Another training diary entry on a weekend where I really wasn't expecting to make much progress! I had 2 lessons booked (Sat and Sun) but all week the weather forecast was looking, let's say, unlikely. However on Saturday morning I got a call to ask if I could come in early because there looked to be a short weather window, maybe enough for a few circuits - suitable for some crosswind landing practice. Upon arriving, the TAF had been updated to indicate possibility of stronger winds arriving some time in a 4 hour window, along with a front of rain from the west - but it looked like we should still have enough time for a couple of circuits before it arrived. Discussed whether to go ahead or not with the instructors, but we decided it was worth it even if we wouldn't get much time out there in the end.
We took off in fairly blustery and gusty conditions, with the ASI reading 20-25 knots when parked up at the end of the runway, but the wind direction was only about 20 degrees off the runway so a manageable crosswind. Took off OK and we could see the rain coming in ahead of us, a few miles away, but it wasn't too bad in the first circuit! Did a flapless touch and go, despite the gusty crosswind and some half-baked radio calls (to Traffic at least, no ATC at the weekend) the landing was OK and we were off on the second circuit. The rain started to come in, and we could see the weather closing in around so decided to make the next one to land - circuit wasn't the tightest in the world and I managed to forget carb heat when starting descent (despite putting it on for downwind checks successfully), overshot final by a fair way in the crosswind but got back on to it and made another decent enough landing despite significant sink over the threshold. Tied the aeroplane back down in the rain and went in before it got too heavy! I was definitely pretty rusty after not flying for nearly a month, and this showed in the not so perfect circuits. But overall a pretty successful 20 minute lesson, and my cheapest to date by a long way
Then, because of the clearly worse weather that was on the cards for today, I decided that I might as well try my last 3 theory exams so booked in for those (Comms, Navigation, Flight Performance and Planning). Did those this morning and passed them all! I was a bit uncertain of what to expect for Navigation but it was much easier than I expected - not even a map in sight (that only came up in one question in Flight Planning). Once again, EasyPPL Ground School was great preparation, if you can pass their mock exams I think you should find the real thing to be quite easy.
So, a much more productive weekend than expected, and now I've done all the exams I am "on the clock" for actually learning to fly the aeroplane! Hopefully 24 months will be enough... I will certainly need to do better than 20 minutes a month but hopefully the weather will start improving soon!