Rob P wrote:I've fessed up to the Abbeville taxiway. Definitely need to hear the Ex 14 story now.
Pretty sure I've posted it before, but sure...
On that morning, I'd flown a couple of good circuits. Instructor says, "taxy over to the tower", so I do. When we get there, he unclips his seatbelt, pulls the throttle to idle, pulls the canopy open, says "I'm going to send you on your own now. Do as many circuits as you like."
And hops out, leaving me somewhat poleaxed. Even though you know that first solo must be getting close, it's still a shock when it happens.
So I did all the checks, lined up, took off, all good. Noted amazing rate of climb. Flew an absolutely perfect circuit. Touchdown light as a feather. Power on for touch and go... rolling..... "Hmm. Ground feels a little rougher than normal, ah well, here we go", and I was back in the air.
Then, over the radio, from the next aircraft on final...
"Goodwood, G-XX, can you confirm the last aircraft actually landed on the strip of grass parallel to the runway
"G-XX affirm, I'll be having a word with him in a moment
Cheeks burning, I realised immediately why the grass had felt a bit rough. There was a bright yellow, runway-width strip of freshly mown grass right next to the runway, and I'd locked on to it visually on final, and once locked on, just concentrated on the landing. The fact that it had no numbers or marker boards didn't cross my mind....
Anyway, it was absolutely mortifying. I was all over the place for that second circuit, and it only got worse when I called downwind and got a very friendly lecture on marker boards, numbers, and how to distinguish the long runway from the parallel (on the other side) short one. As if I hadn't been landing on it for weeks....
My second landing was a bit of an arrival, albeit on the runway this time, but I was determined not to give up. So I climbed away for a third one. I was recovering from the extreme embarrassment by then, so the third one went fine, at which point I thought I'd quit while I was ahead.
I shut down and got out, and my instructor was walking across towards me. Thankfully he was grinning. We went and had some lunch, talked over the mindfart, and then he said....
"Ok, go and do another hour of that on your own."
So I did.
Anyway, I really did learn about flying from that.
Check. Check again. Assume you're a muppet, and that you've misidentified something... mistuned a frequency... forgotten the circuit direction... forgotten some checks.... whatever.
Take nothing for granted in aviation.