East Kent bimble

Map reading at 4000ft

I had a thoroughly brilliant flight today around Kent.  Routing Biggin Hill to Biggin Hill via Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone, Whitstable, Margate, Dover, Folkestone, Tenterden.  There were three of us on board, and we all enjoyed the clear blue skies and smooth air.

First off I headed out to Tunbridge Wells, to find my friend’s house – I always love doing this.  From 2300ft up, spotting a single address is a good test of my navigational skills.  Next turning point was Leeds Castle, which looked great in the sun today.  Then we climbed to 4000ft to coast around the Isle of Thanet and Dover.  The coastline looks great from the air, and we were even jealous we weren’t walking along the beaches today, as the weather was perfect.

As we passed Folkestone, we called up Lydd airport for ATC, flew to the south of Ashford, then descended below controlled airspace to pass Headcorn Aerodrome, Paddock Wood and Sevenoaks for our return back to Biggin Hill.

The approach to land was interesting, because as I was on short final (about 300ft above the runway) still without clearance to land, the controller cleared an aircraft to take off from the same runway.  This would have put us both in conflict, and so I was just preparing to abort the approach when the controller assertively said “Go-around, I say again, go around, acknowledge?”.  Full power followed, and a climb to 500 ft, tracking to the right of the runway then coming around for a second go.  There was never any risk, as I had not been cleared to land, and was well aware of the aircraft now about to take off.  “Go-Arounds” are manoeuvres practised in training, but infrequently used after license issue.  Good practice then.

Video Excerpts from the flight.

Total distance flown: 159 nautical miles

Flight time logged: 1hr 40 minutes