Category: Learning to Fly

Learning Finesse: Pitch vs Power

Today I leave you with a piece from the archives; an ah hah! moment for me as the relationship between pitch and power on landing really came clear (yes, I’m a slow learner). I wrote this in 2009 but rereading it brought it all back… Flying is hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer…

Read more… 24 Jul 15

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

Fly by Night

I’m back from California (I didn’t win) and still trying to get into the swing of things, let alone sleeping on the right timezone. So for this week, here’s a piece I wrote some years ago. A version of this piece was published in Piper Flyer. Fly by Night Flying feels different in the dark.…

Read more… 30 May 14

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

Accident Reports

Did TCAS Cause a Near Miss?

On the 17th of October in 2013, an Italian Air Force aircraft departed Tallinn Airport (Estonia) for Rome Ciampino Airport. The Dassault Falcon 900 is a French-built corporate jet aircraft.…

Airline In Sweden Has No Plan For Snow

On the 31st of January in 2014, an Estonian aircraft registration ES-PJR ran off the side of the runway at Torsby airport in Sweden. The aircraft was a BAe Jetstream…

Demystifying

The 1% rule and air disaster avoidance

I asked my friend, Robert Dawson, to help me understand the numbers behind risk assessment and the 1% rule. Robert writes fantastic science fiction and poetry, however I contacted him…

Airplane Pens

This is a bit of a short post today to make up for all the heavy posts recently. Me, I’m enjoying the long weekend and a bit of sunshine… This…

History

The Mystery of Flying Tiger Line flight 739

On the 16th of March, 1962, a Lockheed Super Constellation airliner disappeared over the Pacific. The Flying Tiger Line was the first scheduled cargo airline in the US. It was…

Disaster at the Air Show

ONE OF THE MOST tragic accidents in recent history is hard to reach concrete conclusions about because there are no published investigation results and no final report to be read.…

Fun Stuff

Fascinating Aviation Articles on the Internet

How Aviation Became Firefighters’ Best Friend—And Then Their Worst Enemy This fire, now known as the Saddle Fire, raged across the state throughout summer 2016. Before it burned out it…

Ten Great Christmas Gifts for Aviation Geeks

It’s the last weekend of November and time to get those Christmas gifts ready! I’ve collected ten great gifts here to give to your fellow aviation geeks… or pass this…