Student Report: First Land Away - A Success!

Cliff has been working hard on his PPL training and we're very pleased to report that he completed his first land away last week. Below, he tells us how he got on!

My first land away

After completing my first solo circuit and local flight, I was eager to experience more. All those hours doing ground school and driving home with my head spinning from information overload was starting to pay off! As I slowly started putting everything together, it all started to make sense. The planning was the hard part and the flying was the easy and enjoyable part.


When my Instructor said it was time to do my first solo land away, I was eager to get going but also knew that prior flight planning had to be perfect to meet the high standard Aerobility set. When I was let loose on G-Tale the excitement was great – I was finally in control but also knew there would be no prompting from an instructor if things went wrong. It was time to man up!


After completing the necessary pre take-off checks I taxied to runway 25. Everything felt calm and smooth and before I knew it, I was in the Blackbushe overhead on my way to Goodwood passing through the Farnborough ATZ on a glorious English day (i.e. grey skies). Still, everything was going well and the journey down to Goodwood was great.  When I joined overhead I felt that something must be wrong as things were going too well. Had I missed something? Still, I carried on and the final approach was good. Then it happened... I touched down!  On a grass field I could feel the bumps and the plane slide ever so slightly from damp grass. I couldn't believe that I’d made it.  I parked G-TALE and quickly paid the landing fee (£18), conscious I couldn’t delay the return trip too long as the day was getting on and I knew I had to be back by sunset. A quick toilet stop to get rid of any last minute nerves (oh dear) and I was back in the air on my way back to Blackbushe.   The journey back was something I’d not expected as the world started to come alive with the lights of towns beginning to glow and airfields from all directions looked so colourful. It is an experience that most people will never see.

After landing back in Blackbushe on Runway 07 I knew that this was only the start and I still have more land away flights to do. I can’t wait! All the ground school and pre-flight planning fills your head quickly with a lot of information. But it makes you a better pilot and I find myself wanting to learn more to see what else is out there.

Cliff’s top-tip:  After flying, when you’re driving home, why not practice your RT calls, pretending that as you join a new road/area/suburb that you have to change frequency and/or obtain a service from a different station.

Geri Burton