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.
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.
Following on from my chat with Mike Miller-Smith of the BDFA, today I’m talking to one of the pilots that has trained with them.
Arthur Williams broke his back in a car accident in 2007 leaving him paralised from the waist down. At the time he was serving with the Royal Marines and as you could imagine, he lead a very active life.
An interview with my aviation medical examiner, Dr. Ian Donnan.
Following on from my own class 2 medical I asked Ian to give me a run through of what takes place during an aviation medical, what you need to bring along to the examination, what the doctor looks for, the frequencies of examination and the differences between a class 2 and a class 1 medical.
For more information on aviation medicals or a list of your nearest AMEs, see the CAA website:
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.
Paul Lomatschinsky takes part in a comemorative flight across the Atlantic in a Diamond DA42 Twin Star. The flight, which took place in Feb 2009, was to comemorate the 90th anniversary of Alcock and Brown’s first non-stop flight from Newfoundland to Ireland in 1919.
An interview with Guy Cowper, a captain with the UK’s largest charter airline. We hear how he got into flying commercially, what a typical flying day involves, what it’s like to work for a major airline and hear a couple of funny stories too.