A world of Ad­ven­ture Awaits

It’s time to es­cape the ev­ery­day world to en­joy true chal­lenges, real ex­cite­ment and last­ing re­ward

Pilot - - WHERE TO FLY GUIDE 2019 - and go

Our an­nual Where to Fly Guide is aimed at a broad spread of pi­lots and would-be fly­ers, from those who al­ready hold a Pri­vate Pi­lot Li­cence (PPL) to peo­ple who are just thinking about learn­ing to fly. There are few things in life to ri­val the hard-won priv­i­lege and plea­sure of pi­lot­ing a light air­craft – it’s a won­der­ful an­ti­dote to ev­ery­day life – so here’s the ques­tion for those who have yet to take the plunge: Isn’t it about time you were fly­ing your­self?

It doesn’t just stop at the PPL – a huge range of air­craft and many dif­fer­ent kinds of fly­ing are out there for you to dis­cover. While the choice of aero­planes to train on re­mains fo­cussed pre­dom­i­nantly on de­pend­able, proven high-wing Cess­nas and low-wing Pipers, a new gen­er­a­tion of light­weight, mod­ern and sporty two-seaters is be­com­ing more preva­lent.

If you have deeper pockets, there are he­li­copters like the US Robin­son se­ries and now the sleek lit­tle Guim­bal Cabri G2 from France to learn on – and maybe make the leap from fly­ing fixed-wing air­craft.

If a he­li­copter seems a step too far, there’s the au­t­o­gyro – or ‘gy­ro­plane’ as the CAA in­sists on call­ing it. Au­t­o­gy­ros have been around al­most as long as the aero­plane, but it has taken a new gen­er­a­tion of the safe and ca­pa­ble two-seaters like the MT-03 to trans­form au­t­o­gyro train­ing and bring it up to date. (For a quick guide to these and other typ­i­cal train­ing air­craft, see pages 13 to 16).

But where do you find a club or flight train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion? There are plenty to choose from – just take a look at our ex­ten­sive and up­dated clubs & schools list, which starts on page 35. If you are new to fly­ing, do take a look at the advice of­fered in ‘Choos­ing a School’ (p.7). There are now sev­eral kinds of pri­vate pi­lot li­cence avail­able, com­ing with dif­fer­ent lim­i­ta­tions and cost­ing more or less, de­pend­ing on – among other things - the type of air­craft you can train on and the num­ber of hours re­quired. You will need to make an in­formed choice as to which to go for, so do have a close read of ‘Which Li­cence’ (p.4).

Once they have their li­cence – a process that is chal­leng­ing and re­ward­ing in its own right – many pi­lots are happy sim­ply to use their air­craft like a tour­ing car, get­ting to know their local area

and then to branch out to fly to air­fields fur­ther away, or even to fly across the Chan­nel for lunch. Of­ten de­scribed as ‘a li­cence to learn’ the PPL can be the first step to fur­ther chal­lenges, in the form of ad­di­tional rat­ings, or even a ca­reer as an air­line pi­lot (see ‘Do you dream of be­com­ing a Com­mer­cial Pi­lot?’, start­ing on p.23).

With weather in the UK be­ing such a strong fac­tor, pop­u­lar op­tions to ex­tend the op­por­tu­ni­ties to fly in­clude train­ing to fly in instrument me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions (IMC) and at night. As well as instrument rat­ings and the night qual­i­fi­ca­tion there is the ‘dif­fer­ences train­ing’ that will al­low you to fly air­craft with ad­di­tional fea­tures like re­tractable un­der­car­riages, con­stantspeed pro­pel­lers, multi-engines, or even ‘glass cock­pits’ if you’ve not en­coun­tered the air­liner-like instrument lay­out be­fore.

Equally, you can in­dulge in a bit of per­sonal time-travel and en­joy fly­ing as it used to be in avi­a­tion’s ‘golden era’ of the 1920s and 30s, pi­lot­ing all kinds of ‘tail­drag­gers’ and open­cock­pit bi­planes, such as the Tiger Moth. On a hot sum­mer’s day or a balmy evening, what could be nicer than to make progress slowly above the coun­try­side with the wind in your face?

You may de­cide to go on to do aer­o­bat­ics for fun or com­pe­ti­tion; take up air rac­ing, com­pet­ing against air­craft of vary­ing speeds but all fly­ing to­gether in the same small airspace; fly the tug at a glider site; be the pi­lot of a para­chute air­craft; set dis­tance or height records; tow ban­ners up and down the coast on a sunny day; or be­come a dis­play pi­lot – there is a world of chal­lenge and ex­cite­ment to be ex­plored. Take a look at the op­tions avail­able in the fol­low­ing pages –

Your PPL will open the door to a new world...

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