Crosswind circuits, my third solo and a visit to the Aviation Rescue Fire Station were the highlights of the week. The week started with more study, making my way through all the subjects and preparing for the PPL tests which are only getting closer. Jarryd organised a visit to the Aviation Rescue Fire Station which was great, being in the Queensland Rural Fire Service is a passion of mine and I have been keen to meet up with the aviation firies since I started. They showed us around their station, starting with the boats they have incase a plane ditches in the ocean, all coastal aerodromes with aviation fire rescue have them, something none of us were aware of, but good to know. The control room is like a mini tower, just lower and more of a 180 degree view of the runway, there are screens for monitoring communications and flights, they work closely with the tower to co-ordinate training amongst other things. They also have a full hot fire training ground that is on the other side of the runway, I’d love to one day see them in action with those trucks. So now onto the trucks, the best part! There are four Rosenbauer Panther Mk8 vehicles, defined by their futuristic shape and mammoth size, they carry about 9000 litres of water, 1500 litres of foam and 250kg of Dry Chemical Powder, basically a fire extinguisher to end all fire extinguishers. There is a water monitor mounted just in front of the windscreen and the much larger roof mounted turret, both of which are used to safely fight the fire from inside the vehicle via remote control joysticks.
This week I did some crosswind circuits with Jack, a lot trickier than nil wind that’s for sure. We used the crabbing technique, where you come down final somewhat sideways with the nose pointed either to the left or right depending on which side the wind is coming from, because the aircraft will move along with the parcel air it’s in, which in this case is sideways, you need to offset that by pointing the nose more into the wind before finally straightening up before touchdown. If you don’t you’ll end up left or right of the runway essentially, when the wind is not very strong or inline with the runway then you can land as normal. Look at this video of an A380 landing at Düsseldorf to see what I mean.
I also managed to get up for my third solo, which was awesome, I did five landings by myself and since my conversation with Sally last week my radio skills have felt better. I’m now really excited to learn how to navigate properly, to keep progressing and to get the PPL completed. You may have noticed I have added in a new feature, because there are so many acronyms and abbreviations in aviation, rather than type them in full each time I have added the ability to put your mouse over any word with a dashed underline to reveal what they stand for, like PPL, CPL, BAK and so on. Until next time.