Let them eat cake, oh and a great day to fly and practice my landings!

What a difference a week makes, last week too wet and windy this week hardly a cloud in the sky and only a light wind. So time to fly, but wait as I’m checking the aeroplane out ready for my lesson Alan arrives together with his wife and granddaughter and CAKE, lots of cake! Well those of you that read my blog may have noted the occasional reference to Alan and the lovely cakes and savouries he brings in, all freshly baked by his wife. Well today we had both quantity and quality, but the club house was full and it was unlikely there would be any left by the time we got back!

All the C42’s were out when I first arrived and Hazel was just getting her Thruster out in fact the hanger was looking decidedly empty, I have not seen it this empty since the summer. I went into the clubhouse and got the strobe out of my flight bag and showed Katie the capacitor that had blown. Shortly after Pat and Sheila arrival and then Mike returned in the training C42, I hooked up the Strobe to my test power supply and showed Pat it working, it was just the capacitor that had malfunctioned, the only issue I have now is putting it back together! I had ordered the correct size tubing online, but instead of sending me 57mm they sent me 60mm which was too big, I’m waiting for them to return my email on the matter, I will report back.

Hazel going off in her Thruster
The ad said 57mm not 60.001

I’m interested to find out if the strobe issue is a common fault, so if you have a self-contained strobe unit such as the Skyflash 2000 that is not working and would like to donate it to me, please send me a message via my contact page.

So to my lesson, my last flying blog was entitled “Going backwards in the circuit” and I was quite down beat about things, well like the weather things were a lot better today, my first two landings were quite good, even Mike said so, the third I came in a little hard and bounce so full power straight on and around we went. I noticed something different on this landing, on the first two landings I had ensured I changed my focus from the landing point to the end of the runway and told myself not to land, but to fly as far down the runway I could without landing which resulted in a good slow landing, this was not new Mike had told me this before but today it seemed to make more sense to me. On the bounce landing I noticed I kept my focus on the landing point, so the next time I made sure I changed my focus as I had the first two and again I landed quite well, the only real issue was still only using the left side of the runway! We didn’t get as many circuits in today as the parachute club are back from their Christmas break and they have priority.

When we returned to the clubhouse to our surprise there was some cake left, a great way to round of the days flying and today I actually feel like I made progress, but I have been here before, so yet again I will need to wait until my next lesson to see if it was progress or not!

This blog continues to get hits ranging from 50 to 105 per days and both my twitter and blog followers continue to build, now if only I could find a company who would like a low cost advert to help me offset my running cost that would be great too!

Lastly, but not least it remains for me to say thank you to all who have uploaded photos, many in response to my request for photos on the www.microlightforum.com which is a great place to hang out if you don’t already. However not all forums are as happy to help, Flyer’s forum www.flyer.co.uk  cancelled my post asking their members if they could help with “Disapproved” for the following reason “The reported message has the only purpose to advertise for a website or another product” I have emailed them back pointing out that my site is not a commercial venture or a rival to theirs and the link was direct to the upload page, I have asked them to reconsider, but to date no reply, oh well I guess not all forums are as self-assured as Microlightforum.com.

If you do have any pictures please help me grow the collection by uploading them here.

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.

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.


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.


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.