HCGB Air Games 2012

Despite one of the worst weather forecasts this year the Helicopter Club of Great Britain’s Air Games was, again, a resounding success. The poor weather managed to hold off, for the majority of the weekend, but it did leave the competitors battling 30kt winds for most of the competition day. 16 crews managed to commute down to Sywell Aerodrome, Northampton despite the forecast. Although, regrettably, there were a few drop outs requiring the organisers to re-shuffle the running order. They also decided that the wind was too strong to continue with the Parallel Slalom event and instead changed this to a Fender Drop which allows the competitors to remain into wind (mostly) for the event. Read More→


The Jetbox, becomes G-JTBX

After 4 years of ownership I decided to change the registration of my faithful steed. I’m not sure why I chose to do it now and not last year  when it was grounded for the best part of 9 months, but I did.

It’s a reasonably simple process in that a CAA CA1 form needs to be filled out detailing the new registration and any change of ownership (there wasn’t). After that you send this, along with the appropriate fee to the CAA who will make the required changes to their register. Simultaneously, the CAA arrange for a new certificate of registration and also an ARC and radio license.

I also had to notify my insurers and arrange for my transponder to be changed to reflect the new registration. Throughout all of this,  the aircraft must also be grounded, but the CAA do have a typical 3 day turnaround and as I was going on holiday anyway for two weeks I wasn’t too concerned.  Finally, I had to have the old designation removed and replaced with the new one. Bye bye EWAW, hello JTBX !

I have to say, it was weird climbing into the aircraft and using the new callsign, but I love it – and it sounds great.

Helicopter Bravo X-RAY sounds so much better!

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Eurocopter Open Day at Oxford

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Eurocopter open day at Oxford Kidlington recently. The primary purpose of this open day was to introduce prospective customers to the Eurocopter range, the EC120B, their ‘entry level’ helicopter in particular. I have very little hands on experience of the Eurocopter range, although I have visited their  factory at Marianne, Marseille and I’ve flown in a few Squirrel’s. However that’s not really a lot. I’ve always loved the look of the EC120 and I wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to sit in one. The only other time i’ve managed to do this is at the Eurocopter stand at Cholmondeley Paegeant of Power and co-incidentally a few days ago when I sat in my pal Roy Murphy’s recently acquired machine G-FCKD (see the video here). Read More→

Manchester to Mallorca

Captain Nigel Royle in despair !

My pal Simon Dykes who owns a very tidy Robinson R44 (G-CFNF ) set out on a 3-ship formation trip to Mallorca. This is his story………

Day 1

So the trip began on Wednesday 2nd of May… I will be as accurate as I can but I have left all my tech logs and maps in the machine… All will become clear. My helicopter G-NF and myself and Co Pilot for the trip Captain Nigel Royle departed Manchester Barton (EGCB) around 1130 bound for Lydd initially before over the Chanel to Le Touquet for overnight 1. The weather was glorious upto the midlands and with myself in the command seat the story of almost hilarity began. Our two further helicopters were scheduled to depart Manchester 0700 the day after and meet us in Le Touquet. Read More→