Sunday, December 30, 2012


At the start of 2012 I had no idea how exciting the year would be. I came over from Ireland with 45 hours JAA instruction which were spread over 11 years. 

Flight training was really good. I was lucky to find a great school with an excellent CFI.  However, I failed to prep for the new PTS which was released in June. As a result, I failed my checkride on the emergency procedures. A week later, I went back and nailed the flight.

Since then, I have never looked back. I have relished every 0.1hr in the sky to learn and improve my ATC and piloting skills.

Although there are many good memories, there are four highlights for 2012;

1 - Class Bravo Transition Through SFO
Within two weeks of passing my checkride, I found myself in the left seat of a C172SP transitioning the class bravo airspace over SFO. Talk about having to nail those RT's with ATC. GoPro Video

2 - #AOPA12
I really wanted to fly to KPSP, but it wasn't to be cost effective. I elected to drive. Really enjoyed meeting people from Twitter. Very much enjoyed having an article written about me. #AOPA12 Article

3 - KLUF Civil Fly In
Things like this don't happen to a low hour Pilot from England. Spending two days at Luke Air Force Base was simply the best thing I have done in the US so far. It was great being able to spend two days with them. Even better they allowed me to fly in there in a rented C172. GoPro Video

4 - Flying With Others
Since passing my checkride, I have not flown with an empty right seat. I have flown with over a dozen different people in the right seat. This has been very rewarding.

54hrs PiC
100.4hrs Total

145.9hrs - Total (including JAA + FAA)

Friday, December 28, 2012


Enjoy the two video's of my arrival and departure into KPHX earlier in the month.

Arrival Video - GoPro Arrival Video

Departure Video - GoPro Departure Video

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Class Bravo Airport

A couple of month ago I heard that a FBO based at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport were going to start holding monthly lunches. The good part - they were to waive the landing fees!!

I made arrangements with my local FBO to rent N54288. A week prior to the flight, I called Cutter to give them my tail number.

On the morning of the flight, I checked the TAF's. I knew there was a low pressure and cold front coming through, but it wasn't due until much later in the day. There was a window, but I was vary that the winds would pick up later.

I flew with another Pilot from the same flight school who had the same CFI. It was to be a great learning experience for both of us!

Inbound KPHX - Flight time 17mins! I called up PHX APP 10nm south. I was given a heading direct to base and cleared to land once approx 4nm out. I landed on 07R. Talk about a greased landing!

Lunch - Had a great $100 hamburger whilst watching the KPHX arrivals and departures. Spent about an hour on the ground enjoying the excellent service provided by Cutter.

Outbound KPHX - This was more complicated. I screwed up the Clearance Delivery RT with ATC. But I recovered. I then encountered poor visibility on the way back and had to deviate to remain in comfortable VFR conditions. I arrived back after 30mins to a windy CHD. I really felt that I put my Pilot skills to the test on this flight.

The monthly flight into Cutter is now on my schedule for 2013! This was probably one of my last flights for what has been a tremendous year in Arizona in terms of flying. Roll on 2013!!

14nm Trip

Base Entry 07R

Landing 07R

A Personal Welcome From Cutter

Cutter Ramp Photo

Departing KPHX

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fat Albert visiting Arizona

Yesterday was exciting enough taxiing behind Paul Bonhomme at CHD. Didn't think it would get any better than that.

Today I visited KIWA to see Fat Albert on the ramp!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paul Bonhomme

Went flying today. First flight in two week. I was on the GND freq, shortly after receiving the latest wx info. I heard a British accent on the radio requesting taxi clearance to the active runway. I didn't think anything about it until I saw a British flag on the tail. I couldn't believe my luck. I had just taxied behind Red Bull Air Race British Pilot Paul Bonhomme!!!

Paul Bonhomme