Runway 21 and the curse of the trees!

There was no flying last week due to the wind, however I went to the club anyway and I took some hooks with me which Katie and I fitted to the cupboard that Pat had built for our Group’s aeroplane, so there was not much to blog about.

Before today most of my circuit training has been on runway 24 which is nice and long and wide, but today the wind and mud dictated we use runway 21. It was also yet another windy and gusty day, you can tell when it’s not a great day to fly when you arrive and see all the aeroplanes are safely in the hanger and there are lots of places left to park!

It had only been two weeks since my last lesson, but on the first circuit I had managed to forget just about everything, climb attitude, letting the nose drop in the turns and as for the touch and go, well I was so preoccupied by the sight of the trees on the threshold and missing them I came in way to high and ended up powering on and going around, the next attempt wasn’t much better to the point that Mike flew the next approached and showed me how easy it could be even in these trick conditions!

As you come in over the trees the wind shear means you drop a lot of height quickly, or maybe it was just the way the wind was, either way if the approach looked good way out it was actually to low! My third and fourth circuit were OK, not as good as Mike’s, but then he is the instructor. On what should have been my last landing I seem to have re calibrated  my internal altimeter by around 15ft and we were forced to go around again as I rounded out to high. My actual last landing (the extra one) was OK, not the best of the day, but it was OK.

On taxiing back I mentioned to Mike that I have trouble remembering which runway is what and he suggested I walk the runways, when we got back in the clubhouse he volunteered Katie to take me around the airfield. It was interesting to walk the runways and Katie knows the history of them too, but I’m not sure it has helped me to remember them, however it did show me how wet and muddy they are currently, I think I may now have trench foot!


I now have a 1/8 share in the training aeroplane so after Simon returned I offered to wash it for the first time and I could not believe the amount of mud on the underside and tail plane, roll on the summer, but then it will be bug season and I assume they are more sticky to get off then the mud!

One last thing to mention is the strobe is back on the aeroplane and working just fine thanks to a team effort, I fixed the electronics, Pat machined out the aluminium tube and fitted it and Mike glued the bits together and refitted it to the aeroplane, total cost of the repair was around £12 compared to a new strobe at £85.

So in conclusion, not as good as my last lesson, but the conditions were a lot trickier; I feel I’m making progress, but not as fast as I would have liked.

4 Replies to “Runway 21 and the curse of the trees!”

  1. There is normally a nice 3-4 week gap between mud season and fly season, cleaning is easy then 🙂

    Have you read Stick and Rudder? It contains a useful illustration of how to judge if you are on the right glide patch to hit or miss tress or fences on approach based on if they growing up or shrinking down in relation to your aiming point, whole book is well worth a read.

  2. And I thought it was just me!! Someone once told me flying was easy – much like riding a bike, ‘Aye right’ as we say north of the border. I had a terrible last two weeks with runway 19 and 01. One day perhaps ………

  3. @Katie, book ordered, i had to get one of the new fangled types with pages!

    @Alan, glad to hear it’s not just me, but also sorry to hear you are having problems too. I think stabilisers may be the way forward 🙂

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