My second day of landings was pretty windy, but Gerhard suggested we should still go up and see how I managed. He wanted to take me out to the training area, away from the main airport, where there is a smaller grass strip, where we could practice more touch and go landings and take-offs.
The lesson was intense, but fantastic fun! After a buffety flight over to the training area we came in for our first landing on the grass strip, and Gerhard demonstrated the approach and landing. It all looked quite alarming, as there is a steep bank leading up to the touch-down point, and approach has to be quite accurate.
After touchdown we were off again, and into my first couple of circuits. These were fairly leisurely, as there was another plane doing the same thing, and we had to follow him around. But once he left we had the strip to ourselves, and Gerhard had me flying tight, fast circuits.
Almost as soon as we had left the runway, Gerhard would have me bank round to the left and straight onto downwind leg, level out, turn onto base leg, and then turn again for final approach. He let me do a couple of full circuits, hardly saying a word, and just giving a couple of pointers on landing – I am leaving my rounding out at the end a little too late, which I need to correct.
It was great fun, and I especially enjoyed taking off and banking round at low level. Time seemed to go very quickly, as I was concentrating so hard. and as we flew back over Port Elizabeth to the main airport my hands ached from gripping the steering controls too hard.
I can’t wait to get back out there again tomorrow! This is one of the most challenging, most exciting and most fun things I have ever tried!