IFR Approach Training Workout

I don’t often write about my instructional flights, but I thought this one covered a range of topical IFR approach training issues. An IRR student of mine had moved on to the final section of the syllabus – learning how to fly instrument approaches – and I felt he was good enough to be ready for a more challenging flight. Although the syllabus offers the option of many different types

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Daytrip to Lille at FL120

With a fully operational TB20 aircraft and European travel opening up once again, I arranged a daytrip to Lille with Nigel (one of our newer club members) at relatively short notice. It was satisfying to able to travel abroad again. Planning and Paperwork beforehand Paperwork/Planning (assuming all are fully vaccinated): PPR to land at Lille (email, promptly accepted the day before although officially 48 hours notice required) IFR flight plan

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Technical issue after take-off

I’ve encountered relatively few problems in my shared TB20 over the eight years since I bought a share, even the minor problem with I had with the gear a few years ago was quickly resolved. We had lost use of the aircraft since November when it went in for its Annual and had the gear actuators overhauled as planned – quite an expensive operation. I flew it back to base

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PPL Navigation Theory

Circular slide rule is no longer mandatory There has been a “Rite of Passage” when learning PPL navigation theory that required all aspiring pilots to master the circular slide rule. Many YouTube videos explain the technique for applying wind drift to ground track/distance, some using a wind arm and others not, some using wind up and others wind down. In my experience, few private pilots ever use these devices after

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PPL e-Exam system in practice

Today I conducted my first theory e-Exam as examiner, after having witnessed a couple delivered by the CFI. System Setup UK PPL theory exams moved from a paper to computer based system in October 2020. Any registered ATO or DTO can apply to the CAA for authorisation to conduct them, but only authorised Ground Examiners can do so. There are four separate websites involved in the administration and operation: Student

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2021 End of Year Review

COVID-19 has made this a difficult year for many, and I have been fortunate indeed not to be too badly affected. A lockdown until mid-April was mitigated with a few engine maintenance flights (once per month) and a few flights to retain currency as an instructor – this included a couple of standardisation flights that undoubtedly improved and aligned my technique with others in the club. Surprisingly, my hourly total

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CAA Ground and Revalidation Examiner

Today I received my Ground and Revalidation Examiner authorisation from the CAA as an early Christmas present. This will allow me to conduct theory exams at the two flying clubs where I instruct (but not elsewhere), having been sponsored by both. Ground and Revalidation Examiner approval process The CAA turned this around in a couple of weeks. Application sent by email on 9th December, card charged on 23rd, paperwork by

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Propstrike due to helicopter downwash

Today was my first and hopefully last report to the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB). I was instructing at the Bristol Aero Club at Gloucester and taxied out for power checks for the third instructional flight of the day. While parked at the A2 hold, commencing power checks, a large EC135 helicopter hover taxied close behind us from Spot 5 towards the fuel pumps, tipping the aircraft significantly forward and

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French Touring 2021 Part 4 – Perpignan

My turn to fly the TB20, this time Figari to Perpignan. The direct route over water was almost two hours and I considered whether to file VFR or IFR and what altitude to cross the water at. There are prescribed VFR routes which reduce the overwater time but take you up north towards Nice and Saint Tropez. A more direct route was suggested by Autorouter with VFR legs at both

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