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.
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.
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.
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.
Oli went to LA to do his PPL training in late 2006. Like many of us that train in the UK he’d started and stopped due to the weather and lack of funds. So, when he’d saved up enough to get out to the USA to complete his training he took the plunge and went to California. The decision to go the Los Angeles was made easy by the fact that he had family out there so he could save on accommodation costs.
Just recently I was at the NEC in Birmingham for the Flying Show so I took the opportunity to have a chat with various people down there. First up was Steve Bridgewater, Commercial Director at Air Atlantique’s Classic Flight.
Classic Flight do a superb job of keeping some classic old British Aircraft in airworthy condition. They have recently opened `Airbase’ at Coventry Airport. Airbase is not a museum in the conventional sense but more a working hangar that allows visitors to go and have a look around. They actually call themselves a ‘safari park for classic aeroplanes’.
In addition they also offer pleasure flights in several of their aircraft.
It sounded like an interesting story, so for episode 34 of Flying Podcast I firstly asked Steve to explain the history of Classic Flight.