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Flying and aviation

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MD80 Simulator Gatwick Texas Tail-dragger South Africa Stampe Gloucester Airport Back from Spain Antwerp, Belgium
bulletFlying has been one of my great passions for a number of years. I started flying in April 1988 in a Cessna 152. I gained my Private Pilot License (PPL) a year later in  April 1989. I did my training on various Piper Cherokees at Bristol and Wessex Flying club at Lulsgate airport in Bristol.  It wasn't long after gaining my license that I flew to Holland in a Piper Cherokee 140 in July 1989. During my stay there I started flying the Pierre's Robin R3000. (PH-KAO and PH-SPE).
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After learning to fly aircraft with a retractable undercarriage and variable pitch propeller, I passed the IMC rating (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) in December 1990 

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In February 1992 I took my Night rating again from Bristol Airport. The first time on a dark night, up in the air, alone in an airplane is when you really feel lonely.

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I carried on to do a Multi-engine rating on a Piper Aztec in April 1999 again at Bristol Lulsgate and Filton airports. The cost of regularly flying a twin engine aircraft however is prohibitive and I don't fly twins anymore.

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I moved to Holland (for the third time) I attempted the Dutch National Commercial Pilot license during 2001 to 2002.  Although I  passed commercial pilot examinations in Avionics, Air law, Navigation,  Jet and piston engines, Meteorology, and Human factors all in one year  I failed to complete all examinations in time before the national license was scrapped in favor of the Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR) license. I also followed the full instrument course. All examinations were in the Dutch language. 

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I have flown all over the world, including South Africa in a Texas Tail dragger,  Hawaii, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, USA, Malta and Portugal. I have over 420 hours in total ( including 25 at night, 16 on twin engine, and 90 instrument hours). I have also flow a McDonald Douglas MD80 simulator for 45 minutes. One of my more interesting flights was in Hawaii (Oahu) where I flew over the USS Arizona sunk during the attack on Perl Harbor on December the 7th 1941.

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I also helped run the GATTI flying group for several years after its formation. This group operated a Piper Cherokee 128-140 (Golf-Alfa-Tango-Tango-India) out of  Bristol Lulsgate airport.

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My knowledge as a Pilot and of air-traffic control procedures has come in handy in a on at least one occasion in a professional  capacity, namely for a project in Sweden to commission two en-route air-traffic control centers. Read more

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In June 2000 I had the great pleasure of flying as a passenger on Concorde, sadly a few weeks later it crashed outside Paris, France and started the chain of events that led to it being withdrawn from service.

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I am the author of  AviatorCalc software. This is Flight Planning software written specifically to run on mobile telephones. Read more


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Copyright  2003 Bob Rathbone. All rights reserved