Saulonyou can't be cirrus

How safe is my flight

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The simple answer is very safe, but I thought I’d give a behind the scenes view on how safe the aircraft is, and, in the current climate, how safe from external forces such as terrorism.

 

First of all, the aircraft. Most airlines throughout the world have a surprisingly young range of aircraft. For example the average age of Ryanair (biggest low cost carrier ...

The problem with ice

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It was February over the Alps in central Europe and my colleague and I had stopped off in Strasbourg to re-fuel our single engine piston aircraft before continuing on to Ljubljana in Slovenia. We had stayed above the clouds on the way down but my stomach was tight knowing we had to descend through the cloud.

Apart from a small amount of ice building on the front of the aircraft the arrival was uneventful, but on departure the cloud levels had risen and we spent a lot longer ...

Movie moments that exasperate flight crew

OK, I know it’s sad to get upset when Hollywood yet again refuses to do any kind of research and just ploughs ahead with its own take on how the world operates, but I’m pretty sure any professional, be you pilot, doctor, soldier or engineer, has at least once in their life seen a blockbuster Hollywood movie re-write the reality of their job. This is not always the case; there is an excellent BBC radio series in the UK called ‘Cabin Pressure’, where ...

Why fly corporate

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I’m sure a lot of you, like me, wonder why people are willing to pay small fortunes to charter their own aircraft, and what they get for their money? Well hopefully I can answer some of these questions.

 

The most obvious reason why people opt for private charter is the convenience. I regularly fly businessmen and women on day trips around Europe. They can arrive at the airport closest to them, at whatever time ...

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Why I love my job!

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  A few friends of mine have commented on recent posts, that although they enjoy them, they sometimes wonder why I became a pilot! To make up for this I decided that in this post I would give a brief insight into why I love flying, and why I am so lucky to have my job.

I’m currently writing this in a 4-star hotel in Scotland – the Shetland Isles to be precise - where I am staying for a few days for work, looking out over some of the ...

The mystery of the crew hotel

I can spend a great deal of my time away from home, and the biggest question I ask when I arrive in a new city is, “Will I have a decent hotel room?”

 

Unlike my friends in the airlines, the corporate aviation world doesn’t have arrangements with hotels, due to the fact that we don’t have structured routes and can end up in any part of the world. Therefore it is usually down to our operations departments to arrange hotels for the flight ...

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A day in the life of a charter pilot

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09:00

The alarm clock rings; it doesn’t matter, I’ve been awake since 8, but I never take the risk of over-sleeping and always have an alarm set. Being in corporate aviation I very rarely have the same early starts my airline colleagues have. Getting up an hour earlier means a nice relaxed start, shower, shave, and a decent breakfast before shrugging myself into my uniform and heading out the door.

10:00

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Flying Around the Volcanic Ash, Part 2

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My last post was bought forward due to the new eruption of an Icelandic volcano that again is affecting flying around Europe. I thought I would write an updated blog, telling you my experience of this new ash cloud, and how flying a high performance turbo-prop compares to the simpler twin piston in such conditions.

This time round I didn’t hear of the Grimsvotn eruption through my operations team. Due to the nature of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 (yes, I did have to ...

Flying Around the Volcanic Ash

I had this post ready to go last week well before the Grimsvotn volcano decided to erupt this week. But it seems timely as it was just one year ago that the last ash cloud swept over Europe.

It was the 15th of April 2010; I had just had a few days off from flying and was looking forward to getting back into the cockpit. The weather was due to be unexpectedly pleasant over the next week, and the company had a few simple jobs for me to do, the first one was a cargo run, from Eindhoven ...

Growing Up Flying

At the end of every school year, I couldn't wait to get back to the airfield. Cleaning microlights wasn't fun. I'd usually be covered head to toe in muck but I knew that 8 hours of cleaning for 5 days, meant a free flight at the end of the week. Even at that stage in my life I was just desperate to be around aircraft.

When I was 16, the thought of getting my driving license didn't even cross my mind. All my time was dedicated to getting my piloting license. Every waking hour outside ...

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