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Expect the Unexpected!

You never know what might happen and as such in aviation you should be prepared that your plans may not always go as you would hope.

Just last week, our student Luca was sent on only his second solo flight in the circuit at Redhill on Runway 25.  After he had completed two circuits, the runway became blocked and was therefore not available. The tower instructed Luca, along with one other aircraft, to fly the circuit pattern at 1,200' while the blockage was cleared.

Fortunately, Luca had been briefed to "expect the unexpected" and importantly, if he did not understand he should not be afraid to clarify what ATC wanted him to do. He did not need to do so. 

The thorough briefing that Luca received included instructions in the event that Redhill Aerodrome remained closed for a significant period of time. The instructor had armed the standby frequency on the radio for Biggin Hill and also selected and displayed the BIG VOR 030 radial to aid navigation.

To try to prepare for every eventuality, each aircraft at Redhill Aviation carries within its comprehensive flight bag the following:

  • Aircraft POH
  • Aircraft documentation e.g. insurance, ownership etc.
  • PLB
  • Fuel tester
  • Fuel dipstick
  • Checklists
  • Aerodrome charts for Redhill, Biggin Hill and Fairoaks
  • A list of local frequencies


Luca spent ten minutes flying around the circuit and when the runway became available he made a good landing. He was relaxed and had been ready to divert to Biggin Hill if necessary.

Next time you fly, take five minutes to familiarise yourself with the contents of the flight bag and plan for the unexpected!