When most of us grow slightly older, we fritter away our disposable income on a small sports car or a Harley Davidson. The aviation geeks amongst us may even buy a share in a light aircraft to satiate our love of all things that fly. But Andre Tempest has taken his love of planes one step further. A few years back, when the RAF was disposing of its fleet of Victors, he put in a sealed bid and found himself the owner of a full sized V-bomber, designed to deliver the UK’s nuclear deterrent to somewhere in the Soviet Union.
I was interested in hearing why anybody would want to own their own Victor so, on a brilliantly sunny, spring day, I went to visit Andre and ‘Lusty Lindy’, as the aircraft is known, at Elvington, near York.
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.
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.
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.
Nick Duriez and Mark Knowles, FISOs at Barton Airport
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.
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.
Lancaster NX611 'Just Jane' at Lincs Aviation Heritage Centre
Continuing with the Lincolnshire theme, today I’m at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. The centre is home to several WWII aircraft, most notably a Lancaster bomber and a Dakota; both of which are available for taxi rides. I started my podcast interview with Andrew Panton who runs the museum and concluded with a chat with Paddy Green, owner of the resident Dakota.
On a recent trip to Lincolnshire I found myself at Wickenby Airfield, home to Thruster Microlights and Fly365 flying school. The man I’m here to talk to is Malcolm Howland who heads up the flying school and also works for Thruster.
Today I’m visiting Sherburn Airfield in Yorkshire to meet a fellow pilot, Brian Cattle. Brian is a very keen aviator and has been flying privately for quite a few years now. Dedicated and passionate flyers are always welcome on the podcast so I’m glad to say Brian’s agreed to come on the podcast to share the experiences of his flight training from PPL to CPL and on to Flying Instructor.