Aviation and Flying
Flying 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).
After learning to fly aircraft with a retractable undercarriage and variable pitch propeller, I passed the IMC rating (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) in December 1990 In February 1992 I took my Night rating again from Bristol Airport. 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.
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, unfortunately I ran out of time before the national license was scrapped in favor of the Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR FCL) license. The JAR FCL license has now been replaced by the EASA PPL. I also followed the full instrument flying course. All examinations were in the Dutch language.
I have flown all over the world, including South Africa in a Texas Tail dragger, New Zealand, Hawaii, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, USA, Malta and Portugal. I just under 500 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 Pearl Harbor on December the 7th 1941. My knowledge as a Pilot and of air-traffic control procedures came 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.In June 2000 I had the great pleasure of flying as a passenger on Concorde, sadly a few months later it crashed outside Paris, France and started the chain of events that led to it being withdrawn from service.