Bad Weather Approach to Bristol

On the 30th January, we got our longest go in the simulators yet.

This time, the session was much more of a lesson than an ‘play’. Nic, our instructor, wanted to teach us how to read the instruments and how to use them to fly. This was putting what we’d been learning in class into practice.

Our flight saw us take over the flight over mid Wales where we then flew up towards Caernarfon (a small airfield just off Anglesey) before turning to head towards the navigation aid at Wallasey. When we got close to this nav aid, we changed course again and started to make our way towards Blackpool, using yet another type of navigation aid. Once these had all been demonstrated, we started to route towards Bristol, following the approach plate that we had been provided with.

At this point, we had been placed above the clouds and were told to navigate back down through Wales on just our instruments alone (and the autopilot!)
We successfully managed this and took up the holding pattern at Bristol Airport. This is where things started to get interesting and where the video below begins.

We got ourselves established on the approach to the runway and were using just the navigation aids that are found on the airfield. Being above the clouds (and in them for a while), we had no idea how accurate our approach was.

All was revealed though at 250ft when Nic removed the cloud. As you can see in the video, we were quite a way to the right of the runway and we were just 900m from the touchdown point.
Praise has to go to Richard, who flew the landing after we took it off autopilot, as he managed to successfully manoeuvre the plane, land it on the runway and have it stopped before the end! All that time of Flight Sim paid off!

A very enjoyable session and one that really brought the stuff that you learn in the classroom to life!

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