Date: 02 jun 2022, 16:00 (UTC)
Route: EBZH - Hasselt - BUN - EBZH
- METAR EBBL 021755Z AUTO 08007KT 9999 NCD 19/05 Q1019 BLU=
Flight time: 00:49
Again a longer than ideal time between this an my previous flight. Especially with low experience, rust builds up fast, so a month is really long. I tried to be extra slow and careful not to miss anything.
The weather was very sunny, which also meant it was expected to be quite "bumpy", thanks to the thermal activity and also a wind of about 8 kts with a variable direction between North and East.
I had prepared to do the same flight of last time, mostly to get more routine with Brussels Information Flight Information.
So in the air, I first did a touch and go and then left for my trip around Diest again. I contacted Brussels Information.
They heard me, but the response was completely unreadable. I responded with that and asked to leave the frequency. I didn't have any issues with the local radio at the airfield, and I could hear others talk to Brussels Info. I tried to climb a little higher (although I could not go very high), but that didn't seem to help.
After trying once more, I told them I'd change my frequency back, and just could make out they said goodbye. Maybe I did something wrong, but I didn't have any other problems with the radio. I haven't had this before, so not sure what was up, maybe just in the wrong place. It's always hard to understand, but this time it was absolutely impossible.
I could make up they were asking me to squawk something with a 0, but I only heard it once.
Anyway, so instead I stayed around Hasselt and did another touch and go.
The weather was indeed bumpy, but different from last time: it was sometimes smooth, but occasionally there would be up and down drafts. The bumps were less frequent, but the horizontal movement was bigger.
Luckily in the circuit it was mostly calm, although the wind was a bit tricky just above the airfield.
My first touch and go, not so good. The first time ever I did a little bounce. For a second I thought I could start "purpoising" but it wasn't very high and I tried not to overcompensate.
The other two landings were better, especially my third. So the flying was OK, but for my radio situation I could be more prepared next time:
What to do if you contact Brussels Info (FIS or Flight Information Services) and the response is completely unreadable (but they can hear you fine):
- BEFORE contacting, first listen out longer on the frequency. Today it wasn't very busy so after a while I did try to contact them
- Respond that you are reading them "1"
- Explain that you will leave the frequency, wait for an (unreadable?) response
- Have the frequency for Belga Information at hand (not sure why I didn't think of that): 129.325 - they also provide Flight Information
- If this doesn't work, it's still OK to continue the flight while just listening out the frequency: if requested to leave first. No need to return home
Not sure what will happen next time, I'll do the flight without contacting them per se.
00:49 minutes of flying time: € 88,20