I was supposed to do my first IFR flight at the aeroclub and it was two long days of study before this, I was actually pretty hyped up for this flight because i felt confident. On the hour before the flight I had arrived and prepared everything and was ready to go. This was at Hamilton and there was an opening for the new sealed runway 18/36. As a result of this, there are static displays being lined up on the normal area where we taxi to the sealed runway.
I made contact with tower and they cleared me for my route, however, they cleared me for takeoff for Grass 25Right, which is 720 meters in length, which we did not expect. The instructor then called to clarify and requested the Sealed runway, and the controller told us to standby whilst he figured a way for us to taxi to the Sealed runway. Finally he told us that it was not available due to the static aircraft displays, and asked us again whether we would accept takeoff on the Grass 25Right. I was very tempted to make the call to go, however I seeked the instructor's opinion and we collectively decided that even though we could probably make the takeoff, there is a chance we might make a hole in the fence as well.
Because we had three people on board, and the aircraft had an airconditioner which weighed 70kgs installed, we were operating close to max all up weight. A load sheet was also not completed for the Grass runway as we were not anticipating that takeoff. Our final decision was to call off the takeoff, because of the risks involved. I trusted my instructor's decision and I believe this was the correct airmanship. Afterall she had over 2000 hours experience and she flew this aircraft much more than I did, this was my third flight and I only had one and a half hours of flight time in this aircraft.
If i was solo on this aircraft with two other passengers and no instructor, there was a 50/50 chance that i would have gone because of the effort I put to prepare for this flight and also the nice blue-skies day. However the instructor taught me a valuable airmanship lesson, that, even though all the conditions (dry grass, clear sky) might indicate a possible safe takeoff, the risk was still there because we havent done the load sheet.
We eventually cancelled and booked the flight for another day.