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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South Florida Holiday 2019

Having flown in the US both on business and with several pilot friends, I felt I was experienced enough to plan a holiday there with my wife. We’ visited for two weeks, during which I rented an aircraft exclusively for four days. I wanted a Flight Review to be included in the Club Checkout, and also opted to schedule an Instrument Proficiency Check. I even managed to pop into a

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Visit to Pilot’s Paradise, Florida

During my holiday and flying tour of Southern Florida, I popped in to visit Pilots Paradise – a flight school/FBO based in Sebastian run by British ex-pats. Carole and Tony work full time there and have expanded the business considerably in recent years. They have a fleet of six PA28s and two other aircraft, several instructors, maintenance and fuel facilities. The organisation is dual approved for FAA flight training (under

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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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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

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FAA Flight Review and Club Check

This year’s US flying holiday was a two week trip with my wife getting away from the cold British winter to the warmer sunshine of Florida. I’d arranged to rent a PA28 from St Petersburg (KSPG) for four days exclusive touring of Southern Florida, but first I’d need to be checked out by the flight school. Legally I wasn’t due an FAA Flight Review until the end of May, but

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