Continuing on from a couple of autorotation lessons, practiced forced landings were next.
At least armed with an idea of the entry, glide path, flare and roll over I knew something of what to expect for a forced landing (although you "know" one is coming). Throw into the mix a HASEL, picking a spot (any spot on the initial go), turning into wind, making something that resembled a distress call and then concentrating on the real job at hand was a bit of a hand full I must admit. Ooh not to mention if I did happen to have pax on board reminding them that an oxygen mask will drop form the o/head compartment, to enter the braced position and lights will lead you to the exit if the cabin plunges into darkness . Sorry couldn't help myself - I know I wouldn't be laughing if it happened to me up there .
The first "area" I picked was fairly open and could turn very quickly into wind and found the approach comfortable and if anything easier than throwing the machine towards the grassed area off a runway - here just concentrate on the spot and hope there's no surprises at the end. I'd like to think the instructor possibly gave me a relatively "easy" site to aim at for the first go.
The second was similar but there was a small dam and some cows in the field and probably would have required some dodging towards the end if it was the real thing. I found it important to get set up quickly so I could concentrate on "landing" the machine.
The third was an eye opener, and a bit of a set up. Some nice farmer had mowed a field (hay bales scattered around but nothing that couldn't have been avoided, so I thought I picked a pretty good spot). But as I got closer, the instructor said what do you see now - evil powerlines! Up we go, having a chat about it when climbing up, I could honestly say I didn't see them (he knew that), not sure if that was being pre-occupied with the "spot" or what, but definitely had me thinking again about keeping an eye out for wires. My two options I suppose would have been continue and more than likely clip / collect them or change course immediately and aim somewhere else (I would hopefully choose the second option or even better pick them out a lot earlier if it happened for real).
We tracked back to Hoxton Park to join the circuit and throw some power recovery auto's into the mix before heading back to base - starting to feel more confortable with these now.
A few things I walked away from this lesson with;
Always know where the wind is from (and know where I am),
Keep an eye out for landing areas (can't wait until I'm on a nav without one around),
Be ready to change your mind on a site (if time permits)
Until next time...
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand
Follow choppernut on his journey to CPL(H).
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