Flying Lesson # 7 – Circuit Training

February 26, 2012

Circuit training today!

As I’ve said before, circuits will dominate my training from now until first solo (hopefully somewhere before lesson 15). Robert was back today (much to my relief) and the lesson started like all the rest.

I headed out to the plane (VH-JOO) to get the checks out of the way, with Robert joining me after about 5 minutes. I set up inside the plane, completed the relevant checks and away we went. I’m just going to track sideways for a moment at this point to talk about a new toy that I invested in.

For a while, I have been thinking about which Headset to buy (the loaner from the flying school is a crusty old David Clark H10-30).

The Bose A20 and the Zulu Lightspeed 2 are top of the range at around $1000, whereas the David Clark is a good all-rounder for a reasonable price (around the $400 mark).

My initial thoughts were to splurge and go for the Bose, though after taking stock of my finances and the practicality of spending so much on a headset this early in, I decided to go with the David Clark. I will purchase the Bose at a later date (at which time the David Clark will be used for my passengers), for now, however, I am happy with my purchase.

Normally, the headset is $450 (I went with the H10-13.4), though I managed to pick one up on Second Hand Pilot for $280. It is brand new in the box, never opened or used. I picked it up from Manly and was extremely happy with the transaction. I also picked up a David Clark Headset bag from the Aviator Store at Archerfield. I am in the process of purchasing some items from a store in America. I will do a review on that experience shortly.

So back to the lesson; I was very excited to put on my new headset and plug it in for the very first time. It worked flawlessly, great sound quality, excellent noise cancelling and it felt great to be wearing a clean headset for once. I conducted all the pre-flight run up checks and taxied out to the runway. Clearance was given and I headed out onto the runway. I love take offs! I’m now doing this part of the lesson completely unaided. It’s a great feeling to lift off from the earth, knowing that you are in charge of this magnificent machine.

First circuit went to plan. I remembered all of my down-wind checks (Hatches and Harnesses – Brakes, Undercarriage, mixture – Fuel, Engine Instruments, switches and traffic). I was turning at the right time and was very aware of what was going on around me. I was making the radio calls without being prompted and using carb heat as well.

My approaches needed quite a bit of assistance from Robert, though I found myself making conscious decisions on throttle and attitude without assistance from Robert which makes me feel confident that I am learning.

The first landing was a bit messy; Robert had to help a fair bit. He informed me that I was looking out the front of the aircraft instead of looking out the side. As you flare (pitch the nose up for landing) you lose all sight out the front, so you need to look out to the side to get a feel for position on the runway and how quickly you are sinking. To aid in this, Robert put a large book in front of me to force my eyes out the side of the windscreen. What do you know a perfect unassisted landing! Success! For the next landing, Robert didn’t use the book and, well, let’s just say things didn’t go too well. I think Robert may have required a change of underwear!

I now know what I need to work on and are confident I am progressing, I just need more practice to master those damn landings.

Next Lesson – I’m sure you can guess by this point!

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