I was expecting December to be too dark to be able to do much flying with the very limited opening hours we have. Yesterday we managed to do two lessons in the two hours we had available, and today we managed to do two more!
The first lesson of the day was Navigation 1, a trip to ENBR, Bergen International Airport, Flesland. Flesland is a large airport, which is kinda scary.
I had to plan the entire trip using paper charts and manual calculations, and the plan was to use the charts and my navlog to navigate from Karmøy to Flesland. On the way back the plan was to switch to using SkyDemon, since I want to learn the tools I’m going to use after I get the PPL as well.
This way of learning both the basics, and the reason behind things, combined with the modern tools I’m actually going to use, turned out to be perfect for me.
Navigating along the coast is a lot easier than navigating across mountains. As long as I kept the ocean to the left of me, I knew I was generally heading in the right direction. Using the map to navigate was easier than I thought it would be, but it still require some training to master this.
We eventually made it to Bergen, and I switched to the local VFR approach charts. Identifying the VFR reporting points was actually the hardest part, since most of them were located in spots that was hard to identify from the air, and names you have to be a local to know.
This is a big airport, and taxiing on the ground is a lot scarier than on tiny Karmøy. So the tower got impatient and told us to move when I stopped for a few seconds to orient myself.
Safely parked we had a short break, before requesting departure back to Karmøy. We had planned to do a longer route via the fjords, but due to low clouds and rain we had to reroute via the coast - the same way we came. After getting a new clearance to better accommodate our new route, we got clearance to taxi to the holding point.
Being a larger airport, there was a significantly higher amount of commercial traffic here. So we had to wait a while before we were allowed to line up on the runway. We finally got the take-off clearance, and I forgot to press the PTT button when I read back the clearance. There’s always something…
We could see the rain further inland, where our initial route was. So we made the right decision when we rerouted.
Flying towards the sun was a bit harder than flying away from it, but I still managed to navigate back to Karmøy, where taxiing was a lot more familiar…