Going backwards in the circuit

Another day in the circuit, I don’t mind spending week after week in the circuit especially when I feel like I’m progressing, but today is a day I would rather forget! Anything I could do wrong today I did, I was letting the nose drop in the turn and coming out 100ft lower then when I entered the turn, rolling out on the centre line from base leg to final would have been good, but no most of the time today I had to correct it. coming down to steep, coming down to shallow, too far to left  on the runway, not enough flare on landing, touching down with too much speed and so the list goes on…


To make matters worse I read 3 – 5 lessons are normally needed in the circuit, well I have done a lot more than that and today I seemed to be going backwards in abilities. Both the club instructors tell me this is normal and most, if not all need a lot more time in the circuit then I have read and they reassure me that I’m making progress. However as I write this I can’t see a time when I can consistently land and they are not optional! This is much more frustrating than I thought it would be as I know what to do and when my instructor says turn here, throttle off here, flaps down… it all seems to work fine and I land OK, so I can do it, I know what to do, I just can’t do it on my own, its total frustrating.

If anyone has got any tips I would be glad to hear them.

Does using a PC flight simulator help?

On a different note today was the first day that I flew the C42 as a share owner which made every heavy touch down even more painful, but at least my eBay purchased noise cancelling headset seems to work OK.

You can also now follow my frustrations on twitter

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Who knows one day I may just progress from flying the circuit.

7 Replies to “Going backwards in the circuit”

  1. I wish I had ‘got it’ with only 5 hours in circuit! It took a lot longer than that for me 🙂 As everyone will tell you, some days things will not go right, even now after a lot of flying under my belt it still happens. Stick with it, and it will come right. Personally I found FS to make my flying worse when training as it did not give the ‘feel’ of sinking in a turn.

  2. 3 to 5 hours? Don’t believe everything you read on the internet! That may have been the case in the old days of slow, super-stable microlights flown only in the calm of dawn or dusk. Modern, faster microlights take more skill to handle (yes, even the C42).
    Take solace from knowing that ‘going backwards’ is often a sign of learning as you begin to understand what’s happening and set yourself higher expectations. We all go through ‘I’ll never get this’ moments when learning something worthwhile. On of the wonderful things about flying is that there is so much out there to experience that you never stop learning until the day you stop flying.

    Enjoy your training: enjoy it as a flying experience and you’ll learn fast enough.

  3. Hi Joan, thank you for you words of encouragement, I hope you are right when you say “going backwards’ is often a sign of learning as you begin to understand what’s happening and set yourself higher expectations”.

    If the wind dies down a bit I hope to have another lesson tomorrow so will hopefully have some progress to report!

    I want to share not only my successes but my frustrations too, in the hope other students or would be students may find reference to there feelings and issues,

    It may take me longer then some or less then other, but either way I plan not to let it beat me!

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