Aran Islands, Ireland

Light aircraft allow you to visit remote places that would otherwise be quite difficult and time-consuming to reach. The three small Aran Islands lie a few miles off the Western coast of Ireland and are not to be confused with the island of Arran near Glasgow in Scotland. They each have their own small airport, served by Aer Arann using their fleet of Islander aircraft based onshore at Connemara. Frequent

Continue reading

Sligo, Ireland

After a successful club weekend trip to Kerry, I quickly followed up with a week’s holiday in Ireland with my wife, first visiting Sligo in the Northwest, dropping in to the Aran Islands briefly before spending a few days exploring Kerry. This trip was in my shared TB20 based at Gloucester, with our first stop at Sligo just over two hours flying time. See my previous post regarding the limited

Continue reading

Club expedition to Kerry, Ireland

I’ve organised a few international flyouts with other members of the Bristol Aero Club at Gloucester in recent years, venturing to Sweden and Austria. Last year was a washout due to COVID, and again this year wasn’t looking promising. I spotted that the regulations had relaxed enough to allow those who are double vaccinated free passage to and from Ireland without any tests. The only additional paperwork is an Irish

Continue reading

Belfast City

Co-owner Nic and I flew our TB20 from Gloucester to Belfast City Airport for a daytrip, visiting the city, docklands and Titanic Exhibition. Daytrips to France are again possible at present despite COVID travel restrictions, but we preferred options for a buddy flight within the UK. We had enjoyed our day to Enniskillen and I proposed Belfast. I hadn’t visited for some 30 years and wondered how life had changed,

Continue reading

Doncaster

A daytrip to Doncaster in the TB20 from Gloucester, landing at Doncaster Sheffield airport in Yorkshire, voted the UK’s best passenger airport by Which? magazine in 2019. I’m always looking for opportunities to fly to new airports, and there are still a few regional UK airports that I haven’t been to. Adam, a good friend and also an IR pilot, offered to join me and support me as a pilot’s

Continue reading

Flying into OshKosh virtually with PilotEdge SimVenture

Around 10,000 aircraft fly into the AirVenture, the world’s largest annual GA event, held at Oshkosh in Wisconsin USA and attended by 600,000 people in 2018. Special procedures apply to achieve such a high volume of continuous arrivals and departures, with dedicated controllers, a 50 page NOTAM and dispensation from specific FAA regulations. Even if I had wanted to attend, COVID restrictions would prevent that this year, and the challenge

Continue reading

Rochester

I had a spare day of not instructing and the TB20 at Gloucester was available. Given only short notice and with fairly poor weather visibility, my co-owners were unavailable or preferred to not join me, so I flew a solo landaway. Although it’s much more sociable to fly with others, it can be quite refreshing to have some solo time as a change from the busy dual instruction of recent

Continue reading

Enniskillen via airways

A day trip to Northern Ireland in the TB20 from Gloucester. Our second new group shareholder had missed out on flying the aircraft during lockdown and after completing his differences training was keen to see what it could do. Nic already had extensive experience of flying around Europe but mostly VFR in smaller/lighter aircraft. So we agreed on a day trip together and after some discussion selected Enniskillen, a VFR

Continue reading

Ramp check at Gloucester

Ramp checks are common in commercial aviation but relatively rare in the wider General Aviation world, so it was a surprise to see six CAA inspectors arrive by minibus at Gloucester Airport. I was instructing at the club and somehow managed to miss their attention, but they did check another co-owner of my shared TB20 and also one of the other instructors at the club. The team were courteous, polite

Continue reading