Tag Archives: microlight

Mission NPPL – 2nd Cross Country Flight Completed

During the recent hot spell we’ve been having I haven’t gone flying very much. Enclosed cockpits with rudimentary window ventilators get a little cosy on hot summer days – too cosy for my liking. And, as anyone who has done their HPL exam will know, getting too hot and sweaty while trying to focus on something that requires total attention is not the best recipe for safe flying.

Anyway, July 8th was a little cooler than previous days, and despite having done some preliminary planning to go to Croft Farm (near Defford, Worcestershire), I was half in mind to just spend a little time with my instructor consolidating precautionary landings, and some other areas that needed brushing up.

There was a weak warm front approaching the south coast, and despite my chicken little approach to bad weather, I was persuaded it wouldn’t spoil the conditions in the midlands for a good few hours. So, with my full english breakfast rolling about my already nervous stomach I set about completing the flight log for the route. Croft Farm is PPR (Prior Permission Required) only, so I gave them a ring, and booked in my arrival, allowing myself 45 minutes. Then, armed with my cross country ticket, I topped up the fuel tank, and set off. It was a great flight, and although it still got nice and warm, I coped fine. Croft Farm, like so many farm strips, completely vanished from my view on downwind, and I only managed to re-aquire it once I was on base. After a bit of side slipping, I got things nicely set up for landing on 27, and managed to get her down, and off at the halfway point.

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Free microlight pilot flight log – flight planning plog

Microlight Flight LogI spent a little time designing a flight log sheet for my NPPL microlight flights. Although there are commercially available flight log pads, I find them to be a little over the top for the kind of microlight flying many people do. This version has a reduced amount of information, and is perhaps more suited to the restricted space available to microlight pilots. If anyone is unsure what some of my marking mean, it goes like this:

  • PILOT/POB : Pilot name, and number of Persons On Board
  • A/C : Aircraft callsign and type
  • DATE : Obvious!
  • ROUTE : Total route
  • TOT DIST : Total Distance Flown (including return trip if part of the log)
  • TOT BLOCK : Total block time – from initial engine start to engine stop
  • FUEL : Total Fuel Carried (must cater for Total Block time plus at least 30 minutes more)
  • RWY, TAXI, QFE/QNH : Standard movement and pressure information at departure airfield
  • W/V/T 2000′ & 4000′ : Wind Direction. Velocity, and Temperature at 2000 and 5000 feet (from Met Office Form 214)
  • ALT : Cruise Altitude
  • MSA : Minimum Safe Altitude
  • TAS : Total Air Speed
  • TRK : Track Required True
  • G/S : Ground Speed
  • DIST : Leg Distance
  • Start Fixes : Prominent visual references – Gross error checks.
  • o/head : Overhead departure time
  • HDG ºM : Heading Magnetic (including any variation and deviation)
  • TIME + : Estimated time for leg
  • ETA : Estimated Time of Arrival
  • ATA : Actual Time of Arrival

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Mission NPPL – 1st Cross Country Flight Completed

Another mission in the Ikarus C42 completed

Just an update on the Microlight flying front. For those who are reading this (does anybody?!) and don’t already know, since last year I’ve been training to get my pilot’s license – albeit the NPPL (a slightly more restricted version in terms of aircraft weight, but then I can’t afford to fly “real” aircraft on a regular basis). Last week, I managed to do my first qualifying solo cross country for my NPPL license. Quite a warm day, so I knew it was going to be a challenge for me, so I didn’t fly until the afternoon.

Once I had checked the NOTAMs, METARs and TAFs, I printed out the Met Office 214 and 215 charts and headed off down to the field to finish off calculating the wind/drift and fuel calcs, and inspect the trusty steed for flyability.

The plane (my old instructor, Ben, used to hate me calling an aircraft a plane) had recently been serviced, so was running sweet as a nut. Apart from almost flying into a buzzard on the way out to Shobdon, the trip was uneventful (the best kind).

Again, many thanks to Steve Wilkes of hadair.co.uk for letting me loose in his lovely Ikarus C42, and to Les for the constant encouragement!

The flying agoraphobic goes solo!

It’s not easy learning to fly when you have travel phobias and chronic fatigue… As a few of you who know me will realise, I have gone out of my way to conquer things starting last year by learning to fly microlights at Hadair Microlight Airsports, at Halfpenny Green Airport. It’s been a lot of fun, and very challenging. Thanks to my Buddhism for helping me to maintain a slightly calmer state of mind, and to Dr Sarah Myhill for her chronic fatigue mitochondria support regime I am continuing to steadily improve, so that I can now have a bit of energy left over from my work day to enjoy some leisure activities.

I must say a huge thank you to Les, my instructor. He has the patience of a saint, and one of the most calming influences I could ever hope for in the air. I must also give my continued thanks to Steve Wilkes, owner of Hadair for letting me loose in his microlight aircraft, and his own brand of encouragement (more akin to a boot up the arse, but sometimes it’s required!) and for running the most friendly – yet serious – flight school. Read More…

Radio Telephony Exam – Passed today!

Just a quick update to my flying diary. Today was the culminative ground school, and practical examination for my FRTOL (Flight Radio Telephony Operators License – aviators love acronyms!). Last week I managed to pass the written test, which wasn’t too bad – just a multiple choice paper. This week it was somewhat more stressful. Read More…

The flying agoraphobic

It’s been difficult to make the decision to write this, but I figure if it helps anyone else then it’s well worth it. If it puts any customers off then it’s probably for the best. I have never let one of my customers down in over 7 years of trading, and frankly I’m getting too old to live my life behind a veil of secrecy! Read More…