Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

I don’t think I’ve ever been so annoyed with myself as I have this week.

Was doing circuits and whilst the wind was pretty light 9k it was very variable, approach was stable and everything good until about 50ft gust blew me to the right a fair bit....

I’m still kicking myself now for not going around as the thought did enter my mind but the pull to save it and that little voice saying “you can make it” was too great, I did manage to save it and get down however very right of the centre line and too close to the grass for my liking.

It’s really made me question my decision making skills and kicked my confidence especially as it should have been my First solo lesson but with that and the wind being unpredictable my instructor wasn’t comfortable which I agreed with to be fair... He needs to see I can make the right decision and have consistency.

I guess when you fall of a bike you get back on so I just need to get back in the circuits and nail it. Just a pain in the a$$ at Liverpool, you either don’t have the weather or they won’t accept any more in the circuits which seems to be a limit of one at a time... sigh... fingers crossed for a better lesson next time.

Ups and down of doing ppl.... I’m defo in the down atm :roll:
Rob P, davenuk liked this
I landed on the grass next to the runway once whilst a solo student.

I was so perturbed, I then called “Downwind” instead of “runway vacated”

My instructors voice came over the radio in plain english “Everything ok Dave? You alright?”

My leg started shaking and I said “no, I’m taxying back”.

When I got back to the apron, we had a chat and he insisted I go do some more circuits, solo!

I learnt when to go around from that and if I’m at all not happy, I go around.

Don’t beat yourself up about it, it’s just part of the learning.

Last time I went around, it was because a student in front of me landed next to the runway at DX, turned 90 degrees, taxied back on and stopped.

I thought “don’t worry mate, we’ve all been there”.

You learnt from yours, that’s all you need to do.
T6Harvard, Fellsteruk liked this
There ought to be some pilot’s version of praying to not be “led into temptation” or blocking one’s ears to singing sirens, because the pull of the runway even when things are getting a bit out of shape is really strong!

The tiniest glance at the accident reports will show dozens of experienced pilots confessing “should have gone around”

Now you know how strong that temptation is so you’ll be better equipped to resist next time :)

Have you needed to many low levels go arounds when you’ve spotted it’s gone wrong?

Decision making skills improve with practise like handling skills, but there’s often less opportunity naturally arising to practise them. You can set out to say “I’ll use a crosswind runway today to practise that bit of handling” but can’t as easily say “I’m going to naff up a random number of all my approaches today to practice choosing when to go around” quite so easily!

So it’s natural that they take some time to bed in. Rehearsing them mentally can be a useful suplement. Which it sounds like yiu’re already doing so Ikm sure all will be well!
T6Harvard, Rob P, Fellsteruk liked this
@Fellsteruk one phrase you don't hear from pilots stood watching others land is, "why did he go around?"

But the phrase you will hear is "why didn't he go around?"

Going around is rarely the wrong decision, and you need to remember that when you are P1 and airborne, you call the shots not Liverpool ATC. If you need to go around, do it, it is their job to adjust the traffic.

If the wind was unstable, the chances are you wouldn't have gone solo anyway, just enjoy the process, it'll come.
T6Harvard, JAFO, Rob P and 2 others liked this
So in summary....

You landed without man or machine being hurt - tick

You debriefed yourself and recognised the TEM learning point - tick

You will be better able to resist the lure of the runway next time the go round decision looms - tick

You are glad you and your instructor see eye to eye on having 3 more dual landings - tick

You get to do another practice EFATO ready for solo - tick

The hours all count but that few minutes counted for a lot - tick

Hawarden is accepting circuits - query that! 

Can't wait to read your report of solo-ing!!
Dusty_B, Rob P, Flyin'Dutch' and 2 others liked this
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the kind words really appreciate it. I dont let go of my mistakes easy but back up at the weekend so hopefully a good flight ahead even if the weather is looking otherwise.

Hawarden is great, done about 90% of my circuits there but they don’t accept solo students. I know I’m doing the same at Liverpool but it’s very different, don’t get me wrong the ATC are really nice and I’ve heard them with other solo students whilst I’ve been taxiing but when you go from hawarden with almost zero traffic, even fitting in between the beluga isn’t an issue, a couple GA as it’s just you and them.

Jump to Liverpool and if your lucky enough to get accepted into the circuit 90% of the time your modifying the circuit for ILS traffic, or extending /orbiting for an age so even an hour of circuits your lucky to get four in, all adds to the pressure and seems to be effecting my decisions, I guess I just need more experience with the higher workload/traffic.

But thanks, really appreciate it!!! Fingers crossed for next time, at least I’m getting all my nav work in :)
T6Harvard liked this
I know it's a controversial suggestion, but what about Manchester Barton? It's really not far from Liverpool, Lies under the Manchester(ringway) zone, and as long as you follow the "new" interpretation of the rules (and new joining- height (1500 feet, -reduced from 1800 ') remember to tell them you'r leaving (when you do) .....What's the problem? AIUI, the cost of t&g's is so much cheaper than your home- base, the trip there and back should be worth it.

Food for thought? or have I got it all wrong? Oh, and Barton is grass, circuits should be smaller and quicker and there's very little CAT. :thumleft:
Fellsteruk liked this
Thanks Steve.
Have considered Barton previously, whilst the landing costs are less the hour rate is more than I pay now “was when I last looked” so overall about the same if not a little less in the pool, that said whilst circuit training at Liverpool its stupid expensive, but the small circuits are appealing, I’ll think about a trial lesson up there but I ideally don’t want to change instructors as I really get on with current one

Either way I gotta suck it up, get on and crack it, nothing worth doing is easy right? :)
I wonder if Steve was trying to suggest you fly out of Liverpool and go to Barton. I think there are some advantages to this which will be worth discussing with your instructor. You'll experience a short cross-country which will expose you to navigation, theory and practical. There's also the use of a different aerodrome with air-ground comms and grass runways. Another nav to finish before tea and medals!