Your instructor will, no doubt, have told you that your NPPL is only a licence to start 'learning to fly' and they were right. In these lessons we offer training in aspects that are outside of the syllabus and which many pilots shy away from because they have not been taught to handle them.
These are aimed at 'post licence' pilots but if you are a student and feel that you would like to include any of these in your training, have a word with an instructor - you can count the time towards your licence.
LARGER AIRFIELD WITH FLIGHT INFORMATION SERVICE
Just 22 NM from Membury is Cotswold Airport(Kemble). This is a large airfield with considerably more, and much more varied, traffic compared with Membury - it is also covered by a Flight Information Service (FIS) which is handled by a FISO on the radio.
With a reasonably short flight time, this lesson will add the experience of working with a 'formal' radio operator (but without the added pressure of a 'high level' controller - that can come later) and integrating with a busy circuit and airfield environment.
You'll get to see the vast collection of retired 747 aircraft which are parked around the boundaries of the airfield and quite possibly taxi past them as you depart.
Your instructor will brief you prior to the flight and prior to each radio call (if possible).
FULL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SERVICE
Aiming slightly higher up the scale than the FISO above, Gloucestershire Airport has a full Air Traffic Control Service complete with ILS (Instrument Landing System) on the primary runway. This level of control places more expectations on the pilot but opens the door to many more potential destinations in the UK.
Your instructor will brief you in advance and also, wherever time permits, prior to each radio call and will intervene in the calls ,if time is too short, to avoid confusing the controller. All aspects of your arrival and departure at Gloucestershire Airport will be under ATC control including taxiing, line up etc and by the end of this flight you will have gained the experience of how easily we can operate at such airfields with just the aid of some formal radio usage.
CONTROLLED AIRSPACE - LEVEL 1
Contrary to popular belief, Brize Norton is not a MATZ - it is Class D controlled airspace which means you cannot enter it without having clerance issued in advance. Having said that it is not normally particularly busy and the controller's requirements, therefore, are not especially stringent so it makes a good zone to gain experience in achieving clearance to transit the airspace.
We will aim to do two transits of Brize Notron zone - if desired we can extend this lesson to include a handover and a landing at Oxford Airport - with the instructor demonstrating the required radio procedures on the first transit and the student handling all of the radio work on the return leg. This will increase your confidence in talking to controllers for the purpose of making more airspace available to fly in.
CONTROLLED AIRSPACE - LEVEL 2
This is about the highest level of controlled airspace usage we can achieve with only one engine (and no instument rating etc) but it should be noted that both Heathrow and Gatwick now have class D airspace as their CTR's so we can, in theory, get clearance into even these incredibly important areas.
We will aim a little lower for this lesson though and we will fly into Southampton's CTR, down the western side of Southampton to the Test valley and then north, through Boscome Down's military airspace back to Membury.
To achieve this we will gain clearance into Southampton Zone including an upgrade to 'Radar Control' while inside their CTR and then a MATZ transit clearance from Boscome Down on the way back.
By the time you have completed this lesson you should feel much more comfortable with contacting any service available to you and following any clearance given with confidence. It opens up huge swathes of airspace which you probably would have avoided in the past as well as making some trips economically viable where, previously, the long way round option may have been prohibitive.
SHORT FIELD OPERATIONS
We are quite comfortable with available runways at Membury but many airfields, particularly microlight sites, have considerably shorter facilities. If you decided to fly into one of these would you be confident with the available landing and takeoff runs ? If the ground was wet, how much would this affect you ?
This lesson is structured to give you the ability to use your chosen aircraft in a very limited area and also allowing for soft or undulating ground. Many microlight competitions include short/spot landing elements and this is an ideal way to hone the required skills for these.
If you would like to do one of these as an experience flight (ie just to see what's involved) that's fine and the instructor will do most of the flying. If, on the other hand, you're looking to do this as a serious lesson then you should be a qualified pilot with a current licence or, if you are a student, you should be at the solo and out of the circuit stage of your training.
No radio licence is required since you will be covered by the instructor but some experience with using the radio is needed. All necessary navigation equipment will be provided.
With thousands of hours flying to their names, you'll be in safe hands with our experienced instructors.
Dave Cox (Coxy) teaches on fixed and flex wing aircraft at our base at Membury. Coxy is ex RAF and loves all forms of flying. He is a proficient aerobatics pilot, hang glider pilot, paragliding instructor and flexwing and fixed wing microlight instructor/examiner. Dave is our Chief Flying Instructor at Membury.
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Give us a call on 01488 208400 to find out more about learning to fly with Cloudbase Mightlighting