I attempt my first, really short, short-field take off. I fly from Redhill’s runway 25, just 498m long.
I’ve been spoilt with Biggin Hill’s 1800m runway, and so when I was faced with having to take off from Redhill’s unlicensed 498m hard runway I was a little anxious. Using the ‘take off distance’ figures alone, 500m looks very tight. Thankfully, there’s a little bit of ‘clearway’ at Redhill, and so with careful consideration, ‘take off run’ calculations can be used. I was on my own, so weight wasn’t a major factor, although I did have full fuel.
I flew onwards to Gloucester – my second time there – and ballooned the landing slightly. This is where the aircraft starts to climb again during the flare. If you don’t recognise and rectify the condition, it can lead to a very hard landing. The solution can be to go around, or hold attitude and let the aircraft settle back down, OR apply a little power as the aircraft starts to settle back towards the runway to arrest the descent. As this was just a tiny balloon, I just held attitude, and adjusted it slightly to arrest the descent. The landing was a bit firm, but perfectly acceptable.