VFR on top – flying above the clouds

Flying ‘VFR On Top’ is when you’re flying under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) but on top of the cloud layer. I’m not a big fan of this (as you will see in the video below). When the cloud started closing in on me up ahead, I had no choice but to divert off my track and […]

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Aborted takeoff – another plane on the runway?

At Latrobe Valley Airport, Australia, the other day I was lining up my Piper Cherokee ready for takeoff after another aircraft had just landed. Latrobe Valley has an interesting layout in that at one end of the runway sometimes you can’t see the other, as shown here in the extract from ERSA:     After starting my takeoff […]

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Bad landing and a go around – Moorabbin to Latrobe Valley

The winds were variable at 4 Knots, no turbulence to speak of, and the circuit wasn’t all that busy. But despite everything acting in my favour I still managed to bounce a landing at Latrobe Valley Airport today forcing me to take the only viable option and go around. After a circuit back around the airfield the second attempt […]

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Flying over Melbourne City at night

I passed my Night VFR checkride back in September 2015 but since then I haven’t exercised the privileges of the rating for my own private flights. So last night I hired a Piper Warrior through the Royal Victorian Aero Club, did a few refresher circuits with one of their instructors to shake off any rust, then took off and […]

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Radio problems in cockpit – flying without a radio

On what started out as a fairly normal flight from Tooradin Airport to Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne’s South, my radio suddenly started to produce a loud and constant static noise. After departing the airport and established in the cruise I started on some troubleshooting checks to determine the problem. Follow along in this video to work out […]

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[VIDEO] Moorabbin to Tooradin – Piper Cherokee

It was a rare sunny Sunday morning in Melbourne so I booked a Piper Warrior to go and check out a local airfield called Tooradin. It’s a short hop from Moorabbin, around 20nm, but I opted to add a few extra miles by tracking via Yaringa Yacht Marina just to avoid Melbourne’s busy training area. Going that way took me […]

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[VIDEO] Melbourne City Orbit and Overflying Avalon – first solo Melbourne flight

After moving to Melbourne a couple of months ago and doing a couple of practise flights with an instructor to get familiar with the airspace, the time had come (and more importantly the rain had gone) for me to take my first solo flight around Melbourne. The weather has been pretty lousy recently so this was my third attempt at […]

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[VIDEO] Getting kids into flying – Sydney Harbour Scenic

I think any pilot who is around kids, be they your own children, nieces/nephews, friends’ kids or whatever, would find it hard not to feel a certain compulsion to share your love of aviation with them. They’re the future of aviation after all. Us 40-something weekend warriors (speaking for myself) only really have another 20 years flying ahead of […]

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Night VFR Rating – checkride passed

Finally! After training for 4 months experiencing unserviceable aircrafts, weather cancellations, flights that only made it as far as the run up bay, ‘severe’ mountain wave turbulence in the dark, high stress levels wearing foggles trying to calculate outbound NDB intercepts, and 3 prior date changes for the test… I finally flew and passed my Night VFR […]

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Red Baron flyaway to Milawa, Victoria

To celebrate our Chief Flying Instructor’s big 4-0, a group of pilots and planes from Red Baron went on a flyaway to Northern Victoria’s Wangaratta wine region over the weekend. Three aircraft flew down on Friday afternoon and I joined the rest of the team on Saturday in VH-TPL, the Piper Cherokee that I’ve been using for my Night VFR […]

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