Night Nav Exercise Completed
Wooooohooo! I completed my Nav flight last night from Grand Central (FAGC) to FARG (Rustenburg) to Pilansberg (FAPN) to Lanseria (FALA) and back to Grand Central last night with my instructor and cameraman, Chris. I was slightly nervous before hand becasue of some rather large storms that passed over JHB from around 1500 to 1800 but it was all clear on the radar when I left home at 18:30 headed for the airport.
A lot of admin, payments and paperwork followed before I could finally get into the plane. I did a thorough inspection like I always do and ZS-IFW looked to be in tip top shape. A welcome change I must admit.
I headed towards the active runway and completed my last checks, this is always the part where I am the most excited! We climbed out of Grand Central to some amazing views (pics to follow a bit later). This was all quite new to me since I had been flying with those foggles, where I couldn’t look out of the cockpit at all. Except for the landing and take off at Grand Central I never saw much else other than the red glow over the instrument panel.
I was quite busy tracking the various radials to various VOR’s concentrating on getting it right first time that I didn’t get a chance to look outside much, that is disappointing though. Clear, still air, just super fantastic until I had to speak to Johannesburg Area ATC… My stomach sank when I heard all the big commercial planes such as SAA, Etihad, Turkish and the likes being vectored towards OR Tambo (FAOR). I know that when I said hello and request descend, climb that those folk in the cockpits would also hear my quivering little voice HAHA. Quite funny actually, I must say I did sound more professional than some of the other VFR traffic but im sure the folk up there high in the sky had a good laugh reminiscing of their earlier flight careers, or maybe not 😐
We just overlflew Rustenburg then flew low level to Pilansberg. I won’t get a chance to fly into Pilansberg at night again soon since you need an instrument rating to land there after hours. The approach lights were quite spectacular, yet blinding on the final approach. Before I knew it, and before I could have a look at the aircraft on the apron, we were off again. Tracking the Lanseria LIV VOR I heard ont he Area frequency that a MedAir Jet was also routing to LIV but eh difference being they were at 40 000 feet. We pluddered along at 100mph at 7500 ft till just before Lanseria where the ATC asked me to join on the left downwind for 06 Left. I had been cleared for the landing only to have the clearance cancelled just before landing because of a vehicle on the runway, full power and around I went. I performed a very steep 2nd approach to save some time and heard the air traffic controller reprimanding the ground crew, I was glad I was not on the receiving end of that haha.
And before I knew it I was joining overhead at my home airfield and executed the best landing of the flight. 2.3 hours for the trip, not bad!
Keep a close eye, I will be posting some pics and videos soon.
What’s next? Well I have the Night Rating Online Exam to pass on Thursday at 11 (Jip, I have taken off work for Thursday and Friday) and then my Night Rating Flight Test probably the weekend. And then folks I start hour building, I can’t believe I am at this point already. Now the hunt begins for the cheapest C172 or Cirrus aircraft to get the hour building going. For the guys that still don’t know what a cessna 172 looks like here she is:
And a Jabi:
And a Cirrus:
So some decisions to make in the future..
About aviationobsessedramblingIm one of the lucky ones, I found my dream at the age of 8. Getting into the avaition industry has been a long journey for me, but I finally started that journey this year. Currently busy with my student license heading to my CPL. An Industrial Engineer by profession, a pilot wanna-be ALWAYS. Watch this space...
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