A Day in the Playground

Hi dear reader, we’ve just had an amazing day at the airfield. It started with beautiful calm hour in the sky for me. Pinky needed a minor adjustment so Greg went up a little later in the morning – weather still wonderful at that time.

Mid morning we had about ten planes fly in for a quick stop-over – very cool! We finished the day with an extremely windy afternoon flight for Greg and Liz – all of which made for one huge thoroughly enjoyable day!

I just wanted to leave you with some pics from the day – all taken from my iPhone; forgot my camera again. Until next time,


Let the Airplane Fly

We were given the opportunity to  fly with Andrew in the amazing low wing Brumby on the weekend.

What a fabulous airplane! It’s a very spacious two seater monoplane with adjustable super comfortable seats, dual controls with control sticks, throttle control in the centre and toe brakes. This was all a bit different after being in the Jabs, as was the trim wheel in the centre console, but surprisingly it didn’t take that long to adjust to the different controls.

The Brumbys are made locally at Cowra and feature all metal construction with a forward sliding canopy – very pleasant on the ground and spectacular vision in the air! This airplane has a Rotax engine and is an extremely well behaved plane in the air and a joy to fly. Brumby Aircraft also make an equally impressive high wing.  Here is the link to the website: http://www.brumbyaircraft.com.au/index.htm

All but one of my 16 hours so far have been flown in the J170, and I was a bit nervous about flying in this new, strange and wonderful machine. I needn’t have worried, it was a joy and I learnt that everything I’ve been taught so far was still the same (surprise, surprise). It really  reinforced an area I’ve been struggling in, about letting the airplane fly itself and having faith in its ability to correct itself. The less I interfere, the better!

Greg and I are both fans of the Brumby, its the perfect plane for travelling. We’d like to take the high wing for a spin one day. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my next lesson – I’m going to let go :o )


Cockpit Confessions

Flying is not natural for me, nor does it come easily. I don’t have a natural mind for mechanical things as such, and I don’t absorb new and strange facts easily or quickly, I need to go over them again and again and again. Not sure if its just my age, my gender, the subject matter or the need to line up all my ducks in a row, but it is mightily frustrating.

Someone asked me  at the airstrip today if I was winning the war yet! Bless his cotton socks, he was so encouraging. I’ve had a bad run over the last few weeks where we’ve been smashed by the westerly’s every time we went up. The continual washing machine turbulence in the circuits left me feeling unable to fly the plane and nauseous to boot; it just  frustrated me to the point of tears.

Happily, the JB crew aren’t easily deterred and my instructors suggested I do early morning flight in calmer conditions.

It worked a treat. Last Sunday on a  gorgeous wind free 7am morning, we rocked up to the airstrip for my flight;  and with the windsock still asleep, we snuck in an hour of circuits in the most glorious conditions. It was just what I needed, gave me back some confidence and I found  my aviation joy again.

By the time I had my lesson today, I was SO much more relaxed with the turbulence, I had a whole different mind-set to it. I still bunny hopped down the runway in my attempts to flare, but I know that learning to do those greaser landings will come with time in the air and repetition.

Even though I felt I made no progress over those bad weeks, I actually learned some really valuable lessons.

  • Don’t overcompensate in turbulence; it’s just a pocket of air and the airplane will right herself when she’s ready.
  • Remember to use trim! It stops me constantly over-correcting (those ducks again) AND stops me strangling the controls.
  • Fly by ‘sight picture’ and just glance at the instruments. The sight picture is crucial for visual flying (no kidding!)
  • On final, negotiate SMALL corrections as soon as they are needed instead of large corrections too late.
  • Trust your instructor (not that I didn’t already), she’s not going to let you do anything crazy; and be free in that knowledge to test and try, as you hone all those new skills.
So, the moral of the story is, even  bad flying days are good! As the adventure continues to unfold I’m looking forward to the day when I can fly instinctively and effortlessly – when flying becomes second nature, like breathing.
Until next time,
Kirst x
Here are some pics from the airstrip in August.