New video: Departing Biggin Hill IFR, arriving Lydd VFR

This was an extremely satisfying flight, due mainly to it’s simplicity and accuracy.  Biggin Hill was shrouded in low cloud, and so I departed the aerodrome IFR, soon climbing above the clouds.  I surfed the clouds for 20 minutes, before ducking down through a gap, to arrive at Lydd VFR.

I was picking up a friend and his son, to take them on a sight-seeing trip, so had the aeroplane to myself for this leg of the journey.  I routed out IFR through the Biggin Hill overhead, tracking 095 to Detling VOR, out for a further 10 miles, before intercepting the 172 track inbound to LZD NDB.  This would have taken me to ROMTI, the initial instrument approach fix for Lydd’s ILS 21 approach.  As I approached, it was obvious that Lydd was surrounded by visual meteorological conditions (VMC), and so I could break cloud, cancel IFR and join the circuit normally.

As it turned out, the rest of the adventure wasn’t so straightforward.  I loaded the aircraft with my passengers, had completed a passenger brief, and started the engine.  It was at this point I noticed that the ammeter was reading zero.  This could be indicative of an alternator failure.  I did some trouble shooting, which included hitting the ammeter with my knuckles, but this didn’t sort the problem.  I offloaded the passengers and wondered what to do.

The weather had been IMC for 80% of my outbound flight, but had improved considerably since departing Biggin Hill.  I looked at the METARS, and already had a good feel for the trend, and thought I had a chance of making it back to Biggin Hill in VMC.  My backups were Headcorn, or Lydd.  I then had to consider the possibility that if I did set off, the battery wouldn’t last the journey.  I would soon find myself without radios, a turn coordinator and the electric fuel pump.  

I re-started Oscar Romeo, at which point the ammeter decided to flick into life.  Lydd warned Biggin Hill that I was having issues, and I set off.  Soon after take off the ammeter fell to zero again!

I’ve made a bonus video, which charts this return trip in detail, and it’s available to my Patreon members.  They very generously pledge a small sum each month, anything from $1, to help keep the channel going.  If you’d like to sign up, and get the benefit of bonus videos like this, click here to find out more.  I appreciate that it won’t be for everyone, and I promise I’ll keep making the same high quality content on YouTube for everyone to watch for free.

Video: Biggin Hill to Lydd, IFR to VFR

4 Comments on "New video: Departing Biggin Hill IFR, arriving Lydd VFR"

  1. Great video Jon, very useful content! Thanks very much for sharing, Mike

  2. Hi Jon.

    Another very good film as usual. You seem to have been a bit unlucky with the electrics, didn’t you also lose power in G-IZ once?

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