Flown both of the last two weekends, which is unusual for me (albeit it fairly short hour-long trips).
First was a first time passenger trip, which I’ve been on a promise to do for some time now, waiting for a day when we could both make it and the weather obliged.
I really do adore taking people up for their first light aircraft trip and this was as much fun as always! We left the airfield by way of something of a detour round Gower to avoid a left turn out and the parachutists so started straight of with some of what I think in my (perfectly biased!) opinion are some of the loveliest viws in flying, around the bays of Gower and over the fort at Harding’s Down.
Then it was “find your house time” stooging around the Neath valley before heading back via and unhurried amble along Swansea bay and South Gower.
As a bonus my passenger for the day had a far nicer camera than me and snapped some lovely shots of the beaches.
It was while filling in my logbook for that trip that I suddenly realised my SEP Rating fell due for revalidation in a fortnight’s time and I hadn’t put in the required hour with an instructor.
Hasty check on the TOMS booking site and a call to the flying club ensued and the following weekend I once again trooped out to the field on slightly more mixed day weather-wise.
A risk breeze blew more or less down 22, and the cloud varied from patchy to scattered. We would need to pick our spot for the stuff requiring a bit of height, but nothing to dreadful.
Stalls and stuff first, so off we climbed out over the bay where we’d be in one of the larger blue patches and well out of the way of both the parachutists back at the field and the Yak boys who were out displaying over Burry Port for the carnival.
Normal power off stalls were okay, TOMS behaving herself and not living up to the traumahawk reputation for once.
Power on with a stage of flap was a slightly different affair — though more down to my cackhandness than anything.
On reflection I realise I’m not sure I’ve ever stalled fully in that configuration before. Usually that was the one we did just to “recover at the first symptom”. Non of the wishiwashiness today though and the nose was at a most outlandish angle by the time she let go.
I was not quick enough on the rudder and we yawed round as the nose dropped through the horizon and up came the speed again as I fumbled about with power and carb heat and who know what before picking up the pieces and recovering to something bit more dignified.
“Errm, shall I try that again?”
My fault was mainly worrying about other thing that the Main Point of “Get the nose down!”. Adding power too soon was just contributing to the yawing and giving me too much to think about!
The second attempt was neater and we moved onto a couple of steep turns and a PFL, before heading back for some circuits.
Traffic was a bit much to squeeze in a glide approach but I did a fairly satisfactory flapless a go-around and a few touch and goes, in between being asked o extend downwind first for some departures then from the rearrival of the Yaks.
I didn’t mind, but it did induce a certain amount of neck craning and oggling because Osprey of course can not merely arrive and land! Naaa, has to be the full run in and loop to break with smoke and all.
Fun spectacle (and it does make them easy to spot at least!)
They turned inside me as I ambled on downwind for my last landing. Last landing not the neatest of the day — put it down to distraction or tiredness or just being due a thump 😉
I gathered up signatures and put TOMS to bed, reflecting that it really didn’t seem like two years since me first revalidation. That means it’s been four years since I got my PPL. Six and a half since I started learning.