The CIX VFR Club C150 Inverted
Club Events - Push-Ups for Pilots IV: Keep it Steady
An exercise in accurate flying, from Biggin Hill
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Club Events - Push-Ups for Pilots: Biggin Hill
An exercise in accurate flying, from Biggin Hill Briefing by: Tim Arnot.
  Briefing Friday 16th April 2010  
Start Time and Place From 7:30 pm local, at the Cix clubhouse at Biggin Hill airport.
Staggered start times are preferred, so that everyone does not arrive back in the circuit at the same time
Departure and Duration We will depart and fly individually or in small groups. The distance is approximately 140 nm. Anticipate spending between 1 and 1 hours, depending on the length of time you spend on each exercise, and the speed of your aircraft.
Weather ...or not Before starting we will check the weather. If it is unsuitable for our trip as planned, then we will fix it. Something we can do in the simulator - wouldn't it be nice if we could do it in real life! For the general handling we need a cloud base that is at least 3000ft AGL.
FSInn has a "CAVOK" button. Click this and you get calm clear weather.
Those using SB will need to turn off the on-line weather updates, and select calm in the FS weather options.
Overview On previous Push-Ups we've had separate activities for general handling, navigation and circuits. But this time, we're combining the acttivities into one. We will depart Biggin Hill, and fly a curcuit of the London TMA. While we are at the Eastern end, out from under the 2500ft ceiling, we'll perform our general handling exercises, and at the Western end, we'll get an SVFR transit of the Heathrow zone.

Pilots will be assigned to one of two squadrons: Red, and Blue. Red Squadron will fly clockwise (a right hand circuit), Blue Squadron will fly anti-clockwise.

Pilots will be assigned to a squadron by ATC on first contact.

The intention is not to perform every exercise listed in the handling sections, but rather to  perform a few and repeat until you are happy with them (for example, a couple of steep turns, right and left, and a couple of stalls in different configurations). More may be performed as time allows, and the event scenario can be rerun on different occasions should you want more practice. refer to the FS Learning Centre and other training resources for detailed background and tuition on the exercises.

Club members will find more information in the Events forum.
Flight Plan Your flight plan should show: departure = EGKB, destination = EGKB, alternate = EGTO, route = GENERAL HANDLING AND NAVEX, and comments = /V/ DAYLIGHT / CIX VFR CLUB
All bearings and headings given in the briefing below are magnetic, and no allowance has been made for any cross wind.
Airfield charts and information for UK are available from the AIS web site

Charts and Scenery

For preference, use photographic scenery covering the area. Part of the exercise will involve identifying your position using ground features. A variety of products are available for FS9 and FSX from Horizon Simulations and JustFlight.
An aeronautical chart that shows navigational aids (VORs/NDBs etc) in either 1:500000 or 1:250000 scale will be an advantage, or a reasonably detailed topolocical map.

GPS / Autopilot

Use of Autopilot, GPS or waypoint discovery aids for this event is NOT PERMITTED (this includes external tools such as Plan-G, FSNavigator, FSCommander, FSDiscover etc)

General Handling

Most of this event will take place under the London TMA. This imposes a 2500ft ceiling above which you may not fly (in practice, limit yourself to 2400ft). For the event, before you start, assign yourself an altitude (e.g. 2200ft, 2300ft, 2400ft etc), and try to maintain this altitude as closely as you can throughout. Obviously you can deviate during the general handling exercises.

After departing the circuit, climb enroute to your chosen altitude. Perform FREDA checks as required.

F uelSufficient? Change tanks as necessary
R adioCorrect frequency set? Standby frequency? Radio reports required?
E ngineCheck Ts & Ps, ammeter and suction. Apply carb heat and check for icing
D irectionIs the heading correct? Synchronise DI with magnetic compass
A ltitudeCorrect QNH/QFE set? Check altitude being flown
Navigation Exercise The area defined for the general handling exercises is Detling VOR to Billericay (or Billericay to Detling, depending which way round you are going). Although out from under the main TMA, there is still a 3500ft restriction: Make sure you don't bust this limit. Do not perform stall or spin exercises below 3000ft.

Transit of the Heathrow zone will require an SVFR transit clearance. Call ATC (Thames Radar is the responsuble unit) at least 5 minutes before you reach the zone boundary. Note that there is a maxim altitude rule between Ascot and Burnham. Please refer to the London SVFR Rules document, which can be downloaded here, for the full details.

It is recommended that you study both routes before the event, as there will not be much time to adjust your plan on the night.


On departing the circuit at Biggin Hill, turn right and proceed as follows:

Redhill VRP (M25 jct 7)
Guildford town
Ascot Racecourse VRP ** SVFR **
Burnham NDB (421 KHz) ** SVFR **
Denham St Giles VRP
Leavesden Disused
Epping VRP
Billericay VRP ** Start General Handling exercises **
Sheerness VRP
Detling VOR (117.3MHz) ** Finish General Handling exercises and descend back below 2500ft **

Call Biggin ATC at Sevenoaks for rejoin.


On departing the circuit at Biggin Hill, turn left and proceed as follows:

Detling VOR (117.3MHz) ** Finish General Handling exercises and descend back below 2500ft **
Sheerness VRP
Billericay VRP ** Start General Handling exercises **
Epping VRP
Leavesden Disused
Denham St Giles VRP
Burnham NDB (421 KHz) ** SVFR **
Ascot Racecourse VRP ** SVFR **
Guildford town
Redhill VRP (M25 jct 7)

Call Biggin ATC at Redhill for rejoin.

Upper Air Work


The upper air work exercises can be completed in any order. Before beginning the flight exercises, you should carry out a HASELL check:

H eightSufficient? Remember, Height = Safety. For stalling, you need to be able to recover at not less than 3000ft agl.
A irframeFlaps set as required? Brakes off?
S ecurityCheck there are no loose articles in the cockpit, and that nothing can impede the full and free movement of the aircraft controls. Hatches and harnesse secure?
E ngineMixture should be rich. Carb heat should be on for low power settings. Check Ts and Ps. Fuel pump on, and fuel selector to the fullest tank.
L ocation A irfield: Not in the vicinity of an active airfield
B uilt up areas: Not over one
C louds: Clear of
C ontrolled Airspace: Outside of
L ookoutMaintain a good lookout. Make a series of clearing turns to visually clear the area -- either a complete 360 or two opposing 180 turns. Don't forget to check above and below.

Between exercises, an abbreviated HELL check should be carried out:

H eight
E ngine
L ocation
L ookout

Throughout these exercises, remember the maxim: Power + Attitude = Performance
Slow Flight To control the aircraft at a critically slow airspeed. "Slow" is defined as 5kts above the stall speed (VS0 or VS1, depending on flap settings)

* Reduce power to slow flight setting. Use the ball to maintain balanced flight.
* Pitch up to achieve desired speed.
* Trim to eliminate control forces.
Remember: P ower - A ttitude - T rim.

At slow airspeeds, controls are less effective, and bigger inputs may be required. Caution is required in manoeuvring, since any loss of airspeed could cause a stall, and so is unacceptable. Turns should be no more than 15* angle of bank, and some additional power may be required.

We will exit the slow flight exercise into a normal climb:
* Steadily increase power to full. Use the ball to maintain balanced flight.
* Maintain attitude until climb speed is reached, then pitch up to normal climb attitude.
* Trim for climb airspeed.
Remember: P ower - A ttitude - T rim.

Don't forget your HASELL and HELL checks.
Stalls To learn the symptoms of the approach to the stall and the full stall. To recover from a fully developed stall, and recover from an incipient stall in various configurations.   Perform two or more of the following:

Standard Stall Recovery :
* Move the control column forward / release back pressure
* Apply full power
* SIMULTANEOUSLY use rudder to prevent further yaw and roll
* When the wings are unstalled and airspeed increases, level the wings with aileron, centralise the rudder, and gently recover to a climb.

Target height loss: < 200ft

1. Stall & recovery without power
* Fully close the throttle
* Gradually raise the nose to prevent descent. Maintain balanced flight
* At the stall, the aircraft pitches forward
* Release back pressure/push stick forward. Do NOT apply power until the stall is recovered
* Recover to the climb

2. Stall & recovery with power
* As above, but perform Standard Stall Recovery. Note that significantly less height is lost

Further stalls may be performed in the following configurations. Use the Standard Stall Recovery. Recover at the incipient stall (ie when the first symptom of the stall is detected).
* Stall with partial power set
* Stall with flap set
* Stall with power and flap (approach configuration)

Don't forget your HASELL and HELL checks.
Steep Turns To turn the aircraft at steeper than normal angles of bank in both level flight and descent. Maintain 45 angle of bank within +/- 5, airspeed within +/- 10kts and altitude within +/- 100ft

Steep turns to the left. Select a heading and turn through 360 to return to the same heading.
* Use ailerons to roll in the desired direction.  Apply rudder in the same sense and back pressure as required for balanced flight
* As angle of bank passes 30, increase power and increase back pressure to maintain altitude.
* During the turn maintain angle of bank, altitude and balanced flight
* Anticipate rolling out onto the desired heading by 30
* Gradually reduce elevator back pressure as you roll level. Reduce  power as you roll back through 30

Steep turns to the right, Select a heading and turn through 360 to return to the same heading
* Repeat the left turn procedure, but turning to the right

Steep turns using 60 angle of bank
* As above, but maintain a 60 bank angle

Steep Descending turn (45 bank angle)
* Establish a gliding descent at your aircraft's normal glide speed
* Roll into the turn with aileron
* Pitch down to maintain glide airspeed. Note increased rate of descent and nose low attitude
* When rolling out, pitch up to maintain glide airspeed

Collision Avoidance turn
* The collision avoidance turn is a practical application of steep turns. It comprises an immediate steep RIGHT turn through 90. There is no emphasis on accurate flying for this manoeuvre.

Caution: As angle of bank in a turn increases, so does the load factor ('g') and the stalling speed (by the square root of the load factor). At 60 of bank, load factor = 2, and stall speed is √2 = 1.41 x wings level stall speed. Consequently it is very important to be aware of your speed and not to let it decay.
Don't forget your HASELL and HELL checks.
Circuits ATC will advise current conditions, and the runway in use, as well as the preferred join procedure.
Some of the following circuit types may be inadvisable if the circuit is busy. You can always come back and practice them another time. Try to perform three of the following:

Normal circuits
Perform a touch and go with the aircraft in the normal landing configuration

Flapless circuits
* Perform a touch and go with reduced or no flaps set.
* Advise ATC when you call downwind that the approach will be with reduced or no flap.
* Your approach will be faster and shallower than with a normal landing, so you will need to extend your downwind leg slightly
* Landing speed is slightly higher (due to higher stalling speed), and landing roll will be longer

Glide Approach
* Perform a landing without power
* Advise ATC when you call downwind that you wish to make a glide approach. If the circuit is busy, ATC may decline the request.
* Turn base earlier than you would for a powered circuit.
* Reduce power to idle. Set carb heat to hot (if fitted). Trim for best glide speed
* Do not lower flap until you are assured of overshooting your aiming point
* Do not attempt to 'stretch the glide' by pitching the nose up if you are undershooting - GO AROUND!
* Do not hesitate to go around.

Bad Weather circuit
* Request permission from ATC to perform a bad weather circuit BEFORE commencing this procedure
* Fly overhead the runway in the landing direction at a height of 600ft AGL.
* Once overhead the upwind threshold, start a continuous level 15 (max) banked turn until downwind.
* You will fly the downwind leg lower and closer than usual, so be aware of visual perspective changes
* As you pass the runway threshold, start a timer for 20-30 seconds (depending on wind speed)
* After 20-30 seconds, start a continuous level 15 (max) banked turn until on final
* Do not start your final descent until you have a good view of the runway

Precautionary Landing
A precautionary landing involves a number of low passes of the landing area down to a height of 100ft AGL in order to inspect the area for obstacles and obstructions. The purpose is to facilitate landing in a field or other area when a medical, weather etc. emergency precludes landing at an airfield.
* Request permission from ATC to perform a precautionary landing procedure BEFORE commencing this procedure
* Establish the aircraft in 'slow safe cruise' configuration (e.g. 75 kts with one stage of flap) at 600ft agl.
* Approach the runway in the landing direction, descending to approximately 300ft AGL
* Fly the runway length at 300ft AGL, TO THE RIGHT of the runway. Visually inspect the runway for obstacles
* At the end of the runway, go around at bad weather circuit height (600ft AGL)
* Once satisfied that it is safe, make a second approach to 100ft AGL. Go around again at 600ft
* If satisfied that the area is suitable, make an approach and landing as per the bad weather circuit.

Forced Landing without power
* Request permission from ATC BEFORE commencing the procedure
* Climb to 2500ft overhead the airfield
* Reduce power to idle. Apply carb heat if fitted. Trim the aircraft for best glide
* Commence a glide descent to the runway, using either standard pattern, or constant aspect methods
* Make appropriate circuit calls
* Do not hesitate to go around if necessary

VOR Tracking

The Instrument Flight document in the Training section of the club web site contains a section on VORs and how to use them. If you are unsure how to track a VOR radial, download and have a look at this.
The document covers the use of NDB and DME for direction and distance measurements as well.

Radio Discipline

Take care not to let our Teamspeak chat cut across ATC. Stop any conversation immediately the R/T comes alive, then continue if "he wasn't talking to us". This is difficult because when transmitting on Teamspeak you can't hear the R/T. So be brief on Teamspeak, and be aware that ATC might be trying to get through. If anyone hears an R/T message which seems to be being ignored, just say "ATC is calling G-CIXN" if you have identified the callsign, or "ATC is calling us" which is a cue for everyone to be quiet on Teamspeak until ATC call again (which they will). Remember too that if asked to "Stand By" by ATC, you do not reply - not even "Roger", but simply wait until you are called again.
Remember also that there are several different ATC frequencies in use, and you may not be able to hear when communications are taking place. Make sure you have set and know how to use a Teamspeak mute switch.
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