2015 Summary

A summary of my flying during 2015:

My 2015 goals were:

  • Make at least one trip to the Continent
  • Visit Caernarfon or another airfield for an extended stay
  • Continue to take part in more ‘sociable’ flying like Club fly-outs or visits to fly-ins
  • Make more use of the IMC rating to retain currency, both by carrying out flights that involve some portion in actual IMC, and carrying out both practice and real approaches into airfields that provide instrument approaches
  • Consider the addition of a Night Qualification to my license.
  • Reach the 200 hours P1 mark to enable me to carry out ‘Charity Flights’, initially for the PTA at Catrin’s school.

Regrettably, flying to the Continent still eludes me, although I did get to the point of fully planning and preparing for a flight to France with David, only to be foiled by a stomach bug of some sort the night before the flight. Using an aircraft as a means of transport for an extended stay somewhere also didn’t happen, although I did at least act as ‘Dad’s Taxi‘ service to take Catrin up to Caernarfon to visit family earlier in the year.

I also flew over 2 hours in real IMC this year, most notably on flights to Haverfordwest and Land’s End, where I elected to deliberately fly in cloud in order to brush up on the rusty IMC skills. I only completed a single approach during the year though, which is a little disappointing.

Kemble is now equipped for night flying, although only stays open late one night per week (currently Thursday). As such, the Night Qualification would still really just be a ‘box ticking’ exercise, rather than a rating that could actually be useful to me.

The Charity flight I carried out actually took me over the 200 hours P1 mark, which meant I would then be able to offer further flights without having to gain explicit permission from the CAA. However, not long after completing this flight, the CAA changed the guidelines so as to remove this requirement!

Particularly enjoyable were the multi leg flights I flew with Kev, David, Charlie and David again. These four days of flying amounted to a total of 12:35, just about half of the total number of hours flown in the whole year! It would be great to be able to make more flights such as these in the coming year, taking advantage of having another pilot alongside to either share the flying or just act as a knowledgeable passenger.

The main feature of this year was a real lack of consistent flying. Although this year’s hours flown was only a couple lower than last year, I needed to fly 5 Club currency checks (RAF Lyneham Flying Club’s rules require me to fly at least every 60 days, otherwise a check flight is needed). As such this meant that I had a number of short bursts of flying activity, each punctuated by fairly long breaks inbetween. There was no single reason for this, merely a combination of circumstances that prevented me from flying as often as I would have liked. The year has ended in much the same way, meaning that my first flight of 2016 is likely to be yet another currency check. Hopefully I can make this the only one I require next year!

Goals for next year (sadly, very similar to this year’s goals!)

  • Make at least one trip to the Continent
  • Visit Caernarfon or another airfield for an extended stay
  • Take part in more ‘sociable’ flying like Club fly-outs or visits to fly-ins
  • Make more use of the IMC rating to retain currency, both by carrying out flights that involve some portion in actual IMC, and carrying out both practice and real approaches into airfields that provide instrument approaches
  • Fly more consistently and regularly, reducing the need for frequent currency checks

Total flying hours: 281:40
Hours P1: 206:50

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