Le Touquet is back on the menu

Relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions now permit international travel, with no requirement for self-isolation on return from over 50 countries. Private pilots can once again fly to and from European countries for daytrips or longer excursions. I believe that the main limitation at present is that passengers must be from your own household although flight instruction for private pilots is also possible. I thought I’d find out for myself by flying

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Blackpool and Sherburn-in-Elmet

COVID-19 restrictions currently allow me to fly solo or with household members, and today’s flight in my TB20 from Gloucester was intended to help keep me current until flight instruction resumes. After checking which airfields were open, I decided on a double landaway at Blackpool and Sherburn-in-Elmet. I’d also transit overhead several regional airports to get a view of their level of activity. I did phone Manchester ATC to see

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North Weald, London City and Redhill

The COVID situation currently allows me to fly my aircraft in England solo or with members of my household. Many clubs have reopened to permit such flights for their more experienced members but there is no airborne flight instruction. The government advise against non-essential travel abroad. Recreational flights (except for engine health, maintenance etc.) are not yet permitted in Scotland or Wales. So as much as I’d love to fly

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Airborne again – Beach trip to Lee-on-Solent

The UK government has relaxed lockdown regulations in England which now permit solo flights optionally with members of your own household. Flight instruction is not allowed although a few commercial schools have found a workaround by locking down both instructor and students in their own household bubbles, sharing accommodation as well as training facilities, but all CPL/IR skill tests have been suspended. Engine Health Flights During the interim, AOPA UK

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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

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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

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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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