Learning a new aircraft – PS28 Cruiser

The Bristol Aero Club (based at Kemble EGBP) has both a couple of older PA28s and a couple of brand new two-seater PS28 Cruisers in their fleet. The UK distributor effectively lets club pilots solo hire the PS28s and there is plenty of availability. Differences training is required first. I decided to give this a go after flying as a passenger during one leg of a club flyout. The aircraft

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Extreme crosswind practice in Dallas

Dallas Executive Airport – Great place to fly from Another business trip found me in Dallas in December again, and I found time to visit Slipstream Aviation at Dallas Executive Airport for the third time. The airport facilities continue to amaze me, full IFR towered 7am-9pm with four runways, ILS/RNAV approaches, diner, FBO and plenty of hangarage – yet usage is at such low levels that you practically have the

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EASA Instrument Rating – Practical Training at Gloucester

Background A full Instrument Rating allows pilots to fly in cloud (Instrument Conditions) anywhere worldwide, fly instrument approaches to minima and fly in Airways with an IFR flight plan. There is also the useful IMC rating (now IR(R)), a unique UK rating which allows flight in IMC but not outside the UK and excludes Class A and airways. Although an IR(R) holder, now that I had access to an aircraft

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IMC revalidation

IMC Revalidation I suppose it should be called an IR(R) revalidation – the new name for an IMC – but I still can’t quite get used to the term. My IMC rating (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) permits me to fly in cloud in UK airspace including conducting instrument approaches, but not fly in Airways or Class A airspace. This rating has been retained under the EASA scheme for those who already

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TB20 Parked

TB20 difference training

Mandatory 5 hours differences training Having just bought into a share of a Socata Trinidad TB20, the next step was to complete 5 hours of dual instruction. This is a requirement of the insurance policy before any of the pilot owners is allowed to fly solo – even for those with >1000 hours and full Instrument Rating. But it’s also a very sensible approach – this is quite a powerful

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CAA Aviation House

PPL IR Theory Exams

Yippee! Passed the (laborious) IR Theory Exams Today I received a big white envelope from the CAA with the results of my last set of IR Theory exams. I’ve now passed the lot (all 7) and am qualified through to the next stage, ready to start the IR practical flight training which must be completed within 36 months (or I have to resit them all again). The Instrument Rating is

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Shooting it up in Texas

Shooting some practice instrument approaches at Dallas Executive Airport, Texas My last flight of this business trip was intended to take full advantage of the wide availability of instrument approaches, including plenty of GPS approved ones. There’s never any charge for making an instrument approach in the US, and rarely any landing fees. So once again, I found myself at Dallas Executive airport in the good hands of Slipstream aviation,

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Dallas downtown backdrop

BFR near DFW

Some private piloting in Texas I had a business trip to Dallas, Texas (airport code DFW = Dallas Fort Worth) for a week and hoped to squeeze in a local flight at some point. Flights to the US are much cheaper if you stay over a Saturday night (to differentiate between business and pleasure), so I saved considerably by flying out a day early. The journey out was fairly uneventful,

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Miami Adventure Cessna 172 G1000

With a business trip of a few days in Miami, I thought I’d try to see if I could squeeze in some training and familiarisation with the differences of PPL flying in the US. I already had a valid and legal FAA private pilot certificate (based on my UK licence) from last year’s trip to Florida, where I gained a seaplane rating. However, I hadn’t flown above 500 feet, used

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Arrow at Cranfield

Piper Arrow differences training

A faster aircraft The club fleet includes a Piper Arrow – a step up from the Warriors I learnt on and normally fly. This has a more powerful engine (180bhp instead of 160), retractable undercarriage (much less drag, so goes faster) and a variable prop (more efficient, so also goes faster). These features enable a cruising speed of around 150mph (approx 130 knots) with similar fuel consumption.  It also has

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