Sunday, 21 September 2014


I screwed up my forced approach. You know I can cope with the fact that I messed up and failed a flight test item; but the most common one, really? If I’m going to fail I want it to be for something spectacular and different, like coming up behind a Mig in a spilt S manoeuvre when I should have bugged out and let my wingman take over ……

….really gottta stop with the Top Gun viewing, I guess!

Anyway back to the plot….

One of the factors that meant I screwed up more than I needed to was the light and variable winds. With a strong enough headwind you can be a little more aggressive with your turn and it doesn’t bite you quite so much.

No head wind, no do overs.

Moving on to the precautionary landing, we picked out the same field and I set up for a series of fairly shaky high and low passes with mildly sloppy altitude control.

That; however, wasn’t the worst of my problems. As I set up for the “low and over”, I suddenly realised something. Faced with the choice of getting annoyed with myself and laughing it off, I chuckled aloud, despite my resolution to take this seriously.

Bob didn't even comment at the time, presumably he is well used to the random assortment of noises that I emit during a flight.

During the debrief, I was on my mistake before Bob was. Yeah I attempted to land my forced approach to the South but my precautionary to the North.

The queen of spatial disorientation strikes again.

“Really WMAP, if the winds are calm like that, pick a direction and stick to it! You can probably get away with landing with a very slight tail wind, but you’ve got to be CONSISTENT!” he admonished.

As I mentioned before, my situational awareness was pretty much shot that lesson. I don’t know what it is with precautionary landings. I seem to forget I’ve got engine power and time to set up properly. Again it comes down to needing to pause and think about the best way to approach things.

The only thing I can say in my favour was at least this time I didn’t set up for a right hand circuit and I didn’t lose sight of the field.

I just tried to land the wrong way.

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