Yesterday I ticked of a big part of my training as I completed the CPL cross country qualifier.
The CPL cross country qualifier requires you fly at least 300nm with full stop landings at two aerodromes.
As this would be a full day of flying I had to set of nice and early so I decided I needed to be airborne by no later than 9.30am.
I had decided my route would be Blackbushe -> Shobdon -> Gamston -> Blackbushe. This is 305 NM as the crow flies but in reality it was quite a bit more with the dog legs etc.
Blackbushe -> Shobdon
Ice Ice Baby. As it was an early start the plane was iced over, luckily there was some de-icing fluid available so after 30 mins or so I was ready to go.
The winds were easterly today so after fuelling up I took of from runway 07 before climbing into the overhead and departing to the north-west. I switched to Farnborough who then suggested I switched to Oxford (really I should have went straight to Brize) and not long after I switched to Brize.
The weather wasn’t amazing with some haze but it was good enough.
As I approached Brize I asked for a zone transit. I had never done this before but turns out it’s really straight forward. They cleared me across at 2000 ft and I continued to flow north past Gloucester and towards the west.
I tried to tell Brize that I was going to Shobdon but I think it went past 12 and they had given up for the day.
Anyways I then routed in towards Shobdon before joining downwind on runway 08.
Shobdon is a great airfield with very welcoming staff and people. The area it is set in is also beautiful and I would have no hesitation in recommending that people visit.
Time taken 1.6 hours.
Shobdon to Gamston
After fueling up and grabbing a little food we then departed for Gamston. It seems that we choose rush hour as from start up to take of was 17 mins.
There is a lot of high ground around Shobdon so I departed and just tried to get as much height as I could as fast as possible.
I then departed towards the north-east before switching to East Midlands Lars. It was a little rocky on this leg but nothing to bad, by now the little cloud had gone but it was still a bit hazy.
East Midlands only seem to offer a basic service if you are not entering controlled airspace so as I was planning to stay under their CTA that is all I got.
I made sure to keep a good look out even more so than usual due to the haze.
Gamston is under the Doncaster CTA so you have to make sure you are under 2000ft when approaching.
I ended up doing a straight in approach and joined on long finals on runway 03.
The guys at Gamston are always friendly and they helped me on my last attempt at the cross country qualifier when the radio failed. Thankfully the plane now had a new Trig unit so I didn’t have these problems.
Time taken 1.8 hours.
Gamston to Blackbushe
Time was getting on I got away from Gamston at 3pm. Sunset at Blackbushe was 17:36 and while I have a night rating I was trying to get back before the sun went down.
The good thing about this leg is that it is basically a straight line south back to Blackbushe. I flew down past Leicester, Northampton, Milton Keynes before heading under the London TMA.
I spoke to East Midlands Lars and Sywell before switching to Farnborough and getting a traffic service because it was pretty hazy still down south.
I did a standard overhead join but there was someone in a Bonanza who to be honest I had NO idea what sort of join they was doing. They seemed to cross the runway they wanted to land on, basically flew right at me, before doing a 180 and then joining the downwind. Then rather than exiting the runway they decided to taxi to the end meaning I (and the guy behind me) had to go around and do it all again. Not what you want after a 2 hour leg but these things happen.
Finally I came back into land and that was the CPL cross country qualifier all done!
Leg time was 2 hours.
That was a long day of flying, I don’t think 5.4 hours in a C150 does any good for your back but I am glad it is all done 🙂
The winds were showing anywhere from 20-30kts but it didn’t feel that bad at all.
I also managed to get 1.3 hours done the day before yesterday so 6.7 hours done in 2 days is not bad at all.
I did think about flying again today but I should really do some ATPL study! The weather next week is looking pretty shocking so that’s not looking promising.
On another note my time flying at Blackbushe is most likely done. It is a nice airfield but just too far away and I now have a share in a C150 at Henlow which is just down the road from me.