Night Rating Lesson 3: Solo Circuits

I had a week off last week to attend the revision week for my first set of ATPL exams, so yesterday I had night rating lesson 3: solo circuits.
Night rating
My instructor and I had managed to do 3.3 hours in the last 2 lessons so it was possible that the night rating could have been finished that night.
I arrived with about 15 mins to go before night started, so I ran out to the plane and pre flighted it so we could depart on time. My instructor called for the circuits he had booked, which of course the ATC had no idea about, but thankfully he had no issues with us going into the circuit.
There was two of us tonight, an instructor doing night circuits with the CFI and me. I did two quick circuits with my instructor then we landed and he jumped out as it was time for me to go back up solo.
To be fair it really wasn’t that bad, apart from the ultra low light and extra concentration required due to the plane having no backlight it wasn’t much different from the circuit in the day. The only difference is you climb to 700ft before turning and try to be at 1200ft in downwind. The winds were really mild tonight as well which was very helpful as it made the landings easier.
I managed to get the required 5 take off and landings in with no real issues, well no real issues until the last circuit. As I turned base there was something there that wasn’t there just minutes before on my previous circuit. A huge cloud! As a VFR pilot this is a no go for me so I basically had no choice but to land. The issue was it was covering the majority of the route to the runway and im not allowed to fly through it.
I managed to navigate around it out to the left and then cut back inside before lining up and landing. I got back inside and totaled up my night time which came to 4 hours and 46 mins. Yeap, I was just 14 minutes short of finishing the course but nature decided it wasn’t to be. My instructor has a commercial job so no more night flying for me until the 5th of December, at which point I should finally be able to complete it.

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