills covered in the previous lessons. He comments that I have done the majority of the work required so we will focus on getting the accuracy down as well as covering a few more aspects including autorotations on instruments and 30 degree turns.

We start up and fly across to area november where we check the instruments are all working as they should be. Peddle turns to the left and right to check the DI, nose up then down and roll left and right to check the AI. Finally pull on collective to check the VSI works.

I fly us out of area November and Simon takes the controls immediately and asks me to put on the foggles so that I am flying on instuments for as long as possible. He talks me round the circuit departure and then for the climb out west taking us up to around 2500ft.

I am focused on getting the straight and level good and it probably takes me 5-7 minutes to get it absolutely stable. We then start to do some turns to the left and right (rate 1 turns) onto various headings. We then did some climbs and descents and then some climbing and descending turns. My control of the helicopter is much better than last week and I have managed to just about get rid of the tendency to gradually climb with better airspeed and attitude control. I am doing this by "nudging" the cyclic and then centralising again and then doing another nudge etc as required so as to make very gentle inputs on the controls and not start chasing the instruments. This technique seemed to pay dividends and there were much fewer adjustments required as a result.

We head down to about 1500ft so that I can get some more experience in the "chop" of the air down there which was a bit more challenging but I was well within limits. We are flying back towards Wycombe at this time and Simon informs me that we are abeam Princes Risborough so I can radio in for the rejoin. I am still under the foggles and Simon tells me I will fly all the way back to the airfield on instruments with a final autorotation onto the airfield with a powered recovery.

It seems to take quite a while to get into the circuit and then it seems a long flight around the circuit with concentration on ensuring the correct 750ft height is maintained and changing headings and then accurately holding them. I see us cross the M40 below and know the airfield is now just ahead and simon asks me to enter autoration "practice autorotation 123 go" and I put us into auto. My eyes are watching the engine/rotor guage and realise I have to keep back to the AI to ensure a steady descent attitude. I fly us down to about 100ft i guess (the ground looked pretty close under the nose with no other outside references) and simon then takes over to complete the power recovery into the hover.

He has control and I take off the foggles and it takes a few seconds for my eyes to react to all the light around me. It is actually quite dark under the foggles for that length of time. My eyes recover and I take back the controls for the hover.

Simon shows me an air taxi (rather than a hover taxi) back to Zulu with a tight turn recovery into wind over zulu which was all good fun. I get clearance back to heliair and touch down into wind on the concrete. Total of 1.1 hours.

Simon asks me what i want to do next and I say that i would like to keep on with the insturument work as I am keen to get it done so I can start to focus on preparing for the skill test (I have 2.1 hours of solo still to do as well).

We head out again for the second lesson and again the foggles are straight on from departure and the flight out to the west. The weather has improved and I ask if it is possible to get up over the clouds so that I can ensure i lose all visual reference and Simon thinks this is doable. I take us up to 5000ft (under the FL5.5 London class A CTA) and we have quite a bit of cloud under us. Simon is comfortable that we are legal with great forward viz and sufficient vertical seperation from cloud.

Being over the crowd (without the limited ground viz you get out of the corner of the foggles) does make quite a difference but by this point I am flying quite accurately on the instruments and it isnt shaking me. We do some turns as Simon takes me to the next set of clouds to fly over and after about 10 mins or so we head back down to 2500ft. At 500ft per minute descent this takes quite a while (5 mins+ for those keeping up with their maths) and Simon says that a lot of people do get into trouble by panicking about how long things will take on instruments. Simon tells me that if I was in cloud having set a descent rate and being stable in pitch and roll I should just wait flying this way till you pop out of the bottom of the cloud rather than trying to increase the rate of descent to speed things up.

Back down at 2500 ft and we do some unusual attitude work. WASP is the nmemonic that Simon uses for Wings level, attide, speed and power. I close my eyes and he puts me into the start of vortex ring. I open my eyes and see we are wings level and attitude is good. Speed is just below 30 knots and I push forward to get some acceleration but also apply power at the same time which isnt ideal for vortex ring !!. I had recovered from the situation but Simon wants to do it again to make sure I get acceleration out of the vortex before applying further power. Second time around and I am expecting it now and make the correct response to easily recover.

We do another unusual attitude which this time is a steep descending turn recovery which I do no problem. The next one is a climbing turn which is also easy to recover from.

Next up Simon wants me to do 30 degree turns. We are on a southerly heading and Simon asks me to turn 360 degrees to the left at 30 degree bank. I start the turn and keep on pushing it over to the full 30 degrees applying power as required to keep the VSI level with minor adjustments on the cyclic. All the way round and I level out back onto the southerly heading and Simon says that was an excellent effort. We do the same to the right and again I make a descent job of bringing it all the way round at a good level.

We head back towards wycombe (so Simon tells me) and do an autorotation down from 2800ft to 1200ft. My entry in was good, as was my rotor control and I maintain a good level attitude down to the 1200ft where I make the power recovery to straight and level flight.

Again I am flying all the way back to the airfield and into the circuit and again we do an autorotation down to area November with Simon taking over for the final 100ft of the recovery. I take the foggles off and quickly fly us back to Hotel waiting briefly at Romeo for a glider on final. Another 1.2 hours and a very satisfying, if very challenging, mornings flying. The concentration of flying for 2.3 hours on instruments is difficult and I am pleased how much I have improved over that short period of time. I have just 0.6 hours instruments to go now although Simon suggests i do 0.7 or 0.8 so that I am not at the bare minimum level.


Total 41.4 hours
Solo 7.9 hours of which 5.9 hrs solo nav including q.x.country.
Instruments 4.4 hours
Exams passed - FRTOL practical and written, HPL, Air Law.
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