Friday, 27 September 2013

That doesn’t look right.

Just as important as getting things right, is the ability to spot them when they are not. I did a fair amount of that today.

Sitting on the apron, listening to the ATIS, I dutifully set the altimeter to the stated 29.98 setting.  Then I looked at the reading. Hmm, the needle looks kinda off. “I’m just going to listen to another cycle of this. That doesn’t look right to me.” Ok so it’s a pain to waste time on the tarmac but this isn’t right. Sure enough, 29.88 is the number I’m looking for.
Exercise number one, a mini diversion. The two towers to Brougham. Line drawn, heading guestimated. 040 degrees. Winds seem strong and from the north, we’ll knock off 10 degrees.

I get overhead my start point, pick up my heading and work out a distance, ETA and rough fuel consumption. Then I turn my attention back out the windshield. This isn’t right. I mean I’m roughly heading in the correct direction but I pick out a couple of familiar landmarks. I’m well south of the highway intersection I’ve got pegged as being on my route.  The transformer station is ahead as well, extrapolating my current track; I’m going to be on the wrong side of it.
 I fly to the intersection and alter my course, let’s try 020 degrees. We get there, I spot it easily with the correction. My ETA, incidentally, is spot on.

Despite my initial misstep, I figured out that a) something was wrong and b) what I needed to do to fix it.
I’m counting that as a success.


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