So it’s been a while things are mad in my work and home life currently, but you are not here to read about that! As per my last blog I have been training for my SSEA (Simple Single Engine Aeroplane) rating at Rutland Sky flying school and I’m please to say I passed both the NST and GST within the last 2 weeks. So my journey to from Microlights to GA is complete, or is it!
I found landing the Cessna a bit easier than the C42, when it’s down it stays down whereas the C42 can bounce back up or a gust of wind can bring it back to flying speed! The control and differences are not difficult and it just takes a few hours of practice. One issue I had was miss estimating just how far the C172 will float on a practice forced landing and not being able to sideslip it to ensure you are going to make it down meant a few overshoots while practicing! Also having a big steering wheel in front of you took a few lessons to stop trying to steer it with it while on the ground.
Next you have to take 2 written exams I used the AFE exam practice books which have a great concise reference of everything you need in them and I found the exams to be no issue what’s so ever. In fact a lot of the questions are almost exactly the same in wording too! the two exams needed are Principles of Flight and Aircraft General Knowledge (click the links to see the books on Amazon.
The NST (Navigational Skills Test) was not something I was looking forward to, as I like to fly with Skydemon however I planned the route set up the times and flew the route without issue asking for MATZ penetration changing transponder codes etc all without issue, part way on the second leg you are asked to plan and fly a diversion while flying and maintaining heading and height within tolerance. I planned this and estimated the heading and time, turned on to the new hearing and about 5 mins from the new destination decided I hadn’t factored in the wind and made a correction for it and flew right past where I should have been! I spotted my mistake and re planned and flew back to the destination.
We then flew back to the airfield where I was informed I had past the NST.
This is a good test on two levels one asking for MATZ penetration and two the dynamic planning of the route. It is only then that you really appreciate Skydemon, still it’s good to know I can do it if needed and I may practice this some more as it was a fun thing to do and a good skill to have.
Next up was the GST (General Skills Test) I did not have any issues with the stalls and recovery as they are all the same in principle as the GST for a 3 axis microlight.
So all that was left was the mound of paperwork which has been completed and is now “winging” its way to the CAA.
Last weekend I decided to have my first lesson in the club’s PA18-150 Super Cub, wow, this is fun to fly and puts a smile on your face, it’s also my first taildragger, steering it on the ground is “fun” but once in the air it is like flying the Microlight!