Grey skies at Liverpool
Yesterday my planned business trip down to Hampshire was postponed. Mainly because my client needed to re-arrange it, but if they had not I would probably have been forced to postpone it anyway due to the weather. It was marginal to say the least and although in parts it might have been flyable, I think it would have been a hard trip with poor visibility, low cloud and rain. That’s sometimes do-able on a short trip or for a similarly short part of a long trip, but it was looking like that all the way down and safety and good airmanship was pointing towards terra firma – which is where the chopper remained.
I, on the other hand, took to the skies in my pal Paul Trevor’s Piper Turboprop on a trip to Coventry (EGBE) in order for him to have a quick repair undertaken on the doors of his aircraft. Paul has recently passed his American IFR and therefore can operate in significantly degraded conditions, make use of the airways, and in many cases climb above the weather. Which is pretty much what we did yesterday. I regularly act as his P2 on trips to reduce workload and to double check him as he builds experience on both his aircraft and his new IFR rating. I’m only IMC rated, but I have a reasonably good appreciation of the procedures and we work well together. We’ve been flying on and off together for many, years so we have a pretty good mutual intuition. Read More→
We’ve all done the £100 burger; there’s actually no way of being a pilot and not doing it. In fact the £100 burger no longer exists. It’s more like £200. The ability to jump in a plane or a heli and go somewhere inevitably leads us all to go on search of different places to fly to and once you arrive you usually feel a bit peckish. So you find a local cafe, pop in, have a sandwich and then fly back. The flight to and from costs you a couple of hundred quid and the refreshments cost about a tenner. To the non-aviator, there is simply no logic to this economics. To the aviation enthusiast, the logic is straight forward and simple, because whilst our mathematics is the same, the value it represents is completely different. Likewise, to the lay person, travelling 2hrs 30 minutes to spend less than an hour in a foreign land before turning around and flying a further 2hrs 30 minutes back is reserved for the insane. Not when you’re a pilot. That scenario is normal, requires no explanation nor justification. Read More→
Piper Malibu N921GG
N921GG is a Piper PA 46 Malibu Mirage, designated PA46T, that has had a jetprop conversion and is part owned by my good friend Paul Trevor who has recently bought a 1/5th share in it. Based out of Liverpool (EGGP) it is a stunning aircraft, fully pressurised with a service ceiling of 30,000ft, capable of 260kts and a range of 1000NM. Powered by a Pratt & whitney Turboprop engine it has a MAUW of 2,310 KG and can comfortably seat 4 passengers in a club class configuration and a pilot and co-pilot (or 5th passenger) in the flight deck. This is one hell of an aircraft and recently I have had the opportunity to fly in it to Germany and also a short (if not lightning quick) trip to Caernarvon. Read More→
Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Aero Expo which was being held at Friedrichshafen, just inland from Lake Constance in South East Germany. It was a very last minute idea and was rustled together by my pal Paul Trevor who was undertaking some flying training in a Piper Mirage that he has just bought a share of. I’ll be talking about this in a later post, but for the moment I’m going to concentrate on the show itself.
Aero Expo travels around Europe and is considered to be the premier G.A. event in Europe. It covers the broad spectrum of aviation including gliders, microlights, gyrocopters, helicopters, entry level private jets as well as avionics and accessories. It’s paradise city for those interested in aviation but could also prove to be expensive on the pocket.