I started my flying in November 2005 and passed my PPL December 2006 in a Piper Warrior PA28 from Old Buckenham flying School I bought a 1/9th share in TOTAIR a group running a PA-28 Cherkee 180, G-ATOT in July 07:

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    Looking back through my log book I took my first stab at flying in Feb 02.  Sadly shortly after I started, our dog Toby got sick.  We ended up sending him to a specialist at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket which costs an arm and a leg if you don't have insurance.... We didn't, so instead of my arms and legs I postponed my flying.

     

    My career went well and at the end of 2005 I had enough money spare to pay for the Private Pilots License outright.  My logbook shows 22/10/05 Glen Smith lessons 4 - 5 and 6 which will be the effects of flight I'm sure if I go and look it up.

     

    I did try to make a diary whilst flying but didn't keep it up.  I'll post some of the entries and try to fill in the gaps.  Much of the early circuit flying was pretty mundane.  Take off circuit and land.  Not that I didn't love every minute of it, but it's not really good material for telling a story.  Anyway here's the first post in my short lived diary:

     

     

    22 Oct 05

    17:15 - 18:00

    45 Min flight

    45 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Glen Smith

    First flight after stopping 4 years ago (although I only did a couple of lessons then) - so this was really a check flight to see where I am at and if I remember anything.

    Glen sat me down with some overhead projector foils on taxiing and effects of controls - left me alone for about 30 mins and then said OK lets go. He did all the checks on the plane and got us airborne. Took off late (17:15 in October) so didn’t have too much light left but did the effects on controls in the air, aileron/rudder/elevator/flaps varying speeds etc etc - oh yea and slipstream..

    We also covered straight and level, climbing and descending. Hmm and this was a 45 min lesson…

    My sim training was paying off!

    Landed at 18:00 and Glen shot off without much of a debrief, although it was dark and he did need to mow the lawn..

     

    6 Nov 05

    12:45- 13:15

    30 Min flight

    1:15 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Linda Smith

    Hmm what a wind - and low cloud - really didn’t think I’d be flying today - but I phoned the airfield and Gerry said - yea it’s fine……

    Linda took me out to the hanger and was looking concerned, lots of umming and ahhing, she still wasn’t sure - asked a few times, but in the end we went - and what a ride. The wind was really strong, low clouds - which meant we couldn’t do a great deal, but we did manage some turns (while being buffeted around) but the flight only lasted 30 mins. But was still great to get up in the air.

     

     

    12 Nov 05

    12:40 - 13:30

    50 Min flight

    2:05 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Andrew Castleden

    Ah Andrew is supposed to be instructing me permanently - excellent

     

    We did a bit of cross Country across to Mundford for the start of the flight with a few turns and climbs etc - seems all OK. I did the take off on this flight - and the taxi coming on well.

     

     

    12 Nov 05/2

    14:40 - 15:30

    50 Min flight

    2:55 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Andrew Castleden

    2 Flights in one day - quite tiring, but at least Im fresh as I only stepped out of the plane an hour ago. Completed the full checks on the plane this time and taxyed out to the runway - and did the radio check etc. Did the take off and took us up to 3000 for stall practice - that went pretty well, just lots of lists to remember - check this -check that - but stall recovery is pretty straight forward.

     

    13 Nov 05

    13:00 - 14:00

    60 Min flight

    3:55 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Richard Bullock

    Good pre briefing from Richard - did a transit check - fuel, oil, tyres and we were away. Parachutists were out so we had to head away from the airfield for a while - did a practice forced landing (well Richard showed me) - then back to the airfield for some Circuits - which was tiring but great. Richard took off did a practice circuit and then let me loose 500 feet turn left 90 degrees - keep climbing to 1000 feet, turn left after Attleborough, stay at 1000 - should do radio call, turn left 90 degrees at roundabout onto base, 1800 rpm, carb heat, 20 degrees flaps, radio call. Turn 90 degrees onto finals, one more set of flaps, numbers, center line, speed - had cross wind and didn’t manage to set the plane down, but he thinks I would have done it easily without the win - Im not so sure…. But a good day - real progress

     

    I then had a gap in the diary to the 10th December so I guess the weather was pretty bad and the next diary entries were real short so I wont post them here.  But I flew 10th Dec and 18th Dec then stopped until January.

     

    8 Jan 06

    13:15 - 14:10

    55 Min flight

    3:55 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Linda Smith

    Back in the seat after almost a Month off and wasn’t sure I’d get up today - the weather was really not too good, not much wind but low visibility - had a real problem seeing the airstrip. This mornings flight was cancelled and so had to wait till 13:00. Linda took me up again - I have had so many different instructors! She pretty much let me do everything - which was pretty cool. Plane checks were all good, radio check and taxi out - all OK. Backtracked down 25 to 07

     

    take off was great, a bit rusty on the first circuit - forgot to turn left at 500 and checks were a bit slow - radio was OK, first landing wasn’t too good, but I did set it down. Linda did flaps etc and next circuit was much better - keep forgetting carb heat though - landing a bit bumpy - but got it down third circuit - dropped the right wing on take off - now that’s a problem - real dangerous. Fourth circuit had to do a go around… 5th circuit was good, 6th circuit dropped the right wing again OMG - last circuit landed.

    Need to focus on that wing!!!!

     

    14 Jan 06

    09:35 - 10:20

    45 Min flight

    1:15 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Gerry Honey

    Weather looked fine when I came across to Old Buck and it even looked great when we took off, bit of a cross wind and Gerry took me through the cross wind take off, nose into wind, elevators down until take off speed, straighten nose and pull back. No probs. Then the clouds came in, we had fairly good vis above 1000 but no horizon. Gerry did some handling refresher, turns, climbing, descending (Must remember Carb heat!!!). Then he flew back and landed as the weather was real bad.

    Did my air law exam and failed! Not sure how I thought I had really got it clinched - so not happy - but back to the books…

     

    Again the diary is a bit empty in Jan, I flew again 22 and 29th Jan doing circuits. Then a break to 18th Feb one more flight on 26th Feb and then my Solo.

     

    26 feb 06

    12:30- 13:05

    35 Min flight

    12:45 Hours Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Gerry Honey

    After my Euphoria from the earlier flight Gerry took me up to do some different landing techniques, he demonstrated a powerless landing (turn in early, cut the power and glide in, flaps if necessary to shorten the slope) I managed to do one and a flapless landing, extend the final and come in much shallower. All good stuff…

     

    26 Feb Part 2

    11:00- 11:15

    15 Min flight

    12:10 Hours Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Self

    Well this was it, Gerry jumped out and I did my first Solo - all a bit shakey but even with some other traffic around I was up, round and down safely

     

     

    I then flew again that day with Gerry but no diary entry.

     

    I had a break to 12th March:

     

    12 March 06

    15:25- 15:45

    20 Min flight

    13:05 Hours Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Linda Smith

    Was a bit tired today, and the weather was a bit choppy, but fine to fly. The first circuit was a bit rusty and seemed to lose focus, I bounced on the touch and go, which wasn’t a good sign. Came round again and still wasn’t feeling too confident, but Linda asked me to land. So I did (and only just stopped before the end of the runway). I really shouldn’t have said OK to go solo - but Linda thought I would be fine….

     

    12 March 03 Part 2

    15:45- 16:05

    20 Min flight

    13:25 Hours Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Self

    OK here’s where it all go’s wrong. I took off fine no problem, the circuit seemed to go OK, but I was offline coming in on final for a touch and go. Also there was a bit of a crosswind which didn’t help. From what I can remember I landed OK, slightly left of centerline and I think I tried to steer the aircraft right. But I must have hit the brake…. The aircraft veered right onto the grass. Luckily enough I managed to stop it tipping over and just let it settle straight on the grass, cut the engine to idle and waited. Will asked me to taxi back (don’t worry I wasn’t going anywhere else). That was that I was pretty shaken…

     

    19 March 06

    12:20- 12:50

    30 Min flight

    13:55 hours Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Linda Smith

    Did a few Circuits with Linda not expecting anything much today, but the wind was calm and the visibility good and everything was going really well. So she asked if I wanted to consolidate my solo flight and hopped out

     

    19 March 06 Part 2

    12:50 - 13:15

    25 Min flight

    14:20 Hours Total

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Self

    Two touch and go’s and a final landing - no problem. The issue was definitely brakes last time, must have trodden on the right brake…. But all is well this week

     

     

    Another break to 2 April

     

    2 April 06

    13:15 - 14:20

    65 Min flight

    Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINB

    Linda Smith

    Great day today. I had 2 lessons booked, one at 12:00 and the other at 14:00 and I had slotted the Navigation exam between the two. The weather looked OK although a bit windy and as I had the exam anyway I didn’t bother phoning ahead and just turned up at 12:00 for the first flight. Linda asked me to plot a flight from old Buck out to Lowestoft then across to North Walsham before heading back to Old Buckenham. So that took about 30 mins to plan and with Linda showing me the weather we didn’t get out to the aircraft until 12:45 ish. It needed refuelling and after the checks we finally got airbourne around 13:05. The heading out to Lowestoft worked a treat (except me flying straight over a gliding site ;S ) and the weather held up to the coast. the trip across to North Walsham was pretty bumpy but the vis was great and the return trip to Old Buck was real slow with a 30 knot wind. Landing was a bit of a stress, but everything came together and I put the aircraft down safely. felt fantastic.

    Then I went and did the exam, apart from struggling with getting the same track as the answer sheet it went OK, although I wasn’t too sure. But Linda called me when I got home and I scored 88% so well happy - Meteorology next

     

     

    8th April 06

    09:25 - 10:25

    60 Min flight

    16 Hours 25 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINB

    Gerry Honey

    Advanced Turns this morning, which all sounded straight forwards - and to be honest they were - except going round in circles (very tight and very fast) for most of the lesson left me feeling very queezy. Thinking about it now has the same effect - lol - but all went well and I managed to complete a few turns, levelling out at the correct heading and maintaining flight level. We then completed a trip to VNC (max speed) and came back home - good flight - still all going well.

     

     

    22 April 06 Part 1

    09:10 - 09:40

    30 Min flight

    17 Hours 05 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINB

    Gerry Honey

    Quick check ride to make sure I was OK for solo - did a couple of ccts - out to Snetterton and did a long final - everything fine so Gerry jumped out and let me loose

     

     

    22 April 06 Part 2

    09:40 - 10:30

    50 Min flight

    17 Hours 45 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINB

    Self

    Circuit work on my own, still need plenty of practice - procedures are good, but need to focus on setting up for landing/height/speed/ CARB HEAT/ flaps etc etc. But no dramas all went OK.

     

    30 April 06

    13:15 - 14:30

    75 Min flight

    19 Hours 0 Min Total

    PA-28

    G-NINB

    Linda Smith

    Second Nav exercise - no wind at all so planning was easy. First leg to Cambridge, then across to Felixstowe and she would complete a diversion (well I would) back to Old Buck. Really clear day, no wind, set the heading and everything went to plan. Linda did the radio calls for me and the leg from Old Buck to Cambridge was dead on plan. Turned overhead Cambridge and headed for Felixstowe. Linda Diverted me about halfway into the leg, quick calc, 30 degrees, 30 miles - 20 mins. Did the first half in 8 mins so changed the estimate to 16, we arrived overhead Old Buck at 17 mins - excellent stuff. Hope all my cross countries are windless and clear - lol. Landing was a bit rusty - airspeed was a little slow and I was too high (QNH rather than QFE…)

     

    The diary goes quiet then until July - so I guess I was banging out circuits until then

     

    13:45 - 14:45

    15 Min flight

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Linda Smith

    EGSV to EGMC

    My first away landing - the idea was to take a trip down to Southend, land, have a coffee and a trip back. I planne dout the route via Sudbury - all handy stuff as I would have to do the same on my QCC so handy to know. Need to focus on the map reading a bit, was drifting over Bury, but we routed there OK, found the airfield, completed a Left circuit and landed no problem.

     

    2 Jul 06 (2)

    15:25 - 16:10

    35 Min flight

    PA-28

    G-NINC

    Linda Smith

    EGMC - EGSV

    Second part of my first land away. Back from Southend to Old Buck. We came out of the Airfield and I got my heading wrong. That put us a few miles offf track, which I didn’t allow for next thing I was off course and unsure. Wattisham was on my left - I didn’t recognise it and Linda had to put me right. Ooops. But made it back - landed OK so not too bad.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

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