129.5 hours in the Aztec this year, about 15 hours in a class 6 ultralight in Spring to get the french ultralight rating and a bit of hitchhicking here and there. Quite a good year with amazingly very little maintenance problems between annuals. (well I just had a 4 months annual but that’s another story).
My goal for 2020 is to use the plane to support my beekeeping hobby. I’ve noticed that airports are usually quite open to the idea of setting up apiaries on their grounds (for all kinds of reasons) and I’m looking forward to installing hives next Spring on a couple of airfields.
Having airspace warning is not the main issue. I have EasyVFR which is a very similar product to SD. But neither will do airspace warnings on the aircraft intercom (not without a lot of messing around, connecting tablet audio to the aircraft intercom)
Connecting my iPad to my Lightspeed Zulu via bluetooth I get acoustic warnings using SD. You can even select your preferred accent!
Just concluded my flying year 2019 yesterday and today with a fantastic flight from Lübeck to Albenga and then back via Samedan.
Initially, I had a very slow start to 2019, with but one flight hour until the last week of March. But then it got going. In the end it came to about 85 hours. I believe this is an all time low for me, in 20 years, even though probably just by a tiny bit (usually about 90-100hours).
This was mostly because of two things: 1) when I do trips, I tend to no longer go to very far away destinations, as it either takes too many days or otherwise gets too tiresome and not worthwhile, and 2) I have spent a lot more time with my girlfriend and the kids this year.
So I don’t complain at all. I has again been a year with brilliant trips (Italy, Spain/Mallorca/France, Croatia/Bosnia/Italy/Switzerland),
in the Cirrus,
plus a lot of flying in other interesting types, including the https://www.euroga.org/forums/aircraft/10811-beechcraft-k35-bonanza
72 hours, IR unlocked which was the real goal for the year.
Learned not to trust grass with a Mooney. Nearly ready to get back in the sky and hoping for 50-60 hours of fun this year after all the lessons and mx misery.
86 total, that is with the plane stuck in Newfoundland for just over 2 months so none of the usual summer trips which rack up the hours…
met a girl who enjoys flying
Probably the most important thing
use the plane to support my beekeeping hobby
This is really cool! Let us know how it goes.
For me, an ok year: 38h, 17 new airfields, and only one one trip with the family. It’s become harder now there’s two children, so for 2020 I’ll be glad of anywhere I get to fly.
This is almost worthy of another thread….
Peter’s point is very valid indeed. As I said earlier I’ve flown almost 200 hours VFR this year, mostly around the UK and I’ve had 2 airspace busts. Compared to my last ten years of zero busts. Not quite true – I’ve had the occasional slip up, but never been caught. I am a very careful person, and I believe in talking openly about these issues. Like Peter, I genuinely think someone can’t fly 100 hours VFR and not make a tiny mistake! (Unless they are boring VFR pilots just staying local – like many instructors working out of a single field)
My two “busts” both came to nothing luckily. This is what happened:
1. On one of my many short helicopter flights between my home on the south coast and Redhill, flying under the Gatwick 1500ft zone. I received a phone call from NATS 3 days later accusing me of infringing their airspace. It was a very aggressive call, and I was genuinely surprised. They emailed me a radar trace showing I was at 1600ft. Note that there only appeared to be 100ft resolution, which is somewhat boolean in or out. I fly the route very regularly and there is NO WAY my altimeter was allowed to read over 1400ft at any point. So I started my own investigation – obviously even with confidence that the altimeter never read over 1400 (usually 1200-1300!), there are lots of other ways it could go wrong – wrong QNH, inaccuracies, etc. I first went to my Skydemon trace, and shockingly it actually showed I was only 20ft from busting with the max altitude shown at 1480ft. I sent this to the CAA who then very patronisingly sent me a document explaining how GPS altitude is inaccurate and doesn’t count. I then started paying incredibly detailed attention to my altimeter and the FL reading on the transponder – and it turns out it was almost always reading 150ft over the altimeter reading when set to 1013 – and I took some photos to prove it, however this only happened in flight and not on the ground. I then took a spare altimeter up with me and had it on my lap, turns out it was over-reading too whilst reading ambient cabin static versus outside static. I then concluded that the static line on my transponder might have fallen off… which it had. All this sent to NATS and CAA. The chief examiner of the CAA (helicopters) spoke to me about this, and told me it had to be put forward for prosecution. Then it vanished and I never heard anything again. As you can imagine, this was very stressful.
2. I flew to Newtownards VFR and ended up crossing south of the Isle of Man in very marginal VFR with heavy rain where I was pushed quite low. In sight of the coast, feeling relieved the stressful flight was over, I managed to clip Belfast during my descent and was in their airspace for approx 150ft for 10 seconds. On landing they phoned the tower, and I talked to them – I was grilled and again the manner was very aggressive. This was followed up by another phone call a few weeks later, and emails, and after I explained the weather (which I proved with various screen grabs) the matter went away again. This was entirely my fault, a small mistake, and in the old days I doubt it would have caused any bother at all. Oh, did I mention I had an ex-British Airways training captain navigating next to me?
On a third flight, I was flying between Liverpool and Manchester carefully watching a developed thunderstorm estimated 10 miles away. I flew right down the line of the airspace to keep maximum distance from the storm. Ideally I’d have been a few miles inside their zone for even bigger separation. It was a nice illustration to my student of how airspace CAUSES safety issues – as in my brain after the above ‘infringements’ I was prioritising keeping out of airspace over keeping away from thunder!!!
Anyway, onward to 2020, can’t let these things stop us flying. We just have to be as careful as we can be.
I’m heading on my last trip today (Sarajevo LQSA) and coming back tomorrow, so the year is still not over
On a third flight, I was flying between Liverpool and Manchester carefully watching a developed thunderstorm estimated 10 miles away. I flew right down the line of the airspace to keep maximum distance from the storm. Ideally I’d have been a few miles inside their zone for even bigger separation. It was a nice illustration to my student of how airspace CAUSES safety issues – as in my brain after the above ‘infringements’ I was prioritising keeping out of airspace over keeping away from thunder!!!Recall not long ago reading about a microlight pilot that filed a report on Chirp/MOR (?) when he was denied access to controlled airspace when asking due poor weather – possibly on the flyer forum?.
Ive twice had weather lead me to ask to enter airspace I wasnt previously planning to go into… So far always in France and the controllers bent over backwards to help.
I hope the UK “Keep out of all controlled airspace or you’re busted” mantra isnt leading to safety being compromised.