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From Zero to Forty Five - my PPL Diary

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From Zero to Forty Five - my PPL Diary

Old 23rd Dec 2006, 17:40
  #1661 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 167
Hello all,

It's been a long time since I've posted on here, many apologies! Hope everyone is well! It's also been a long time since I've been flying, but luckily I've managed to get 2 flights in over the last few days. For the benifit of those who haven't seen or don't read flyer, here's an account of yesterdays flight:

I hadn’t flown in three months due to university, so desperately needed to get flying. After about 5 cancelled lessons I wasn’t holding much hope for joining the class of 2006. Luckily though, weather was good enough on Thursday to get flying, and I did just that.

Had a lovely revision flight with my instructor, and all went to plan just about! I rang my examiner that night (whilst Christmas shopping ) and we were set to go, if the weather held out.

Woke up at 0830 and saw the weather – it was to be cloudy and not too nice. Spoke once again with the examiner and decided to go for it anyway, if worst came to worst we’d just do the skills section.

I had my route to plot, and had it all sorted. Once I got to the club I went straight to check the weather and wind forecasts – variable. Not the best I’d hoped for, but never mind.

I met my examiner, a very nice chap, we chatted about weather, maps and all sorts of wonderful things. Weather wasn’t brilliant, but “sod it”, we’d waited long enough.

Took off, left Newcastle’s zone and routed pretty much to the North. ¼ and ½ way points on the leg looked excellent. I actually remembered my FREDA checks for once and I was beginning to relax, which was greatly helped by the superb attitude of my examiner.

I arrived at my point a minute before I’d expected (terrible planning, eh). Unfortunately the cloud was becoming a nuisance, and I pointed out that had I in fact been solo, I probably wouldn’t have continued. We decided to carry on as we both felt safe though.

15 or 20 miles into the next leg I was told to divert. Quick moment of madness trying to find a pen that actually worked on my chart (good timing as ever), eventually scribbled a line on it and got an ETA. Off we went towards the coast, dodging a glider and a GVS. About half way in it as decided that my work load wasn’t high enough and I needed to fix our position using 2 VORs. Fair enough, I duly did so being very careful to get the right ones! Got my fix spot on(ish), and a few minutes later I saw where I was supposed to be heading . . . but I wasn’t heading towards it. Grr quick correction and we were fine though.

Got there and it was time for a 180 in “IMC”. No real troubles there except I couldn’t get my watch from under my jumper arm, so scrambled a bit but managed to get it accurate enough.

So, that was the end of navigation. Luckily the weather was good enough and I was quite chuffed to get it out the way!

“Time for a PLF” so says my examiner, and he pulls the plug. No problems really until it was decided that I needed an engine failure on go around too! Nose straight down and a nice field straight ahead to land in.

After a scaring a few cows like that it was decided we’d climb to 4000 and do some stalls. Eek, I do not like stalls – never have. Not because of what they are, but the recovery always seems so rushed! But anyway, I have to do them, so I just went for it. Unfortunately I went for it without doing the checks, which I was promptly reminded to do! Clean configuration was fine. Base turn not quite so good but I got away with it. With approach configuration I managed alright too.

Next we did a steep gliding turn, no worries there. And then a recovery from a spiral dive – fun! I’ve always loved these, not quite sure why but this was no exception and it was fine.

It was now apparently time to head back to Newcastle, “what, already?”. Examiner asked if he had forgotten to test me on anything . . . Steep turns! So we climbed back up to 4000 and did them. Good job I’m honest! To be fair though, I really like steep turns and I thought I handled them quite well.

Now it really was time to go back to the airfield. Slight obstacle in that there was some low cloud, but we skirted underneath it. Only consequence of the cloud was that we did bad weather circuits. After asking nice Mr ATCO for three circuits, we were rather rapidly on finals for only my second time in 3 months , and my landing certainly wasn’t the best in the world. Ditto the second. And ditto the last. But they were safe – that’s all that matters, right?

And that was it, “well that’s a pass” from my examiner and one happy smile on my face! Got an obligatory picture with the aeroplane and my FI / examiner and then attempted to tackle the paperwork.

Apologies for the length, but it’ll be nice for me reading this one day too! All in all I had an excellent flight, flew reasonably well and really enjoyed it.

As you can imagine, I'm a rather happy John at the moment!

Just a quick thank you to all who have posted on here. Especially Mazzy, this thread has often given me the motivation to carry on when it "just wouldn't click". And I've learned a lot through it, too.

Cheers everyone, hope to see you all sometime!

Merry Christmas to all, and I hope you all have a great new year full of happy (and safe) flying!

JWF.
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Old 23rd Dec 2006, 20:01
  #1662 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Northants
Age: 76
Posts: 227
John,
Many, many congratulations - a great Xmas present. You were lucky to have avoided all the recent fog. A very enjoyable write up too. It'll take a few days to sink in, but it's a GREAT feeling innit!! Have a few beers over Xmas (and I'll have several for you too).
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Old 23rd Dec 2006, 20:04
  #1663 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
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Originally Posted by jwforeman View Post
I was told to divert. Quick moment of madness trying to find a pen that actually worked on my chart (good timing as ever), eventually scribbled a line on it
Yeah, bit of an artificial exercise, that, with the instructor/examiner doing the flying whilst you mess around with pens and maps and stuff.

In real life you may have to do it in your head, you won't always have a passenger who can do straight-and-level whilst you use your hands for other things like drawing lines.

(Last real life diversion I had, I did have a passenger but it was a foreign schoolgirl with limited English and it never occured to me to get her to do the flying. I just glanced at the map and guessed. Yeah, maybe the navaids would have helped ... except that nothing much was working on that aircraft that day, just the DME IIRC.)
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Old 23rd Dec 2006, 20:51
  #1664 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Surrey
Age: 39
Posts: 898
Congrats John, great job. Welcome to the club!

Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
Yeah, bit of an artificial exercise, that, with the instructor/examiner doing the flying whilst you mess around with pens and maps and stuff.
In real life you may have to do it in your head, you won't always have a passenger who can do straight-and-level whilst you use your hands for other things like drawing lines.
(Last real life diversion I had, I did have a passenger but it was a foreign schoolgirl with limited English and it never occured to me to get her to do the flying. I just glanced at the map and guessed. Yeah, maybe the navaids would have helped ... except that nothing much was working on that aircraft that day, just the DME IIRC.)
hmmm you must have had a nice examiner! In both my PPL and CPL I've had to do the calculations whilst flying the aircraft!! I just put it in a orbit and do some hasty sums, more guesstimates then anything else. Once I have the initial heading I set off, the rest of it you can work out on the way. Happy christmas everyone! Hope the weather improves for some winter flying. I passed my 170a last week and will be sitting my IR early january, wish me luck!
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Old 24th Dec 2006, 06:57
  #1665 (permalink)  

The Original Whirly
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Belper, Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,331
Yeah, bit of an artificial exercise, that, with the instructor/examiner doing the flying whilst you mess around with pens and maps and stuff.
A VERY nice examiner! As I understand it, you can ask the examiner to draw a line for you, having told him/her exactly where you want it drawn. This is in a helicopter, anyway. Everything else, you do yourself. That's reasonable; in real life, you'd either have a passenger who could draw a line, or you'd have an empty seat with all the stuff on it, so it'd be slightly easier to do it yourself. But once you've drawn your line, you estimate headings, times etc. Nobody should be doing the flying for you.

It's tough, which is why in real life I like flying with another pilot if possible.
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Old 24th Dec 2006, 09:28
  #1666 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
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Originally Posted by Whirlybird View Post
Aor you'd have an empty seat
Ah yes, I've used that line with an instructor on a test: "Can you just do this for me please, if you weren't sitting there I'd be able to do it myself because I'd have the gear ready on your seat".
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Old 24th Dec 2006, 13:24
  #1667 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Worcester
Age: 69
Posts: 78
JWF Well done indeed. Welcome to the class of 2006! The grin should last well into the new year. Merry Christmas everyone.

Chris
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Old 24th Dec 2006, 20:24
  #1668 (permalink)  

Spicy Meatball
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Liverpool UK
Age: 38
Posts: 1,115
John my friend - very well done, I am made up for you. A superb post too, thanks As others have said, the good feeling lasts a lifetime, and is boosted even more when you take your first passenger. It is then that you will feel a real sense of responsibility and realise that all those hours you spent training were worthwhile - you won't have you instructor with you any more

In my test, the instructor done the handling whilst I calculated the route. I suppose however, if he see's that you can put the aircraft in a decent trim, and have relatively relaxed flying, then I suppose you could do the same should you be on your own. Interesting debate though - I do see both sides...

Well, very best wishes to you all - I have seen this thread close a few times and am always made up to see people posting once again. Suppose when you've spent about 2 years of your life doing something, you kind of miss it when it goes (but that's the stella talking)

Take care everyone,

Lee
mazzy1026 is offline  
Old 28th Dec 2006, 16:40
  #1669 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 167
Many thanks everyone, it's much appreciated! And certainly very nice to join the club - even if I'm yet to be given the licence from the money grabbers. . . .

As for the diversion - examiner took control. I asked him whether he would or not, and didn't seem to mind either way. However I agree, it's not totally realistic. I've had to divert solo two time (albeit not over massive distance). A scribble on the chart and basic heading did me. I had near to full tanks so didn't need to make any decisions fuel wise. Once on route I started thinking about how long it might take.

So, what's next? At the moment I'm going to build as much P1 time as possible - I'm determined to go on long(ish) trips. I'm very much hoping to go commercial in the very near future (OAT if I'm lucky), but money is a problem. So for now I'm just going to enjoy the PPL!

Anyway, thanks again everyone, hope to see you sometime!!
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Old 28th Dec 2006, 19:52
  #1670 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Age: 46
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well done John, I;m looking forward to flying with you in the very near future!

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Old 28th Dec 2006, 23:47
  #1671 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 167
Originally Posted by Wibblemonster View Post
well done John, I;m looking forward to flying with you in the very near future!

Likewise!

And many thanks. Won't be long until we're congratulating you on a flying milestone I feel!
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Old 1st Jan 2007, 16:55
  #1672 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The noisy part of Papa 1-8 55 N 1 W
Posts: 291
Well done John. All over at last !!!!

Give me a shout if you want to share a flight.


Regards one and all

Safe flying in the new year
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Old 2nd Jan 2007, 10:28
  #1673 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dorset
Posts: 8
Hi all, I'm a new pruner!

The site was reccommended by a trainee pilot where I'll be flying (Biggin Hill) - been reading the threads from those keeping diaries and expressing their experiences whilst doing their ppl and its been a treat to read to see what's in store for me!! Really helpful to know it wont all be plain sailing! And it's great to know experienced pilots are ready to give advice...

Perhaps you'll be hearing from me as I embark on my ppl over the next few months...

Cheers
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Old 2nd Jan 2007, 10:35
  #1674 (permalink)  

Spicy Meatball
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Liverpool UK
Age: 38
Posts: 1,115
Hi Flygirl - welcome to PPRuNe, and welcome to this thread! There's a good bunch of peope on here (apart from Neil ) who are glad to help!

Let us know how you get on and enjoy the training

Lee
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Old 4th Jan 2007, 10:50
  #1675 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: bradford
Age: 53
Posts: 32
Smile another newbie

Hi,
Great thread, very enthralling.

I'm about to start my PPL out of Sherburn. Just had my 40th birthday so I'm ready for a long challenge.

I've had a lifelong facination for all things that fly. I've been wasting my time flying model aircraft (fixed wing and helis) for the last 10 years so it's about time I threw the toys away.

Anyway I've nearly completed reading the 'Flight Training Book -1' so I can't wait to get up in the air next saturday.
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Old 4th Jan 2007, 11:47
  #1676 (permalink)  

Spicy Meatball
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Liverpool UK
Age: 38
Posts: 1,115
Chris - welcome

Just one thing on your reading - use your flying training book as you go along, you will find it much better that way. For example, the night before you do the steep turning lesson with your instructor, read the steep turn chapter. That way, you won't get caught up with other parts of the syllabus and worry about them etc. Best to start looking at Air Law (I specifically never used the words "get it out the way" ) as a lot of school's will require you to have passed this exam before your solo - also, it will get easier as you start to relate the theory to what your'e doing in the air etc...

Oh and don't throw your model plane's away - if you have any gear you don't want I will buy it from you
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Old 4th Jan 2007, 12:45
  #1677 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: bradford
Age: 53
Posts: 32
Thanks for the advice Mazzy.

Model aircraft can be great fun but unfortunately I don't have much time for it as my 3 year old daughter and 4 month old son demand alot of my spare time and I have other interests as well.

It's all about weighing things up and deciding what to do. I love flying things and motor racing. When things are on a budget you have to decide what you will get the most out of. Learning to fly is something I've always wanted to do so why wait any longer?

I'm beginning to think that life is too short to do everything.
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Old 4th Jan 2007, 13:51
  #1678 (permalink)  

Spicy Meatball
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Liverpool UK
Age: 38
Posts: 1,115
I'm beginning to think that life is too short to do everything.
Chris I'm 24 years old and I have already learned that in a big way.

I once wrote a thread on PPRuNe a few years back, asking for advice as to whether to begin lessons and pay or save up first blah blah rubbish......

Someone said to me - LISTEN go do it now - if you don't start you never will. And here I am now.

Go learn to fly - you'll never look back (unless your keeping centerline)

Lee
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Old 21st Jan 2007, 21:01
  #1679 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Worcester
Age: 69
Posts: 78
First non-flying pax

Hi all,

Another milestone today, my first non-flying passenger.

I took my young sister (well young to me!) for a local bimble. The idea was to fly from Wellesbourne over Worcester check out the Malvern hills and back again.

The take off from runway 23 was fine and the trip towards Worcester was reasonably smooth at 2500'. However the closer we got to Worcester the bumpier it got. The Malvern hills are up to 1350' and due west of us and with 2000' winds at 280/30 we were appraoching the ripples of the mountain wave effect from the hills. We aborted the Malverns and just did a couple of orbits of home then headed back. An uneventful circuit with a nice landing with just a touch of cross wind and one very happy sis.

Chris
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Old 21st Jan 2007, 21:16
  #1680 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 167
Sounds great, and a good, quick PIC decision too, by the sounds of it!

I'm hoping to take my first passenger up soon too - my "other half" will be the victim. And then my granda (who flew a bit at my age (20sish) but never has since, in small AC).

I'm really looking forward to it!

Glad you enjoyed your flight!
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