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.
Today I’m down at Manchester International Airport to interview Chris Walsh one of the Air Traffic Control Officers working in the tower there. Following on from my chat with FISO, Mark at Barton, I’ve been asked by many listeners for a podcast featuring a fully fledged ATCO. So here it is.
I was accompanied on my trip by fellow Barton aviator, Duncan, who also appeared on episode 50 of Flying Podcast. Chris, very generously, gave up a couple of hours of his free time to give us a guided tour of the tower and then settled into one of their meeting rooms, overlooking the apron, to answer all of our ‘ATCO’ type questions.
For today’s episode I travelled down to AeroExpo at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. I had a wander round to see which exhibitors had something interesting on offer and got chatting to a fair few of them. I went down on the Friday and although there were a fair few people in attendance most exhibitors had plenty of time to spend with anyone with an interest in their products.
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.
In episode 51 of Flying Podcast I spoke to Andy Draper of the Light Aircraft Association about building your own aircraft. To get a broader appreciation of what the association does I was pointed in the direction of Brian Hope, editor of the LAA’s magazine ‘Light Aviation’.
First off I asked Brian to give me a potted history of the LAA. I knew that the group had previously been the PFA – Popular Flying Association – but I wasn’t aware that they’d had a previous incarnation.
Today’s Flying Podcast finds me sat on the deck outside of Melvin’s Cafe at Barton Aerodrome.
It was a typically beautiful Spring evening in Manchester, the sun was just beginning to set and the Goodyear Blimp was about to depart. They were off to film a football match from overhead for Sky TV at the Etihad Stadium.
I took the opportunity to grab a few minutes with Chief Pilot Mark Finney before he saw the airship off on its flight.
Although it started out as a quiet night it soon got noisy with the police helicopter arriving and then, believe it or not, an Army Apache helicopter too which never happens at Barton.
For this episode of Flying Podcast I was off down to Turweston Aerodrome to meet Andy Draper of the Light Aircraft Association. Andy is the Design Engineer with the LAA and having joined from kitplane company, Europa, he now looks after the modification work for LAA aircraft but also oversees the ongoing airworthiness of all the approved types.
I was interested in finding out what the process was for building your own aircraft so who better to ask than Andy.
If you recognize Andy’s photo on the web site that’s because he was involved in the TV show `A Plane Is Born’ some years ago, helping Mark Evans build his Europa kit plane.
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.
Today I’m visiting my old stomping ground of Barton Aerodrome to talk to one of the guys in the control tower. The chap that’s featuring on the podcast is Mark Knowles and if you’ve ever landed or taken off from Barton chances are you will have spoken to Mark at some point.
The first thing I asked Mark to do was to tell me about Barton, or City Airport, Manchester as it’s often called, and to tell me the type of air traffic control it has.
Mark started by describing the aerodrome. It’s a grass airfield near to Manchester with 8 runways and they operate a Flight Information Service under the title Barton Information.