Category: Learning to Fly –  Page 2

An Unexpected Primer on Aviation Radio

I’ve been waylaid by an unexpected birthday party! It’s hard to complain about such a lovely thing. So here’s something from the archives: a 2008 post about Air Traffic Service Units in the UK and my native ability to talk too much. I’m on my way to Paris (!!!) but I’ll be back with fresh…

Read more… 6 Mar 15

State Your Intentions

There are different levels of radio service available to pilots flying in the UK: Air/Ground Radio, Flight Information Service and Air Traffic Control. If you fly into Military Air Traffic Zones, things work somewhat differently. I’ve spent quite some time speaking on the radio and am considered quite experienced. Here are my explanations of the…

Read more… 9 Dec 11

The Reluctant Pilot: Emergency Landings

This is another excerpt from my essays about learning to fly at Velez-Malaga airfield in Axarquía, Spain. The events took place shortly before I did my first solo flight away from the airfield. The cross country navigation exercise is required to get your private pilot’s licence. It is effectively the first time the pilot is…

Read more… 4 Feb 11

Sitting and Waiting

After my first solo, that wondrous moment of suddenly feeling in control of the plane and realising that I could fly, dammit! I kicked into high gear. There was only one week of the course left. Desperate to catch up, I got up earlier and earlier, leaving my seven-year-old son fast asleep for the childminder…

Read more… 17 Dec 10

Pushing Past the Fear: First Solo

Although I’ve never had an issue with flying or even heights, I found myself terrified of the plane. I was deeply afraid of being in control … or specifically of losing control of the aircraft and plunging to my death. Fortunately, my instructor and my partner were both very patient and their support was unwavering.…

Read more… 12 Nov 10

In the Cockpit

I have been collecting my essays, articles and blog-posts into a single volume to see if it would read well as a book. This is part of the introduction: how I ended up studying for my Private Pilot’s Licence out of a grudge rather than actual interest. It didn’t take long before I was hooked!…

Read more… 8 Oct 10

Accident Reports

Madness on the Runway at Manchester

The Manchester Airport Group Plc owns and operates three airports: Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands. Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in Britain. Their website says Manchester Airport…

Mid-air Collision of Wingsuit Flyer and Pilatus PC-6

On the 27th of July 2018, an experienced pilot departed with ten parachutists on board for a routine drop mission. It was the pilot’s fourth flight of the day in…

Demystifying

Training an AI Copilot To Spot Gliders

My friend Maria at Daedalean wrote this article about how they are using AI to help pilots detect gliders. I thought it was fascinating and Daedalean gave me permission to…

The Missing Bolts from Alaska Airlines flight 1282

On the 5th of January 2024, Alaska Airlines flight 1282 had just taken off when it lost a door plug, leaving a gaping hole on the left side of row…

History

Gladys Ingle Inflight Wheel Change: Emergency Action or Stunt?

This video of a mid-air wheel exchange goes viral once a year or so, but I never get tired of watching it. Last week, it showed up on Reddit and…

The Disappearance of the Hawaii Clipper May Not Be as Mysterious as Was Thought

This week, we have a guest post by J.B. Rivard who wrote an article for the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) and used one of my articles as a reference.…

Fun Stuff

A Few Good Stories

I’m in Dresden at the moment and I’m afraid I haven’t had a free moment to write you a new article. Luckily, lots of other people are on the internet…

Flying Fails and Airshow Considerations

Long-term readings of Fear of Landing know that my favourite aerobatics show of all time is Kyle Franklin’s Ben Whabnoski Comedy act. Just in case some of you haven’t seen…