Inverness, Colonsay, Coll and Tiree

A weekend trip to Scotland in our shared TB20 from Gloucester, meeting up at Inverness for a PPL/IR group fly-out. The intention was to fly up to Inverness on Friday afternoon, fly down the Great Glen to Tiree for lunch on Saturday, and visit the Orkneys on Sunday before returning home. I shared the flying with my co-owner John, who frequently flies to and from Alderney but has done fewer

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My first 1,000 hours of instructing

I’ve recently crossed this milestone four years after having gained my Flight Instructor rating in February 2018. Logged time excludes ground instruction, remote instruction via Zoom and supervising solo flights – the latter make up around 20% of a typical PPL course. It’s trivial compared to the 20,000 hours or more that some GA instructors have accumulated, but perhaps more than many casual part-timers. Of this, about a third has

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A Snapshot of UK Instrument Approach Status

This review takes a snapshot view of the number, type and support for UK instrument approaches at civilian airports. It assesses the coverage of both documentation and database support, reviews the implications of EGNOS withdrawal and considers what pilots might lobby for. You’ll also find out which UK airport has the largest collection of published instrument-approach plates. Current instrument approach coverage The scope of this study covers UK civil airports

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Millau bridge, Limoges and Gloucester

It was a fair distance to fly back home from Carcassonne, but we had the advantage of gaining an hour from the timezone change. The weather looked very good, a warm sunny day throughout. I added one last planned deviation – we thought it worthwhile to fly across to see the Millau bridge – a wonderful feat of engineering – which wasn’t too far out of the way. My preparation

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Cannes and Carcassonne, France

Our flight today was from Albenga (aka Riviera Airport) in Italy, westward to Carcassone in France. With no fuel available at Albenga, I planned a “technical” stop at Cannes (LFMD). The short flight along the coastline looked fairly straightforward, although I read some reports of harsh noise abatement penalties about Cannes that sounded quite severe. There is a mandatory pilot briefing on the airport website which required you to register

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Albenga/Riviera Italy

The Italian Riviera lies on the coast at the furthest west of Italy, close to the border with Monaco and France. The area was very popular with English nobility towards the end of the 19th century, transforming it from a fishing village and now boasts many Art Nouveau buildings. The airport itself sits deep in a valley surrounded by high terrain. While there is a localiser, you couldn’t really consider

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Venice Lido Beach Airfield

Venice Lido

Definitely the highlight of my trip and one for every pilot’s bucket list. Today we flew south west VFR from Ljubljana over the mountains then down the Adriatic coast with great views of Trieste and the Venice lagoon to land on the grass strip at Venice Lido beach. This was the first commercial Italian airport, opening in 1926, and is named Giovanni Nicelli airport in honour of an Italian air

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Ljubljana Slovenia

Saturday was to be a busy day for flying, first a local flight with our hosts followed by a hop across the mountains to the south east to land at the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. I had been keeping a close eye on the weather and wasn’t definitively able to say whether we’d fit in a local VFR flight or not. I had originally planned to fly in the morning

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Vienna

Next stop is Vienna where we planned to visit and stay with friends for a few days. Landing at Vienna’s main airport is possible but expensive. There are several GA airfields in the vicinity, especially Voslau (LOAV) and Wiener Neustadt Ost (LOAN) which seemed most appropriate. LOAN is the home of Diamond Aircraft and might well be worth a visit, but LOAV was closer to where our friends lived. Since

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Ceske Budejovice

Draw a straight line from Gloucester to Vienna and you will find it passes over the southern tip of the Czech Republic. It was about an hour’s VFR flight today south west from Bamburg towards Vienna, landing at Ceske Budejovice – the regional capital of South Bohemia, about 75 miles south of Prague and most famous for its Budweiser Budvar brewery. My original plan was for an early afternoon departure

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