Did the pre-start checks (which I had forgotten as well – time to start reading the flight manual again!!) and after engine start I had my second first of the day, I got to report in to ATC. We made a bit of a hash of the taxi to the warmup area because neither Ryan nor I could see very well but we made it there after a fashion and went through the run up checks properly with Ryan calling them out and me doing them. Then I got to radio ATC again and announce us ready for departure and then I completely misheard the ATC reply and had no idea where we were supposed to take off from. The taxi to the take off position didn’t go too badly, although I must remember that you have to add opposite rudder to straighten the nosewheel (it’s totally unlike driving a car). Then the pre-take off checks (transponder to alt, 10 degrees flap, compass and heading instruments calibrated, elevator trim at take off setting) which went smoothly and then Ryan gave me a bit of a helping hand with some right rudder trim to help me in the take off, which went better than the last one but I still track left a bit.
One thing which was readily apparent up there was the tremendous wind speed (at 2000 feet you could see the aircraft track on a heading about 15 degrees down wind of where the nose was pointed when we were flying across wind. I commented on this to Ryan and he pointed to where we were actually going.
On the walk back I commented to Ryan about the wind and he said it was quite normal for the wind at ground to be still while it rages a couple of thousand feet up, especially in the morning. You get some interesting cloud formations as cloud is caught in the still, dense air at low altitude and it sort of does a vertical eddy, collecting in patches at around 1000 feet AGL. Fortunately we didn’t have to fly through it (actually we are not allowed to) but it looked quite interesting from the air.