Blackpool Tower Flypast

Lockdown restrictions have eased, removing the “Stay at Home” order and allowing private leisure flights within England to resume. Instruction awaits the next stage of relaxation, and many flying clubs and airfields remain closed until then. Some, such as Kemble, have already indicated they won’t accept visitors for a couple of weeks after that, to allow enough time for residents and club members to regain currency (both legal and practical)

Continue reading

Pilotedge for GA pilots

Unlike VATSIM, IVAO and similar online aviation networks, Pilotedge is very much more aimed at GA pilot training within US airspace. It employs qualified controllers who man all the of the positions at towered airports in Western USA, avoiding the problem of sparse or intermittent coverage. Structured training and hour building programs encourage you to expand your knowledge and familiarisation of the US VFR and IFR procedures. Sometimes it does

Continue reading

VATSIM for UK GA pilots

Lockdown has encouraged us all to explore new ways of doing things. I’ve spent a lot of time refining and tinkering with my X-plane flight simulator over the past year, and more recently investigated using various online multi-player networks to add realism. VATSIM is by far the most popular and this article shares my personal views on what to expect and how best to use it. What is VATSIM? You’ll

Continue reading

Instruction in an N-Reg aircraft in the UK

What qualifications are required to instruct a pilot in an N registered aircraft based in the UK? TLDR; Any UK flight instructor can instruct towards UK Part-FCL licences/ratings on an N-Reg aircraft in UK airspace. There is no longer any requirement to obtain a special permit. Solo flights (e.g. ab-initio PPL) are not allowed. Such training can count towards certain FAA licences/ratings but an FAA Flight Review or Instrument Proficiency

Continue reading

End of Year Review 2020

What a strange year this has been! COVID caused huge disruption to everybody in many ways and I have been fortunate not to have been badly affected. My major milestone this year was gaining my CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence). Flight instruction has continued between lockdowns and has been 80% IFR related this year. IR training has again almost entirely been in student’s own aircraft, with IMC ratings using the club

Continue reading

BREXIT and UK PPL

Although there is uncertainty about how BREXIT will affect private pilots in the UK, we can be reasonably certain of some outcomes, make an educated guess about others and be hopeful regarding the rest. So read below partly as a bit of crystal ball gazing and my best guess as much as hard fact. Sources include the CAA Brexit website and webinars, AOPA and discussions on various pilot forums. Licences

Continue reading

CPL Licence Application

I’ve passed all the theory exams, completed the practical flying course and passed the skill test. You might think that the final step to obtain my CPL licence itself would be relatively straightforward. My experience of both UK and US bureaucracy hasn’t always been slick and efficient, and there were a few hiccups about my experience that I thought worth sharing. My intention is not to embarrass or denigrate any

Continue reading

South Coast trip to Shoreham and Dunkeswell

Recent sudden UK government announcements in the run-up to Christmas have been quite shocking and upset many plans. I am fortunate to live in a Tier 2 area and so can still fly, but who knows for how long. Today, I had intended to fly solo to Caernarfon in Wales and even called to confirm they were open the day before, but this is no longer permitted. So today I

Continue reading

Practical CPL Course and Skill Test

I had put an enormous amount of time and effort into passing the CPL theory exams in 2017/18 which are required to become a fully qualified Flight Instructor. I didn’t want that to go to waste or to have to repeat them. These exams are only valid for three years after the final test and so I decided to complete the practical side of the training and gain my Commercial

Continue reading