Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

From The CFI June 2013

Posted on: June 12th, 2013 by Ben No Comments

Correct R/T. I’m always pleased to read articles which support my own prejudices. I hate pilots using the expression “This is G-ABCD”. If you’re not “G-ABCD” why are you using that call sign? Likewise “We are currently at …..”.    As radio waves travel in milliseconds, where you are is where you are!  “G-ABCD is with you” also came in for similar scorn from the Air Traffic Controller  who wrote the article (Flyer May 2013). He also quoted the infamous R/T exchange where the pilot finished his clearance read back with the words “and we’re now at take-off” to which the… Read More »

Geoff’s Infamous Dealings with the French Police!

Posted on: June 5th, 2013 by Ben No Comments

“Schadenfruede”!   This is not an aviation term, but according to the Concise Oxford dictionary means “the malicious enjoyment of another’s misfortunes”. Now if you are a kindly, sensitive sort of person, read only the ‘Lesson for the Month’ on the right. If however you fancy a dose of Schadenfruede, read on. It had been a tricky journey to south west France with a low freezing level and layered cloud across the Channel, so I was rather pleased with myself when we safely arrived at Limoges in the mid-afternoon March sun. I was a bit put off by being asked to… Read More »


Posted on: June 2nd, 2013 by Ben No Comments

I’m particularly pleased to tell you that Sir Christopher Benson has agreed that subject to some fairly stringent checks GoFly will be permitted to operate his immaculate Grumman Tiger AA5-B G-BOZZ. Why am I so pleased? Well apart from the fact that it’s a delight to fly and cruises beautifully at 115 kts. on 33 ltrs. an hour. I used to own a share and came across this picture taken a Old Sarum in 1994! I shared her with a Cathay training captain and a consultant chest physician so always felt very safe in their company! My only anxiety was… Read More »

Red Tape Challenge

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by Ben No Comments

Minister without Portfolio, Grant Shapps has called on the General Aviation sector to tell the Government how it can make their lives easier by cleaning up regulations and removing red tape. The Government launched its Aviation Red Tape Challenge last year, looking at regulations that affect the sector – more than half of which will now be scrapped or improved. It now wants to go further and look in more detail at the problems that affect SMEs and people in the general aviation sector. As of 11 April, anyone with an interest in General Aviation has the opportunity to share… Read More »

From the CFI May 2013

Channel Island Airspace One of the great joys of living in the south of England is the possibility of flying to the Channel islands – a truly memorable experience. Two recent publications (IN-2013/053 and AIC Y025/2013 if you want to look at the originals!) draw attention to the change in the Transition Altitude (TA) from the standard 3000ft to 5000ft. I don’t think this will have great impact on the usual VFR/SVFR arrival or departure but does have implication for Instrument rated pilots using the low level airway Q41. Any intending flyer who doesn’t understand Special VFR (SVFR) rules should… Read More »

IMC Rating – Get it before it goes!

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by Ben No Comments

The IMC course is a natural step forward for those who have their Private Pilots Licence. It permits pilots to fly safely in poor weather conditions and is a fantastic addition to a pilot’s toolkit of skills to help them return home safely if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Flying in IMC conditions can be challenging, rewarding and fun but only if you know what you are doing! Additionally, anyone who has an IMC Rating by April 2014 will automatically get the new IR(R) when the EASA regulations come into force, which they will then keep for… Read More »

PPL Ground Exams

Posted on: May 12th, 2013 by Ben No Comments

A new set of exam papers will be released on 1st September. Although in future there will be 9 (as opposed to the present 7) ground exams, the total syllabus is roughly the same. Note that the various “PPL Confuser” type books may not reflect this. One significant change, however, will be the fact that after 1st September all exams not yet completed will have to be passed in 6 sessions, a session being 10 days long. Why this should be, don’t ask me but it might be a good reason for voting UKIP next time round! Any exam passes… Read More »

April Newsletter

Posted on: April 13th, 2013 by Ben No Comments

Our April newsletter has just be sent out – if you didn’t receive it and would like to, please email

From The CFI, April 2013

There’s a huge amount of free info. on the web so take advantage of it as you fiddle with your new IPhone or tablet. Although the content is very USA orientated, the tips given on often remind one of neglected areas of technique and good aviation practice. They send a weekly topic with occasional publicity thrown in. It’s easy to unsubscribe if you don’t like it. Learn about leaning and why you should be doing it. It used to be that fuelling an aircraft was a relatively small expense along side maintenance and hangarage but that has all changed… Read More »

Larry Bax

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by Ben No Comments

Here is an inspiring story by one of our former regulars, Steve Randal, about an truly remarkable man. Thank you Steve for sharing this incredible story. It’s the middle of 1995, almost 6 years B.I. (before iPod!). Take That are at number one and Stephen Hendry was just about to make the first televised 147 snooker break. These were exciting times indeed! I’d soloed at Southampton Airport a few years earlier and finally saved up enough money to finish my PPL. A wrong turn, fate perhaps, had led me to Old Sarum Airfield and it seemed to be a very… Read More »

Words From Geoff Prout, CFI

Goodbye and good riddance to 2012 which has been a rotten year for light aviation – in spite of the superb drainage of our runway at Old Sarum, the inclement weather has been discouraging to say the least! But rules and regulations continue to multiply and I remind you that we are now in the JAR-FCL to EASA transition period so be sure to understand how this may affect your licence/rating. Be aware that any EASA ticket will need to certify you are able to speak English! In 2008 the CAA decreed that all UK licence holders were automatically granted… Read More »

Deputy CFI Words of Wisdom – Steam Navigation and Handraulic Maths

Some things in life are remarkably slow to change, even when there is clear evidence that change is due. Take the way we teach VFR navigation for example. You will all recall being taught VFR navigation using a ruler, protractor, wiz-wheel and so on. Are you a wind-up man or a wind-down man, sir? Perhaps you can’t remember either way. I’m not sure that I could. And of course we were all taught that navigation is not the same as map-reading. Navigation in the air requires the use of dead-reckoning so that as we fly over snowy wastes or oceans deep we can still… Read More »

WW2 B17 Survival Story

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by Ben No Comments

A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943, between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area, became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II. An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded pilot then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named “All American”, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron. When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress… Read More »

Words From Geoff Prout, CFI

Listening Squawk for Farnborough (West) ATC As forecast in these columns (as all the best newspapers say) Farnborough have opted to continue with the listening squawk service which they utilised during the Olympics It is 4572 . It can be used when within 8nm of their zone on frequency 125.25 in circumstances where you wish it to be known that you are on frequency although no ATC service has been requested. As your squawk will be taken as unverified and unvalidated I personally think you’re much better off talking to them if the frequency is not too busy. The same applies for 0011 for… Read More »

Fiordland Adventure – by Geoff Prout

Posted on: October 28th, 2012 by Ben No Comments

Damn, damn, damn. I’ve just turned onto the final approach and I’m still 40 degrees off the centre line. And if that’s not bad enough, I can’t even see the runway. I recall Matt’s pre-flight briefing: “It’s a 800 metre runway. The only entrance/exit is about half way along. If it’s busy (and it usually is) try and avoid a back-track if someone’s close behind.” Great! So I need a landing run of less than 400 metres as there’s a Cessna 210 and an Islander somewhere not far behind. By the time I’ve considered the problem, Runway 29 at Milford… Read More »

Flying Adventure in Norway

Posted on: October 23rd, 2012 by Ben No Comments

One of our members, Micheal Thompson, tells of a flying adventure over the North Sea.  Pdf file available on the following link; FLYER  (reproduced with kind permission of FLYER Magazine, )

Sunset Times

Posted on: October 8th, 2012 by Ben No Comments

To all OSFS Students, Pilots & Visiting Pilots;  Please note that (as per Old Sarum Airfield regulations) we are required to land back at Old Sarum by local sunset (not local sunset +30 minutes) or 18:30, whichever is sooner. As we move into winter, the shortening days means that the sunset time has now moved before 18:30 as of today, and will continue to shorten  throughout the coming months. All aircraft flown from OSFS should land by local sunset until the sunset time moves back past 1830 next year. This particularly applies to the last slot of the day (nominally 1630-1830)…. Read More »

From Geoff Prout CFI

Physician heal thyself (1) Very many thanks to all of you who sent good wishes to me following my brush with the wrong end of the scalpel – yet another example of it being better to be a giver than a receiver! Recovery proceeds slowly –  both literally and figuratively a pain in the backside. Physician heal thyself (2) I emphasized in a recent newsletter the importance of fully understanding the Metars and TAFs and not overlooking any symbols that you cannot interpret. With some guilt I subsequently recollected an occasion on which I had broken this rule with possible… Read More »

From David Wood Deputy CFI – “Breaking the Routine”

Checklists and drills are jolly useful things. They jog our memories; they help us not to overlook important items. They also take off us some of the mental load at times of stress by ‘automating’ actions or sequences of actions that might otherwise absorb our thought and attention. But they have a downside. Precisely because we sometimes do them without thinking, we also sometimes do them without noticing. And therein lies a peril. Here are some examples: Take the common-or-garden Flapless Approach. If I had a pound for every time I’ve seen this happen then I’d be able to pay… Read More »

Flying Adventure In Spain

Posted on: August 21st, 2012 by Ben No Comments

One of our members, Micheal Thompson, tells of his latest flying adventure – a trip to Spain in a PA-24 Comanche.  Pdf file available on the following link; FLYER – Flying Adventure Spain (reproduced with kind permission of FLYER Magazine, )

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