Saturday, 27 February 2010

Blackadder 23 final 26 touch-and-go

Not much new in Bournemouth.
I went flying yesterday, backseat on the PA28 and P2 flight on the Cessna 172 doing 1 hour of circuits.
Enjoy the pics.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Cobham's Falcon 20

Bournemouth is home of the largest fleet of Dassault Falcon 20 (old French business jet), which are mainly used for various types of military missions with the Air Force and the Royal Navy. As some of ex BCFT students are now flying for them, we got the chance to visit their facility and had a tour (on the ground) of their aircraft.

I thought it could be fairly interesting to share some of the pictures I took, as it is quite a rare aeroplane, particularly when equipped with the 4 pods like the one we went in.
The pods can be anything from laser devices, targets towed, etc ...
There aren't many civilian flying jobs where you get to fly as low as 100 ft in formation with RAF Hawks, Tornados, Harriers, ...


Some flying at Bournemouth EGHH

I'm still waiting to do my night solo but we are stuck on the ground at the moment, due to some very nasty weather. Here is the Taf for tonight : 231857Z 2319/2402 13005KT 4000 -RA BR FEW005 BKN009 (4km visi, light rain, mist, few clouds at 500ft, broken at 900 ft). And this is pretty much what we'll have all week and what we had everyday of last week.

I managed to record a video though when I did a backseat on the PA28, just before doing my circuits.

I also recorded some footage on the apron for about 20 minutes, it gives quite a good idea of how dense the traffic can be at times ...

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Night Flying

There won't be much to say for once since the pictures speak quite nicely for themselves.

I did my night navigation last tuesday : Bournemouth EGHH - Tarrent Rushton (entry/departure waypoint) - Dorchester (town on the coastline) - Blandford (small town in the middle of nowhere) - Stoney Cross (crossing both Southampton and Bournemouth axis) - Lymington - Bournemouth EGHH.
Tonight was circuits day, I backseated two flights and did the third one, ending up with total of 3 hours in the plane, doing 18 landings. I did as P2 a bit less than an hour and 6 touch-and-goes, simulating different lighting failures, onboard electric failure, too low / too steep approaches, etc ... It was quite fun!

Next week we've got the PT1 (Progress Tests) for the last 7 ATPL subjects.
I booked my flight to the States where i'll be building hours for 2months 1/2 in California on both single and twin engine aircraft (based in San Diego, CA).

Below is a picture of a Be-76 having trouble while landing. As a reminder of how safety is important in aviation and all our training, where we spend so much time learning how to cope with unexpected situations.


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Mountain Flying

Hi everyone! I'm just back in sunny England after a short trip in the French Alps, and what an amazing trip! Indeed, I flew to Geneva (Switzerland) on friday, met some friends in Lyon and we drove all the way up to l'Alpe d'Huez (a ski resort) under some heavy snowfall. We met there a bunch of young pilots brought together under the association Jeunes-Ailes (literally, "Young Wings").

A bit worried at first, the gloomy foggy sky went away whilst we were skiing and we could finally enjoy a nice truly blue sky, although the temperature dropped close to -30°C (about -20°F) during the night in the upper part of the station.

I got to fly twice, in the nice Jodel D-140 Abeille (F-GJHU), and made a short video from the footage I took in flight :

I hope you like the pictures, probably the most beautiful I ever got to take, thanks to the awesome scenery!
There's a bit of everything, hard to comment them all but to sum it up, I took most of them on l'Alpe d'Huez altiport (at about 6500 ft altitude), which has a runway with a 15.5% slope and allows the random skier walking by to enjoy a superb scenery, covered in snow for the most part of the year.
I also managed to take a picture of 4 F16 and a KC135 Stratotanker from the USAF (US Air Force) overflying us at quite a high altitude. This is what I call a superb week-end!