I missed my flying lesson last Saturday because I was sick – and it was a beautiful morning to fly. So, I booked three, yes, that’s THREE (3), lessons for this Saturday. I had 8am, noon and 3pm.
So, sure enough, a big fat high pressure system settles over southern Victoria with variable 5-10kt winds and, as I feared, we’re fog bound. 8am comes and goes with almost zero vis at the airfield. Noon comes and goes with 5k vis and 500′ cloud ceiling. Comes 3pm and I’m out there with haze around but it’s good enough to fly. We do the run up, taxi all the way down the other end of the field and I make the “ready” call at the holding point for 35R, just in time to be told “Winds shifted, go to 17L”
Long taxi all the way back down the length of the field to the 17L holding point. I’m first in the queue with 3 behind me and we’re waiting for all the other aircraft in the circuit that have sorted themselves out and come back onto the new runway heading.
So, now we’re waiting for another aircraft or two for our clearance when the report comes over “Southerly winds bringing fog in off the bay – airport may close to VFR in 15 minutes.”
We’re cleared for circuits and we’re out, off and climbing. Sure enough, there’s the fog over there making its way to the airport. A few more aircraft join the circuit and we make our first touch & go (not a great one, but I’m getting there) then make our 500′ turn to cross wind early so we avoid flying into the fog – hmmmm.
It’s very hazy and the aircraft ahead of us is doing a wide circuit. ATC has a few goes to figure who’s who and gets the aircraft ahead of us to start their base leg ASAP ‘cos they’re so far out there. Yeah, we’re fine with this and we drop on his tail to come in on a full stop landing.
A few other aircraft waiting to take off are calling it a day and turning around so there’s a bit of a traffic jam down there near 17L – glad I’m not in ATC now :)
We’re on finals and get cleared to land – so much for an hour of circuits. Down, pull off the runway, clean up, ground clearance call and then head for the tie down spot. Suddenly it’s freezing on the ground and we can see our breath when we open the doors. Wow.
So far to go and so much to learn. I need to really get more study and rehearsal time in if I’m going to get this landing shit sorted out…