Biggin Hill

Video: Leicester to Biggin Hill with my son

My son and I diverted to Leicester on our way back from Sherburn in Elmet after he fell ill due to the turbulence.  We weren’t able to complete our journey for another 3 days because of bad weather.

Biggin Hill Airport gives notice to training schools

Biggin Hill Airport has told the three based flying schools there, that their leases will not be renewed.  This effectively means that ab-initio training at the aerodrome will cease in six months’ time. 

Video: Biggin Hill to Kemble in freezing weather

It took nearly two hours to defrost Oscar romeo, fit cameras, and get the engine started for my last return trip of 2017.  My destination was Kemble, a lovely tarmac strip in the Cotswold district.

Crossing Gatwick airspace with a controller on board

  Crossing one of the busiest sections of UK airspace in a light aircraft can appear a daunting prospect, but in practice it’s not as difficult as it might seem.  On this trip through London Gatwick’s Class D controlled airspace I had an expert in the cockpit with me –  an air traffic controller who works in the tower at the airport.

Video: How effective is my scan?

In this video, The Flying Reporter questions the effectiveness of his visual scanning technique, after two reasonably close encounters with other traffic on a short local flight.  A misjudgement of the approach at Lydd  also forces a go-around.

New Video: Night flying over Kent

For pilots to be able to carry passengers at night, they must have a night rating, and have performed one take off and landing at night in the previous 90 days.  Through the summer, it becomes difficult to maintain that currency, but now that the nights have started drawing in, I was able to take a short local flight in the dark, and have made this video of the trip.   Flying at night is completely different from a daytime trip.  If you’re VFR, then you’ll find you’ll have to adapt to the different way towns, roads, cities and landmarks look in the dark.  Perception of distance and height changes, and there are some optical illusions that you have to watch for.  On the take off, you’ll quickly lose the horizon in the first part of the climb, and so you’re practically instrument flying for 30 seconds or so.   Taxing around the airport requires a lot of care.  Following the yellow lines is harder than you’d think at night, finding exits and holding points can be tricky too.  If you don’t know your way around the aerodrome by day, it’s going to be tough to orientate yourself in the pitch…

New video: Departing Biggin Hill IFR, arriving Lydd VFR

This was an extremely satisfying flight, due mainly to it’s simplicity and accuracy.  Biggin Hill was shrouded in low cloud, and so I departed the aerodrome IFR, soon climbing above the clouds.  I surfed the clouds for 20 minutes, before ducking down through a gap, to arrive at Lydd VFR.