The slight problem of training and flying at an international airport is … well .. it’s an international airport … with lots of stuff going on and only one runway on the island to use … and the circuits are designed to keep you nicely positioned and away from reasonably built up areas .. so mostly over the sea. In fact around 75% of the circuit is over the sea
So, a while back, when I genuinely had what I thought was an overheating problem, I requested a really tight ‘bad weather’ circuit.
This is where you simulate that you have managed to ‘find your way’ the circuit I really bad weather and then stay very close to the runway …keeping it in sight all the time as you position yourself to land but way closer than you normally would.
The BIG benefit for me .. in the slow flying Sherwood .. is that I can get a circuit in in around 5 minutes vs 20+ …
Thankfully, the Super friendly Jersey ATC team try their best to let me get one or two of these tight circuits in a mix of normal large circuits or ‘round island flying.
The other really good learning for me is that you ‘arrive’ at the threshold .. not off a long 4 mile straight in approach but off a banked low level turn which brings in new skills and teaches you to read ahead and plan ahead
Kicking her straight and losing that inevitable speed is still something I’m working on but will be a skill that is needed when you don’t have miles of uninterrupted approach space, a line of trees and a short stopping distance
You will see at the last touchdown off the bad weather circuit .. I’m too fast .. I left too much speed on and the starboard wing lifts .. not once but twice ! only a small amount .. but boy you feel it inside … always learning … I’ve now added a tell tale marker on both ASIs to highlight the low end landing speed … so I can see at a glance