I’ve been asked by a listener called Tom Boothby whether I could do an episode on flight training in the US. I’ve eventually got a few folks lined up to come on the podcast and chat about their experiences.
So, Episode 33 of Flying Podcast features a fellow Barton flyer called Dave Crozier who trained in the US some time back. My first question for Dave was `what was your experience of flight training in the USA?’ His response was that he’d been struggling to get his PPL completed over here in the UK. The weather in England was conspiring to prevent him getting his flying licence so he decided to go over to the US to complete his training.
After a great deal of research, Dave chose UK Flight Training of Long Beach in California. He chose California due to the predicted better weather and with 360 flying days a year who could argue.
Episode 32 of Flying Podcast sees me back up to York to interview Peter Davies. Peter is an instructor on gyrocopters for the Gyrocopter Experience. He currently runs their Preston franchise. Quite by chance, when I was reading about gyrocopters I came across Peter’s name and I was fascinated to read about his experiences in the world of aviation. His flying pedigree goes way back to the early days of hang gliding and microlighting here in the UK and so I thought he’d make a good candidate to appear on the podcast.
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.
Today’s podcast interviewee is Craig Richardson. Craig actually wrote in and suggested the subject for this podcast. He’s at the point in his flying career where he’s about to launch into training for the ATPL and he’s trying to decide where to do his ATPL groundschool studies and the CPL/IR flight training. He thought that the decision making process that he’s going through would make for an interesting podcast.
Craig has done a great deal of research: on-line via aviation forums, by visiting flight training exhibitions and by talking to the training suppliers themselves.
Today we discuss which training providers made it on to Craig’s short-list, get an idea for which companies he’s thinking of going with and, of course, why he chose them.
In this the third and final part of the DHFS podcasts I’m interviewing Flight Lieutenant Stu Walker. Stu invited me down to RAF Shawbury, arranged my visit and the interviews with the various personnel on the base.
Stu’s story is quite an interesting one and so I thought it would make a good stand-alone podcast in its own right. In this interview Stu tells me how he wanted to join the RAF from an early age.
Initially his aim was to become a front-line fighter pilot but you can hear how his military career progressed through flight training, flying Nimrods, doing a masters degree is Aero Systems, working in the Flight Information Publications department and then on to flying helicopters.
Stu grew up in the Lake District and often saw RAF jets flying around the fells. This is what spurred the young Stu to join the Air Force. He initially wanted to fly Tornados but as we’ll hear, this dream didn’t quite materialise.
In the second part of the DHFS podcasts I interview Squadron Leader Jason Bowes and Master Aircrew Graeme Longmuir. They’re both from 60 Squadron, responsible for training pilots and crewmen on multi engine helicopters at RAF Shawbury. I also talk to a couple of RAF students; Flight Lieutenants Keith Lam and Becky Corrigan and also to Corporal Neil Moncur, head of Flight Planning and lastly to Paul Gresty of the Met Office.
The Defence Helicopter Flying School is where helicopter pilots and crewmen for all of the UK’s armed forces are trained. In this the first of 3 episodes on the Defence Helicopter Flying School I’m talking to the Commandant, Group Captain Jock Brown, who gives me an overview of the unit which is based at RAF Shawbury. Also in this episode I interview the squadron leaders of the 2 squadrons that teach single engine helicopter flying, both basic and advanced, here at the DHFS.
Today I’m visiting London Gliding Club near Dunstable talking to Adrian Hobbs, a Basic Instructor at LGC all about gliding.
Before the interview, Adrian took me on a quick tour of the airfield which lies alongside a beautiful chalk ridge in the Chilterns. The field itself is an undulating grassy expanse with no marked runways so that the gliders can be launched or can land directly into wind. The club have several aircraft for aero-tows and mobile cable winches. They even have a mobile control tower and it’s all run by a dedicated but friendly bunch of gliding enthusiasts.
In this episode of Flying Podcast, I’m talking with Ted Moore of European Balloons. European Balloons operate commercial hot-air balloon flights in the Home Counties from their base in Great Missenden. The purpose of this interview was to find out more about hot-air ballooning. How do you get into it? What qualifications do you need? What sorts of balloons are there? How do you learn to fly a balloon, etc etc. If you like to know more about the world of hot air ballooning, have a listen to Ted’s podcast.