Episode 30 – Craig Richardson – Choosing Providers for ATPL Theory and Flight Training

Craig Richardson

Craig Richardson

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.

Listen to Episode 30

Continue reading

Episode 29 – Flt. Lt. Stu Walker – DHFS Part 3

Flight Lieutenant Stu Walker

Flight Lieutenant Stu Walker

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.

Listen to Episode 29

Continue reading

Episode 28 – Thomas Cook Airlines Chief Pilot – Paul Hutchings

Thomas Cook Airlines Boeing 757-200

Thomas Cook Airlines Boeing 757-200

It’s Episode 28 of Flying Podcast and today I’m talking to Paul Hutchings, Chief Pilot for Thomas Cook Airlines.

I’ve had a lot of questions from listeners about becoming a commercial pilot so who better to talk to than the chief pilot of one of the country’s largest charter airline fleets.

I was interested to hear what qualities they look for in potential new recruits and I was particularly interested in their Cadet Training Scheme for ab-initio pilots.

Listen to Episode 28

Continue reading

Episode 27 – Defence Helicopter Flying School – RAF Shawbury – Part 2

Squirrel perched on a ledge, Snowdonia

Squirrel perched on a ledge, Snowdonia

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.

Listen to Episode 27

Continue reading

Episode 26 – Defence Helicopter Flying School – RAF Shawbury – Part 1

DHFS Griffin Helicopter over Snowdon

DHFS Griffin Helicopter over Snowdon

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.

Listen to Episode 26

Continue reading

Episode 25 – Gliding at London Gliding Club with Adrian Hobbs

Glider at London Gliding Club

Glider at London Gliding Club

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.

Listen to Episode 25

Continue reading

Episode 24 – Ted Moore from European Balloons

Hot-Air Balloon

Hot-Air Balloon

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.

Listen to Episode 24

Continue reading

Episode 23 – Claire Hatton, Commercial and Instrument Rating Instructor with Ravenair

G-RVRB courtesy Paul Tomlin

G-RVRB courtesy Paul Tomlin

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.

Listen to Episode 23

Continue reading

Episode 22 – Arthur Williams flies with the BDFA

Arthur Williams with the BDFA

Arthur Williams with the BDFA

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.

Listen to Episode 22

Continue reading

Episode 21 – Museum Of Science & Industry – Avro Aviation Collection

Avro Avian IIIA - G-EBZM

Avro Avian IIIA - G-EBZM

On episode 21 of Flying Podcast today, I’m talking to Nick Forder, Transport Curator at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Nick has a superb insight into the history of AVRO aviation and how that was inextricably linked with the history of aviation in the Manchester area.

The interview with Nick takes place in the Air & Space Hall, hence the sound of happy children in the background. As we wandered around the collection Nick describes the AVRO aeroplanes and the part they played in powered flight over the last century.

After our museum tour, Nick introduced me to Peter Teagle, who now works as a volunteer at the museum. Peter is the ex-Assistant Chief Designer at AVRO, Woodford. Peter worked on many aircraft at AVRO, and later BAE, including, as you’ll hear, the BAE Advanced Turbo Prop aircraft. Peter is now helping build a couple of replica A V Roe aircraft on-site at the museum and we had a brief chat towards the end of the podcast about exactly what he and the team are up to.

Listen to Episode 21

Continue reading