In the second of our video podcasts, Steve interviews fellow microlight pilot and aircraft co-owner John Quigley, who co-owns and flies an Ikarus C42. John’s group has just bought an (almost) new C42B. Steve and John compare notes about both co-owning aircraft, as Steve co-owns a Eurostar EV97, talking about the positives and negatives of group aircraft ownership.
John and Steve both describe how capable a microlight aircraft are, the joys of taking family and friends flying, flying over water for the first time (John has flown a C42 to Ireland and talks about that trip).
Steve and John both explore where they want to go and what they want to do in the future and speculate on how we can encourage more young people and more women into microlighting.
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In this latest episode of the Ready for Departure podcast, Steve takes us through a recent flight after a long lay-off, which is something a lot of us leisure pilots are going to have to contend with once the Coronavirus lockdown is lifted by worldwide governments.
The plan was to fly over Liverpool and orbit the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier which was docked there, however due to the poor weather, Steve decided to stay in the circuit and practice a glide approach and a flapless approach, something which he had not done in quite some time.
There is a video version of this podcast which you can watch below, or if you prefer you can listen to the audio-only version. Your choice! Become a Patron!
As we start the second season of the Ready for Departure podcast, Steve describes his decision-making in determining if he was fit to fly. Following a bout of illness, a short recovery, then a relapse, Steve wanted to go flying as it had been quite a while since his last flight.
But something wasn’t right. Steve was on medication and didn’t feel 100% OK, should he go flying? Was it just nerves because it had been some time since he’d been in the P1 seat?
Join us as Steve talks through the situation and ultimately what he ended up doing. During the podcast, Steve mentions the CAA Safety Sense leaflet and Rory on Air’s latest video, the links are below.
This episode of the Ready for Departure podcast details an in-flight emergency that Steve recently experienced whilst he was pilot in command of an Ikarus C-42 microlight. Steve and fellow pilot Adrian were returning from Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green Airport when the pilot’s door suddenly blew open, sucking out anything that wasn’t strapped or screwed down.
Listen as Steve replays the incident, with the help of actual ATC recordings of the incident and explains how he rectified the situation (along with commentary from inside the cockpit as the problem is diagnosed and eventually resolved).
In this episode Steve talks about completing differences training on a new type of Microlight aircraft, the Ikarus C-42. Whilst it uses the same Rotax 912 4-cylinder engine that Steve is familiar with, the C-42 is a high-wing aircraft and has some notable differences when compared with the low-wing Eurostar EV-97 aircraft that Steve normally flies.
It took Steve a number of lessons with an instructor to get to grips with the change, but now completed Steve has access to a fleet of five aircraft thanks to the PPL hire scheme at the school where he rents his aircraft. This means more flying and more podcasts! Listen in and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple iTunes if you want new episodes instantly downloaded to your Apple device.
Fellow microlight pilot Adrian and I decided to see if we could make it to one of the local farm strips to the north of Barton.
Rossall Field, which is the base for attitude airsports, a small microlight school where flexwing, fixed wing and quite rarely, tailwheel microlight flying is taught, came recommended to us by another pilot. Rossall Field is a farm strip at Tarn Farm in Cockerham, Lancashire with 2 runways (both with reciprocal bearings). Runway 02/20 is 305 metres long and 11 metres wide, and there is a shorter 10/28 runway which is just 270 metres long. Compare that with Barton’s shortest runway (which I have operated from only once, during training) which is a generous 398 metres long and 60 metres wide!
Rossall Field is close to 2 other microlight sites and Cockerham’s parachute dropzone, so correct field identification is really important.
Spotting the site proved to be just as difficult as the time I tried to find Ince Airfield (still not landed there yet!). A grass strip with a farm next to it, from 2,000 feet looks pretty much like any farm with green fields! And there are lots of those in Lancashire!
One of the most common questions Steve is asked when people find out he is a private pilot is “Where can you fly?”
In this episode of the Ready for Departure podcast, Steve attempts to answer this question, which is not quite as straightforward as you might think. Steve attempts to dissect the complexities involved in planning a trip to a new airfield, such as flying through controlled airspace, flying somewhere new for the first time, how it all works in practice and even how long is comfortable to fly before a break!
Join Steve as he talks about where he has already flown this qualifying for his private pilot’s licence and where he plans to fly in the future. If you’ve always wondered where you can fly on a UK NPPL or EASA PPL licence, have a listen in to this episode of the podcast and you might find some inspiration for flights of your own.
Struggling with your training? Wondering if all the effort and expense is worth it? Steve explains what you’ll be able to do with your licence once you’ve qualified – definitely worth keeping the training going!
Steve discusses his latest flight, one he dubs The Liverpool Loop, since it involves a flight which starts and ends at City Airport Manchester (Barton) but follows the edge of Liverpool’s controlled airspace in a loop. The journey touches on the tip of North Wales and Steve even managed to negotiate a zone transit over the Airbus facility at Harwarden, where the Beluga Super Transporter is based.
Steve also talks about his recent learning points from flights he has taken since the last episode of the Ready for Departure Podcast aired, including a fairly significant safety omission from the start of one of his flights.
Listen in as Steve discusses problems with ipads, last minute changes to plans and making the best use of aircraft time.
In this episode of the Ready for Departure Podcast, Steve talks about his first two flights post-qualification, including his first flight with a passenger. Steve has now gained his UK National Private Pilot’s Licence (NPPL) and took Kat on a tour of the North West’s motorway network, since this was something she had requested to see from the air. A video of the flight is linked in the blog post which accompanies this podcast.
Steve walks through some of the things that went well with both flights as well as some of the things that didn’t go as well, including a couple of small mistakes, things he forgot and self-learning points for future flights with passengers. Faulty ipads, self criticism, dodgy radio calls and a failure to listen to a fellow pilot’s advice all feature. Listen now!
In this episode of the Ready for Departure podcast, Steve is joined by his first guest, his wife Kat. Join Steve and Kat in this special podcast episode where they talk about what is was like “from the other side” and how the support of his friends and family helped Steve during the difficult stages of his flight training.
Kat shares her own experiences of watching and supporting Steve while he learned to fly, all the while watching and wondering how much it was all costing! Now that Steve is qualified Kat is looking forward to going flying for the first time in a microlight and, as you will hear on the podcast, Kat wants to see lots of motorways….why? You’ll have to listen in to understand!
Steve has completed the final flight of his NPPL training for qualification of a his private pilot’s licence. It has been a long time coming and Steve describes some of the frustrations he experienced, talks about how impatient he became at times as his second and final qualifying cross country flight was cancelled numerous times due to weather and conditions. Not forgetting that the whole point of learning to fly is for fun, Steve reminds us how enjoyable flying across the country solo is and talks about his relief and happiness at finally reaching the milestone of qualification for the NPPL private pilot’s licence.
In this week’s episode, Steve talks about flying with his instructor to Sleap Airfield in Shropshire. Experiencing lots of new and different procedures for the first time proved to be a huge challenge, including navigating the extremely narrow Manchester Low Level Corridor, which is in between Manchester and Liverpool’s controlled airspace.
As a navigation flight (and preparation for his final Qualifying Cross Country flight), GPS and electronic navigation aids are forbidden! Therefore all navigation is done via map and dead reckoning, with all pre-planning done with just protractor, ruler and map.
The new procedures and flying to another new airfield put Steve outside of his comfort zone – listen and hear how Steve overcame these difficulties and successfully completed the flight.
We’re off to Welshpool airfield in mid Wales, with Rory as the passenger. Steve takes Rory for a trip in G-TIFG – an Ikarus C42 which he’s recently bought a share in. We depart Manchester Barton and head South down the Low Level Route to Welshpool for tea and cake in the cafe. It’s Rory’s first experience of Pilotaware and an EFIS too. I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s a link to Ben Atkinson’s channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6_TgDEdlm4eMHUAmte4OXQ
And here’s a link to the Flying Reporter’s video about airmanship, which Rory also mentioned. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVe9o_a6Cp4
Filmed with a Hero 7 Black & 2x GoPro Hero 5 Black cameras
Panasonic Lumix G80
Audio from a Zoom H1
Rory’s ‘new toy’ is a Feiyutech G6 Plus gimbal.
After a brilliant visit to Rossall Field in Cockerham, Lancashire (home to The Bay Flying Club), Adrian piloted us back to City Airport Manchester (Barton). Apologies for a little bit of bad language, but its not too bad 🙂 Full ATC from start to finish.
On Saturday 4th August 2018, Adrian and I flew G-CDOA (one of Mainair’s Eurostar EV-97 aircraft) from City Airport Manchester (Barton) to Rossall Field which is home to The Bay Flying Club in Cockerham, Lancashire. A very quiet but welcoming field, with the narrowest strip I have ever landed on. Well worth a visit.
NOTE: Some strong language about 4 minutes in. Fast forward if easily offended.
I call this “The Liverpool Loop”, since it involves a flight which starts and ends at City Airport Manchester (Barton) but follows the edge of Liverpool’s controlled airspace in a loop. The journey touches on the tip of North Wales and also includes a zone transit over the Airbus facility at Harwarden, where the Beluga Super Transporter is based.
Waypoints: Leigh Flash, M6/M58, Seaforth Docks, Point of Ayr, Flint Bridge, Hawarden Airport, Beeston Castle, Ashford Farm Airfield, Thelwall Viaduct.
Adrian and I took a Mainair Eurostar EV-97 to Caernarfon for the afternoon. Adrian flew there, I flew back. Real team effort and some great laughs along the way (some at the expense of Rory On Air, sorry Rory!!!)
Audio recorder storage was full, so unfortunately the ATC and headset comms cuts out half-way through.
Took my Mum for a flight over her home town (Whitefield) and then over to Southport pier before returning to land back at Barton on 26L. England were playing Panama in the world cup, so we are both wearing England caps (and I’m wearing an England shirt), to show our support. Even though we missed the match, as we took off at the same time as kick-off, England won 6 – 1 🙂
On 10th June 2018 I took my first passenger flying post-qualification. Kat wanted to see motorways and motorway junctions, since she used to work in Highways and spent a lot of time looking at motorways through cameras from the control centre. We flew over the M60, M62, M61, M65, M58 and M6 motorways.
Barton to Prestwich/Whitefield/Unsworth – Reebok – Leyland – Barton (via Chorley Lakes). My first solo flight post qualification for my NPPL licence. I flew over my house in Unsworth, routing abeam Heaton Park reservoir, over Besses, Hillock and Sunnybank before heading towards Bolton’s Reebok Stadium. From there, tracking the M6 up to the junction of the M6/M61/M65 before returning to Barton via the Chorley Lakes. Ended with a couple of touch and gos, just for practice.
I’ve written about the various planning applications submitted by the Mercedes dealership on Manchester Road many times before. I am again dismayed to see that the council have done nothing about the continued destruction of trees and green spaces by LSH Autos, who own that particular Mercedes franchise. The following planning application has been approved:…
Last night I sat on the candidate’s panel of the very first Unsworth ward local election debate, featuring the 3 candidates vying for your vote in the upcoming local election on Thursday 3rd May 2018. Seated from left to right, Satyen Sinha (Conservative), Steve Middleton (Liberal Democrat), Michael Hope (Spotted Unsworth: uncut & chair of…
On Monday 30th April, Spotted Unsworth: Uncut will be hosting a special Question Time-style debate. The three Unsworth ward local election candidates vying for your vote on Thursday 3rd May will be on the panel, to answer questions from the moderator and local residents. The debate starts at 7.30pm at Hollins Community Centre and the…
SIX Town Housing are inviting green-fingered residents to show off their gardening efforts in their annual competition. The competition aims to celebrate the hard work of residents living in homes Six Town Housing manage across Bury. The judges are looking for attractive gardens and impressive hanging baskets belonging to tenants, along with schools, youth clubs…
We don’t have a library anymore in Unsworth or Whitefield (Bury Labour closed them), however you can now download and read or listen to thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks from Bury libraries through Borrowbox. The following information is provided by Bury’s library service: Want to know more? It’s Borrowbox Week from 24 to 29 April,…
With thanks to the excellent Spotted Unsworth Facebook group, I am informed that Hollins Brow will be closing on Tuesday 8th May 2018 for approximately 5 weeks so that the council can re-surface the road. The diversion route will via Hollins Lane, Parr Lane and Sunny Bank Road to Manchester Road (and vice-versa).
The following planning application has been received by Bury Council for a development in Unsworth ward. Change of use from church hall (Class D1) to office with store and workshop area (Class B1) Open for Comment Unsworth Methodist Church, Hollins Lane, Bury, BL9 8AW Ref. No: 62667 | Received: Wed 04 Apr 2018 | Validated:…
Bury’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced cuts of £5.2 million for the financial year just started, towards meeting an expected £7.3 million deficit for the year. The cuts agreed are: Primary Care (GPs etc) £1.1 million – the largest items being: – Terminating the Vulnerable Patient Scheme, saving c£0.1m. – Terminating the Clinical…
Important Local elections take place on Thursday 3rd May 2018, so now is s good time to make sure you are registered to vote. Poll cards are being sent to all those who are currently on the electoral register. If you have not received a poll card in a couple of weeks, please contact 0161…
Several months after closing both Unsworth and Whitefield libraries, taking a whole bunch of community services with them when they went, Bury’s Labour party are patting themselves on the back and telling residents they’ve “saved” the buildings. In fact, the buildings are likely to be sold to the Elms Bank School and Elms Bank Specialist…
The second Bury LGBT Pride event takes place on Saturday 7 April and promises to be another fun-packed celebration of diversity. Pop icon Toyah Willcox is the headline attraction on this colourful occasion which features music, food, entertainment and a walking rainbow through the town centre. Tickets for Bury Pride are free and are available…
There are exciting times ahead at OASIS – the following information is provided by OASIS: We are looking to extend our opening hours and activities and have lots of great ideas for families, including after school groups, family film sessions, lunches and more. But in order to make these plans a reality, successful and affordable…
In an effort to reach relevant groups British Red Cross are asking local groups if they are willing to arrange first aid sessions for people who may come into contact with our targeted risk groups. Everyday first aid sessions are being offered, by the British Red Cross, strategically to people most likely to use their…
Local residents will now be receiving their council tax bills for the upcoming 2018/2019 financial year. I am sure many of you have noticed it has increased significantly compared to last year. At Bury’s Budget Council Meeting the proposals from the majority Labour Group were voted through. This is a Council Tax rise of 5.94% from…
At all meetings of Bury’s Full Council your team of Liberal Democrat councillors use the maximum entitlement to ask questions of the Councils Leadership. Questions at the most recent meeting included: Could the Leader of the Council please inform members now many school crossing patrols are currently not operational, and how many others do not…
I must admit, until recently, I did not know that Bury Council published a helpful map and list of routes across Unsworth and Bury that they have gritted. Given the recent bad weather, this may prove useful. Simply click on the map below to be taken to the Council’s website, where a updated and scrollable…
Young people aged 14 to 18 could enjoy the trip of a lifetime and represent Bury in the International Youth Sports Festival. The event gives talented boys and girls the chance to compete against those from Bury’s twinned and friendship towns in European countries, and experience new cultures and make lifelong friends. This year’s festival…
A global study of traffic and congestion published by INRIX has shown that Bury New Road (the A56) from Salford up to Prestwich is the FIFTH worst road in the UK for traffic congestion, outside of London. The A6 through Stockport is the 8th worst, the A560/A6 through Salford the 10th worst. More information INRIX and…
At the start of this year Bury Council closed 10 out of the 14 libraries across the borough, and slashed the opening times of the four that are left. Now community group, charities and schools are all eligible to select items which are no longer required by the library service. Those who are part of…
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