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What have you done with, or on your aircraft, this week-end? (25-26 November 2023)

Free at last

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

On Saturday I took the PA-17 for its first flight in 15 months (don’t ask) following an engine rebuild.

A quick 25 minutes round and round in the overhead, in nil wind and CAVOK conditions.


It was a busy week !

Wednesday solo LFPT → LFOL (L’Aigle) and back.

On Friday I did the infamous 150nm solo navigation: LFPT → LFAQ → LFOI → LFPT. Ceilings were around 2500-3000ft with one very short encounter of light drizzle under the clouds. The wind was another story: 30kts at 2500ft, and strong gusts at LFAQ and LFOI. I had some trouble fighting the crosswind gusts, especially on takeoff (where you don’t know exactly how much rudder / opposite aileron you need to put in since you started on the ground). Pretty sure I need more crosswind training, and to be more mindful of the wind on approach and before takeoff (when things may be different from what was planned, and actual wind and cross-wind values must be reevaluated from the windsock).
I suppose this is how we learn and correct things.

The good news is that I’m now ready to take the PPL exam ! I’m eager to vary from the flatland I currently fly in:


Exciting times maxbc Good luck for the PPL.
I’ve only been once to LFOL, but have good memories. The club was friendly and had bikes for visiting pilots.

Graham wrote:

(don’t ask)

I’m dying to know now…

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

Bravo max !

I could do a T&G session this weekend in a 152, practicing at an uncontrolled field on a runway section 650m long.
I ended with a spot landing, full stop and take off again in about 600m.
It feels nice to feel proficient again after all that time

LFOU, France

Thanks !

Jujupilote wrote:

I ended with a spot landing, full stop and take off again in about 600m.

Wow that’s short ! I guess if you nail the threshold and you’re alone in the cockpit you can full stop in ~150m ? Still pretty hard to estimate how much runway you’ve eaten by landing and stopping.


My 1st approach was crap, I did 5 and the last one was on the spot.

I picked a 1300×18m runway with a taxiway halfway (measured on Geoportail).This runway has no displaced thresholds. I committed to consider the runway ends at the taxiway (so 650m in length). The airport is 600 ft AMSL, wind was light and temperature was around 8°C.
The aircraft is an F152 with standard 98L tanks (The Hispano 152s have long range tanks ie 144L). I came in with full tanks and just me and my stuff on board.
Pretty ideal conditions for short fields

I brought the 152 with 40° flaps, aimed at the grass before the runway, skimmed over it (really thought I would land on the grass, you seat soi low in a 152) and touched firm on the threshold markings (nicknamed peignes in French)

Once you have stalled a 152 with full flaps, you are already pretty slow and your landing distance is short without slamming the brakes. I counted I stopped at about the 4th runway marker (plot in french). I measure it 265m from the threshold on geoportail.

Once stopped, I took a deep breath, reconfigured and applied full power again, without applying brakes for a short field take-off (I forgot about it). I lifted off in ground effect ASAP and was maybe 5-10m high when I crossed the taxiway. I guesstimate I used 300m of runway to lift off.

My advice is :
- find a quiet airfield where you are not disturbed by ATC or intense traffic.
- Pick a runway flat and short enough to keep you on your toes. Train on hard runways as grass unpredictably slips or sticks to the wheels. Otherwise pick an easy to spot runway section and measure it beforehand.
- try slower speeds on short finals (refer to the POH, clubs increase them a lot to avoid stalls). Coming at the threshold at 55-60kts instead of 70kts makes a huge difference.
- it’s not because you landed once on a 500m runway that you can bring your friends anytime to it in the summer. Be aware of the conditions of your training day.

If you don’t miss the runway at LFFY, you are already pretty good at that
I guess next time I must find a shorter runway :)

LFOU, France

Jujupilote wrote:

If you don’t miss the runway at LFFY

Never went there solo, I always had my FI as backup ^^
But indeed T&G there are a little intense with the roads on either side.

Jujupilote wrote:

brought the 152 with 40° flaps, aimed at the grass before the runway, skimmed over it

I tried doing that last time, all PAPI turned red and my FI said I would likely fail if I did that during the PPL test :(

Last Edited by maxbc at 29 Nov 15:33

Of course don’t do that during your PPL test !!

But keep working on your skills after it. You will probably fly less than you currently do and you will eventually loose some skills, most of them if you just fly from LFPT on Cavok days.

LFOU, France

Finally the aircraft arrived at its new homebase LSZF.

First touchdown as homebased airplane

Tight fit. After 12 years finally in the dry.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 29 Nov 16:06
LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland
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