Author Topic: Phil Flies  (Read 6023 times)

Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2014, 18:33:37 PM »
Thanks both :-)

Perhaps so Gron  :-D, Gwyndaf erroneously did a full PPL flight test with me, it was only later in the debrief when he told me I needed to work on my VOR a bit that Cliff mentioned I was doing LAPL and not PPL, Gwyndafs face was a picture... sadly though I still dont get the full PPL as I'm 10hrs shy... and technically couldn't therefore sit the full PPL test even if I actually did...  boo!  no matter, at least the full PPL is now hopefully a formality.
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Offline Gron Jones

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #64 on: October 13, 2014, 23:35:55 PM »
Arise Sir Pilot Captain Thomas!!


Hmm - sounds as though you were given a somewhat tougher time than on my navigation exercise and final test, - or are my thoughts just mellowing with time?  Congratulations - and you may be allowed an extra little spring in your step ........................... but only for a little while, before we get fed up of you!!  ;)

Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #63 on: October 13, 2014, 22:19:06 PM »
Haverfordwest 12/10/14

I've missed a couple of updates due to work insisting that I do some... It's been a busy time from all angles recently but I managed to pack in to any spare time during the last couple of weekends some flight handling revision flying, 3 more exams, and a FRTOL exam (flight radio telephony operators license).

The big day - Sunday came quickly, largely due to the fact that the week had been crammed with activity, off to Haverfordwest for the big test, 3 hrs worth of sweatiness 😃

Started with a three point flight plan in the briefing room, once done the task was to fly it and see if my headings worked with the prevailing NE wind of the day. Fortunately Mr pooleys little flight planning tools once again were almost * on accurate and we arrived at the turn point of Llanybydder with almost minute accuracy. Whilst on the second leg, approximately overhead the Botanical gardens, I was diverted to Templeton for an 'on the hoof navigation task, map out, fly plane, calculate heading, distance, times etc guess wind effect and adjust heading accordingly.  All this whilst keeping the plane between a strict 100ft straight and level requirement at 90mph... 😨 Concentrates the mind somewhat.  Task completed when Templeton appeared roughly on time, so it was instrument flying time.  Oddly some struggle with this as the entire screen is blanked off and the flight must continue straight and level with 180 and 360 degree turns without becoming disoriented or losing/gaining too much height or speed.  Personally I find this the easiest part of flying, you can't see out so you fly your instruments, trust in them, radio to others your position, heading and altitude, and hopefully all will be well.

Instrument flying plus VOR (VHF omnidirectional radio) tracking the beacon at strumble took us overhead Newgale, the scene for the next set of tasks. Various stall scenarios, spiral dives and unusual attitude recoveries later and it was onto forced landings. Power killed at 2300ft, right we're going down, 500ft per minute so we have just over 4minutes before we go in. Look for a field, look for obstructions, lines, houses, terrain etc keep flying the plane, don't stall and go for it. If possible fly a circuit around the field to gauge the landing then hope. We were down to just over 100ft when Gwyndaf said ok power on and climb away, apparently we would in his opinion have survived so that's nice 😊

Last tasks were circuit flying at the aerodrome, landings with half flaps, full flaps, no flaps, go arounds and glide approaches (engine killed at about 800ft in the circuit).  I was relieved when he said make this one a full stop.  I was confident I'd done enough but you never can be sure until the shake of the hand is offered and your officially acclaimed 'Pilot Thomas'. Happy days :-)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 22:25:21 PM by Phil Thomas »
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Offline Steve Bain

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #62 on: October 01, 2014, 09:54:02 AM »
Ah good stuff!

Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #61 on: September 30, 2014, 21:53:22 PM »
No, Gwyndaf in HW. I took my first lessons with Goode in 2000 :-) he's still in my log book.
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Offline Steve Bain

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #60 on: September 30, 2014, 21:05:00 PM »
Well done Phil. Almost in the bag! Is it Chris Goode that will be doing your flight test?

Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #59 on: September 30, 2014, 19:42:26 PM »
Haverfordwest 21/09/14

After two days of hanging around the airport surrounded by gloom and mirk the sky's cleared sufficiently for me to do my XC solo navigation qualifier.  The task was of all places, Swansea airport, so effectively a repetition of the previous weeks adventure.  As navigation tasks go, it isn't much of a challenge but nonetheless it was treated with utmost seriousness and involved all of mr Pooleys navigation planning aids.  They really do work a treat and you can with the flight wheel, protractor and ruler navigate quite accurately almost to the minute over some distance.  Landing at Swansea proved uneventful and raised a smile after so many heavy landings recently.  Went with my paperwork towards the tower and lo and behold was met by Wattsy and his new girlfriend Sally waiting to board the skybus for skydiving.  Sadly no cafe open on this busy and sunny Sunday afternoon so it was paperwork completed and back to HW. Qualifier completed - flight assessment and 2more exams to go,  nearly there:-)
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Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2014, 21:21:29 PM »
Well work has been so busy that updates have been a little tardy if honest...

Haverfordwest 14/9/14

Well I wished to spread the wings a little and so the wish was granted:-). The snooker maestro and I headed off for West wales airstrip near Cardigan for cake and tea with the resident John (ic radio comms on weekends), and. Then set off for Swansea. Both destinations were done in a formal mock navigation task scenario involving many of mr Pooleys original flight planning instruments, old tech for sure but almost to the minute accuracy in terms of flight planning.  Approaching Swansea from Carmarthen we decided to save the £14 landing fee and circuit around instead and head back to HW. 

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Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2014, 21:41:55 PM »
Bryncaws 16/09/14

Atop the hill was David, he'd been waiting most of the day.  Sadly my window of opportunity was brief, the strength was unfortunately about 4 mph too strong on average but close enough to 'doable' for me to rig up and get ready.  After 30 mins or so of waiting there was a lull that was lasting so off I went. After a few beats though it was clear that the air was rough as, with much of it arriving from the NE no doubt being disturbed by the terrain en route to me, penetration north was nearly impossible so it was back down to wait it out...  Another 30 mins elapsed before a second attempt but the same result ensued, the only sensible launch platfrom was the ENE slope it seemed, but time had beat me and work beckoned :-(
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Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2014, 21:34:12 PM »
Bryncaws 12/09/14

Arrived as Jon Munro was getting airborne, always nice to have a wind dummy ;-)

Chatted to Paul and Guy for a bit whilst getting the gear ready, it was clear from Jons track that the upper launch area was best and the wind slightly N of E.  I grounhandled for a while as I'm completely out of practice, after 10mins or so of running back and forth it was time for offski.  Launched and crabbed around the hillside tucking in as close as I dared to get to the NE slope, once around the furthermost prominentry I climbed rapidly up to 3-400 ato.  Nice to PG again after so much powered activity, shame there was no thermic action to play with but a flights a flight etc :-)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 21:44:54 PM by PhilT »
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Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #55 on: September 15, 2014, 10:58:01 AM »
Haverfordwest 7/9/14

Back to basics.  The esteemed Cliff was quite busy and a bit distracted so I was offloaded to fellow instructor Ryan. Now Ryan is a youngster, a nut for aviation it seems though, mid to late 20s and back and forth to HW airport from Porthcawl 6 sometimes 7 days a week, just completed his CPL so you never know, he might be the next one out flying Susi Air on that C4 programme Worst Place To be a Pilot ;-) ....

Anyway flying with someone new for the first time was quite nerve wracking, everything I'd been taught went out the window and I basically spent 30 minutes sat on the apron clucking like a hen whilst he looked on in disbelief, well that's how it felt anyway, what actually happened was we flew some circuits whereby I promptly forgot an array of quite basic things.  Seems they were not insurmountable though and he was content enough with my clucking, er, I mean flying to send me back out on my tod after just a few circuits.  CIRCUITS - you've got to do your time I guess, but now I must have done several dozen at Withybush in company and alone and feel the need to stretch the wings a bit.... ;-)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 20:32:51 PM by PhilT »
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Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2014, 21:47:35 PM »
Bont and Pontlliw 2/9/14 & 3/9/14

Bont
Well after a poor August it was nice to see a return to more clement weather.  At last, a respite from that wind and rain...

First up was pacifying a restless 9 year old who'd been nagging for a tandem.  Trouble is, I fly with just a little 80cc motor and extra large solo wing, now my eldest Jac is getting to be quite a lump and I wondered in the nil wind of Tues 2nd weather we'd be doing more running than flying... So it was, took a seeming age to get airborne, was on the verge of quitting when a desperate hoik of the brakes saw us on a weak climb out over the Lliw reservoir.  Once settled we were able to gain quite reasonable height and took in the sites of Morriston hospital, Dvla, Treboeth, Penlan etc basically all of Swansea high society.  An interesting landing caused by trouble flaring back at the field almost had us on our bums but we managed to keep it together, just.  Thinking a nice shiny new motor is the way forward, preferably one with a beefy engine :-)

Pontlliw
The next night I was alone, wanted to try out a new field in pontlliw just a few mins from the house.  Quick call with the owners turned into a long drawn out affair of polite chit chat and gossip followed by tours of the motor and explanations of how 'that thing' can possibly get me into the air. I must admit, in the only field available due to livestock I had my doubts also, the hedge row looked too close, the trees beyond that loomed large and beyond those trees lies the motorway, ah well I though, what could possibly go wrong  :?

Full power launch saw a very fast run straight at the hedge... At the point of no return I started to lift and cleared the hedge with a few feet to spare, next the trees - sod the trees I thought, I'm in the air, quick tug of the left control saw a low but gaining circuit of the field and I continued in this vain until a safe height was achieved.  Onwards then to some low flying over the estuary followed by a tour of Llanelli waterfront - looks nice from the air :-) after an hour of sky mincing it was back to find the field, well if the take off was tricky the landing was a bit technical too, the field is not large and is bordered by a high tree line on approach, 1st time around it was obvious I was too high and would no doubt plonk down in the hedge at the far end, second approach saw me almost kicking the tops of the trees just to ensure I had enough runway, I landed with 30ft to spare... Think I'll try a different field next time  :-D
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Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2014, 22:07:10 PM »
Haverfordwest 31/08/14

They were daft enough at Haverfordwest to give me the keys to a cessna today for the day :-) right! Time to wreak havoc over Hook, Fishguard, Newgale, Talbenny, Narberth and Bethesda...

3 hrs of powered chaos ensued, multiple tasks were set by a distant Cliff, a total of 9 landings were required, but in between it all I managed to sneak away and buzz the Goodridge household, Roberts airstrip, and my campsite friends near Narberth :-) my, that little cessna can certainly handle well!

Almost 20hrs completed now, 10 more for LAPL or 20 more for PPL... Hmmm, how much is in the bank...?
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Offline Phil Thomas

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2014, 22:23:30 PM »
Thanks Gron, yes I recognise all of what you say. Frightening, thrilling, and bewildering all at the same time, but in actual fact it was underwhelming, simply because it had become routine and drilled, which of course is a good thing. Confidence is absolutely necessary, just like a nil wind PPG launch ;-) beer whenever you are ready, I'm back with the 147 master tomorrow :-)
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Offline Gron Jones

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Re: Phil Flies
« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2014, 22:14:59 PM »
CONGRATULATIONS, Phil !!!!!!!!!!!!     Big moment!!!


At this stage of flying, you've been flying the aircraft independently for a while ...............  just with that reassuring feeling of someone competent in the plane WITH you!  When that someone hops out and suddenly sends you off SOLO - it feels like a different ball game doesn't it??!!  (The plane climbs better for a start!)   After the initial jitters, I'm sure you settled down and just got on with it!  I'll never forget my first solo in a Piper Cherokee in 1984 in Fairwood Common, Swansea,  and thinking to myself on the downwind leg of the circuit ............ Hmmmm  the ONLY person out of the entire population of the world who can get this plane down on the ground in one piece is ME, and no-one else!!! 
The whole "confidence thing" improves from now on in your flying career - and that's what makes you fly better.  (Rather like a paramotor forward launch maybe - as we've often discussed, ........... it's probably only about 25% technique, while 75% is confidence and belief!)   
WELL DONE!  You can buy me a pint to celebrate ;-)