So the school (now officially known as Air First Ltd. trading as Blackbushe School of Flying) had to cancel their trip to some exotic place because of the weather changing for the worst. Of course yours truly will always see that as an opportunity to grab some experience and boy did I!
The purpose of the flight was twofold. Firstly I needed to do a circuit check so that I can be current again and secondly I wanted to test out my iPad as a navigation device. I will begin with the circuit check… I was a bit rusty on the checks side and forgot to turn the transponder to alt 7010 (Blackbushe Circuit traffic) and also the fuel pump… twice. But all things considered it was not too bad. I made my way over to runway 25 for take-off and there was quite a stiff crosswind from the South. This was going to be interesting. Gave it some right rudder and left aileron (into wind) and off we went hurtling into the sky. The initial climb was ok, very bumpy but not too bad. I managed to keep the circuit height nicely and then came the bad bit… the descending down to the runway in this wind… three stages of flap set… speed just over 70 (nearer 80) not good. Managed to crawl in sideways and get down (just)…. and off we went for the next round… this time much better control, the descend was good landing was smooth… perfect I think, back in the game…
So off we go to the north west to test the old GPS Receiver and the iPad as navigation devices. The cloud base was just below 2000ft QNH and we had to fly through rain for a while, burst through into some glorious sunshine just to the South of Compton VOR, it was great. The GPS was fantastic, never lost signal, not even close. And the positioning was perfect, you could not get better than that in my opinion. I spent too much time flying to look at the other great features of the application such as the recording of the flight and also the altitude/speed/heading information but everything else worked well and I have to say I will feel a lot more comfortable going on longer more complex flights now.
We did a few turns at the VOR and headed back home. Farnborough Radar was quite busy but very helpful as always. Decided to do two circuits upon our return just to be sure that second good landing was not a fluke… boy it was. Terrible approach and landing and the same for the final full stop landing. James (the instructor) showed me exactly what he was expecting by taking off again and landing back again and I was amazed at how easy he made it look. That is what years of experience will give you! I want to be there too!
That is it, short and sweet. Not a lot exciting to talk about but I would most certainly recommend the combination hardware I now have for any pilot looking to buy a moving map GPS on the cheap with great features and the ability to use the device for more than just the cockpit
The equipment used on this flight:
GPS Moving Map Scree: iPad 3g 16Gb
Software: AirNav Pro
Map: Official 1:500 000 South England and Wales (Edition 37) – In App purchase.
Additional GPS Receiver (EGNOS and WAAS compliant) : GNOS 8570 MFI
That is it for now, below a picture of the plane: