Highs and lows

So oddly woke up this morning with the alarm at 8AM. Made breakfast, quick read of the paper and then studied all my radiotelephony notes again. Drove up to Staverton. Plenty of time. Went in to Cotswald Aero club. I was given a fake map and flight plan. I was then left on my own for half an hour to prepare everything. It’s all done on a simulator, which uses a plane, which would be quite interesting. Put on the headset, dialled in my first frequency and clicked ‘start’. Was at an air / ground station, so requested a radio check and taxi instructions. Was told the active runway and QNH. Lined up, then departed, clicked on ‘take-off’, then changed frequency to the MATZ, called for a penetration, that all went fine, then changed frequency to the Class D air-space. Asked for zone transit, all okay. Then the horn went off and I had an engine failure, did the mayday, asked for a vector to the nearest aerodrome, even though it’s only a simulation, you still panic. Started my diversion and then the engine light went out, so cancelled the mayday and said I’d restarted the engine. Turned at the correct point and started to cross the channel. Changed frequency to the open FIR. Tried to change frequency to the destination aerodrome and ask for weather but they didn’t respond. Back on frequency. Passed a drifting lifeboat in the channel, so did a pan-pan call and reported it. Changed frequency again to destination aerodrome and asked for weather, was fogged in, what a surprise. So said I’d divert to my alternate. Changed frequency, asked for a QDM, changed heading, then did the join base leg and final calls. Then it was all over. Made a couple of mistakes, I changed frequency too early initially, I was still within the air / ground ATZ. Also when I was in the control zone I should have stayed on that frequency to make use of their radar rather than change to the open FIR. Also when I was after weather I could have just asked the FIR. Also my route description I just had departure and destination, looking at the map they were opposite each other, so really I should have put in ‘via’. Anyway, I passed. Then went back to James with all the signed paperwork. I then did a 1.4 hour flight which to be honest was a complete disaster. There was this ‘vulcan’ flypast at Staverton, so it was packed as fuck. Leaving the ATZ every plane on earth was heading straight at me, so I was trying to do a nav while literally dodging incoming planes. The heading hold wasn’t to bad, ordinance survey was fine. Then the track crawl was fine up to the motorway intersection, then my altitudes went to shit, same for the airspeed, plus I did go back on to the correct heading. Miles out. And the diversion was shit. Too much on my mind. Waste of money, I may as well have just given four hundred quid to my mother. Still, exam passed anyway. So that’s it now, all I have to concentrate on is flying. No more exams, no more tests. Just have to prove to the examiner than I know what the fuck I’m doing, after today, I’m not so sure.

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