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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

FAA Instrument Proficiency Check for a UK pilot

An Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) isn’t legally required for an FAA instrument rated pilot provided that currency is maintained – you need to fly 6 approaches every six months, extended by another 6 months if you use a simulator or safety pilot to catch up. Regular pilots can do this for years without ever needing to be retrained or tested. Only if currency lapses, would you need an IPC with

Continue reading

Daytrip to Antwerp

Deciding on a Daytrip With so much of my flying time now spent instructing, I was still keen to fly my group share TB20 G-CORB somewhere. The flight profile of an instructor can often be limited to 25 miles from base, although I have managed a couple of cross-channel day trips with PPL pilots. Some of those taking my formal cross-channel groundschool later ask me to join them on their

Continue reading

Hawarden and the Beluga

A second daytrip on the same weekend in my shared TB20, G-CORB from Gloucester, this time to Hawarden and back, with Russ, another Bristol Aero Club member. It may be some time before I can fly her again due to other commitments, so I wanted to make the most of the time available. Hawarden isn’t too far away (about 100 miles) and offers a free instrument approach when landing. The

Continue reading

Leeds Bradford

Our shared TB20 is back at Gloucester after some months of downtime with technical issues. I was keen to get back in the saddle, not having flown much IFR at all through the summer. I’d promised a flight in it to Mark, one of the Bristol Aero Club pilots, who had qualified to IR(R) last year. He’s a wheelchair user, so that was quite unusual from a logistics viewpoint. On

Continue reading

Club flyout to Mona, Anglesey

Gloucester – Sleap – Mona – Welshpool – Gloucester The Bristol Aero Club monthly flyout in June flew to Mona (EGOQ) in Anglesey, North Wales. I had advertised my availability to come along in my role as instructor and two students were quite keen to fly a leg each. We made clear it wouldn’t count as part of their formal syllabus, but the hours did count towards the 45 minimum

Continue reading

Swedish Tour 2018 – Part 4 – Malmo to Rotterdam

The weather had been good to us but was starting to look a little more unsettled, and we were aware that we had two long days of flying to get back home to Gloucester from Malmo in our club PA28. Today’s legs would be Malmo – Flensburg – Bremen – Rotterdam. VFR Flight plans required for first and last legs only because they crossed international boundaries. We reckoned that this

Continue reading

Swedish Tour 2018 – Part 3 – Peenemunde to Malmo

Guess the next country? If you fly north east from the top right hand corner of Germany, which country do you think you’d reach first? Finland, Russia, maybe Sweden? Well you’d be wrong. The fifth largest Danish island of Bornholm awaits you. It’s in the Baltic rather than much of Denmark in the North Sea, and combines a lot of tourism with a busy fishing industry. Transport is either by

Continue reading