After just over 4 months since my last flying lesson I’m resuming my navigation training, this time with a solo navigation to historic Durham City.

I brought the GoPro with me so you can join me on this flight from Eshott in Northumberland to Durham and back, through the controlled Class D airspace of Newcastle International Airport – a busy airport ramping up activity for the summer holiday season.

Like last lesson, I would be flying the following route:

  • Morpeth Railway Station Visual Reporting Point (VRP) – shown in the middle at the top of the map below
  • Tyne Bridges
  • Durham City (just out of view to the south of the picture)
  • and back again.

After briefing with the instructor and going through my planning, the first major challenge was to find the aircraft!

“It’s over by maintenance,” hinted the instructor. I hadn’t been to maintenance before so left the clubhouse to find it, dragging a bag of navigation supplies with me.

Along the way I found an ex-RAF Chipmunk (“Chippie”) resting between the hangars.

And finally I found my bird, UJ, in front of an open hangar, and missing the conical spinner off the front of her propeller. (Not required, just a change from last time I saw her).

It was a busy day at the airfield, with lots of movements, but in between the traffic I managed to do a couple of proving circuits with the instructor ahead of doing my solo navigation.

Finally, let loose in the 1968 Cessna-Reims F150H by myself. Let’s jump into the cockpit: