Dec 8. 1942
I have got 29:20 chalked up in my log now. Flying is becoming more interesting now because I can go away from the circuit by myself. My instructor showed me how to do steep turns recently and I have been practising these mostly when I am out on my own. Doing these you have about 60° of bank and the horizon fairly whizzes past your eyes. I don’t usually hold the turn for the full 360° because if you don’t lose any altitude (and you shouldn’t of course) you will hit your own slipstream and this can easily knock you over on your back. This hasn’t happened yet but I’ve had to give hard aileron several times to hold it. I am usually up 4500 feet so that I have lots of time if anything happens. On my first trip away from the circuit I got up to 6000 on a climbing turn and suddenly found I was practically in the clouds. I soon came done.
Usually I just leave time to get home within the hour so I have to fly straight home. So I put the nose down and gradually lose altitude all the way back and let the speed build up to 95. Then I trim the aircraft so it flies itself, take my hands off the controls and relax to enjoy the panorama below. I have a 30-hour check coming up soon but before that time I must have lots of forced landing practise (done with an instructor only) and be able to do spins on my own.
We have just finished the first day of our final exams. Navigation and armament—the latter a very easy exam. We finish up tomorrow and then can really concentrate on flying.
The link continues to be very troublesome. I am now doing compass turns which brings in more difficulties. Turning on to a N heading you have to overshoot about 30°. Going on to a S heading you undershoot a like amount. But you can turn right into an E or W heading. This is further complicated since compass and magnetic headings are not the same and you have to look up the difference on a card posted in the cockpit.
If I get put back one class I will get 1 day at Christmas, 5 at New Years. I am hoping our class will all get leave so that by forgoing leave myself I could catch up again.
With love from
[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]