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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IFR Airways Gloucester to Ostend

I had originally booked the TB20 G-CORB booked for the weekend to visit relatives, but plans changed and we ended up enjoying a weekend away in Brugge, Belgium. I filed IFR airways Gloucester to Ostend both ways using Autorouter intending to return after hours. Gloucester closes at 6pm local at weekends due to ATC staff shortages, so we obtained permission to land VFR before sunset on indemnity. GAR forms were

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Hazy visibility into Cambridge

A daytrip to Cambridge takes either 3 hours by road or 45 minutes in the TB20 from Gloucester – it should be an easy choice. But add in time to drive to the airport (1 hour), move the aircraft out of the hangar, fuel and pre-flight (30 minutes), lockdown and paperwork on arrival, and transport into the city (30 minutes), and it all starts to look a bit more marginal.

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Flying Fort Lauderdale via Okechobee to St Petersburg

Last day of our four day tour of Southern Florida, and it was going to be an interesting two hour flight back. To add interest, I planned to fly low level further up the east coastline before heading inland, and stop for lunch at Okechobee. This would involve talking directly to the tower controllers of several airports in quick succession: Pampano, Boca Raton then Palm Beach for what is termed

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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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Flying from St Petersburg to Naples Florida

Today’s plan was for a simple VFR flight from St Petersburg Albert Whitted airport (KSPG) to Naples (KAPF), the first leg of a four day South Florida tour with my wife in a rented Archer II. Pre-flight planning identified several NOTAMs for Naples, including that one of their two runways was closed, and that they had no radar so could only accept VFR arrivals. The weather suggested this shouldn’t be

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