“I’ve got meths”

So woke with the alarm at 8AM. Breakfast for three. Read the paper. Headed to Staverton for 10AM. James greeted me and complimented my haircut. Then said, “I’ve got meths”. I thought it really was a bit early for that. It was a bit of a long standing joke that when we were doing the nav exercises he never had anything to wipe out the marker pen with, now he opened a cupboard door and there was enough there to smash half the population. We had a good brief about forced landings and then we got airborne. We did about four forced landings, which are all a bit of a rush to be honest. From the word ‘Practice force landing – go’. You have to lower the collective, flare to 65 knots, raise the collection so it doesn’t over speed, turn into wind, which means raising the collective as the rotor speeds up due to the Coriolis effect, then when you roll out to have to lower it again to maintain rotor rpm, remember if it drops below 84% you are dead. Then when you’ve managed that you have to pick a landing site, then do a mayday call, then tell your passenger to brace, then kill the mixture, turn off the mags, turn off the master and turn off the fuel cut off valve. Then re-asses your landing site, get down to about 80ft, flare, level it then down to 8ft, raise the collective and land. The entire process takes about 70 seconds, and you have to be perfect, or you will die. I lived. We also did instrument flying, which is great fun, you wear a pair of ‘woggles’ which are like sunglasses, but you can’t see bugger all in front of you, so just the instruments. You then have to perform a 180 degree turn maintaining airspeed and level, I was oddly quite good at that. All those flight-sims as a kid finally paid off. We had a break and then I had another flight in the afternoon where we did ranged auto’s and confined area landings, which are great fun. Staverton was very busy today, we were told to wait outside the ATZ numerous times, which costs far too much money. Tomorrow I have two more flights to do. Drove home, walked the dogs, went for a run, did the accounts, had a bath. Will watch a bit of telly now and then have a fairly early night I think. Busy day again tomorrow. Not long now before my test.

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