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Navigation/GH Deviations

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Navigation/GH Deviations

Old 19th Jan 2010, 12:44
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Downwind
Age: 36
Posts: 333
Navigation/GH Deviations


A quick question if you don't mind. Thanks to the crap weather of late I was unable to fly until last weekend for about 4 weeks... a month!
When I did eventually get back up we continued with Nav exercises. All went well in that towns popped up when expected and we got back home safe and sound. The one that really annoyed me however was my general handling. My instructor has attributed this to the break in flying and as such should not be a cause for concern. Overall, I would agree but I still wasn't happy with my performance having deviated from my own assigned altitude by no less than +/- 100' and from headings no less than +/- 10o. What are you views on this 'in the scheme' of things?
My own would be; Altitude no big deal really as we were above the MSA by about 1000' and no CAS as far as the eye could see (and beyond).
Headings were probably ok in this case. I would be more concerned about if a) the legs were much longer than 25nm or b) I didn't notice the error and ended up in France or the like!
Also, what is the general allowance for deviations in the skills test? Is there any?

PS I'm still a fairly low hour student (15 hours) but hoping to get my licence before the 'summer'.

All the best,
Ryan5252 is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2010, 13:29
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 4,599
What did your instructor say about it? Was it a bumpy day or not?

In still air, IF the aircraft is trimmed properly (both pitch and yaw - if you don't have yaw/rudder trim you might need just a tiny bit of pressure on one of the pedals) the aircraft should be able to fly hands-off for minutes at a time without course or altitude deviations.

Perhaps you were too busy navigating, looking outside and such that you were not quite trimmed correctly, and/or you were unknowingly putting a little pressure on the yoke/stick. If that's the case, try taking a little more time to trim the aircraft for hands-off flight and make sure you're not putting pressure on the yoke/stick when it's not required.

I'm not advocating that the aircraft should be flown hands-off all the time, though. But it's a good test to see whether you are in trim or not. And being in trim is the first step to smooth flying.

For the PPL skills test standards, check out this document, particularly Appendix 3:

BackPacker is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2010, 12:45
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wor Yerm
Age: 64
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That's close enough for government work, for your level. I'd tell the guy to poke off and get someone else. I'll also go along with Backpacker's advice and add a little to that. Are you looking out enough? Changes of heading will rapidly be picked up if you know where the aircraft is going and if you are trimmed properly, your altitude won't alter much either.

Piltdown Man is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2010, 12:56
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: UK
Age: 72
Posts: 223
I agree with Backpacker. Get the trim right and do not try to 'fly' the aircraft all the time - you just need to adjust to changes in direction or altitude with subtle corrections with finger and thumb. The layoff will have contributed enormously to your accuracy. When you're flying regularly you enter a kind of comfort zone and things fall easily to hand. If you have some time off you will be re-learning some basic things. Don't worry about it, you'll be fine. Have fun. DeeCee
DeeCee is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2010, 14:28
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 664
Did you forget to turn the auto-pilot on ? Gets me every time, that ...

Trust the wise words above. You're guaranteed to be trying too hard ... learn to trim, then wait ... don't chase the aircraft.

It'll sort itself out in time. Oh, and if there's a pilot out there who's not at least a little ring-rusty after a sizeable lay off, I'd be surprised ... I have lots of hours compared to you, but if I don't fly for extended periods it always takes me a little while to get "the feeling" back to instinctive levels !

Enjoy your course !
FullyFlapped is offline  

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