When we last spoke Jon had said that he wanted to fly round the world in his CTSW microlight. As part of the build up to doing just that, Jon told me that he wanted to fly his CT microlight to Canada and back.
Jon set off in May of 2013 and, as he was planning to go via the northern route, he had to prepare the aeroplane to cope with the cold weather. He had G-CGIZ serviced and modified slightly to cope with the conditions. It is worth noting though that the CTSW microlight is definitely not suited to Arctic flight.
The aircraft that Andy and Sam will be flying to Australia
For today’s episode of Flying Podcast I’m speaking to Andy Hardy and Sam Kidd.
These two are planning a trip from the UK to Australia in Andy’s PA28 aircraft.
They have lots of flying experience and Andy has an IMC and a night rating but neither has been much further than central Europe.
As you’ll remember from episode 63 the Fly2Pole team are endeavouring to get several disabled military personnel to the South Pole in microlight aircraft. So, when the Flying for Freedom team held a sponsor’s open day a few weeks ago I popped down to Kemble for a bit of a catch-up.
Last year at the Flying Show I met a chap called John Laity. John is one of the founders of Flying for Freedom which aims to train injured ex-servicemen how to fly flexwing microlights as part of their rehabilitation into civilian life. In addition, Flying for Freedom is launching an expedition to the South Pole. Their aim is to get a team of disabled pilots to fly to the pole and back. No mean feat.
For today’s episode I travelled down to Derby Aero Club to meet Martin Jones. Martin is the owner of the airfield and is also proprietor of Airspeed Aviation. My reason for the visit though was to have a chat to Martin about the restoration project that he’s undertaking. His labour of love is a 1934 de Havilland Comet DH88 – G-ACSP – a so called Comet Racer. The aircraft was originally built by de Havilland for the England to Australia, ‘MacRobertson’ Air Race.
Jon and co-pilot Dave return from the Round Britain Rally
Jon Hilton is an adventurous microlight pilot, currently flying a CTSW out of Barton Airport, Manchester. Having read a couple of Jon’s reports in the BMAA’s monthly magazine he sounded like a prime candidate to appear on the Podcast.
On today’s Flying Podcast we’ve got a pilot from ‘down under’. That’s Owen Zupp.
A couple of years ago, Owen flew a single engine light aircraft around Australia. I remember hearing about Owen’s exploits on the great Australian aviation podcast Plane Crazy Down Under so when Owen contacted me offering to come on to the podcast I jumped at the opportunity.
For his day job, Owen is a 737 pilot for a major Australian commercial airline company – no prizes for guessing who that might be – but in his spare time he puts his passion for aviation to good use. Not only has Owen written a book on a WWII RAF pilot but he’s also flown a Jabiru aeroplane around his homeland in order to raise money for an excellent cause; that being the Royal Flying Doctor Service. As these adventures spike my interest, it was primarily this project that I wanted to talk to Owen about.
This podcast came about as a result of a conversation between myself and a fellow Barton aviator, Duncan Armstrong.
We were chatting about our flying experiences and I happened to mention that I’d kept a diary of how my flight training was progressing. As I’m a firm believer in learning from my mistakes I thought that a log of what happened and when, during my time in the left seat, would come in handy as my time as a pilot progressed.
I was contacted by some folks from Wakatipu Aero Club, down there in New Zealand, saying that they’d like to appear on the Podcast. One of their instructors is a chap called Alex Turnbull. He is originally from Morpeth in the North East of the UK and has travelled all the way to the other side of the world to pursue his dream of flying GA in a really interesting and challenging environment.
Quite by coincidence I recently put Google Analytics on to this web site and, after a month, it turns out that the Podcast has been listened to in 48 countries around the world. I couldn’t believe that people in China, or places like Indonesia and Russia actually download and listen to the Podcast but I guess that’s the power of podcasting and the internet and I shouldn’t be surprised to be contacted by aviators in New Zealand.
As promised, here’s the second episode from my visit, earlier this year, to RAF Coningsby and the Typhoon Display Team. I wanted to see inside the cockpit of the Typhoon and Flying Officer Gregor Ogston was kind enough to spend half an hour or so, explaining what all of the knobs, buttons and dials do. Gregor also explains what the ejection sequence is, which is fascinating to listen to. Following the look inside the aircraft Liam Whelan, the display engineer manager, and Gregor took me round the outside of the aircraft.
If you are REALLY interested in fast jets, and the Typhoon in particular, then this is the episode for you.