Crosswind Circuits and Navigation Exam

This weekend I was at the club both Saturday and Sunday, Saturday was to take my navigation exam and Sunday was my lesson.


Saturday

The navigation exam for me was the most difficult of all the exams, you also get the longest time to complete the 20 questions and for the first time I used it all!

I should not have been surprised at finding it difficult as I had done the least revision for this exam, as I was unsure what to revise as the Microlight hand book is a bit light on the subject of navigation. Well it was a struggle and I came out certain that I had failed, however Mike returned with the news that I had passed, but only just which was disappointing in some way and a great relief in other ways.

For some reason my mind went blank in the exam, I could not remember how to use my whiz wheel or at least the answers it was giving me was directly between 2 possible answers on the sheet. I decided to draw the triangle out and again I was unsure as my result was not listed, this would not have been a problem if it was close to only one answer, but it wasn’t. In hindsight I was not really ready for this exam, plus I also had other things on my mind which did not help. Oh well a pass is a pass and I can now concentrate on the flying!

I would just like to say that I think taking this exam last is a good idea, as a couple of the answers to questions came from other chapters in the book. Also within the book it does say to get familiar with reading the charts and locating place on them, this is something well worth practicing before sitting the exam, it would have saved me some time that I could have put to good use on other answers.

Sunday

Crosswind circuits and landings were the order of the day thanks to weather! Well I guess I had to do them at some point so probably just as well. Today’s runway was 19 and we taxied out around all the mud and little lakes that have appeared and lined up on 19. I think taking off is one of my favourite bits, full power hurtling down the runway, immediately followed by gently and serenely climbing skyward over the countryside. Most of my circuits have be flown from runway 24 so Mike showed me the circuit and I took over for the landing which was OK, not great but OK, having to “de crab” just before touchdown was a new thing for me and something else to try and coordinate. De crabbing is the term used when you come in to land slightly sideward to allow for the crosswind and then before landing you need to straighten up in line with the runway so you land with the wheels pointing in the correct direction. As the lesson progressed I was getting better so we decided to continue the lesson with full flap landings and these were not too bad either, my last land was the best of the day and Mike commented “that was not bad at all” and “a good one to finish on”. So maybe I’m finally getting my eye in on the landings, time will tell!

On returning to the clubhouse there was a lovely cup of tea waiting for Mike and I made by Katie, it’s one of the things I like about the club is how friendly it is, everyone talks and makes tea, I’m glad I chose this club to learn to fly with and hope to continue to fly here once I have my licence.

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