Episode 12 – Fun Frustration Impatience Relief and Happiness

Steve has completed the final flight of his NPPL training for qualification of a his private pilot’s licence. It has been a long time coming and Steve describes some of the frustrations he experienced, talks about how impatient he became at times as his second and final qualifying cross country flight was cancelled numerous times due to weather and conditions. Not forgetting that the whole point of learning to fly is for fun, Steve reminds us how enjoyable flying across the country solo is and talks about his relief and happiness at finally reaching the milestone of qualification for the NPPL private pilot’s licence.

Episode 11 – New Airfields New Procedures

In this week’s episode, Steve talks about flying with his instructor to Sleap Airfield in Shropshire. Experiencing lots of new and different procedures for the first time proved to be a huge challenge, including navigating the extremely narrow Manchester Low Level Corridor, which is in between Manchester and Liverpool’s controlled airspace. As a navigation flight (and preparation for his final Qualifying Cross Country flight), GPS and electronic navigation aids are forbidden! Therefore all navigation is done via map and dead reckoning, with all pre-planning done with just protractor, ruler and map. The new procedures and flying to another new airfield put Steve outside of his comfort zone – listen and hear how Steve overcame these difficulties and successfully completed the flight.

Episode 10 – Navigation

This week’s episode is all about navigation flying. Steve goes through his navigation training, from learning how to make the necessary wind and heading calculations manually (with nothing more than pen, paper, map, ruler and protractor) all the way through to completing one of his Qualifying Cross Country flights – a flight from City Airport Manchester (Barton) to Blackpool Airport on the west coast of Lancashire. Steve describes some of the difficulties he encountered mastering navigation. Listen as Steve discusses his progress through navigation training.

Episode 8 – Advanced Turns

Steve talks about his experiences with Advanced Turns in this week’s episode. As part of the NPPL syllabus, it is a requirement to be able to complete a turn at up to 60 degrees of bank angle. Very steep turns! Steve discovered that he was having an issue with the G forces that are pulled during the advanced turns. Listen as he describes how he overcame that problem. Steve also realised that while he had been shown how to do advanced turns in previous training flight, he actually hadn’t learned how to complete the manoeuvre on his own. Here, Steve talks about his first few attempts at advanced turns with his instructor and ultimately describes how he eventually completed advanced turns on his own.

Episode 7 – Radio Telephony

Radio Telephony, RT, is the subject of episode 7 of the Ready for Departure podcast. Steve explains how the RT qualification fits into the PPL syllabus and he talks about his experiences with the two exams, the written test and the practical aural examination with a CAA examiner. Using real-world examples of RT from City Airport Manchester (Barton), Steve explains some of the most common RT calls and how he learned the phraseology. Steve highlights the importance of listening to the radio as well as getting the calls right and refers to the example youtube video below, courtesy of Touchdown Point. The RT bible, CAP 413, Steve mentions in this podcast episode can be downloaded in PDF format here. Podcast episodes are released weekly. For early-bird access, why not make a small donation (a pound a month would help to fund some of our website hosting and bandwidth costs). You can do that by clicking here.

Episode 6 – weather

In this episode Steve discusses how the weather has played an important part in his flight training, whilst working towards the UK NPPL pilots licence. As well as talking about the meteorology exam that must be passed as part of the syllabus, Steve goes into how poor weather disrupted his training and how he took advantage of weather windows in order to make progress with his training. As Steve is a microlight pilot, he operates from a grass airfield and not only was Steve grounded during poor weather days, but at many times for several days after some bad weather, while he waited for the grass runways to recover. Podcast episodes are released weekly. For early-bird access, why not make a small donation (a pound a month would help to fund some of our website hosting and bandwidth costs). You can do that by clicking here.

Episode 5 – Overhead join

Join Steve for Episode 5 of the Ready for Departure podcast where he talks about his experiences trying to perform the overhead join for the first time. This was something that was a bit of a struggle to understand, however, after watching some videos, doing some reading and discussing the overhead join with his instructor, Steve was able to finally understand how it was supposed to be done, before performing it himself correctly and safely for the first time. Mastering the overhead join is an absolute must before leaving the circuit solo, so its a crucial step in the learning process. The YouTube video by the ‘Flying Reporter’ referred to in this weeks podcast episode is shown below. Podcast episodes are released weekly. For early-bird access, why not make a small donation (a pound a month would help to fund some of our website hosting and bandwidth costs). Credit Card Donations Enter a one-off donation amount in the box or use up/down arrows to select your donation amount   Direct Debit Donations (backed by the direct debit guarantee) Click here to set-up a regular direct debit donation of £1 a month Click here to set-up a regular direct debit donation […]

Episode 4 – Goin’ solo

In episode 4 of the Ready for Departure podcast, student pilot Steve Middleton describes his first solo. Steve discusses the build up to the solo and his feelings as he finally pulled it off, including a small issue as he came around to line up for his landing after one circuit.   Podcast episodes are released weekly. For early-bird access, why not make a small donation (a pound a month would help to fund some of our website hosting and bandwidth costs). Credit Card Donations Enter a one-off donation amount in the box or use up/down arrows to select your donation amount   Direct Debit Donations (backed by the direct debit guarantee) Click here to set-up a regular direct debit donation of £1 a month Click here to set-up a regular direct debit donation of £2 a month Direct Debits can be cancelled by you at any time.

Episode 3 – Circuits

Ready for departure is the new podcast aimed at student pilots or those thinking about starting flying lessons for the first time. In episode 3 of the Ready for Departure podcast, student pilot Steve Middleton describes his experience flying in the circuit for the first time. Listen as Steve talks through the different stages of the circuit from his perspective as a new trainee pilot. Steve recalls some of the common mistakes he made, such as forgetting to push the right rudder during take-off, climbing too steeply and struggling to steer in a straight line down the runway. Eventually Steve overcame these problems and even managed to learn acceptable radio telephony skills (with an example live RT recording included within the episode) so that when the time came to fly solo in the circuit, all his skills had come together, thanks to plenty of practice. Listen as Steve describes his circuit work.