VATSIM for UK GA pilots

Lockdown has encouraged us all to explore new ways of doing things. I’ve spent a lot of time refining and tinkering with my X-plane flight simulator over the past year, and more recently investigated using various online multi-player networks to add realism. VATSIM is by far the most popular and this article shares my personal views on what to expect and how best to use it. What is VATSIM? You’ll

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Instruction in an N-Reg aircraft in the UK

What qualifications are required to instruct a pilot in an N registered aircraft based in the UK? TLDR; Any UK flight instructor can instruct towards UK Part-FCL licences/ratings on an N-Reg aircraft in UK airspace. There is no longer any requirement to obtain a special permit if the student owns/part-owns the aircraft. Solo flights (e.g. ab-initio PPL) are not allowed. Such training can count towards certain FAA licences/ratings but an

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End of Year Review 2020

What a strange year this has been! COVID caused huge disruption to everybody in many ways and I have been fortunate not to have been badly affected. My major milestone this year was gaining my CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence). Flight instruction has continued between lockdowns and has been 80% IFR related this year. IR training has again almost entirely been in student’s own aircraft, with IMC ratings using the club

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BREXIT and UK PPL

Although there is uncertainty about how BREXIT will affect private pilots in the UK, we can be reasonably certain of some outcomes, make an educated guess about others and be hopeful regarding the rest. So read below partly as a bit of crystal ball gazing and my best guess as much as hard fact. Sources include the CAA Brexit website and webinars, AOPA and discussions on various pilot forums. Licences

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CPL Licence Application

I’ve passed all the theory exams, completed the practical flying course and passed the skill test. You might think that the final step to obtain my CPL licence itself would be relatively straightforward. My experience of both UK and US bureaucracy hasn’t always been slick and efficient, and there were a few hiccups about my experience that I thought worth sharing. My intention is not to embarrass or denigrate any

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South Coast trip to Shoreham and Dunkeswell

Recent sudden UK government announcements in the run-up to Christmas have been quite shocking and upset many plans. I am fortunate to live in a Tier 2 area and so can still fly, but who knows for how long. Today, I had intended to fly solo to Caernarfon in Wales and even called to confirm they were open the day before, but this is no longer permitted. So today I

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Practical CPL Course and Skill Test

I had put an enormous amount of time and effort into passing the CPL theory exams in 2017/18 which are required to become a fully qualified Flight Instructor. I didn’t want that to go to waste or to have to repeat them. These exams are only valid for three years after the final test and so I decided to complete the practical side of the training and gain my Commercial

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Irish Adventure 2020 – Part 2 – Donegal

Voted number 1 scenic airport in Europe, the tourist marketing photos of Donegal Airport are stunning. What they don’t mention is that it rains at least ten months of the year and it’s quite a tricky airport to land at in bad weather. It’s also nowhere near Donegal city. But the scenery really is stunning especially when the sun does come out and the locals are very friendly and welcoming,

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Irish Adventure 2020 – Part 1 – Derry and Coleraine

COVID-19 restrictions make it difficult to fly abroad for pleasure. The closest European countries require quarantine on arrival or return, and this may change at short notice. Ireland on the other hand has much closer links with the UK and as part of the Common Travel Area has far fewer constraints on travel. My wife and I took a week’s break, visiting both North and South Ireland by landing at

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