Archive | February, 2013

Video clips of me instructing

20 Feb

Put together a video of my friend & myself instructing. Starts off at Hinton Airfield, Northamptonshire followed by different clips of us instructing over Oxfordshire & ending back at Hinton. Filmed using a Go Pro 2 camera.

Videos are available on Air Experiences with Go Fly Oxford, click here to find out more.


Getting a FAA piggyback license on your JAR/EASA PPL

19 Feb


After having a couple of people asking about the process of getting a FAA license on your foreign Pilots License I thought I would try to explain the process a little more. The guys at Go Fly Oxford can help you with the preperation. Remember this is not for someone wishing to gain there EASA PPL in the states, rental only and it needs to be done about 3 months before you intend to fly over the USA:

So you have a JAR/EASA PPL (a) and want to fly N reg aircraft in the USA (hour building or just for fun), first off you need to decide where in the USA you want to start off at, most people tend to go to either the East or West coast to places like Florida, California or Arizona. Have a look around on the internet at different places you can rent from, below is a couple of links to some more used ones:




With all places you look at going to there is a couple of things to check:

  • Is Sales Tax is included in the price?
  • If one aircraft goes tech, do they have others to offer you?
  • Find out what the weather is doing for the time of season you plan on going.
  • Fuel Surcharges?
  • If you planning on taking the plane for long periods, 3-4 days then check that they allow that.
  • Find out what others thought of the School/rental company.

The first thing you need to do is apply to have your current license verified by the FAA. Go to the FAA website: and click on ‘Licenses & Certificates’. After that, click on ‘Airmen Certification’. Once there, find the link to ‘Verify the Authenticity of a Foreign License, Rating, or Medical Certification’ download the PDF on that page.

While filling out the form it will ask which Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) you wish to make your application too. Each flying school you go to might have a different FSDO depending on where it is located, use this link to locate the one nearest to your place of rental.

You can submit the form once completed via post (not recommended) or by Fax (number is located on the ‘Verify the Authenticity of a Foreign License, Rating, or Medical Certification page’.

The next thing that will happen is you will be sent a ‘Letter of Authenticity’ from the FAA, which you must take to the place you are renting from. A duplicate of this letter will also be sent to the FSDO you have applied to. The FAA says to allow at least 90 days for the letter to come. It usually takes a lot less time but plan ahead.

You also need to contact the CAA to allow them to give your details out the FAA which there is a charge for (obvious one!). Fill out these two forms: SRG1160 & SRG1187 and send to the CAA.

Upon your arrival you can set the appointment and go to the FSDO you applied to, to have the certificate issued. However, be aware, they do not do this on the weekends. If your schedule is tight, you can set the meeting in advance. You do not need the license to do the Flight Review and checkout (which is required at all rental places). You will need it before you can go Solo. The FSDO office has no way of tracking your incoming letter. They only know when it arrives. There is a process on the FAA website to check the status of your letter.

Once you finish your trip and you are back in the UK you will get a nice credit card sized license which is your piggyback FAA license.

Go Fly Oxford Flying School

Flying in the USA

18 Feb

Two years ago I went over the Arizona, USA to do some flying as it was $82 an hour wet and no landing fees. I thought I would share some photos from my amazing time over there. All flying was done in several different Piper PA28-160’s that I rented from Chandler Air Service who are located in Chandler Airport (KCHD), just outside of Phoenix.

I already had a Private Pilots Licence (PPL) at the time so to be able to fly in the USA I had to get a FAA license that was a piggyback off my then JAR PPL. To get this you need to do a small written paper and have a check flight by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Instructor. You then pop down to the local Flight Standards Districts Office (FSDO) which for me was in Scottsdale just 30 min drive away. Here you fill out a few forms and they issue you with a temporary FAA ticket which you can fly on and your credit card sized license is posted to your home. Before you go over to the USA you must contact the FAA and the CAA (after paying a small sum!) to allow the paperwork to start.

If you would like any more information on the process the please add a comment below and I will be in touch to help.

Now to the photos, its like nothing you will see in the UK:

ImageA big lake to the North West of Phoenix.

ImageHeading to Sedona Airport (KSEZ), you can just make it out to the left of the photo.

ImageDuring the trip I was flying single engine piston (SEP) and this was one of the many moments that I prayed that the prop kept on spinning!

ImageNo photoshop or editing, just beautiful.


Overhead Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport (KPHX) heading North.


Meteor creator at the far North of Arizona, to give an idea of scale, on the left rim of the creator is a restaurant.

ImageCheeky weekend in Vegas, landed at North Las Vegas Airport (KVGT).

I have lots more photos if anyone would like to view some more, please comment.

Go Fly Oxford Flying School

Theme change

18 Feb

I have decided to change the theme of my blog as before you could not navigate to older posts unless you scrolled all the way to the bottom. This new one has a sidebar that can show older posts on other things.

Let me know what you think!

Day out in a Piper Cub!

17 Feb

Had a fantastic Sunday, Damien who owns a share in a lovely Piper Cub dropped me a text about going flying from Hinton Airfield where Go Fly Oxford – the north London flying school is based, this was the second time he had offered and couldnt say no at all!

We left Hinton at around 1pm and headed East to Cranfield (EGTC), not been a passenger in a light aircraft in quite some time so it was nice to take in the scenery and be in a real plane with a basic instrument fit. Cranfield is home to three flying schools; Cranfield Flying SchoolBillins Air Services & Pilot Flight Training Cranfield. I did my Commercial Pilots License (CPL) at Bonus Aviation (based at Cranfield) which sadly went bust last year.

The Cub wont win any prizes for speed but its short field performance is remarkable and so are the running costs. The engine is only 85 hp but with us two and nearly full fuel it still climbed well and cruised around 85 mph. I think I might soon be off to Clacton Aero Club to do my tailwheel conversion as I don’t think I have had such a nice flight in a long while.

ImageAfter landing at Cranfield before popping to the Cafe for lunch with one of Damien’s friends who works in ATC at Cranfield.

ImageHeading West back to Hinton Airfield.

ImageBelieve it or not, the metal rod sticking up is the fuel gauge, as the fuel drains the rod goes down, simples…


All smiles in the front! In the Super Cub, P1 sits upfront but in the Cub P1 is at the rear for weight and balance. The fuel tank in the Cub is just behind the engine while in the Supers its in the wing area.

ImageComing back into land at Hinton on runway 15.

ImageFuelling up at the end of the day. All taken with my iPhone.

Atmospheric Research Visit

14 Feb

Was given the opportunity by a friend to have a wander around a highly modified BAe 146-301 Atmospheric Research Aircraft at Cranfield Airport today. As you can see from the photos it boggled my mind on how much kit etc is onboard!





Many thanks Guy!

EASA Medical Details

13 Feb

Well it’s that time of year again and need to renew my Class 1 medical as depending on age is only lasts a maximum of one year. Your initial Class 1 which is required for commercial work must take place at the CAA building at Gatwick. After that you are able to renew at you local Aeromedical Examiner (AME), below is a link which is useful at finding where your nearest one is:

If you are training for a Private Pilots License (PPL) you do not require a Class 1 and a Class 2 is fine. Your initial Class 2 can be conducted at your local AME (she link above) and is valid for more than a year depending on age.

The link below is to the CAA medical section of the website and gives you all the information you need:

Go Fly Oxford Flying School

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