End of Year Review 2019

VFR Cross-Channel Groundschool course dates for 2020 published. Book your tickets today! This year capitalised on my recently acquired instructor qualifications, ranging from first flights with potential new PPL pilots through Night Ratings, IMC Ratings to full Instrument Ratings. PPL instructing has generally been quite good fun, working with enthusiastic capable students who don’t seem to mind flying older PA28 aircraft. CB-IR courses have almost all been in the student’s

Continue reading

Leeds East

Today’s flight was a VFR trip from Gloucester to Leeds East – what pilots call a $100 hamburger run – flown solo in my shared TB20 from Gloucester. Leeds East (EGCM) used to be RAF Church Fenton (EGXG), a busy wartime fighter base. For some years it was the Royal Navy’s Elementary Flying Training School, and from 1998 to 2003 became the RAF’s main Elementary Flight Training airfield. It’s about

Continue reading

Class 1 Medical Examination

Having undergone the trauma of the EASA CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) theory exams in order to become a Flight Instructor, it seemed to me to be a smaller step to complete the practical side of the course and attain a full CPL licence. While I am far too old to become an airline pilot, it could open other opportunities including CPL instruction and commercial aspects of General Aviation. To gain

Continue reading
Peace Bridge, Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Continue reading
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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading