I flew some solo circuits, but stopped a little early as the weather was startig to turn.
Date: 12 aug 2020, 15:00 (UTC)
- METAR EBBL 121525Z 09006KT 9999 FEW065 SCT300 33/18 Q1012
- METAR EBLG 121520Z 07016G35KT 030V110 7000 -TSRA SCT067CB
Type: Local VFR, touch and go's
Flight time: 47 min
0:47 flying time: € 79,90
0:45 hour instructor time: € 30
We've been in a heat wave the whole week, and it's slowly coming to an end. With that comes some unstable air. When I arrived at the airfield, we could see some Cb (thunderclouds) far away in the East. The wind was calm and usually coming from the West, although it depended a lot on which Cb was where. It was predicted that by the evening, the weather would become unstable.
Visibility wasn't great, I could barely see past Hasselt while in the Circuit.
It was 6 weeks ago I last flew, when we went to Goetsenhoven. I agreed with the instructor to do some local circuits, to get the feeling back, but also because the weather didn't lend itself to navigation.
It was a while, so I took my time with the walk-around and checklist. When I was ready to taxi there was one other student in the circuit, with the Cessna 150 OO-KWP.
I taxied to the holding point for runway 27, and waited for OO-KWP who was on Final at the time, for a touch and go. After they departed again, I lined up and departed runway 27.
I followed OO-KWP in the circuit, because I noticed they were a little bit further away in down-wind than we usually are. Meaning the cross and base legs were a bit longer. I preferred to follow them, otherwise I'd probably catch up to them.
My landings were a bit long, but my instructor informed us we had some tail-wind (the wind had turned). So that made sense.
I think on my second or third approach I was a bit high, I think I may have made it to the runway, but it would've probably been somewhere in the middle. Instead I opted for a go-around: "OO-G83 going around"
The next approaches were OK. In the mean time, OO-KWP did a full stop but then lined up again. Turns out to student did his first solo.
Meanwhile, a Cb had been creeping in in the East. One my second to last circuit it tricked me a little.
I was on the right-hand base for runway 27. As usual, I pulled the engine to idle and reduced my speed to ~ 100 km/h and put the flaps half-way. NORMALLY keeping the speed to 100 with those flaps gives me a nice vertical speed of -500 ft/min.
This time, I got 0 ft/min. I noticed it a little late, focusing more on my speed and heading. I was still in my base-leg and extended full flaps, but turning final I was ridiculously high. So I had to go-around again.
By that time, OO-KWP had already ended his flight.
While flying the circuit again, my instructor changed the runway from 27 to 09, since the wind was really picking up. He also adviced to do a full stop, noticing a deteration in the wind.
I acknowledged on the radio and turned around to enter the end of downwind runway 09. That eventually was my best landing, which makes sense since I had a strong head-wind by then. It was much more windy than I thought, I noticed when I landed.
We quickly put the aircraft inside and that was it for that flight.
When there's a Cb behind you, there will be wind and probably some upwards airflow. It may be a bit harder to descend.
Personally, if I wasn't with the instructor, I would've chosen a different time to fly, since "unstable air with a chance of thunderstorms" is a little tricky, and the winds can change quickly.
I could've noticed sooner that I wasn't losing height.
My landings with the tail-wind were not THAT smooth, but acceptable.
Next time, we will navigate from EBZH, via Tongeren, to EBAV and back to EBZH via Sint-Truiden. As a preparation for the practical exam.