It was a lovely day to fly at Chatteris on Sunday low wind, sun and few clouds to give the sky some context!
Today I was to complete my 7th hour of solo by flying out over the drains, practicing straight and level flight at different speed and trimming for those speeds, I was also to practice stalls and the recovery from them!
The aeroplane had not been flow before that day so I started out burping it and checking the oil level which was 1/3 up the stick, it tends to read a little low when cold so the level was fine.
I sat with the engine running waiting for the oil temperature to reach 50c so I could do a power check before take-off. Katie was in the main training aeroplane ahead of me and was waiting for the parachutists to come down. On days with little wind or when the wind sits between 2 runways it’s not uncommon to see people use different runways. The parachute plane was using a combination of 24 and 01, I think Colin had used 29 and I was going to use 01. In some way I think it would be better if the was an authority at the airfield who could say runway XX is in use, it would save any confusion.
Anyway once out over the drains I flew along the right of the drains keeping them on my left until I was practising stalling, which I thought we had previously done over them, so for these I flew between the drains.
The straight a level was to be flown at 60kts 70kts and 80kts I did this trimming the aircraft for each speed and noted the power setting for each for 60kts I had set 3,700rpm, for 70kts 4,200 rpm and 80kts 4,500rpm. Which once back on the ground I showed my note to Mike and he said that is what he would have expected.
Stalling I found more difficult, I ended up flying at an unusually nose high attitude at a low speed and not stalling, remembering what Mike had said about keeping the stick coming back I tried again this time the nose did go over and I had (I think) stalled the aeroplane, the recovery in a C42 is much easier than making it stall! As I found out as my next two attempts failed to make it stall.
The hour was over and flew back to Chatteris conscious of my previous weeks landing and wanting to make a “quiet” landing so as not to incur the comments of last week, I returned and approached runway 01 as I came in I kept the stick coming back and the aeroplane fly as long as I could, I touched down not a light as some, but no bounce and not hard.
Once back at the clubhouse I went over to Mike who was sitting outside in the sun, we talked about the exercise, I asked him to critique my landing, he said it was good, but I had rounded out a little high at around 24 inches and that I should try to get lower.
I went inside the clubhouse to make a cup of tea and Katie asked if I had seen the C42 over the drains flying at a funny attitude and not following the drains to the right! She said that I should not fly between them and that I should treat the two drains as one feature when flying.
And so ended today’s lesson, a lesson that saw me now complete all mandatory solo hours for the restricted license.