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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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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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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Visit to Pilot’s Paradise, Florida

During my holiday and flying tour of Southern Florida, I popped in to visit Pilots Paradise – a flight school/FBO based in Sebastian run by British ex-pats. Carole and Tony work full time there and have expanded the business considerably in recent years. They have a fleet of six PA28s and two other aircraft, several instructors, maintenance and fuel facilities. The organisation is dual approved for FAA flight training (under

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Flying Key West past Miami to Fort Lauderdale

Surprisingly cloudy start to the day – I thought it was supposed to be wall-to-wall sunshine in Florida all year round. METAR reported overcast at 300 feet, with a TAF suggesting it might rise to 1500 (for VFR) around lunchtime. Reports from further north were better, but still in the range of 1500 to 2000 feet. A NOTAM check confirmed that the Presidential TFR which would have limited our tour

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Flying from Naples to Marathon and Key West

Today was highly anticipated to be the most exciting of the trip. We’d be flying over the Aligator swamps of the Everglades (one rogue student pilot was reportedly eaten), then over shark-infested waters across to the Keys. Just to add to the tension was a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) because the US Vice-President was visiting Key West – any aircraft not complying with the restrictions could be shot down. And

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