Scottish Adventure 2020 Part 5 – Stornoway and Kirkwall

We flew from Inverness to Kirkwall via Stornoway in the Cessna 182, flying some more unusual instrument approaches. Stornoway has many commercial flights each day but is one of the few commercial UK airports without a precision instrument approach. Pilots don’t get a glideslope and have to interpret that based on the DME distance from the runway. Adding a little further complexity, there are two DMEs – one on the

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Scottish Adventure 2020 Part 4 – Wick

A day off from instruction allowed me to visit some friends who live near Wick. The flight there takes around 40 minutes compared with 2.5 hours by road, making that remote corner of the UK much more accessible. Wick John O’Groats airport itself was NOTAMed open, but operating with restricted hours to allow ATC to have breaks. Commercial flights have ceased completely after both LoganAir and Eastern Airways pulled out,

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Scottish Adventure 2020 Part 3 – Aberdeen and Dundee

The forecast for the day certainly was for strong winds, with a SIGMET warning covering the Highland region. Definitely a good decision not to stay in Orkney overnight. Reviewing the forecast, I thought it feasible to fly a triangle across to Aberdeen, down to Dundee and back to Inverness. We had more than enough fuel onboard not to need to land elsewhere, although I did intend to stop for lunch

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Westray

Scottish Adventure 2020 Part 2 – Orkney Island Hopping

Inverness to Kirkwall Almost five hours logged today in my student’s Cessna 182, flown north from Inverness to Kirkwall for some holds and practice approaches followed by serious VFR island hopping around the Orkneys. There’s always plenty of weather in Scotland and today was no exception, but north of Inverness looked (and was) far better. Rain was forecast to arrive mid afternoon and we had originally planned to stay overnight

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Scottish Adventure 2020 Part 1 – Inverness

With quarantines being imposed at short notice, holidays in the UK seem to be a popular option at the moment. Some may think it best to stay at home while others want to support the hospitality industry within government guidelines. My own plan this week was to combine a trip to Scotland with some flight instruction away from base. It takes most of a full day to get there and

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Online Flight Instructor Refresher Training Seminar

I don’t directly sell or organise Flight Instructor Seminars – the article below is simply a review of my experience attending one. If you wish to participate in a seminar, please contact an approved training organisation such as AOPA UK, FPT, On Track Aviation or Pooleys. This list is not exhaustive and is not a recommendation for or against any particular provider. The review below is based on my experience

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Le Touquet is back on the menu

Regulations in both UK and France are constantly changing and already differ from the date of this flight, so please check the current status before you plan to fly. Relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions now permit international travel, with no requirement for self-isolation on return from over 50 countries. Private pilots can once again fly to and from European countries for daytrips or longer excursions. I believe that the main limitation

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Blackpool and Sherburn-in-Elmet

COVID-19 restrictions currently allow me to fly solo or with household members, and today’s flight in my TB20 from Gloucester was intended to help keep me current until flight instruction resumes. After checking which airfields were open, I decided on a double landaway at Blackpool and Sherburn-in-Elmet. I’d also transit overhead several regional airports to get a view of their level of activity. I did phone Manchester ATC to see

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North Weald, London City and Redhill

The COVID situation currently allows me to fly my aircraft in England solo or with members of my household. Many clubs have reopened to permit such flights for their more experienced members but there is no airborne flight instruction. The government advise against non-essential travel abroad. Recreational flights (except for engine health, maintenance etc.) are not yet permitted in Scotland or Wales. So as much as I’d love to fly

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Airborne again – Beach trip to Lee-on-Solent

The UK government has relaxed lockdown regulations in England which now permit solo flights optionally with members of your own household. Flight instruction is not allowed although a few commercial schools have found a workaround by locking down both instructor and students in their own household bubbles, sharing accommodation as well as training facilities, but all CPL/IR skill tests have been suspended. Engine Health Flights During the interim, AOPA UK

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