Baltic Tour 6 of 10: Spilve, Riga

It would be about an hour’s VFR flight from Tartu (Estonia) to Riga (Latvia) – a little longer than a direct flight due to military restricted zones. I looked into which airport to use there. Riga international has a poor reputation from GA pilot reports: it is considered expensive with poor service, long delays and no AVGAS. Spilve is the GA-only airport close to the city centre, but requires careful

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Baltic Tour 5 of 10: Tartu and Tallinn, Estonia

Today we would reach Tartu – our furthest destination after which it would be ‘downhill’ all the way home. It would also add a new country for me, Estonia, which borders Russia. I had researched landing at Tallinn airport, which although a capital city, isn’t particularly busy. Sadly there is a mandatory 500 Euro handling fee which ruled that out. A popular alternative is Parnu to the south west, which

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Baltic Tour 4 of 10: Västerås, Sweden and Turku, Finland

Another day, another country. The plan today was to fly across to Turku in Finland. The bad weather front was forecast to clear Turku by late afternoon, so I thought that if we stopped en-route to explore another Swedish town, we could arrive later in the day when the bad weather had cleared. I had previously intended to land at Västerås ESOW hoping to meet one of my ‘remote’ students

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Baltic Tour 2 of 10: Aalborg Denmark

After a busy weekend in Germany, we were quite glad to make just a short hop north into Denmark rather than flying all the way to Norway. We had visited Copenhagen before and were interested to explore a regional city on Jutland. After departure, it was a VFR flight with a slight initial route to the east to reduce the time spent over water. We remained with Langen Information, changing

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Baltic Tour 1 of 10: Texel and Wilhelmshaven

I seem to be quite busy instructing these days which more than satisfies my demand to keep airborne, but also remain keen to continue with some touring around Europe in my shared TB20. My wife and I booked a couple of weeks off at the beginning of May, and I confirmed that my co-owners had no problems with me taking the plane away for that time. I had developed Plans

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Strong winds at Hawarden

It’s been pretty windy this month. A low hours PPL visited the club to ask if we would be flying today. He thought not because it seemed a bit windy but wasn’t exactly sure of the limits. It afforded a discussion between us and another instructor not just about what limits to apply, but why. The first thought is about crosswind because this tends to be the limiting factor. Our

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Rotterdam Parkrun

My pilot friend Adam is also a keen fan of Parkruns – a free 5 km organised run held at many local parks on Saturday mornings. They started in the UK in 2004 and have spread to 22 countries, attracting almost 3 million runners in the UK alone. Participants have dreamt up a range of different goals, not just faster times, and one includes running at a location with each

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Splashdown at Welshpool

I’d not been flying our TB20 at Gloucester much over the winter due to weather and other commitments. A short landaway would revive my currency on type and I selected Welshpool as a suitable destination. I had also wanted to explore possible options to visit National Trust and similar properties during the summer months – Powis Castle is within walking distance and the gardens were open. Mid Wales Airport, as

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Milau Bridge

End of Year Review 2022

The flying highlight of my year was our two week European tour, making a wide circle around the Alps with stops in eight countries including Czechia, Austria, Slovenia and Italy. The vast bulk of my flight time was through instruction at every level from one-off “trial lesson/air experience” up to to completing full Instrument Ratings. I thrive on variety and exploring new places, using new techniques, learning about new equipment

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