Derry, Northern Ireland

Next stop on my daytrip to Ireland was on the north coast. Derry was the first in the UK to be awarded European City of Culture in 2013, and continues to attract many tourists. It has a large natural harbour and has in the past been a strategic and busy shipping port for centuries. Admin Crossing an international boundary requires a flight plan (for which VFR using SkyDemon was very

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Weston Airport

Weston, Ireland

While instructing is very enjoyable and rewarding, sometimes you feel the need to fly somewhere new. I’d been to Le Touquet earlier in the week conducting a Cross Channel checkout for a new club member on what proved to be about the only good weather day for flying. Today’s weather also indicated heavy rain all down the east side of the country, but clear to the north and west. My

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First year of flight instruction

As my total flight time clocks over 1100 hours and my Unrestricted Flight Instructor rating enjoys its first anniversary, I thought it a good time to reflect on what its been like to have joined the ranks of Instructors. I’ve logged 360 hours of instruction to date. In 2016 I qualified as a CRI (Class Rating Instructor) and logged about 50 hours instruction in the two years thereafter. I championed

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Kortrijk, Belgium

The original plan for the weekend was to fly up to Aberdeen with my family to visit relatives. I’d planned to fly to Duxford to pickup my daughters and take them there in the TB20. What both I and my family have learnt is that with small aircraft, weather can often disrupt good intentions and you have to have a Plan B (and maybe also Plan C, D and E).

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BAC European Tour 2019 – Part 3 of 3 – Friedrichshafen to Gloucester

Yet another flight plan required for the second international flight of the day, from Friedrichshafen in Germany to Troyes in France. No PPR required though. Again, I drew up what I thought was a reasonable route and filed through SkyDemon. A few minutes later I got a call from the German air traffic regional centre, advising me that I really should have a couple more reporting waypoints than I’d put

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BAC European Tour – Part 2 of 3 – Innsbruck

Nestled in the Austrian Alps, with an elevation of 1,900 feet, Innsbruck is a scenic airport. The weather was about as perfect as it could be for our flight, winds calm, few clouds at 10,000 feet, excellent visibility. We flew in from Speyer (EDNY) in southern Germany onboard G-BBXW, our well worn but fully IFR equipped PA28-151 and departed next day to Friedrischafen. VFR flight plans were required but no

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IFR Airways Gloucester to Ostend

I had originally booked the TB20 G-CORB booked for the weekend to visit relatives, but plans changed and we ended up enjoying a weekend away in Brugge, Belgium. I filed IFR airways Gloucester to Ostend both ways using Autorouter intending to return after hours. Gloucester closes at 6pm local at weekends due to ATC staff shortages, so we obtained permission to land VFR before sunset on indemnity. GAR forms were

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Hazy visibility into Cambridge

A daytrip to Cambridge takes either 3 hours by road or 45 minutes in the TB20 from Gloucester – it should be an easy choice. But add in time to drive to the airport (1 hour), move the aircraft out of the hangar, fuel and pre-flight (30 minutes), lockdown and paperwork on arrival, and transport into the city (30 minutes), and it all starts to look a bit more marginal.

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South Florida Holiday 2019

Having flown in the US both on business and with several pilot friends, I felt I was experienced enough to plan a holiday there with my wife. We’ visited for two weeks, during which I rented an aircraft exclusively for four days. I wanted a Flight Review to be included in the Club Checkout, and also opted to schedule an Instrument Proficiency Check. I even managed to pop into a

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