All articles tagged as: flying

Security Theatre and the Airport

I've previously ranted about "security theatre" that we all suffer every time we fly anywhere so imagine my surprise that I write this airside at a major airport holding a bag that's not been X-rayed... how did I get here? That this is even possible, even as an exception, would seem to support that the hassle we go through at the airport is largely pointless. How did I get here? At security I followed the usual requirements like a good sheep (remove my laptop, iPad, don’t have any liquids etc etc) and yet my bag still ends up in the queue to be searched manually. Due to understaffing…

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Transavia, KLM and a couple of bags...

Some people will know I've had issues with KLM in the past specifically when their policy was to allow aircraft to depart with exit rows unoccupied; a situation EASA believe represents "an inadequate level of safety". Despite this, they're one of only three airlines that offer service from my local airport and then only one with a sensible (so I thought) connection for my upcoming trip to Portugal, so I find myself flying with them again and the issues start before I get to the airport! Baggage allowance Here is the picture used to illustrate baggage allowance on my upcoming flight;…

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G-BNHG, thank you.

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Today was my last flight in G-BNHG, the aircraft I flew my first ever solo flight in. Unfortunately, it's likely had one too many hard landings at the hands of students like myself – the front oleo collapsed and, since it's spent almost 12,000 hours in the air, it's not economical to repair. G-BNHG won't fly again (and it was never the favourite aircrafrt of most students) but for me, and for many other students, she will always be the plane who enabled me to take to the skies alone for the first time.…

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First Solo

Firstly, I hate selfies... and photos of me in general, but this is a moment I don't want to forget... Sitting on the taxiway for the first time, in a plane by myself this whole "being a pilot" things suddenly feels quite real, particularly since I'm lined up behind BA's dove. The day started off as any other lesson in the circuit, just a few normal touch and go's and we taxied back to the apron when my instructor hops out, engine still running, and suggests I do and do it again by myself. Procedurally, it's exactly what I've just been doing, the only difference is my first radio cal…

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Security Theatre, Brussels and Beyond.

Somewhat shocked by Brussels today... and, especially since I know people there just now, my thoughts are with all those caught up in it :( Although, as I've intimated to a few close friends for many years but not been stupid enough to put on a public forum, I'm not at all surprised it's happened. Airport security has, for a long time, been no more than 'security theatre' going through the motions to make people feel safe. It achieves nothing - the airport itself is as big a target (and much easier), the weakest point is surely that massive queue BEFORE security where there's a gathering of fa…

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the lighter side

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Considering another path to the skies — microlights. Yet again, this should probably have been written in 2010 (much like my first article) but this blog didn’t exist at the time, that’s my excuse anyway. I’ve wanted to learn to fly for many years and in 2007 had my first ever light aircraft flight back then in a De Havilland Chimpunk. The thing that put me off was cost, there was simply no way I could continue to afford to train towards my license at that time or that flying club, so it got put on the back burner for many years. In the three years that followed I changed job, moved house, got…

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Self-Help Exits on KLM

This article was originally posted elsewhere in Late 2015 I recently had cause to complain to KLM about something which, to me, was a safety concern. My concerns were completely ignored by KLM, despite parroting the usual line about safety being their top priority, it clearly wasn't. Four flights with them in two days, and there was some disparity in policy around emergency exits due to KLM's policy, which I appreciate is in line with all other airlines these days, of charging for exit row seats; First Flight The exit rows were unoccupied at boarding. The cabin crew helpfully selected a few in…

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a journey skywards…

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Originally posted on Medium, so although it says "I no longer maintain a blog", I clearly do... As many friends, family and acquaintances will know I recently embarked on a journey to get a PPL (Private Pilots License). Yes, not content with causing chaos on the roads I had to add a third axis... I actually had my first ‘trial flight’ in 2007, and since then had longed for a time I could afford to continue training. That opportunity presented itself in early 2014 when I started flying more regularly. I’ve seen a few good aviation blog posts dotted about and although I no longer maint…

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