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Graham56

PUT Catchup 1 - It's been a long time...

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My updates stopped some two years ago when Vince suspended the blogs in his fight against hackers. The blogs have been back up for a while now so I think I ought to finally update the story. I'm going to cover about 18 months in a few blog postings...

I see from my last entry that I was deep into circuits and having a bit of a crisis in confidence.

So what happened after that?

Well, I plodded onwards, demonstrating more perseverance than skill. To quote General Melchett from Blackadder: "If nothing else works, a total pig-headed refusal to look facts in the face will see us through..."

Eventually though, Chris 'popped the question'.

"Do you want to try one yourself?"

Well there is only one answer to that...

It was a benign day, with a light wind up the runway. I had just done about an hour of dual circuits, so while I was a little tired I was up for it.

A quick briefing and discussion of how the aircraft handles 'one up', then off I went.

I had been warned, but I was still a surprise when the Quantum leapt off the runway before I expected it. I ended up pulling the bar back a little to contol the rocket-like climbout.

And yes, throughout the circuit I could feel the diffence in responsiveness and handling of the lighter machine.

All great fun.

Until the landing...

My approach was fine but on the flare I ballooned up and ended up high over the sea wall which lies along the side of Stoke's runway.

So I followed the training and went for the go-around. Not so bad so far.

The seond attempt was a shambles.

Again the high flare and balloon, but this time my mind was full of "I can't go around AGAIN!"

So I let it carry on, but effectively stopped taking charge of the aircraft.

It smacked down with an almighty THUMP, the cross tube bouncing hard against the keel. The machine then shot back up into the air.

I should have kept flying the aircraft through this, but no, I just became a passive observer and waited for the seond impact.

Then the third...

Perhaps it was too late in the lesson, and I had been needing the loo. But when I went home I had a massive let-down. And Chris had to do a detailed inspection of the aircraft and wing structure.

Other people say you never forget the first solo. Well neither will I, but for the wrong reasons.

On reflection, the most important result was that it reinforced the lesson that no matter what happens, KEEP FLYING THE BLOODY AEROPLANE!!!! ALL THE WAY IN!!!

And since then I've never repeated that passive moment. Even when my approaches and landings have been 'less than optimal', I keep working that bar all the way, and can usually turn it into something that works.

A few more weeks of circuts followed, then I got offered another go: "Do a few if you are comfortable."

This time it all went well. I had no problem with the 6kt crosswind and did three drama-free circuits with no problems. The landings weren't perfect (well, I claim that one was!) but they all got the aircraft down safely and with no fuss.

And I now had two sessions with the magic phrase in my logbook - "P1"

"Well that's a dragon slain" said an unusually poetic Chris...

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Updated 04-06-15 at 09:55 AM by Graham56

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