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.
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.
For episode 31 of Flying Podcast I’m talking Martin Hatton. Martin spends much of his time training flying instructors for Ravenair, based at Liverpool Airport and City Airport, Manchester. I was interested to find out what it takes to become a flying instructor and what is involved in getting a flying instructor rating.
My first question was `Why do people become flying instructors?’.
Martin replied that it’s mainly to build hours for a commercial career but there are people who actually have other jobs and wish to instruct in their spare time, or, like Martin, they just want to be a flying instructor. There is the added advantage that you get to fly for free and get paid for it.
This episode of Flying Podcast features an interview with Claire Hatton, a Commercial and Instrument Rating Instructor with Ravenair, based mainly at Liverpool, John Lennon Airport. We discuss what’s involved in more advanced ratings and licenses such as the IMC, Multi engine, IR and CPL. So if you have any interest in improving your flying or want to get into commercial aviation, have a listen to what Claire has to say.
Gary Cooper of Helicopters Northwest explains about helicopter training giving a brief outline of the syllabus, post PPL(H) training options and the sort of problems you can encounter whilst learning to fly.
I spent a few hours with Joel Tobias, owner of a Bell 206 BIII Jet Ranger. In this podcast interview he gives us some background to his flying career, his aircraft and how he uses it for business and pleasure.
A chat with Sgt. Mick Dunn from Greater Manchester Police’s Air Support Unit.
The Air Support Unit operates the Police helicopter from City Airport, Manchester.
The interview covers such areas as the aircraft used, the technologies they carry onboard, their operational usage and the career path towards getting into the pilot’s or the air observer’s seat.
I’m talking to Dr Eric Isaac, curator of Barton Visitor Centre, a museum on the airfield at Barton Aerodrome, now known as City Airport, Manchester. We also discuss the history of Barton & Lancs Aero Club and Eric also gives us an insight into his qualifying cross-country flight where he strays into controlled airspace.