Friday, 4 October 2013

Some assembly required

It’s midweek, so naturally my thoughts have turned to my next flight. I’m out of solo-student-currency at the flight school so I know I’ll have to spin a couple of circuits with Bob on board. The rest of the flight will see me off to the practice area to work my way through the latest lot of exercise I’ve been cleared to tackle solo. I caught myself thinking “I wonder what Bob wants me to do and in what order? So that I can start planning and visualising the flight sequence.”

And then it hit me. This isn’t really how it works anymore.  I’m the one who knows what I need to work on. Bob’s let me know what I’m cleared to do. Really it is up to me to decide what I’m going to practice and how I’m going to string those things together.  That’s part of my flight planning now.
So let’s look at the list of things I can potentially do out there on my own:

Slow flight

Power off stalls

Power on stalls

Steep turns

Practice diversions

Forced approaches

Precautionary landings
Actually putting together a sequence isn’t that tricky, some of the exercises lend themselves to a natural pattern. Steep turns, for example, can be incorporated into your HASEL check before doing any airwork exercises. Slow flight can easily transition into a stall (the aim is to control that transition!) and it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to lose all that altitude doing a forced approach, only to need to climb up to do stalls.

I have no problem with assembling my own flight now and obviously I’m going to talk over my plans with Bob but  it just took a little while for it to sink in that this is another thing which has become my responsibility.


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