Details about my Nav (1)
So many people have asked me what work do pilots actually do.. Well they obviously are required to fly the plane (That is sometimes quite a number of years of training). They also need to fly the plane safely.
Safely involves a lot of pre-flight planning (in my case, before my first cross country flight, 3.5 hours of planning). I had my 3 hour long briefing with my instructor the Saturday in the hopes of being able to fly my Nav on the Sunday. Some of the pre-planning I had to do included plotting of the routes, determining the wind and strength along each leg, determining the Ground Speed for each leg as well as the time taken to cover the specific leg using the ground speed and nautical mile distance. This would all be compiled on a Nav log that I would reference to through the entire flight making sure we weren’t heading to Kenya! Our routing would take us from Grand Central (Airport Code FAGC), to Atteridgeville (Leg 1), Atteridgeville to Pilansberg (Leg 2), Pilansberg to Potchefstroom (Legs 3) and Potchefstroom to FACG (Leg 4) through the JHB CBD and Sandton.
The takeoff from Grand Central was performed from Runway 35, watch it here ( I think you can see here that I am a bit nervous) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmnDxd6gtPs
From Atteridgeville to Pilansberg I flew over Hartebeespoort Dam, view the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvV5Xo8Vt6I
All in all the flight took 3 hours and resulted in a stiff back the next day. My plane, ZS-LKJ, has a faulty door so we all had to pile in through the passenger door. I thought straight away that this could cause a potential hazard in an emergency as our escape routes had been halved! There is also not much time to relax at all hence the stiff back.
We departed 35 mins late (25 remaining before the flight plan would be cancelled), due to a scheduling bungle up. I was at this stage so nervous I was surprised I could form words. I would be responsible for Chris, my instructor and for Chris. Pre-flight checks done, pre-start check done, After-start checks completed, Engine run-up checks complete. It was at this stage I received my squawk code from Air Traffic Control. JHB Radar would use this code to identify our airspeed and altitude and inform us of other conflicting traffic.
The trip to Pilansberg was over quite quick and I had to ready myself for the landing. What bungled me was the read back to ATC, Pilansberg Tower told me that the QNH was 1020 and to descend to 4500 and join on the right hand base for runway 05 after which depart on a right turn out for heading 180 contacting to tower at 7nm out. This was quite a lot at first and I did not write it down so it involved me asking ATC to “Please repeat instructions” twice. I guess they understood and had a great laugh at my expense. A lot of radio work and navigation was needed on this flight
The video of the Pilansberg Airport Landing is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RDubPVVF4c
The leg between Pilansberg and Potch was a long one. This airfield was also un-manned (No air traffic control) so there was quite a bit of procedures I had to be familiar with.
After another touch and go I headed back to FAGC via JHB CBD and Sandton. Very cool views I must say. Potchefstroom is below.
Sandton, Soweto, JHB CBD and Soccer City clearly visible below.
I loved my cross country flight and It was awesome to be able to take Chris with. Who is the lucky person to fly with me this weekend?? My sister has to write an exam so who is next?? Chris, thanks for your awesome camera work and for trusting me enough to fly with me. As you can see you are quite the photographer!
Also let me know if you were able to click on the pictures for a larger view or not.