Milau Bridge

End of Year Review 2022

The flying highlight of my year was our two week European tour, making a wide circle around the Alps with stops in eight countries including Czechia, Austria, Slovenia and Italy. The vast bulk of my flight time was through instruction at every level from one-off “trial lesson/air experience” up to to completing full Instrument Ratings. I thrive on variety and exploring new places, using new techniques, learning about new equipment

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Post Maintenance Flight

The first flight after any significant maintenance always feels like it needs more careful attention. No matter how expert the aircraft engineers, the simple fact that the machine has been taken apart and reassembled introduces scope for issues to arise. These may not be directly related to any components worked on, and sometimes simply down to the age or lifetime of the equipment – our aircraft was built in 1991.

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Oban direct by Airways

 Munros are defined as Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet (914.4 m) in height, and named after Sir Hugo T. Munro who published a list in 1891. The Scottish Mountaineering Club officially lists 282, most of which are clustered around the north-central Scotland mainland. There are a dozen on the Isle of Skye and one on Mull. Some are fairly inaccessible, requiring a long walk in and out and a few require a

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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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