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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Passed the IMC Skills Test

After 6 months of training and having completed the full IMC syllabus twice (at different flying schools), I was getting to the stage where I just wanted to finish this off. Weather initially looked dubious The weather at home wasn’t good – dark clouds and impending rain. A quick look at the weather report for Oxford showed winds from the North – giving me some concern that the airport would

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IMC Training Day #15: Practice Approach completion

The plan for today – instrument approach signoff My target today was to get signoff on an instrument approach. I’ve done quite a few of these, and have been lucky enough at Lyneham to have had the opportunity of PAR (Precision Approach Radar – a talkdown by ATC typically only available at military airfields) as well as SRA, NDB and ILS methods. The only type I haven’t done is GPS,

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Some solo IMC practice

…with a safety pilot of course! After Saturday’s full day landaway, today’s Bank Holiday Monday flight was intended to be a shorter local flight focussed on IMC practice. I didn’t want to have a full lesson with an instructor so instead had arranged to make a local flight with another club member (Dave). He would act as  safety pilot on our flight from Kemble. Kemble was fairly busy – it

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IMC Training Day #14: More holds and practice approach

After a summer holiday break, it was back for more IMC training at Oxford. After an early (6:30am) start, I had two separate slots booked for 9 and 1:30. I had a few problems with the car in the morning (faulty suspension meant I had to swap to our other vehicle) so despite originally setting off in good time was a few minutes late getting there. As it happened, the 10:30 slot

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IMC Training Day #12: More Revision

Another IMC training day in Oxford Following on from an earlier session at Pilot Flight Training in Oxford, I spent all day there and had a couple of training flights to continue brushing up my IMC skills and prepare for a retest. It was fairly clear that my instructor wanted to go through the syllabus and ensure I was up to scratch on everything. Today, we’d cover holds in the

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