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Whitters diary Tue 17 03 09


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Usual start of day out of the house before breakfast to set up for flight as the sun rises over a clear blue sky frost covered ground.

The first task is a circular Nav excersize without GPS. This was an ambitious task, having a circular route rather than defined turn points makes navigation by map and compass very difficult. I was doing ok for the first quarter of this 30 mile circle then I totally lost my place. I was flying down wind and was covering ground faster than I thought and drifted south off the end of my map. When you are lost and feeling anxious it is amazing how you can convince yourself that you are at a specific location when you are not by fitting ground to map. I flew back north untill I was able to find out where I was then get back on track. I managed to follow the rest of the circular route and back to the airfield. Finished with an engine off spot landing 2ft from the spot. 1 hour 54 mins 51.8miles Average moving speed (ground speed) 27.1mph, Max 55.3mph

Calm conditions continued through to late morning which provided us an opertunity for more clover leaf stick kicking and spot landings. I managed to hit the spot for the first few attempts untill the sun started its magic on the ground creating more challanging conditions which effected my spot landing accuracy and I was missing by yards. Trying not to be tempted to last second adjust my flight path and risk falling over.

Back to the house for Brunch, admin to kit and a short snooze. Not for long tho because Piers arrives nocking on doors with the PCOM, maps notes and now familear tin ready for ground School. The tin contains bits of paper with subject matter, ie Dew point, Inversion, Lapse rate, QFE QNH QNE, Katabatic, we have to draw one out of the tin then define the subject in a short precise manner to the group. Piers has the correct definition on his laptop which he is looking for. The idea is to standardise response to a question / subject so that we are all providing accurate quality information for all subjects relating to PPG that is the same, this ensures evidence based information rather than pilot/instructor opinion. I think this is a great idea, its gives us good revision and clears up little miss-understandings.

Calm evening conditions arrive a bit later in the day and Piers has set a shorter Nav excersise with 4 turn points. A 17.8 mile flight over 50 mins with an engine off spot landing 20 ft away from the spot. Average ground speed for flight 21.2 Max 56.9.

Back to the house by 21.00 for dinner and wine then an early night.


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