New video / end of year update

See what it’s like to depart a busy aerodrome about an hour or so before sunset, when everyone has the same idea as you! In this flight I depart Kemble (Cotswold) aerodrome for Biggin Hill.  I also debrief some of my radio calls that were getting a little sloppy. Scroll down for the video.


End of year update

I hope everyone has had a nice Christmas. What an amazing year 2017 has been, and I couldn’t have done it without your support.  It means so much to me, to receive your messages and comments and they drive me to better my flying and improve the quality of the films.

Of course, I should give a very special mention for the generous supporters who’ve helped with my running costs over the last year.  I am a very long way from breaking even on the channel, and since April, my loss totals £2000.  Be assured, that I’m not factoring in any of the costs of running the aeroplane or keeping my license.  Those costs/losses are just associated with making the videos.  Of course I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it, so that’s my choice, but I am sincerely grateful to those people who’ve supported me through Patreon, Paypal or who have offered me their services, equipment and time.  You know who you are.

Facts & stats

Total hours flown 298
Hours flown this year 58
Instrument hours this year 14
Landings & take offs this year 46
Night flight hours this year 3.5
Nautical miles flown this year 3902

Aerodromes I’ve landed at this year

In addition, I’ve also visited Husbands Bosworth, Maypole, Kittyhawk Farm, Manchester City Barton, Deanland & Farnborough.

Achievements this year

Flying wise, I’m pleased to have flown regularly, renewed my night currency and renewed my IR(R) rating for another two years.  I’m also pleased to have landed at more A/G and AFIS aerodromes this year, and flown to shorter grass strips.  I flew a microlight, a glider and a helicopter too, all with varying degrees of success!

On the channel front, it’s grown in popularity and we now have more than 6000 subscribers on YouTube.  Some of my videos have been hugely successful, in particular my films about Farnborough LARS, my flap mistake at Elstree and my episode about gliding at Husbands Bosworth.

Thanks to the generous support of my viewers, I’ve managed to fit external camera brackets to the aeroplane which are now bringing you even more immersive films, I’ve replaced failing camera equipment and have been able to make some of those previously mentioned special episodes.  My thanks to Paul Wilson at Flapjack Films, who came forward to offer his videography services.

The aviation community has been fantastic too.  A special mention to Alex at NATS for setting up the filming at Farnborough LARS for me, and to Simon Smith for coming up with the idea for the film about gliding.

Challenges in 2017

In terms of flying mishaps, apart from a close encounter with a drone, and once forgetting to retract the flaps, it’s been largely trouble free. 

There was one incident though which I haven’t previously mentioned.  Oscar Romeo was hit while parked at an aerodrome this year, damaging the starboard flap.  Initially the landowner denied liability, but the situation was resolved when it was shown that the aircraft had been hit by a groundsman on a sit-on mower.  The insurance covered the damage.  

Oscar Romeo has flown impressively well this year, and aside from the usual running costs, we’ve only really had to shell out for a new propeller this year. 

Next year

I’m hoping to be able to grow supporters to the point where I am at least breaking even.  I’ll soon be releasing my mini series covering flight planning and preparation, and would like to fly up to Leeds/Sherburn-in-Elmet.  It would be good to do another cross-channel crossing, I hope to fly up to North Wales in February, & I’ve been invited to fly to the Balkans in May.  I hope to do a tailwheel course and undertake some spin training.

I hope you’ve enjoyed following the journey this year, & I look forward to continuing to entertain you in 2018.

Video: Aerdrome Rush hour, Kemble to Biggin Hill