This Monday we did another navigation flight, around Liege, as preparation for my practical exam.
It was probably the most beautiful flight we have yet done. Quite possibly the longest too.
Date: 14 sep 2020, 15:00 (UTC)
Route: EBZH - EBAV - Andenne, SIERA (Tinlot), EBTX, Visé, NOVEMBER (Tongeren), ROMEO (Waremme) - EBAV - EBZH
- METAR EBLG 141550Z 16005KT CAVOK 30/10 Q1021 NOSIG=
Flight time: 01:31
01:31 flying time: € 154,70
01:31 hour instructor time: € 50
This was the last flight before my practical exam. The plan was to fly a navigation like I will in the exam. First we fly to EBAV (Avernas), from there we proceed as planned for a flight around the CTR of EBLG (Liege).
We had to talk to the military ATC (APPROACH) of EBBE (Beauvechain), because EBAV is inside the military Danger area "EBD37". They weren't really busy it seemed, so we were cleared to proceed through "Delta Three Seven".
After leaving the area, we switch to EBLG, also there they were not very busy.
It was a warm day, but there weren't a lot of people flying. The air was calm, the visibility was high. There was barely any wind.
I was able to identify the points on the map. I had to carry two maps, because one part of Belgium is printed on the backside of the map, which is kind of hard to switch around on the flight.
Anyway, the only problem I had was locating the airfields EBAV and EBTX.
EBAV is normally easy to spot. Well, not the field itself, which is kind of tiny. But it is close to a highway, which is flanked by three wind turbines and right next to it is a huge pylon.
But the sun that day made the pylon hard to spot, and there are numerous wind turbines along the highway. I knew I was very close by, but it took quite long to spot the field.
Note that we were coming in from the North.
EBTX is surrounded by some forrests and the town of Theux, and some others.
It's right at the edge of the forest, and it's a pretty huge grass strip. Easy to spot, if you know where it is.
Along the way, I established some more landmarks on the map:
- Sint-Truiden and EBST
- Andenne (beautiful by the way)
- SIERA (a reporting point for EBLG) at the town of Tinlot
- Terril of Blegny
- Visé, with a distinctive dock
- ROMEO (Waremme)
I still fly slightly sideways. I've been doing that since day 1. It is really annoying but I haven't shaken it off yet. A consequence is that the sideways force pushes fuel to right fuel tank, so I always get my fuel unbalanced.
To resolve, I can shut down the left fuel valve for a while, allowing the tanks to be more balanced again. Kind of important is I don't forget to re-open it. It's good practice anyways, since some aircraft don't allow to open both tanks at the same time.
There really wasn't that much remarkable. We found all our points. The radio was quiet. We noticed some other traffic on our way back to EBZH over Sint-Truiden, but apart from that it was like nobody was flying.
After arriving at EBZH, everything was quite, the wind was still, the sun was starting to set. It was all very relaxed.
I don't think I've done an hour and a half of flight. But in those conditions, I could've kept flying forever. I kind of expected my instructor to pull the gas and do a practice forced landing, but not today! All was well.
My instructor was happy, said if I do that for the exam (IN A FEW DAYS) it'll be all good. And I should keep an eye on fields and where the wind was coming from.
The relaxed flight might take away from the massive amount of stuff that has been happening.
- We were all shocked by a fatal crash at EBZH, an extremely experienced pilot seemed to have suffered an engine failure on take-off on runway 27 and could not recover in time.
- I failed my radio exam in Brussels and still need to re-take it
- I signed up for the practical exam, and will be doing it soon
- I am waiting for information to prepare the exam, I would've gotten it several days earlier, but e-mail had an issue
- I am insanely stressed for the exam
- School restarted, Corona still around
- I got to talk to five-year olds about learning to fly at my daughter's school
- Flight Simulator 2020 was released
My next flight is my exam flight. On friday, at EBAV. I'm a little behind with this blog, so I'm writing this pretending I don't know yet how it went.