Thursday, 2 September 2010

CPL training, part 4

Lesson 4 was yet more navigation.  My regular instructor was away on one of his other flying gigs - taking a Citation to Malta for the week.  Nice work if you can get it!  As a result I was to fly with one of the school's other instructors, Mark.

The format was much the same as previous navigation exercises, with me planning a route from Chester to a site chosen by Mark.  Today, this was to be Otherton microlight strip, south of Stafford and adjacent to the M6.  With the winds forecast to be a gentle 5 knots from an easterly direction, the navigation as set to be fairly simple.

The weather proved as benign as had been forecast, with clear skies, gentle winds and no turbulence.  We headed straight for Otherton and had it appear on the nose, exactly when expected.  Very helpful of them to paint the numbers and other runway markings on the ground so that there was no chance of me misidentifying it!  Otherton located, I was given the diversion, to Chatsworth House.  The trick I was taught at the start of the navigation section of the course worked yet again and my initial guess at a heading was spot on.  A quick measurement, a small correction for the light wind and we chatted our way along the route to the impressive stately home.  It too turned up exactly when expected.

I was given another diversion to a small marked village to the west of Leek.  Subsequent investigation has shown that this is Rudyard, though at the time I didn't know that and it didn't matter.  With a small kink in the route to avoid a possibly active danger area, we again arrived at Rudyard exactly as intended.  I didn't know about the danger area as when we set out I didn't know we'd be coming this way, and as it was so easy to go around I didn't feel a call to Manchester Approach was required.  We retained their 7366 listening squawk while near to their zone so that should they need to contact us, they would know we were on frequency and listening out.

With Rudyard located, we returned to Liverpool, joining the zone at Chester and making an uneventful approach and landing.  Mark seemed pretty pleased with my performance and on an easy day like today I'd have been rather annoyed with myself if anything had gone wrong with the navigation!

Sadly, and for the first time since I bought it about a year ago, I left my GPS bug (an iGotu GT-120) at home next to the computer and not in my flight bag.  As a result I don't get to include the track for today's flight in Google Earth on my home computer.

No comments:

Post a Comment