The weather has started to act up. There has been some mornings with a fog so thick you could barely see 100 meters forward. It goes without saying that we are not flying then. One morning a 3-hour wait was enough, but another morning it never cleared out, because the clouds were also hanging very low. Alas, no flying that day. The minimum visibility for our school flights with a teacher is 3 km which isn’t a lot. To fly solo locally the student minimum for the visibility is 5 km and for the cloud ceiling 1000 ft (300 m). For a cross-country flight respectively 8 km and 1500 ft (450 m).
As I’m writing this the wind is very strong. That also causes a problem. There’s only a certain amount of crosswind, 12 kt (6 m/s), that has been demonstrated in a Cessna, and for a student to fly solo it’s even less than that. Our maximum crosswind component is 8 kt (4 m/s). It doesn’t sound like a lot of wind, but the crosswind component refers to the component of the wind that is 90 degrees to the runway. That means the wind can be maximum 8 kt when blowing directly from the side. If the wind direction is something else than 90 degrees in relation to the runway, the wind speed can be higher, because the crosswind component is just a certain part of it.
A totally non-weather related reason also stole 3 days of our week regarding flying. This week we had the PPL exams at the Finnish Transport Safety Agency. We had Monday and Tuesday off to study for the Wednesday’s exams. The PPL exams have just recently been transformed into computerized exams. I have to say I liked doing them on the computer much rather than having a bunch of papers in front of me. The PPL exams consist of 9 subjects. Each subject had 20 questions and you had 1 hour for each subject. I did them all in about 4 hours so there’s plenty of time in general. Of course some subjects take more time than others. For me Aircraft General Knowledge and Principles of Flight were probably the toughest. Hopefully I passed them all though. We will know in a couple of weeks. All in all I didn’t find the exams very difficult. Some crazy questions of course, but in general they were alright.
Due to all these delays and some days off, these past two weeks I have only had 5 flights. The first solos have however started and most of our group have flown them. Hoping my turn will be very soon!