Leaving the circuit

I have now completed all of my circuit lessons and the next flight that I’m scheduled to complete is one where I get to actually leave the circuit.
The plan is for me to go out on my own and do some other manoeuvres that have to be done further away from the airport (steep turns and practice forced landings for those who are interested.)

This now gives me a chance to start exploring the area and choosing how long I do everything for. It is my choice for how long I do each of the exercises for in the allotted time and I’m expected to do what I think is needed.

It is also going to be a good chance to get some more filming done and get some good shots of me controlling the aircraft and some nice views out of the cockpit. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to get both in the same shot!

It also seems odd – I’m almost half way through the single engine phase of my training out here in New Zealand and I’ve only been here a month! Hopefully this rate of progress continues but I know that the weather is changing out here – winter is clearly coming – and I think that this may slow our progress down, but we’ll just have to wait and see

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More solo circuits

After completing my ‘first solo’ last week, I have now moved on to do more circuits. The other day, I was in for an hour of solo circuits.
For those who don’t know, circuits are when you take off, fly around the airfield and then come straight back in to land. But immediately after landing, you take off again. You may have heard them referred to as ‘touch and go’s

I was able to mount my camera inside the aircraft whilst doing this

Circuits at Hamilton

This video shows me on my first take off after taxiing out and then three of my better touch and go’s.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the audio that I hear through my headset (air traffic speaking to me) but it isn’t essential to the video.
I hope you enjoy it. *Sadly, readers in Germany are unable to see the video due to the backing music. I apologise*

In other news, it was my birthday earlier in the week, as you may have seen from some of the tweets on the side. Being abroad for my birthday for the first time felt strange, but it did give me the opportunity to go and do something you wouldn’t get to do in the UK.
We went to Hobbiton, where they filmed parts of Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Being just under an hour away from our accommodation, it was a great day out and well worth a visit if you are ever out here.

And finally, with it being ANZAC Day here in New Zealand when I’m writing this, it is only fitting if I leave you with this poem:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon

First Solo in New Zealand – complete

Yesterday I completed one of flight training’s milestones – flew solo for the first time. Admittedly, I have previously flown solo, so it’s not as much of an achievement but it was still my first solo in the Katana and my first solo in New Zealand.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to video it but my next few flights all involve doing a lesson or check followed by solo circuits, so I’m hoping to get some in-cockpit footage to upload.

Flying through

I apologise now for the pun in the title…

This time last week I was celebrating passing my Air Law exam and my Differences exam. This week I am now preparing to go solo!
As I have eluded to numerous times in my blog, I have already got a PPL and CTC allow you to have some of your previous hours credited, meaning that you don’t have to do all the hours. I have taken up this offer and removed a number of lessons from the syllabus and the way it has worked out, it looks as though I will be going solo in the next couple of lessons!

I have to say, it does feel great to be back up in the air again and as soon as I got in the aircraft last week, it all came back to me. Naturally, a few things didn’t come back to me straight away – I’m still not very good at picking a field for my practice forced landings, but I’m sure it’ll come to me with time.

One thing that I do find quite different over here compared with doing my PPL at Blackpool is the fact that I’m in a different aircraft each day. At Blackpool I was either in G-GAEA or G-GAEB and they both flew in exactly the same way.
I guess that at CTC it is more like an airline in the fact that I’m in a different aircraft each day and each performs totally differently. It also makes me laugh how most aircraft also have a nickname based on their callsign and they usually relate to their performance characteristics… But I won’t go into that!

Fingers crossed, next time I post, I’ll be able to put some pictures on here of me flying solo!