My Flying 1997 - 2001.
Welcome to my personal flying pages. I started flying on 15th June 1997 with a trial flight at Walkbury Flying Club (Peterborough Sibson - EGSP). I only had the intention of having a go for the experience, but 2 weeks later I started flying and continued to fly almost every weekend. I had to take my PPL course at the weekend as at the time I worked in Belgium, so every Friday I would fly back to go flying !!! .
I went solo on 20 Sep 98, with close friend Fiona watching. She was more nervous than I was, it just seemed a natural progression. The winter season slowed things down a little but as soon as the good weather was about I was up again. NFT (Navigational Flight Test) on 15 march 98 and QCC(Qualifying Cross Country) on 9 May 98. For my QCC I traveled from Sibson to Wellsbourne Mountford and landed.
I had to see the Tower Controller to have my paperwork signed (if you don't, you have to do it all again), she was impressed with my airmanship. "I didn't realise you were the student" and I got an Excellent on my report. From Wellsborne I headed to Leicester. For some reason I still find Leicester even with its tarmac runways hard to spot, but I found it and received another excellent on my report. Two Legs done just a short trip home - it was great. Passing Eyebrook Resevoir', Spanhoe then Kingscliff just where they all should be!! A short but extremely enjoyable leg!!! Back home to Sibson where they all called me a smart arse because I got excellent.... "Nobody gets excellent... said Derek". (I am wearing a green coveral in the picture as I have been cleaning Evy, it's not done to wear one to fly a modern aircraft!!!)
Silverstone.I passed my GFT (General Flying Test) on 24th May 98, at last I had my PPL (Private Pilots Licence). While I was waiting for my PPL licence to arrive I did a conversion to the club Cessna 172. The day after my GFT Peter took me for a ride in his Falco 4. What a machine, we did a loop and barrel roll, what an experience. A few months later I started the aerobatics course......
Having gained my PPL I could take friends and family for a trip. An opportunity to fly into an Event at Silverstone just could not be missed, so friend Dave and I arrived in style - OK a Cessna 152, but it beats the traffic queues any day!
Perranporth, CornwallOctober arrived and I had a week off work for my birthday, normally October weather is not the best. After checking the weather reports a long weekend trip to Cornwall was planned and made. My flying time was limited in 99 as I decided for some mad reason after coming back to the UK to buy a house!! However a meeting in Chichester had to be a good excuse to Hire "Fox Papa" again. Well three to four hours in a car A1, M25, A30 or Fox Papa for One hour Fifteen minutes!!! Easy decision!!!
I purchase a Cessna 150With just over 100 hours in my log book I found myself wanting to go on bigger/longer trips. The Stauning (Denmark) trip with Robert in his Cessna 180 had whet my appetite, but the problem with hiring club aircraft is - they are not always available and it's not always possible to take them for a long time. So in August 2000 after a test flight and checkout with Peter G, I had a 50% share of Echo Victor a (Immaculate!!) Cessna 150 Aerobat.
Jersey, Skegness & Clacton.Now having an airplane at my disposal there was no excuse not to go flying (10 hours Jan & Feb 2001). I had just started work near Blackbushe, so when a friend came over from Denmark I decided to take her for a trip to Blackbushe to check the route. As soon as the weather improves a few more trips will be undertaken.
Sun N Fun, Florida2001 and I have never been to the US. One of the biggest airshows every year is the EAA. Sun N Fun Florida. The Florida weather was just fantastic. A late call to the travel agent and I was on a flight to the US a week later!.
I visited jack Browns seaplane base and flew a J3 Cub on floats, the first time on floats, in a Cub and stick flying. The Cub is flown from the rear seat, the experience was fantastic.
First flight to France.I wanted to progress further with Echo Victor, so when Robert offered to come along I jumped at the chance to cross the water to France, and made my first flight to Le Touquet (5-May-01 - picture opposite). The following Monday Popham was hosting a fly-in aero & auto jumble, the May Bank Holiday weekend proved to be a good flying weekend.
The PFA was cancelled this year (2001) due to Foot & Mouth. Robert suggested a visit to the RSA (the French equivalent) fly-in at Metz-Chambley. Also with the chance to visit Reims where Echo Victor was built. Just over nine hours flying in three days - a really great trip, 157 hours in my logbook now!
Todays Pilot, North Weald.Mid September and the weather limits the number of flyable days. Robert called up and reminded me about the "Todays Pilot" fly-in at North Weald. The weather was not the best, rain and haze. Pictured opposite EV at North Weald, with a Dakota in the background, how cool is that!. (Click for North Weald Pictures).
A bit windy but Rob comes flying . October, its my birthday so I buy the other half of EV. and after I have been flying I total up my hours. P1(Pilot in command) exactly 100 hours !!
Late October and another fly-in at NorthWeald, but this time the weather is A LOT better. Which makes the arrival very busy!!!
November - another visit to Blackbushe.
Christmas 2001 and New Year, the weather is good, I fly to Popham for the New Year fly-in.
Easter 2002, Andy next door comes flying with me for the first time. As you can see from his size (picture opposite) a Cessna 150 was a tight fit!!!!
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