Instructors’ Words of Wisdom

Words from Geoff Prout CFI

A couple of recent accident reports have caught my eye and caused me to ponder their application to the sort of flying we do at Old Sarum. In the first instance a Bonanza – one of the strongest singles ever manufactured, had totally disintegrated in a severe thunder storm: all occupants died. What bad luck you might think! But there was clear forecast evidence of the inevitability of the encounter but uncertainty whether the 1000 hour pilot had viewed or correctly interpreted the information. In our UK environs with the excellent free Met office (and many other) web-based weather sites, there can be no excuse… Read More »

Words From the Deputy CFI

This month we also have a short article written by our deputy CFI David Wood. As many of you will be aware, Geoff is having a short period away from the flying school and during this time David will be assuming the CFI responsibilities. Here are some words from him: What’s the worst thing that can happen to you when flying? Well, aside from flying into something solid I’d guess that most of us who fly singles would say that a sudden and unexpected silence up-front is about as bad as it gets. Strictly speaking, of course, it’s not the engine failure that’s going to… Read More »

Olympic Airspace Restrictions – EGLS Specific

As part of the Olympic Airspace Restrictions, all flights from Old Sarum will require PPR via telephone or email – NOT via RTF. This includes locally based and home based flying school aircraft. Full details can be found on the Old Sarum Airfield website here. This requirement is for the period 21st July 2012 to 15th August 2012.

Olympic Airspace Feedback

Some feedback and FAQs from Atlas Control concerning the Olympic Airspace restrictions and raised questions/issues can be found here.

Words From the CFI

We were fortunate to have Irv Lee, one of the CAA’s accredited experts, to brief us on the routines to be followed with regard to the Restricted and Prohibited Airspace associated with the 2012 London Olympics. Irv’s message was very positive – “Keep on flying but respect the rules.” Did you know for example that within 10 miles of Old Sarum the base of restricted space goes down to 2000 feet? If you don’t then it’s a shame you didn’t turn up to the meeting and you’d better start going through the mountain of paper work associated with the event. Thanks also to… Read More »

GPS Jamming

Anyone who reads the NOTAMs will know that from time to time trials of GPS jamming occur “officially” in the UK – we had one recently in the Salisbury Plain area. But did you know that several thousand internet purchased jammers are reported to be in use in UK? The main market for these seems to be truckers who wish to avoid being tracked by their bosses but clearly there are implications for aircraft, particularly at low level. So be sure to maintain your basic navigation skills, using the truly amazing GPS as a secondary aid.

In-flight Electrical Fires

These are relatively uncommon but require careful handling if they occur. I’ve deposited an excellent AOPA Safety Brief which summarises actions to be taken, available in Ops.

Night VFR

Not relevant with the long summer evenings, but the change in regulations which I outlined recently have been delayed till mid-September. They’re also slightly different from what I outlined. Hence be forewarned that when the dark evenings return you’ll need to check again if you’re planning to fly at night.

Mini TAFs

Have you noticed that certain Metars give further coded information after the QHN? Boscombe often does as well as Brize, Yeovilton and even Heathrow. This will only occur when there is a forecaster (as opposed to a trained observer) on the premises (as opposed to one at the Met Office at Exeter). The information which is added indicates what the met-man reckons will happen in the next 2 hours. This information is very worthwhile as it will be right up to date, as opposed to the TAF which can be up to 6 hours old. Furthermore, the forecast is made by someone who has… Read More »

Words from Geoff Prout CFI

Geoff is away on extended leave this month in Australia and New Zealand so we don’t have our usual words of wisdom from him this month. However, he has asked me to pass on this link from the CAA: It answers a lot of questions about EASA licensing and highlights the important dates and changes that will affect all of us.

Words From The CFI, Geoff Prout

“Pearls of Wisdom 27th January.” Thanks to those of you who came to this part social/part educational evening which was well attended. However I was disappointed by the poor turn-out of our current students and the majority of our Pilots’ Club members. Frankly, while we’re delighted to welcome all-comers, it for this group of regular flyers that we organise these get- togethers. Are we doing something wrong? Are the topics not of interest or the presentations sub-standard? If so please let me know your thoughts and we’ll try to organise things differently. Or maybe you’d like presentations on a weekday evening?… Read More »

Words from Geoff Prout, CFI

Late last year there was a flurry of legislative activity regarding Licensing and Ratings. If you’re not clear about the difference between these terms talk to a friendly FI before going any further! These notes are all about Licenses. 2012 is the year that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) take over Flight Crew Licensing with a view to harmonising it throughout Europe. Virtually all light aircraft pilots, including yourself, will be affected. To this end the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have produced a guide to what they think will be the result of the new rules, and it can… Read More »

Words from Geoff Prout, CFI

Be prepared to expect the unexpected, especially regarding our capricious winter weather. I came unstuck recently and I am happy to report certain short-comings on that occasion. It had been a standard sort of day with the usual scrabble to put aircraft to bed and get notes written at the end of a full day’s flying. Although it was after sunset, it was still legal daytime with decent light as I took off from runway 24 for return flight to Lee. I hadn’t checked the met, though I had looked at it a couple of hours before. To my surprise… Read More »

Words from Geoff Prout, CFI

I had to fly to Belgium last week and couldn’t remember the extent of the “new” Farnborough radar service.  In fact it stretches right the way along the South coast almost as far as Lydd and I append a diagram. Of course, London Information (124.75 / 124.60) will also give a service but although they give you a squawk, they cannot offer radar surveillance.

Words from Geoff Prout, CFI

Recently a group of aviators celebrated the fact that none of them had ever had an accident which they attributed to their philosophy “if in doubt, there is no doubt – don’t go.”Whilst I appreciate that this is a laudable idea, I have to confess that I’d rarely get off the ground if this was my practice. I find that the decision “to commit aviation” is frequently not clear-cut, which I suppose indicates that I do harbour some doubt. What I do have no doubt about is that there must always be an acceptable alternative – a Plan B.  So… Read More »

From the (1920s) Gosport Instructors Syllabus

“………as far as possible advanced students have been allowed to fly exactly as they chose, their experiments being limited only by the state of their own nerve. This has not been found to increase the number of casualties.”

Words From The CFI – Students

There have been a few magazine articles which have caught my eye in the last month. Students Brian Lecomber wrote an interesting article on flight training and outlined what he regarded as desirable characteristics in a trainee pilot. These included 1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.. Arrive for your lesson having thoroughly studied the Flight Training Guide. 2./3. LEARN ON THE GROUND THEN PRACTISE IN THE AIR. This is really an extension of 1. Although dual rates at OSFS are amongst the cheapest around, maximise the learning gain by being thoroughly familiar with the teaching aim. 4. DON’T WORRY ABOUT APPARENT LACK… Read More »

Higher & Faster

Now that you’re all leaning efficiently I’d like to remind you of other means of saving money. On my last trip down toSW France I surged along at up to 210kts saving about 20 minutes fuel. Firstly I had climbed to 9500ft, thereby gaining about 2% True Airspeed (TAS) for every 1000ft altitude, so that although the Indicated Airspeed was 150kts theTAS was 170 kts.Where did the rest of the economy come from – the tail wind. At 200ft it was a measly 10kts, at 5000ft 20kts was on offer but the 10,000ft wind was a stonking 35kts. Now I’m… Read More »

June Words from the CFI

Fuel Flow Although I had planned to write about economising by leaning, there is a more pressing fuel related matter to bring to your attention. Do you know what to do if you have an engine fire? Much of the check-list is occupied by items which you can read and comply and for those checks I would encourage you to do so. But there are several check sequences which are memory items, so next time you fly, go through the check-list and be sure you have learned these. You really shouldn’t be flying if they are not known. Engine fire… Read More »

Manoeuvring Speed Va

Manoeuvring Speed Va Why should I read this? Because one of the commonest problems encountered by the pilot who loses control, perhaps after straying into IMC, is the spiral dive. Mishandle this and you may be parted from one of your wings (or gain another two)! Now read on… As a follow up to the AA Flight 587 from New York, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has produced a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB). This points out that the cause of separation of this airliner’s tail fin with the resultant death toll of 260, was the excessive rudder pedal inputs,… Read More »

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