PPL lesson 26: Solo Navigation

A big day in my training as today I had PPL lesson 26: Solo Navigation.
Today I was told that I am ready to do my first solo navigation which was very exciting for me.
My instructor gave me a route and told me to plan it, planning takes quite a few tools as you can see below.
On top of this you also have to correct for wind to make sure you end up where you expect.
Navigation planning
I have my map, pens, CRP-5, protractor, scale ruler, weather and paper and plog.
My instructor wanted to do a bit of flying with me before he sent me of on my own so we did the first 2 points on my nav before he showed me some low navigation (700ft above the ground) then we headed back to Cranfield and parked, where he got out and told me “go do it”.
I got my taxi clearance, take of clearance and then started to climb. I had planned 2200ft however due to cloud that was not possible so I leveled out at 1600ft instead.
I made my first three points on time (Woburn, Little Horward and Silversone) however I then made an error.
The heading I Should have taken was 010. The heading I did take was 100.
As you can see there isĀ  a big difference there and rather than heading to Northampton I actually headed to Milton Keynes.
The good thing is I realised my error very quickly as nothing made sense compared to what I was expecting to see from looking at my map.
I quickly realised that the town I was approaching was Milton Keynes rather than Northampton and worked out a route to get back on track.
Due to the land clear rule (have to be able to land in a field at any time) I climbed and headed away from Milton Keynes and used landmarks (like the m1) to get back to Northampton.
I then turned around and headed back to Olney and requested the join, reported right base, reported final and landed back on runway 21 at Cranfield.
I learnt a few things today.

  1. Pay Attention – Read your heading carefully!
  2. Don’t Panic – Even if I was “lost” I could have requested a QDM or turned in the emergency frequency who would have found me. However I wanted to correct my error myself.
  3. Orientation – Look outside, look at your map, do you see what you expect to see? If not, ask yourself why not!
  4. Trust yourself – You have been taught how to do this, trust your training.

Another great weekend at the airfield, the dodgy landing from yesterday was defiantly a one off as I was back on the ball today.
Getting closer to my cross country qualifier now!
Another thing I need to stop doing is putting my instructors name when I am P1 :).
Anyways, the log book stands at 27.2 hours.

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