Climate Alarmism & Making Air Travel Difficult and Expensive

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Are the G7 leaders deliberately making air travel difficult and expensive for most of us, or at least doing nothing to prevent that outcome because it suits their climate alarmism agenda?

In June 2020 I made a video entitled “Air Travel After Covid 19.  The impact of Coronavirus on aviation”. Watching it now it seems very naive as I explained that, with lockdowns coming to an end and travel restrictions lifted, air travel would bounce back stronger than ever and general aviation too would see a boost.

How wrong was I! A year later, in the summer of 2021, the aviation industry remained deeply wounded.  Tens of thousands of pilots, cabin crew, airport staff, and all manner of people in the ancillary industries were either still furloughed or had been made redundant with little prospect of returning to work in the industry they loved.

Summer 2022

Today, in the summer of 2022, the aviation industry is still under immense pressure. There have been chaotic scenes at international airports like Manchester and Heathrow where queues have built up at immigration or baggage reclaim. These have been blamed on staff shortages, with the airlines blaming the government for diverting too many of its Border Force staff to other duties (e.g. dealing with illegal immigration), and the government blaming the airlines for not re-hiring staff they laid off during the pandemic.

Flights have been missed as long queues into Departures have built up. People have fainted in the queues, children are distressed, and scuffles with staff have broken out

Meanwhile, airlines have cancelled dozens of flights leaving families and other travelers frustrated and out of pocket. Heathrow and Gatwick have told some airlines to cut their schedule by 10% to give them any hope of coping with the throughput of passengers.

As if that wasn’t enough there have also been more IT problems and now the threat of strike action by air crew, cabin crew, and baggage handlers during the peak summer season when the schools are off and families want to head off on holiday.

Threats to the Airline Industry

So we can summarise all these threats thus:

  • Staff shortages at airports e.g. immigration staff and baggage handlers
  • Staff shortage within airlines e.g. pilots and cabin crew
  • IT problems causing delays and cancellations
  • Lingering Covid restrictions deterring travel
  • Strikes by airline staff
  • Strikes by airport staff
  • Public perception of air travel as a climate threat
  • Rising prices due to demand remaining high while supply drops

Climate Change & Climate Scientists

You run the risk of being run out of town for being a heretic if you challenge the climate change narrative, but let me nail my colours firmly to the mast anyway.

Yes, the climate is changing and it will change again, but I don’t believe that there’s much we can do to stop it. If global average temperatures are rising then it’s probably more to do with our Sun than the burning of fossil fuels.

I do not subscribe to the idea that minutely supposedly reducing one’s carbon emissions by turning down the thermostat or not flying off on holiday is going to save the planet. Reducing energy consumption might save you some money, but it won’t prevent global warming.

Having said that, I do think we should switch to renewables and nuclear due to the average health and safety risks of fossil fuel mining.

When extreme weather and climate related disasters occur the media and those with a vested interest in promoting the alarmist agenda are quick to point to these events as if they provide more proof of their cause. “Give us your money and we can prevent heat deaths” is the sort of message we can see repeated in the years ahead.

I think climate alarmism is being used to generate wealth for a few, tax the many, and hinder our rights to free travel, and even free speech. Climate science has become an ideology, a new religion, and as such it has its zealots who won’t tolerate any questioning of the dogma.

No, I’m not a scientist but there are plenty who have spoken out but are rarely seen or quoted in the media. Take for example Dr. Judith A. Curry. She is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The climate is going to change independent of what we do with emissions. People think climate change equals the CO2 control knob. With that kind of thinking, we’re bound to be surprised by what happens with the 21st century climate. I won’t even hazard a guess as to whether something really crazy will happen, or whether it could be relatively benign. A lot of people are talking about a solar minimum in the mid to late 21st century that could very well happen and have a significant impact. We just don’t know. Thinking that we can control the climate is misguided hubris.

Interview 30 January 2021

Priority Tasks for Planet Earth

Instead, I believe our time and other resources should be used to press on with these tasks:

  • Cleaning up the oceans (including removing an estimated 1.6 billion discarded face masks)
  • Plant millions of trees in those areas where they’ve been removed
  • Plant trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs in our urban areas
  • Remove all the litter and fly tipping in our urban areas and countryside
  • Protect and preserve rare and endangered species of all types including plant life
  • Protect and preserve the remaining wilderness areas
  • Build more small scale, easier to produce nuclear power plants
  • Build more localised renewable energy systems
  • Encourage homes of all sizes to grow a small amount of food, from a few herbs in a window box to full scale vegetable and fruit gardens
  • Use technology and innovation to find ways to adapt to climate impacts

I could go on but you get the general idea. There are some areas where these ideas coincide with what the climate scientists and the latest intergovernmental panel are suggesting we do. The main difference is though there’s no need for catastrophising, doom-mongering, or scaring our children and teenagers.

An empty airport and empty skies delight some people
Photo by Jacques Le Gall on Unsplash

Impact of Travel Restrictions on Aviation

Here’s what I said in June 2020 in that video:

“It doesn’t take an expert to work out that the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry has been nothing short of catastrophic. The effect has been disastrous for General Aviation as well as the airline industry and holiday companies.

I’m not going to mention all the statistics about the percentage drop in flights, income and so on, and you’re probably already aware of how vital aviation is for the global economy. As I’ve explained in previous videos, there are many ancillary services that rely on airlines and air travel, from the taxi drivers to the hotel staff, from the caterers to the cleaners.

The extra fuel of government job retention schemes, grants, and loans have lessened the damage, but they all must be paid for by either higher taxation or more borrowing. For anyone with ambitions involving a future within the aviation industry, whether as a pilot, cabin crew, engineer, or ground staff, this must be a very worrying time.

For the aviation industry it has been far worse than 9/11 and it will take a long time for it to regain altitude. Grounded aircraft not only fail to generate any income, but they drain cash reserves due to the ongoing cost of the essential maintenance required to keep them airworthy and ready to return to service immediately when lockdown is lifted. 

Orders for new aircraft have been cancelled, thousands of jobs have been lost, and careers have been put on hold. Airbus has suggested that it may take as long as three to five years for the aviation industry to recover to pre-pandemic levels.”

Well, if things were bad then they were far worse by 2021.  Airlines were wound up and the industry was on its knees. But why?  Why was this being allowed to happen?  Why was the aviation industry not getting the level of support it needed?

Coercion and Social Engineering

In the Spring of 2021 I began to wonder at the reason the government had issued contracts to  behavioural scientists and tasked them to change our behaviour and habits in order to comply with what they believe to be the right response to the pandemic – a pandemic that is not only mild but now such a low risk that it makes all the restrictions on our lives seemed over-cautious, authoritarian, and sinister.

This coercion worked and those who refused to comply were shamed for being selfish and worse.  Anyone who expressed the wish to travel or live freely ran the risk of being called out as being selfish and irresponsible.

These same governments have taken the subject of climate change to heart and they have set themselves (or agreed to) ambitious targets to cut CO2 emissions by certain dates. That being the case, could it be that the government was quietly pleased that they had managed to ground so many aircraft (and keep cruise ships in port) because it suited the climate alarmist agenda?

Is relaxed, enjoyable, and affordable air travel become a rarity?
Image by Hands off my tags! Michael Gaida from Pixabay

The Traffic Light System

They allowed some travel but they made it difficult and expensive, putting it out of reach for those who scrimp and save all year for that two week holiday in the sun or anyone else who simply wants to visit another country but who can’t afford the extra fees for various tests.

Then, having established the traffic light system and opened up travel on May 17th 2021 they threw another spanner in the works in the first week of June by moving Portugal from the green to the amber list. These caused enormous frustration and stress for travellers, the air and tourism industries, and holidaymakers.

Later in June 2021, as leaders and their vast entourages flew by private aircraft into the UK for the G7 summit in Cornwall they trolled us by posing with facemasks and performing elbow-bumps for photos before mingling and partying in complete contradiction to all the restrictions we plebs are supposed to stick to.

The Climate Alarmism Agenda

It is my opinion the UK government is indifferent to the damage caused to the aviation industry because it suits their climate alarmist agenda. They are willing to allow at least some airlines to die.  They want to make flying an expensive luxury or a business necessity, out of reach of those on low incomes. 

It may be that the ongoing skyrocketing fuel prices are being used in the same way. “Wean them off air travel and using private transport by making both methods difficult and expensive!”

Just as they did for the pandemic they will employ the same methods coerce people into choosing not to travel abroad (by whatever means of transport). Meanwhile, the ‘climate justice activists’ will shame people who do so by portraying them as selfish and uncaring about the supposed impact on the environment.

I feel my opinion was vindicated when I spotted this article by Ross Clark in the Daily Telegraph on June 11th, 2021.

Are climate lobbyists behind the Government’s perverse determination to keep planes grounded?” Is the Government slyly using Covid as an opportunity to wean us off foreign holidays in the hope of achieving its net zero targets?

Ross Clark, The Daily Telegraph, 11 June 11th 2021

And another that appeared in August:

Is Covid being used as an excuse to stop cheap travel? From red list chaos to expensive tests and complicated rules, these new restrictions are unlikely to end when the pandemic does.

Ross Clark, The Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2021

Restrictions That Remain Enforced

Am I paranoid?  Look how much has changed since March 2020.  Look how many restrictions are still in place and how many times we were told that we just had to be patient. Just as 9/11 resulted in security restrictions that have never since been lifted, regardless of the actual threat level or how little impact they may make on mitigating any risk, so too will Covid restrictions remain enforced for a long time.

We are being conditioned and socially engineered to meet the next big scare story that will dominate our lives in the 2020s – climate alarmism.

When the pandemic alarmism eventually fades it will be replaced with climate alarmism. It’s already a subject that is ingrained into the public consciousness with few bothering to question the science behind it. 

We’ve seen the same kind of inaccurate modelling in which dire predictions are churned out, fail to materialise, and are quickly forgotten. Those who do speak out even if it’s only to ask questions or put forward alternative interpretations of the data are quickly de-platformed or censored for daring to question the narrative. The term ‘denier’ already carries the loaded implications that the person who questions climate change science is irrational and even dangerous.

2022 and beyond

If I’m wrong about this the worst that can happen is that I’ll end up with egg on my face and a year from now air travel will be buoyant again. But if I’m right then leaders within the aviation and other transport industries are going to need to mobilise and communicate in order to resist the sledgehammers being taken to their industries.

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The Best Pilot Watches For Aviators, Non-Flyers, and Collectors

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While there are many different brands and styles to choose from, some of the best pilot watches available today come from renowned watchmakers like Breitling, Omega, and TAG Heuer. These timepieces combine classic design with modern sensibilities, resulting in a truly stunning watch that can be worn on any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated dress watch or a rugged everyday timepiece, a pilot watch is sure to impress.

Pilot watches are some of the most popular and coveted styles. Dating back to World War I, these timepieces were originally designed for aviators and featured large, easily readable faces and sturdy construction. Today, pilot watches continue to be highly sought-after by watch collectors and enthusiasts.

The Wide Appeal of Pilot Watches

While the origins of the aviator watch are firmly entrenched in the world of aviation, these timepieces have become popular with people from all walks of life. Thanks to their distinctive design, aviator watches are immediately recognizable, and they often evoke a sense of adventure.

But there is more to these watches than just their good looks. Aviator watches are typically constructed with high-quality materials, and they often offer a variety of features that are designed to make them both durable and functional. For example, many aviator watches feature luminous dials that make them easy to read in low-light conditions. As a result, they can be an excellent choice for anyone who wants a dependable watch that also has a bit of style.

For some, watches are old fashioned. They were none at all or they wear watches that are state of art devices that monitor the hearbeat and perform all kinds of other functions unrelated to timekeeping. Some take the view that a watch is just a watch and they don’t see the attraction.

The appeal of collecting pilot watches is that there are many to suit any budget and they could just be a worthwhile investment. You can start with a single watch representing what pilots wear today or what they wore years ago. A pilot’s chronograph is a good place to start.

The Market for Aviation Watches

The aviation watch market is quite diverse, with different brands catering to different demographics. For example, Breitling is a popular choice among pilots and other aviation professionals, while watches from brands like Casio are more popular among budget-conscious consumers.

The buyer of an aviation watch might be a modern pilot or an aviation enthusiast, but they could just as easily be military pilots and professional pilots working for the airlines, and that’s their appeal. The model of pilot watch on the wrist of a Royal Air Force or USAF fighter pilot might also be worn by someone who just loves aviation.

Regardless of their price point or feature set, aviation watches are worn by people who have a need or desire for a highly functional and durable watch, or who see it a fashion accessory. You only have to see the videos advertising Breitling watches in which they use a P-51 Mustang or some other World War II warbird to see the appeal they are generating.

Pilots Watches as Fashion Accessories

In recent years, aviator watches have become increasingly popular as fashion accessories for men. While the original purpose of these watches was to provide pilots with a clear and legible display of time, they have now become highly sought-after style items. There are a number of reasons for this trend.

Firstly, aviator watches are generally very stylish and sophisticated, with a minimalist design that is both masculine and modern. Secondly, they are often very well-made, using high-quality materials such as stainless steel or titanium. And thirdly, they often come equipped with a range of useful features, such as chronographs and GMT functions. For all these reasons, aviator watches make an excellent addition to any man’s wardrobe.

Best Pilot Watches – Examples

From the ancestors of today’s popular brands to modern homages, here is a selection of collectable watches.

  • Longines Weems Second-Setting Watch
  • Breitling Montbrillant Datora
  • Omega Boeing Chronograph
  • Tutima M2 Chronographs
  • Sinn 356 Fliegerchronograph
  • Stowa Fliegerchronograph Klassik 40
  • Laco Augsburg Type B Dial
  • Alpina 4H
  • Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback
  • BALL Engineer Master II Aviator GMT Chronometer

These watches represent a wide cross-section of timepieces that were either made at the time or take their design inspiration from WWI and the inter war period. They set the standard for what a pilot’s watch should be: accurate, easy to read, and durable enough to withstand the rigors of flight. While some have been lost to time, others have been kept in pristine condition and are highly sought-after by collectors today.

Pilots Watches Post World War II

While the technologies used in pilot’s watches have changed dramatically since World War II, the watches themselves are still an essential part of a pilot’s kit. In fact, many of the best pilot’s watches on the market today are based on designs from that era. Here are ten examples of iconic pilot’s watches from World War II:

  1. The B-Uhr, or Beobachtungsuhr, was a pilots watch used by the German pilots serving in the Luftwaffe German Air Force during WWII. It was a pocket watch designed for navigation and featured a large dial with easy-to-read markings.
  2. The A-11 was a standard issue watch for pilots in the U.S. Army Air Forces during WWII. It was rugged and accurate, and its simple design made it easy to use in flight.
  3. The Rolex Oyster is a classic watch that was popular with aviators in the 1940s. Its waterproof case and self-winding mechanism made it ideal for use in cockpit.
  4. The Omega Speedmaster is another classic pilot’s watch that dates back to the 1940s. It is renowned for its accuracy and durability, and was even worn by astronauts on the Apollo 11 moon mission.
  5. The Breitling Navitimer is a iconic pilot’s watch that was first introduced in the 1950s. It features a rotating bezel that can be used to perform mathematical calculations, making it an essential tool for navigation.
  6. The Patek Philippe Nautilus is a luxury watch that was introduced in the 1970s. Its unique design, with its porthole-inspired case, made it an instant classic.
  7. 7. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XI is a modern reinterpretation of the original Mark XI from 1948. It features a simple design and a robust movement, making it an excellent choice for pilots.
  8. The Panerai Luminor is a luxury watch that is popular with aviators and collectors alike. Its unique design features a large case and an easy-to-use crown guard.
  9. The Breitling Superocean is a modern take on the classic dive watch. It features a water-resistant case and a unidirectional bezel, making it an ideal choice for pilots and divers.
  10. The Tudor Black Bay GMT is a retro-style watch that pays homage to the original Tudor dive watches from the 1950s. It features a vintage-inspired design and a robust movement, making it an excellent choice for collectors.

Aviation Watches of the Modern Era

The jet age changed the face of aviation, and watches had to keep up. In the early days of jet-powered flight, pilots needed a watch that could withstand the rigors of high-speed travel. As a result, many aviation watches were adapted from existing military models. These watches were typically rugged and reliable, with large faces and easy-to-read numerals.

Over time, however, aviation watches became more specialized. Today, there are a variety of watches designed specifically for pilots, with features such as anti-reflective coatings and luminous hands. Whether you’re a private pilot or a commercial airline captain, there’s an aviation watch that’s perfect for you.

Steve Mcqueen’s Watches

For many, Steve Mcqueen epitomised on-screen masculinity and his enduring appeal is reflected in the continuing popularity of his clothing style and accessories. In particular, the watches he wore in his film make them collectable items.

  • Rolex Submariner 5512 – The Towering Inferno
  • Gruen Precision – The Getaway
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox – Thomas Crown Affair
  • Rolex Speedking – The Great Escape
  • Heuer Monaco 1133 – Le Mans

Component Parts of an Analog Watch

Analog watches have been around since the jet age, when they were first used by pilots and other military personnel. Today, they remain a popular choice for both men and women, thanks to their classic design and durability. Here’s a look at the various components that make up an analog watch:

The watch face is the most visible component of the watch. It is typically made from glass or mineral crystal, which is scratch-resistant. The face may also include markings for the hours, minutes, and seconds.

The bezel is the ring that surrounds the watch face. It can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, or ceramic.

The crown is the knob located on the side of the watch that is used to adjust the time. It is typically screw-down or push-pull in design.

The hands are the pointers that indicate the time on the watch face. They are usually made from stainless steel or brass.

The dial is the background of the watch face, upon which the hands and other markings are placed. It can be made from a variety of materials, including paper, metal, or enamel.

Swiss Automatic Movement

Swiss automatic movement is a type of watch movement that is fully automatic and does not require winding. It relies on the motion of the wearer’s body to keep the watch running, which means it is powered by kinetic energy. Swiss automatic watches are considered to be some of the finest in the world, and they are often preferred by collectors and watch enthusiasts.

Unlike quartz watches, which use battery power, the self winding movement of Swiss automatic watches do not require any external source of power. This makes them more environmentally friendly. In addition, the lack of battery means that Swiss automatic watches are often thinner and lighter than their quartz counterparts.

Watch Features

Sapphire Crystal

Among the many different materials that are used in watchmaking, sapphire crystal is one of the most popular. Sapphire crystal is nearly shatterproof and extremely scratch-resistant, making it an ideal choice for watch faces.

In addition, sapphire crystal is highly transparent, allowing light to pass through it with ease. This makes it possible to create watches with clear dials that are easy to read. As a result, sapphire crystal is prized for its durability and optical clarity, and it is used in many high-end watch designs.

Perpetual Calendar

A perpetual calendar is a type of watch that automatically adjusts for months with different numbers of days and for leap years. It is considered one of the most sophisticated and accurate types of watches available. The perpetual calendar feature is especially useful for those who travel frequently or have to keep track of dates in multiple time zones.

By taking into account the varying lengths of months and the leap year cycle, such a watch can keep accurate time for many years to come. For example, a watch made in 2020 will be accurate until 2100. In addition to being highly accurate, these watches are also very stylish and can be found in a variety of designs.

Chronograph Function

A chronograph is a type of watch that is used to measure elapsed time. It typically has a stopwatch function as well as a regular timekeeping function. The stopwatch function is started and stopped by pressing the button at the 2 o’clock position. The pusher at the 4 o’clock position is used to reset the stopwatch. The elapsed time is shown on a subdial, typically at the 6 o’clock position.

Chronographs often have other features such as a tachymeter, which is used to calculate speed, and a date window. Chronographs can be mechanical or digital, and they are available in a wide range of styles, from sporty to dressy.

GMT Watches

GMT watches are designed for travelers who need to keep track of multiple time zones. The watch has an additional hand that rotates once every 24 hours, allowing the user to track the time in a second time zone. In addition, the watch typically has a bezel that can be rotated to track a third time zone.

Although named after Greenwich Mean Time, the global standard for timekeeping, they can be set to any time zone. When setting the watch, the user first aligns the 24-hour hand with the local time. The watch can then be used to track two other time zones by rotating the bezel or setting the additional hands. As a result, these watches are an essential tool for anyone who frequently travels between different zones, like pilots.

Iconic Aviation and Other Watches

Rolex GMT Master II

The Rolex GMT Master II is one of the most iconic and well-known watches in the world. First introduced in 1954, the GMT Master II was designed for airline pilots, who needed a watch that could track multiple time zones.

The original featured a rotate bezel that allowed pilots to keep track of time in different zones. The GMT Master II, which was introduced in 1983, featured a new dual time zone system that used both an hour hand and a 24-hour bezel.

Today, the GMT Master II is still one of the most popular watches among travelers and collectors. Thanks to its timeless design and exceptional craftsmanship, the GMT Master II is truly a classic watch that will be cherished for generations to come.

IWC Schaffhausen

The IWC Schaffhausen watch is a classic design that has been in production for over 50 years. The watch features a simple, clean dial with Arabic numerals and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The case is made of stainless steel and is water resistant to 100 meters. The strap is also made of stainless steel and has a folding clasp. This is a timeless design that will never go out of style.

Rolex Submariner

The Submariner is a classic dive watch that has been in production since 1953. Water resistant to a depth of 300 meters, the Submariner is equipped with a unidirectional bezel that allows divers to keep track of their dive time. The watch also features Rolex’s signature Oyster case and Oyster bracelet, which are made from stainless steel for durability.

The Submariner is powered by an automatic movement, which means it winds itself using the energy from the wearer’s body movements. This makes the watch extremely reliable, even in the most challenging environments. Whether you’re an experienced diver or simply looking for a stylish and practical everyday watch, the Submariner is an excellent choice.

Omega Speedmaster

The Omega Speedmaster is one of the most iconic watches in history. First introduced in 1957, the Speedmaster was designed as a sports and racing watch. It quickly gained popularity among professional race car drivers and astronauts, thanks to its rugged design and superior accuracy.

In 1969, the Omega Speedmaster became the first watch worn on the moon, when it was worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong. Today, the Omega Speedmaster is still one of the most popular watches among collectors and enthusiasts. Thanks to its timeless design and exceptional craftsmanship, the Omega Speedmaster is truly a classic watch that will be cherished for generations to come.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is a modern classic that was first introduced in 1976. The watch has a sleek, minimalist design with a stainless steel case and bracelet. The dial is simple and uncluttered, with applied hour markers and a date window at the 3 o’clock position.

Bulova Lunar Pilot Watch

The Bulova Lunar Pilot Watch is a timepiece with a storied history. First introduced in 1969, the watch was designed to be worn by astronauts during the Apollo 11 mission – the first manned mission to land on the moon. The watch proved its worth during the mission, and has since become a coveted item among collectors.

The Lunar Pilot is powered by a precision quartz movement, and features a sturdy stainless steel case. The simple, yet stylish design is perfect for everyday wear, and the watch comes with a matching steel bracelet. Whether you’re an aspiring astronaut or simply a fan of history, the Bulova Lunar Pilot Watch is sure to impress.

Collecting Luxury Watches

Luxury watches are more than just timepieces; they are intricate works of art that can be enjoyed for their beauty and craftsmanship. For many collectors, the thrill of the hunt is part of the appeal. Searching for that elusive perfect watch can take years, but the sense of satisfaction that comes with finally tracking it down is unmatched.

Such watches also make great conversation starters and can be a source of pride when worn. Whether showing off a rare find to fellow enthusiasts or simply enjoying the admiring glances of strangers, rare and collectable watches offer a unique way to enjoy the finer things in life.

Looking for Secondhand Aviation Watches

As a watch enthusiast, there are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a new watch or a secondhand aviation watch.

  • First, consider what style of watch you prefer. Do you want a vintage model or a modern one?
  • Second, think about what features are important to you. Do you need a chronograph? A GMT function?
  • Third, what style appeals to you? Are you looking for a military watch or perhaps one that pilots wear? Do you want a traditional watch face with Arabic numerals and an easy to read dial?
  • Fourth, what sort of strap do you have in mind? There are plenty of options here. For example, a metal strap, alligator strap, or a dark brown leather strap?
  • And finally, factor in your budget.

With these guidelines in mind, here are a few tips on where to find the best second-hand and collectable aviation watches.

Start by checking out online auction sites like eBay. You can often find great deals on vintage watches here, but be sure to do your research before bidding. Next, try visiting some local pawn shops or antique stores. These places usually have a good selection of vintage watches, and the staff is usually knowledgeable about the products they sell.

Finally, don’t forget to check online classifieds websites like Craigslist. You might be surprised at what you can find if you’re willing to dig around a bit. With just a little effort, you’re sure to find the perfect aviation watch for your collection.

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LAPL vs PPL – Options For UK Private Pilots Flying Light Aircraft

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In this post I summarise the similarities and differences between the LAPL vs PPL, that is, the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence and the Private Pilot Licence.

The right licence for you will depend on your aviation aspirations. If you want to fly single engine aircraft for recreational purposes under VFR during daylight hours in UK airspace, with perhaps occasional trips to other countries, then the LAPL is ideal. Theoretically it will take less time and expense to gain as the syllabus contains fewer hours of flying time.

On the other hand if you want to fly European registered aircraft, perhaps one day under IFR having acquired an instrument rating, and maybe continue flight training to begin a career, then the PPL is probably your best option. The extra training will earn you a private pilot licence that’s recognised globally.

Why are there two private pilot licences?

The LAPL was introduced by EASA to enable aspiring aviators to gain a licence with a shorter syllabus and less stringent medical requirements than those of the PPL.

  • The PPL is a globally recognised private pilot’s licence whereas the LAPL is particular to Europe.
  • The only additional ratings that a pilot can add to the LAPL are the Night rating and an Aerobatic rating.
  • The additional ratings that a pilot can add to the PPL are Night, Aerobatic, Multi Engine, and Instrument ratings.
  • Both licences allow the holder to fly single engine piston aircraft and to carry passengers for non commercial operations i.e. leisure flights.

Size & weight of aircraft type

The PPL allows the holder to fly aircraft with a MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) of 5,750 kg with a maximum of 19 passengers.

The LAPL allows the holder to fly aircraft with a MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) of 2,000 kg with a maximum of 3 passengers.

You can tell from those figures that all LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) and the majority of single engine training aircraft would be accessible to the holder of an LAPL. For example, with a current LAPL you could fly yourself and three passengers in a Cessna 172 to France and back.

Licence validation

To keep your LAPL valid you need to fly 12 hours in the last 24 months as Pilot in Command including 1 hour with an instructor. Those 12 hours as PIC should include 12 take-offs and landings.

To keep your PPL valid you need to fly 12 hours in the last 12 months including 6 hours as Pilot in Command. Those 12 hours should also include 12 take-offs and landings.

Flight training

The minimum training hours for the LAPL are 30 hours of which 6 hours should be solo flight, 3 of which should be solo cross country flying. These flights should include one flight of at least 80 NM during which the student lands at one other airfield.

The minimum training hours for the PPL are 45 hours of which 10 hours should be solo flight, 5 of which should be solo cross country flying. These flights should should include one flight of at least 150 NM during which the student lands at 2 other airfields.

Both licences require passes in the ground school subjects and a final practical test in the form of a general skills test.

LAPL and PPL Upgrade

If you can’t decide between the two licence types you can get an LAPL and upgrade to a PPL at a later date. You’ll need to undertake an additional 15 hours of flying, a Class 2 medical, and a checkout with a CAA examiner.

Summary table – LAPL vs PPL

Where:WorldwideEurope only
Minimum training required:Min 45 hours. Must include 10 hours solo of which, 5 hours of which is solo cross country flying that includes 1 cross country flight of 150NM+ with landings at 2 other airfields Min 30 hours. Must include 6 hours solo of which, 3 hours of which is solo cross country flying that includes 1 cross country flight of 80NM+ with landings at 1 other airfield
Aircraft weights:*MTOW: 5,750 Kg
Max Passengers: 19
*MTOW: 2,000 Kg
Max Passengers: 3
Additional ratings:Instrument Rating, Night Rating, Multi-Engine, AerobaticsNight Rating, Aerobatics
Minimum age:14 yrs (training), 16 yrs (solo), 17 yrs (licence)14 yrs (training), 16 yrs (solo), 17 yrs (licence)
Medical requirements:Part MED Class 2 Medical Certificate (aka the Class 2 medical)  Part MED LAPL Medical Certificate (aka the LAPL medical)
*Maximum Take Off Weight

Minimum requirements

These are the minimum hours and requirements. Most people will need extra training to complete the course. Consequently, this has a proportional effect on the cost.

Courses start with general handling and familiarisation leading to the first solo flight. Thereafter, the time taken to complete and pass the skills test varies greatly due to the number of hours flown each month.

You may see the term supervised solo flight which means that the flight instructor has mentored the planning and preparation for the flight itself, but the student is still flying solo.

Ground school

As well as the flight instruction needed to teach the student how to fly light aircraft, the flying school will also provide the complimentary and mandatory tuition in ground school subjects.

Subjects that are common to all aircraft

  • Air law
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • Communications
  • Navigation

Subjects that are specific to the aircraft type

  • Principles of flight
  • Operational procedures
  • Flight performance and planning
  • Aircraft general knowledge

Paying for PPL flying

With either the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence and the PPL, the pilot is allowed to accept funds from passengers (up to 3 on LAPL, up to 5 on PPL) on a cost sharing basis as long as it’s on a non-commercial basis and there is no profit involved. These funds should be for the landing fees, fuel etc.

This means that, once qualified, you can reduce the cost of your flying considerably. You’ll still need to rent aircraft on a hourly basis or buy a share in owner group, but at least you can offset the cost of flying by inviting passengers along who are willing to pay something toward the fuel.

National Private Pilot Licence: NPPL vs PPL

Some years ago the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) introduced the NPPL (National Private Pilot Licence). This is a non-EASA licence for pilots of microlight aircraft, Permit-to-Fly and kit-built aircraft, and vintage aircraft.

The limitations of the UK NPPL specify that the licence holder can only conduct flights in UK registered aircraft inside UK airspace, unless by special arrangement with another aviation authority.

The syllabus requirements for this are less stringent than the EASA PPL, but then so are the privileges granted to anyone holding this type of licence.

Microlight pilots can obtain their National Private Pilot Licence on either a flexi wing or a three axis aircraft.  Flexi wing microlights are usually open cockpit and have a single wing that is moved by a control bar.  Three axis aircraft are similar to conventional aircraft but are obviously much lighter.

Getting Started

It all begins with a flight experience. Find somewhere near you where you can go up with an instructor for 30-45 mins to get a taste of flight.

You’ll also need a reliable source for the ground school subjects to supplement the tuition you’ll received at the flying club.

Also, for tips on how to complete the syllabus without breaking the bank, check out my PPL video course.

Disclaimer: Check UK Civil Aviation Authority

This post is my understanding of the requirements and I make no claims as to the accuracy presented here. Always check the details with your flight instructor and the relevant sections of the UK CAA website:

If you want to check every detail of the medical requirements and training required for each licence course then please visit the UK CAA website’s GA section:

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Chief Aircraft – Suppliers of Avionics to General Aviation and RC Models

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Chief Aircraft Inc. has be a General Aviation supplier of aircraft parts, pilot supplies, and radio-controlled models worldwide for over 30 years.

Chief Avionics was formed in 1994 to install a wide variety of the latest avionics for its customers and is today an FAA-approved Part 145 repair station located at Grants Pass Airport.

At Deland Airport (DeLand Municipal Airport), Chief Aircraft Inc.’s Florida facility aids in quicker East Coast deliveries with mail order phones as well as walk-in and fly-in service at both facilities.

Pilot Supplies & Pilot Gear

There are a variety of pilot supplies and pilot gear available for both light aircraft pilots and commercial pilots. Some of the most essential items include GPS units, radios, flight bags, and charts. GPS units are essential for navigation, while radios are necessary for communication with air traffic control.

Flight bags help to keep all of a pilot’s essential gear organized, while charts provide critical information about airspace and terrain. Other useful items include binoculars, flashlights, and first-aid kits. By having the right supplies and gear on hand, pilots can be prepared for any situation they may encounter while flying.

Bendix King Avionics

Bendix King is a leading provider of avionics products, technologies, and services for the general aviation, business, and commercial aviation markets. Their innovative solutions are designed to enhance safety, improve efficiency and reduce aircraft operating costs.

Bendix King has been at the forefront of avionics innovation for over 50 years and is committed to providing pilots with the latest technology to help them safely navigate the skies. From flight displays and navigation systems to communications and environmental control systems, Bendix King offers a comprehensive suite of avionics products to meet the needs of any pilot.

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Garmin Aviation Systems

Garmin is a leading provider of aviation GPS systems. Its products are used by private pilots and major airlines around the world. Garmin’s G1000 is one of the most popular flight decks, offering a comprehensive suite of integrated avionics, including GPS navigation, communication, and weather information.

The G1000 can be found in a wide variety of aircraft, from single-engine Cessnas to corporate jets. For pilots looking for an even more advanced system, Garmin also offers the G3000, which adds enhanced safety features such as traffic collision avoidance and terrain awareness.

Trig Avionics

Trig Avionics is a UK-based manufacturer of avionics products, founded in 2006. Trig’s product range includes transponders, GPS receivers, and COM/NAV/GPS systems. The company has over 60 STC approvals for the retrofit installation of its products on a wide variety of aircraft types, including Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, Cirrus, Diamond, and Mooney.

Trig’s products are known for their high build quality and reliability, and the company has a strong reputation in the aviation industry.

RC Model Aircraft

Chief Aircraft Inc. is a leading supplier of radio-controlled aircraft models. They offer a wide range of models, from electric RC models to turbine jets. Each model is designed to provide the utmost in flying performance and realism.

Some of the most popular models offered by Chief Aircraft Inc. include the Pitts Challenger, Viper Turbine Jet, and P-51 Mustang.

The Pitts Challenger is a high-performance RC model aircraft designed for aerobatic flying. It features a sleek design with a low wing and symmetrical airfoil, making it ideal for loops, rolls, and hammerheads.

The Challenger is constructed from balsa and plywood and covered in heat-shrink film for durability. It comes complete with everything you need to get started, including a pre-painted fiberglass cowling, drive train, and electronics. The Pitts Challenger is a great choice for pilots who want to experience the thrill of aerobatic flying.

The Viper Turbine Jet is a high-performance RC model aircraft that is perfect for both novice and experienced flyers. Featuring a sleek design and powerful turbine engine, the Viper Turbine Jet is capable of reaching impressive speeds.

The aircraft also features a state-of-the-art flight control system that provides pilots with precise control over the aircraft’s movements.

No matter what your level of experience or interest, Chief Aircraft Inc. has a radio-controlled aircraft model that is right for you. Their wide selection of models offers something for everyone, from beginner pilots to experienced flyers.

Chief Aircraft Locations

Chief Aircraft Inc are a General Aviation supplier of aircraft parts and pilot supplies. Find them at these two airports or visit their website.


West Coast Store: Mon-Fri 7:00am-4:00pm PST
1301 Brookside Blvd. – Grants Pass, OR 97526


East Coast Store: Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm EST
813A Flightline Blvd. Ste. 1 – Deland, FL 32724


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Gyrocopter Training Cost UK – Where to fly and train for a PPL(G)

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In this post I explain why you should go for a flight in a gyrocopter, where you’ll find some gyrocopter training in the UK, and what it costs to complete a course that leads to a licence.

My Gyrocopter flying Experience

So far I’ve only had two flights in a gyrocopter. The first was with gyro pilot Steve Boxall when he was based in Old Sarum, Wiltshire, and before he moved the operation to Popham Airfield in Hampshire. We took off on a cool June day in 2014 and enjoyed a very pleasant experience flying over Wiltshire, taking in some of the landmarks including Iron Age hillforts and Stonehenge.

The second was in the spring of 2019 when I was invited up by James Ketchell, who, a couple weeks after our flight, began his around the world trip in a Magni M16 autogyro.

I loved both experiences and if I could afford to then I would learn to fly these wonderful open cockpit machines. Meanwhile, why not treat yourself or someone special in your life to the same never to be forgotten thrills?

Gyrocopter Training UK

Gyrocopter flight training is available in several places around the UK. Start with a trial flight or two and see how you like it. If you intend to go all the way through a PPL G course then you might want to consider staying nearby for short intensive courses.

Whatever you eventually decide to do, make sure you get at gyrocopter experience in your log book and in your memory bank.

  1. Gyrocopter experiences from Exeter Airport and Faraway Common, Devon
  2. Fly from Beccles Airfield in Suffolk, East Anglia
  3. Gyrocopter flying from Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Essex
  4. Don a flying suit and take off from Popham Airfield Hampshire
  5. Fly open cockpit club aircraft from Rochester Airport Kent
  6. Gyro sightseeing tours out of City Airport Manchester in an open or closed cockpit autogyro
  7. Enjoy gyrocopter flying from Enstone Airfield, Chipping Norton Oxfordshire
  8. Open or closed cockpit flying from Perth Airport Scotland
  9. Try dual instruction at Clench Common Airfield near Marlborough Wiltshire
  10. View God’s Own Country from a gyrocopter based at Rufforth Airfield North Yorkire
  11. Start pilot training with a flying instructor based at Melbourne Airfield East Yorkshire

As with learning to fly any other type of aeroplane your flying instructor will guide you through each lesson in the training syllabus until you’re ready to fly solo for the first time.

Student training consists of gradually building up flight time by flying at circuit height and practicising landings (including cross wind) until the student is ready to navigate solo away from the home airfield and into unfamiliar skies and cross country flying. Safety is never compromised and the student’s ability is nurtured progressively.

Gyrocopter Training Cost UK

The CAA syllabus requires a minimum of 40 hours training total (dual instruction and solo flight). This can be reduced by 15 hours if you already have a PPL of some kind. Training rates per hour are about £150-160 at the moment, though check with your local flying school for the latest prices.

So the total cost for training for ab initio students will be about £6-7,000.

This figure is for the flight training only and doesn’t include any additional expenses such as flight gear (flying suit, flight bag, headset, etc), travel, exam fees, and so on.

During your first lesson you might be surprised by the smaller space within an autogyro’s cockpit but you’ll soon get used to it. As training progresses you’ll also become accustomed to the flight briefings which augment the lessons in the air and prepare you for the ground school subjects.

Gyrocopters, Autogyros, Gyroplanes

Gyrocopter flights are inexpensive when compared to other forms of flying in fixed wing aircraft. Gyrocopters are all autogyros (autogiros) and you may also see them called gyroplanes. Contrary to what you may think, they are not mini-helicopters. They are aircraft in their own right with a particular set of flying and handling characteristics.

The most obvious difference is the propeller at the back which pushes the gyro forward. As speed builds up the airflow over the horizontal rotor above generates lift.

Many people will recall ‘Little Nellie’ in the 1967 James Bond film ‘You Only Live Twice‘. This was also my first encounter with a gyrocopter, but it was to be over 40 years before I had a ride in one. I did however, have a ride in a Bell47D helicopter that same year, but that’s another story.

‘Little Nellie’ was designed by a former Royal Air Force Wing Commander Ken Wallis and his legacy and influence lives on with the current generation of gyrocopter pilots.

Gyrocopters vs Helicopters

Unlike helicopters gyrocopters don’t take off and land vertically. They do need some room in which to perform a take off run and to land, but the they don’t need very much. Watch any gyrocopter land and you’ll see what I mean. They are definitely STOL – Short Take Off and Landing – aircraft!

As with any aircraft their range varies according to the number of people aboard, size and power of the engine, and the wind & weather conditions. If a trial flight gives you the taste for more then you can start considering the path to obtaining a PPL(G) i.e. Private Pilot’s Licence (Gyrocopter). As these aircraft are much less expensive to run you’ll find the cost of a training course substantially less than conventional fixed or rotary wing aircraft.

Most gyrocopters are tandem two seat aircraft with open cockpits but there are an increasing number of side by side two seat aircraft with closed cockpits. Open cockpit puts you right in the elements. You feel the wind and taste the air. It’s similar in a way to being on the back of a motorbike.

Closed cockpits are more cosy and there’s obviously less noise, and you can fly more comfortably in colder air. Each has its advantages so my advice is try both! The great thing is that you’ll be flying at fairly low level, at about 1,000 to 1,500 feet, although these aircraft are capable of climbing much higher.

There are gyrocopter flight experiences available in many UK counties; Devon, Doncaster, Essex, Kent, Hampshire, the Lake District, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Perthshire, Wiltshire, and Yorkshire. For prices and details use the links below. Check them out, make some enquiries, and give it some serious thought.

If it’s not for you but you know just the person who might like to have a go, please share this post with them. Your inspiration may one day lead to someone you know gaining a private pilot’s licence.

Clothing Advice For Your Gyrocopter Flight

Any reputable school will take all measures possible to not only minimise risks during your gyrocopter flight but also to make it as enjoyable as possible for you, whether you’ve signed up for a trial flight or a full pilot training syllabus. They have a vested interest in persuading you to take up lessons and do more flying at their establisment.

Flying is a low risk activity and you’re probably putting yourself in more danger during the drive to the airfield than in the aircraft itself, whatever its size. However, the amount of training that students require varies and only the instructor will be able to assess how much gyrocopter flying you’ll need to be proficient.

However, one thing I would advise is that you dress in layered clothing and ensure that you’re warm on the ground, because if you’re not warm when standing next to the aircraft then it’s almost certain that you’re going to be cold in the air and nothing ruins a flight more quickly than wishing it would end because you’re freezing.

You’ll probably be offered some clothing for the flight but these items alone may not be enough. My flights were in June (just about OK, temperature wise) and March (very cold, particularly at altitude). So wrap up warm and don’t let the cold ruin what would otherwise be a really enjoyable experience.

Obviously if your flight is in one of the gyrocopter types that have canopies, like the Cavalon, then the wind-chill factor will be minimal, so check before you fly.

There’s an old saying in aviation that the three most useless things to a pilot are:

  • The altitude above you
  • The runway behind you
  • The fuel in the truck

For gyrocopter pilots are anyone flying in an open cockpit in cooler climates you could also add the clothing you left behind.

Image by Günter Lohmeyer from Pixabay

Gaining a Private Pilot Licence PPL(G)

The UK CAA’s PPL(G) is the licence you need to fly UK registered autogyros within the UK’s airspace. To fly in the airspace of other countries you have to obtain permissions and agreements from the respective aviation authorities.

Full details about the gyrocopter pilot’s licence syllabus can be found in the CAA Publication Standards Document 44: Gyroplane Licensing. It’s 88 pages long so you’re probably better off going to speak to your nearest gyroplane flying instructor and having someone explain it to you in plain English.

You’ll find a list of all the gyroplane examiners and instructors here, along with their phone numbers and email addresses, so give one a call and start there.

This list is maintained by the International Association of Professional Gyroplane Training.

Their site is packed with information about learning to fly, flying, building, and maintaing gyrocopters. The IAPGT are the association that created the Gyropedia site which includes online training for student pilots and gyroplane pilots who want to be come instructors.

Final Thoughts

If you’re already a pilot then no matter what plane you’ve flown before you will find the whole gyrocopter experience to be quite unlike anything else, with perhaps the exception of a helicopter, but even that doesn’t do gyrocopter flying justice.

If you would like to learn to fly and obtain your private pilot’s licence in an open cockpit aircraft then gyrocopter flying is an affordable and fun choice. As you can see from the links above, schools and clubs offering a trial flight and gyrocopter pilot training should be within a few hours drive of wherever you are in the UK.

Image by Flug-ina from Pixabay
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The Best Airline to Work For: What to Look for in an Airline Employer

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The best airline to work for depends on what it’s measured against. All kinds of criteria could be used; pay and conditions, training, prospects, routes, aircraft, perks, etc. It depends on where it is in the world and how all of this relates to you, the employee.

Location and size also play their part in deciding. A small, regional airline may be able to focus more on you and a particular stage in your career as opposed to a major airline.

It also depends on your job role. Most people seeking this type of information are pilots and flight attendants but airlines employ all kinds of people. It may be the case the employee benefits for flight attendants are good but not as attractive for those in ground based roles.

Employee Benefits

When considering a job with an airline, find out what they offer for each of these:

  • Starting salary and pay scale. What will be your starting salary and what could you hope to be earning in five years time?
  • Paid time. Will you be paid from the moment you arrive at work or are there other strict criteria for the start and end times of your shift?
  • Job security. Research the airline’s track record for hiring and laying off staff. Also, think about your own motivation and career path. Do you regard this airline as a stepping stone to another?
  • Paid training. Will you be given training not just at the start of the employment but as time goes on? Flight attendant training is often used as a screening process and not everyone will make the grade. After several days of various physical and mental tests some candidates may have to shelve their dream to become a flight attendant, at least for a while.
  • Retirement plans. What is their pension policy and when is lowest age at which you could retire? Would they allow you to continue working if you wanted to?
  • Air travel. Does the job entitle you to employee discounts for air travel? Does this perk extend to members of your family and to your friends? Does this perk end when you retire?
  • Layover allowance. What does the airline company offer for the time you spend in a hotel until you are called for your return flight? This is a very important point for air crew members and cabin crew who may have to stay in a hotel for several nights.
  • Profit sharing. Many airlines offer profit sharing as one of their employee benefits. There may be eligibility criteria e.g. a minimum length of service, so this may not be something a new flight attendant can take advantage of but in time it could be a significant perk.
  • Health insurance. Is this part of the package of employee benefits? This can be particularly significant for flight attendants. Aside from the day to day risks of accidents and injury in a closed environment there have also be some reports of health problems caused by the chemicals in flight attendant uniforms and the quality of the cabin air.
  • Flexible schedule. Pilots and flight attendants will inevitably have to work shifts but check to see if your airline offers a flexible schedule that gives you time off for important dates in your family life. This isn’t always important but for you personally, depending on your time of life, it could be a huge deal.
Photo by Nick Morales on Unsplash

Average Flight Attendant Pay Scale

Average pay for flight attendants is based on a number of factors, including experience, location, and the type of airline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for flight attendants was $62,280 in 2021. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,020, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $81,400.

So, while the most senior flight attendants earn in excess of $80k pa and into six figures it takes a considerable number of years to reach that level. It’s often assumed that the highest paid flight attendants earn more than that in the world of VIP private jet flying but this is by no means the case. Flight attendants can earn as much money in most airlines if they manage their careers correctly.

However, the perks for flight attendants aboard bizjets are sometimes what attracts applicants who compete for flight attendant jobs in the corporate jet world.

Experienced Flight Attendants

Experience is one of the biggest factors affecting the pay that fight attenants earn. Many experience flight attendants will remain loyal to their airline if their years of service are reflected in their salaries.

Location is also a significant factor. Flight attendants based in New York and Los Angeles generally earn higher salaries than those based in smaller cities.

Finally, the type of airline can affect pay. Major airlines typically offer higher salaries and more generous benefits than regional or budget airlines. Consequently, flight attendants at major airlines tend to earn higher salaries on average.

As you embark on your flight attendant career, bear in mind that if it doesn’t work out with your first airline then you can move on later.


What is the hardest airline to get a job with?

It’s not easy to get a job with an airline. Airlines typically have very high standards and are looking for the best of the best. In order to be successful in airline recruitment, you need to have the perfect mix of qualifications, aptitude, and personality. Airlines receive thousands of applications for just a few open positions, so it’s essential that you stand out from the crowd.

The most popular airline among airline employees is Southwest Airlines. This airline is known for its great pay and benefits, as well as its friendly and fun work environment. Southwest employees enjoy working for a company that values them and shows it through its policies and practices.

What airlines have the best benefits for employees?

Many airlines offer great benefits packages to their employees, including healthcare, dental and vision insurance, 401(k) plans, and paid time off.

Some airlines go above and beyond with their benefits offerings, providing employees with airline tickets, discounts on products and services, and even memberships to airline-specific credit unions.

Employees of airlines also enjoy perks such as free or discounted travel on the airline, as well as access to airport lounges and other exclusive areas.

So, when it comes to finding an airline with great benefits for employees, there are many options to choose from. It really depends on what is most important to you in an employer.

Who is better to work for Delta or American Airlines?

There is no easy answer when it comes to deciding which airline is better to work for – Delta or American Airlines. Both airlines are highly respected and offer great pay and benefits packages to their employees.

Delta Airline is known for its strong focus on employee training and development, while American Airlines is praised for its family-friendly policies. It really depends on your individual preferences and priorities as to which airline would be a better fit for you.

What are the best airlines for flight attendants?

Flight attendants play a vital role in the airline industry, and airlines know this. As a result, many airlines offer great benefits and perks to their flight attendant employees.

Some of the best airlines for flight attendants include Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and American Airlines. These airlines are known for providing their employees with generous pay and benefits, as well as opportunities for career advancement.

Additionally, these airlines offer their flight attendants a number of perks, such as free or discounted travel.

Which international airline has the highest paid flight attendants?

According to PayScale, the highest paid flight attendants work for Singapore Airlines. This is likely due to the airline’s strong international reputation and high standards of service. Cathay Pacific Airways comes in second, and flight attendants at Delta Airlines earn the third highest salaries.

While salary is certainly an important factor to consider when looking for an airline employer, it’s not the only thing that matters. Employees should also look at factors such as job satisfaction, company culture, and opportunities for career advancement. For example, Virgin Atlantic has a reputation for being a fun and friendly airline to work for, while Emirates is known for its excellent benefits and compensation package.

What is the number 1 airline in the world?

According to the airline rating organization Skytrax, Emirates ranks as the number one airline in the world. The Dubai-based airline has won numerous awards for its exceptional service and passenger experience, and it continues to grow in popularity year after year.

In second place is Singapore Airlines, followed by Cathay Pacific Airways in third. As these airlines continue to set the bar high, it will be interesting to see how other airlines measure up in the coming years.

Which domestic airline (USA) pays highest salary to cabin crew?

Delta Airlines is the highest paying for cabin crew in the United States. They offer a very competitive salary and benefits package that is hard to beat. Other airlines, such as American Airlines and United Airlines, also offer good pay and benefits, but Delta usually comes out on top.

Delta Airlines offers the best pay and benefits for cabin crew in the United States. Other airlines, such as American Airlines and United Airlines, also offer good pay and benefits, but Delta usually comes out on top. If you are looking for an airline to work for, Delta is a great option.

Another important factor to consider when looking for an airline to work for is the airline’s reputation. Some airlines have a better reputation than others when it comes to looking after their employees. Delta Airlines has a great reputation for looking after its employees. If you are looking for one of the best airlines to work for, Delta is a great option.

What do flight attendants do?

Flight attendants are responsible for the safety and comfort of passengers on commercial flights. They greet passengers, help them to find their seats, and answer any questions they may have. As the aircraft taxis to the hold for take off, they provide passengers with information about safety procedures and emergency equipment.

During the flightethey offer refreshments and deal with any problems that may arise. These can be minor or mundane problems but occassionally they can be medical incidents that require first aid.

In order to become a flight attendant, individuals must complete a training program that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The training includes instruction in emergency procedures, first aid, customer service, and other topics. After successfully completing the training program, flight attendants must take an exam in order to obtain their certification i.e. their ‘wings’.

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Is there a vertiport near me? There soon will be

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Plans are afoot to build a vertiport in some of the world’s largest cities. The proliferation of vertiports is only a matter of time, now that the demand and design have been established and the funding is in place. Industry stakeholders have reason for optimism as concrete plans are being initiated.

These new technologies are developing rapidly. In the few years since I first flew a drone AAM aircraft have lept from the drawing board into the air as prototypes. It would not be surprising if in the next five years the first commercial services began to operate.

Floridians in the Lake Nona area are already anticipating the opening of Lilium’s first vertiport there. They plan to create a state hub for urban air mobility that will set an example to the rest of the USA and the wider world.

What is a vertiport?

A vertiport is a facility where vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft can operate. They will be typically used in urban areas where there is limited space for airports. Vertiports can be either private or public, and they vary in size and capacity.

Some of the first vertiports may only have room for a handful of eVTOL aircraft but as the infrastructure develops and public acceptance of this new form of aviation grows we may one day see vertiports in which dozens or hundreds operate.

The aircraft will be piloted or state of the art UAV (drones). We may see a certain amount of vertiport automation pilotless drones drop off and pick up small amounts of cargo. It’s also possible that flying taxis will one day be automated but I suspect that is a long way off yet.

In addition to UAM aircraft some vertiports will also allow other types of VTOL aircraft, such as drones and tiltrotor aircraft. As the popularity of VTOL aircraft continues to grow, it is likely that vertiports will become more common in cities around the world.

Vertiports in the news

Here is just a sample of recent news items, announcements, and press releases from various companies regarding vertiports and UAM in the month of June (2022) alone.

Heliport, Vertiport, Skyport

  • Helipads – Landing areas for helicopters
  • Heliports – Landing areas for helicopters with additional amenities for passengers, crew, and servicing
  • Vertiports – Landing areas for VTOL and eVTOL aircraft with the accompanying amenities that you would expect to find at an airport
  • Voloports – Landing areas specifically for Volocopters
  • Skyports – Name for a UK based company that is building a vertiports infrastructure for the AAM industry (Advanced Aerial Mobility). This infrastructure is for both UAM (Urban Air Mobility) and drone deliveries.
  • urban-Air Port – Name of another UK based company building UAM infrastructure
  • Airports – Infrastuctures where aircraft of all types operate both domestically and internationally, commercially and for recreation and training


A helipad is a landing platform for helicopters. It can be located on the roof of a building, on the ground, or on a ship. Helipads are usually built to specifications set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Most helipads are marked with a lighted “H” to indicate their purpose, and may also be lit at night. Helipads are typically used for general civil transport, emergency medical transport, law enforcement, and military operations.

Helipad on top of a skyscraper
Photo by Wayne Chan on Unsplash


A heliport is a specialized facility designed to accommodate helicopters and other rotary-wing aircraft. Heliports typically feature a landing pad or platform, as well as fuel and maintenance services. Some heliports may also offer passenger amenities such as terminal buildings, parking, and ground transportation.

In many cases, heliports are located near hospitals or other emergency service facilities in order to facilitate quick response times. Helicopters have a much shorter takeoff and landing distance than fixed-wing aircraft, making them ideal for use in congested urban areas. As a result, heliports play an important role in emergency medical services, law enforcement, and other time-sensitive operations.

A heliport is more than just a helicopter landing pad
Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

VTOL and eVTOL Aircraft

Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft are a type of jet or rotorcraft that is capable of taking off and landing vertically. Helicopters are the most common type of VTOL aircraft, but there are also other designs, such as the V-22 Osprey and the AV-8B Harrier. All these designs have been in use for some time and are common knowledge.

VTOL aircraft have several advantages over traditional fixed-wing aircraft the most obvious of which is that they do not require a runway for take-off or landing which means they require far less land in which to operate. However, VTOL aircraft typically have shorter range and lower speeds than fixed-wing aircraft, and they are more susceptible to turbulence.

Nevertheless, with the advent of electric propulsion, VTOL aircraft are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for urban air mobility applications. Some examples of eVTOL aircraft include the Volocopter 2X, the Bell Nexus 4EX, and the Lilium Jet.

The Lilium Jet – The world’s first jet powered eVTOL aircraft

Urban Air Mobility (UAM)

Urban air mobility (UAM) is the use of aircraft to move people and goods around cities in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. UAM offers a number of advantages over traditional ground transportation, including shorter travel times, lower emissions, and less congestion.

There are a variety of different aircraft that can be used for UAM, from electric helicopters to vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jets. The infrastructure needed to support UAM is also fairly simple, consisting primarily of vertiports, helipads, and charging stations.

With the rise of autonomous technology, UAM is becoming increasingly feasible, and it has the potential to revolutionize transportation in cities around the world.

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) could be described as the next generation of UAM. If UAM is designed to accomodate the need for efficient, ubiquitious, and freen air transport within cities then AAM is the natural extension of this between cities, carrying passengers and cargo.

Advanced Air Mobility also encompasses the ideal of private individuals flying their own recreational or commuter vehicles. In the same way that some use road transport in a private car instead of public transport, people will be able to drive and fly their flying cars instead of using the air taxi services.

As long as the industry stakeholders continue to supply the funds to continue the pace of development of these new technologies then the vision of a pollution-free cityscape populated with flying taxis could become a reality in the next five years or so.

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Svetlana Kapanina – Queen of the Skies, Multi Titled Pilot

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There are many things that set Svetlana Kapanina apart from other aerobatic pilots. For one, she is a world-renowned champion, having won first place at the World Aerobatic Championship in 2010. She is also an accomplished instructor pilot, having taught aerobatics to pilots from around the world.

What’s more, she started flying when she was a child, and has been performing acrobatics for over 30 years. She is a fearless pilot who isn’t afraid to push the boundaries and attempt tricks that most people wouldn’t even dare but he’s also a thorough professional who has won countless titles in the women’s category of international competitions.

Best Female Titled Pilot

Svetlana Vladimirovna Kapanina was born on December 28, 1968 in Shchuchinsk, Republic of Kazakhstan. She has an extensive career as an aerobatic pilot and aerobatic flying instructor.

She studied pharmaceutical sciences at medical school with the attention of becoming a pharmacist, but she also enjoyed gymnastics and parachuting. For a while she considered becoming a paratrooper.

In 1988 she took up aerobatic flying which she pursued as a hobby. It wasn’t long before she gained a reputation of being the best female participant. By 1991 she was a member of the Russian Aerobatic Joint Crew and in 1995 she graduated from Kaluga Aeronautical Technical School. She now trains with the Russian National Team near Moscow.

Kapanina, nicknamed the “Queen of the Skies”, flies exclusively the Russian manufactured Sukhoi aerobatics aircraft and has competed using the Su-26, Su-26M3 and Su-31 models.

She is married, has two children, and lives in Moscow.

By – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
2021 video from the official Svetlana Kapanina YouTube channel

Svetlana Kapanina Aerobatics Titles

She is the most decorated female aerobatic pilot in the world. To date Kapanina has achieved the following:

Image by Andreas Glöckner from Pixabay
  • Soviet Union Champion (1991)
  • United States Champion (1995)
  • The only pilot awarded the title of Overall World Aerobatics Champion a record six times (1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007)
  • Overall World Air Games Champion (1997, 2001)
  • Overall European Aerobatics Champion (1997, 2006)
  • Overall Russian National Aerobatics Champion (1991, 2001)
  • Awarded with 38 Gold medals in World Aerobatics Championships
  • FAI World Grand Prix Champion (2007)
  • FAI World Grand Prix Silver medals (2007)
  • Al Ain international aerobatics Champion (2007)
  • FAI World JK Aerobatics Formula Silver medals (2008)
  • Awarded with FAI Centenary Medal
  • Awarded with FAI Sabihi Gokchen medal as the only fivefold World Cup winner
  • Silver medals at the World Championship (1995, 2003, 2005)
  • Bronze medals at the World Championship (1995, 2000)
  • Team gold medal team in the 16th FAI European Aerobatic Championships 2008

In addition she has received two honors from her homeland; the Russian Medal for Service to the Motherland in 1995 – a military award for high performance, as well as the Award of Honor in 2002 for high achievement in professional sports. She is an unwavering advocate for increased recognition of competitive aerobatic flying in Russia.

You can find more information about Svetlana Vladimirovna Kapanina and her accomplishments on the website, You can also find her on Instagram at

Aerobatics demonstration performed on August 31st at MAKS 2019 airshow in Zhukovskiy, Moscow

World Aerobatic Champion

In order to become the world aerobatic champion, one must be dedicated to mastering the skill of flying aerobatics at competition level. It takes years of practice and hard work to be able to perform advanced aerobatic maneuvers to the strigent standards expected by the judges.

In addition, one must have a strong understanding of the aircraft’s performance and limitations, and the ability to combine all this knowledge with the prevailing wind conditions on the day of competition.

There are many caerobatics ompetitions held around the world where pilots can compete and hone their skills. The most prestigious event is the FAI World Aerobatic Championships, which is held every four years. Pilots from all over the globe come together to compete in a variety of categories including solo, pairs, and team.

Many pilots who go on to become a world aerobatic champion come from countries where aviation is more heavily encouraged, since they have had more access to resources needed to become proficient at this skill set.

Svetlana Vladimirovna Kapanina describes her technique in her own words (in Russian. Subtitled.)

Russian National Aerobatic Team

The Russian National Aerobatic Team is one of the most renowned teams in the world. They have been competing in the FAI World Aerobatic Championships for many years, and have won numerous medals. The team is made up of some of the best pilots in Russia, and they are constantly working to improve their skills.

In order to compete at the highest level, the Team relies on advanced aircraft and equipment. They also have a team of dedicated coaches who help them train and prepare for competitions. The pilots are highly skilled, and are able to perform a wide range of maneuvers.

The Russian National Aerobatic Team has a proud history of success, and they continue to be one of thetop teams in the world.


Aerobatics are a series of aerial maneuvers in which pilots fly in such a way that they explore the aircraft’s performance envelop and demonstrate the pilot’s abilities. Aerobatic pilots must be highly skilled in order to control the plane during these maneuvers, and they must also have a strong understanding of how the plane will respond to different inputs. Because of the challenges involved, aerobatics is considered to be one of the most difficult sports modalities.

However, ask any two pilots if they would enjoy some aerobatics and the chances are that the first will say “Yes please!” while the other pilot might say ‘No thank you!“. It’s not to everyone’s taste and many if not most pilots never bother to explore the sport.

In the realm of world sports aviation doesn’t figure as much as it should, yet air racing and aerobatics attract huge crowds and a considerable amount of commercial sponsorship.

Aresti Aerobatic Figures

Aresti figures are a type of aerobatic diagram used by pilots to plan and execute aerobatic maneuvers. The figures show the location of the aircraft in 3D space, as well as the direction and magnitude of forces acting on the aircraft. Aresti diagrams are named for their inventor, Spanish pilot Julio Aresti.

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Best Aircraft Paint Remover – 5 Examples For Your Airplane Project

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Choosing the best aircraft paint remover takes a little thought and buying the right one for your airplane will save time and effort. Nothing spoils the look of an aircraft more than the sight of chipped, peeling, or faded paint. It’s like a tear in a fine suit of clothes; from a distance things don’t look too bad but up close the heart sinks a little at the condition.

A freshly finished airplane, whatever it’s age or vintage, is a beautiful thing to behold. It’s also more aerodynamic and therefore more efficient in the air so repainting and polishing it to a gleaming finish is not just aesthetically pleasing, it also makes commercial sense.

Inevitably, with the amount of use they get, the aircraft at your local flying school are probably not the tidiest examples and you can often see worn paint when you’re learning to fly.

The Right Aircraft Paint Remover

Choosing the best product for your aircraft will depend on the aircraft type and the existing layers of paint. Aircraft paint remover is a specially formulated product that is used to strip the types of paint used only on aircraft.

There are different types but all of them work in basically the same way: they dissolve the paint so that it can be washed away with water. They can be used on both commercial and private aircraft, and they are generally safe to use, but it’s always important to read the label carefully and follow the instructions, particularly when being used copiously to deal with layers of baked enamels.

The stronger examples are fast acting while others required a longer removal time and perhaps a repeat application in order to break through mutiple coats of baked enamels to the bare surface beneath.

Safe Practices for Water-Based or Oil-Based Paint Stripping

There are two main types of aircraft paint removers: solvent-based and water-based. Solvent-based are generally more effective and fast acting than water-based products, but they can also be more dangerous to use. Water-based are typically safer and easier to use, but they may not be as effective at removing paint and tend to require a longer removal time.

There are several risks and dangers associated with the use of oil-based paint strippers, including:

  • The potential for skin and respiratory irritation if breathed in or comes into contact with skin.
  • The risk of fire or explosion if the remover is not used in a well-ventilated area.
  • The potential for environmental damage if the remover is spilled or leaks.

To mitigate these risks:

  • Wear the appropriate protective clothing and masks and always work in a well ventilated area.
  • Ensure that containers don’t leak and dispose of surplus material conscientiously.
  • Make sure your workship first-aid kit is equipped to deal with chemical contamination of the skin or eyes.

Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover

Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover is a powerful aircraft paint stripper that quickly and easily removes multiple layers of paint in one application. The aircraft paint stripper is ideal for use on aircraft, cars, boats, RVs, and more. The aircraft paint stripper is safe for use on all types of aircraft finishes, including gelcoat, epoxy, polyurethane, and more.

Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover is a fast acting aircraft paint stripper that starts working in as little as 30 minutes. Simply apply the aircraft paint stripper to the surface and let it work its magic. The aircraft paint stripper will remove multiple layers of paint in one application, leaving the surface clean and ready for new paint or primer.

Klean Strip Paint Remover

Klean Strip aircraft paint remover is a powerful product that can remove even the most stubborn aircraft paint. The active ingredients in Klean Strip aircraft paint remover are highly effective at breaking down paint. Klean Strip aircraft paint remover is safe to use on most types of aircraft, including both metal and composite aircraft.

Klean Strip aircraft paint remover is easy to use, simply apply it to the aircraft and let it sit for the recommended amount of time. After the recommended amount of time has elapsed, simply wipe away the aircraft paint with a clean cloth.

Citristrip Pain & Varnish Stripping Gel

Citristrip gel is safe for use on most aircraft surfaces, including aluminum, fiberglass, and composite materials. Citri-Strip Paint Stripping Gel is ideal for removing paint from large and small aircraft surfaces. To use the gel, simply apply it to the aircraft surface with a brush or roller and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then, scrape off the paint with a putty knife or other blunt object. For best results, follow up with a good washing with soap and water.

Evapo-Rust Safe Erase

Evapo-Rust Safe Erase aircraft paint stripper is a unique formula that safely and effectively removes aircraft paint. The stripper is non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe for the environment. It also does not contain any harmful chemicals or solvents. The stripper is applied with a brush or roller and can be easily removed with a power washer or hose. It is ideal for removing aircraft paint from metal surfaces, plastic surfaces, glass surfaces, and composite materials.

Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

Smart Strip is a powerful aircraft paint remover that is perfect for removing multiple layers of paint. The advanced formula quickly strips away paint, leaving a smooth surface that is ready for refinishing.

Smart Strip is easy to use and provides excellent results with minimal effort. Simply apply the remover to the surface and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away the paint. For stubborn areas, you may need to repeat the process. However, overall, Smart Strip is an effective and easy-to-use aircraft paint remover that can save you time and money.


The most popular types of aircraft paint removers are caustic, solvent-based, and enzymatic. Caustic aircraft paint removers are the most aggressive and can cause damage to the underlying material if not used properly.

Solvent-based aircraft paint removers are less aggressive and can be used on a variety of materials. Enzymatic aircraft paint removers are the least aggressive and are safe for use on all materials.

Choose wisely and always apply to a test area before using on the main areas of the aircraft. Hardened layers of baked enamels may require repeat application and extended removal time before the bare surface is revealed.

Photo by Gary Wann on Unsplash
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10 Best Pilot Kneeboards For Student, Private, and Commercial Pilots

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Pilot kneeboards are the small clipboards or folders worn on the knee during flight. They are an essential item of flight gear as they provide a convenient place to keep track of important information such as flight data, frequencies, and other information transmitted during radio calls. For the more qualified aviators and commercial pilots they are a covenient place in which to jot down important IFR information and other pilot notes.

A very basic kneeboard might be just a firm place on which to hold a notepad or for securing checklists. Student pilots on a budget might also use such a standard kneeboard to hold charts. It will probably have a single plastic strap and a pen holder. It might also have a crosswind component graph and a light gun signal key printed on it.

iPad kneeboards are obviously designed to hold an iPad firmly during flight. Even the simplest tablet kneeboard should be capabale of holding the iPad or iPad mini in place where it won’t be dislodged by control movements or bumpy air.

The kneeboard encourages cockpit organization by providing a place to store items such as plastic checklist pages. It’s where the inflight note taking happens, for jotting down radio frequencies, runways in use, wind speed & direction, and the QNH or QFE.

Think of the aviation kneeboard as the pilot’s desk.

Limited space in most GA aircraft
Photo by Jose Lebron on Unsplash

Pilot Kneeboard Sizes

Pilot kneeboards are available in a variety of sizes and styles, and they can be customized to meet the needs of any pilot. There are many different types of pilot kneeboards available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and new products do occasionally appear to challenge the established models.

Most will have at least one adjustable elastic strap with clip together ends or a velcro strap for fixing it to the thigh.

Many are now first and foremost iPad kneeboards i.e. they hold an EFB (electronic flight bags). Depending on your tablet of choice you can buy one for your iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Pro, or any other electronic device or cell phone.

Here is a list of 11 of the best pilot kneeboards available today. As you can see, they differ in many respects as they’ve been designed for a variety of flight types.

MyGoFlight EFB Pilot Kneeboard

The MyGoFlight EFB Pilot Kneeboard is a top-quality kneeboard that’s designed specifically for use with electronic flight bags (EFB) e.g. an iPad. It features an attachable tablet holder, as well as plenty of storage space available to secure pens and pencils.

It’s one way to keep your iPad Mini safe while you’re flying. The detachable clipboard can be attached magnetically so it stays put when not being used; plus there are multiple pockets throughout this durable case that allow quick access. One-handed operation makes taking out devices easy no matter what situation arises: whether during preflight or before reaching your destination airport.

MYGOFLIGHT Universal Full-Size Leather Folio C EFB Pilot Kneeboard and Clipboard – Fits iPad Pro 9.7”, 10.5”, and 11”, iPad Air 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, iPad 2, 3, 4, 9.7”, and 10.2”, and All Other 9”-11" Tablets
  • PILOT EFB CLIPBOARD AND KNEEBOARD The electronic flight bag VFR/IFR detachable clipboard adheres magnetically for stable note taking. Pilots kneeboard, clipboard, lapboard, and everyday case securely holds and protects your iPad Pro 9.7, 10.5, 11, iPad Air 1/2, iPad 2, 3, 4, 9.7, 10.2, or any other 9-11" tablet. Aviators, truckers, road trippers, travelers, boaters, and anyone else with an active lifestyle will love having easy, quick, safe, and one-handed access to thei
  • COCKPIT READY AND EASILY ADJUSTABLE When securely strapped to your knee or used as a lap board, the iPad is viewable and operable with one hand during critical phases of flight per FAA requirements. The tablet is held in the case by four adjustable clips that are attached to a rotating cradle, allowing easy 360° rotation between landscape and portrait positions. The cut-out design provides full and easy access to all of the device's ports, buttons, and controls.
  • VERSATILE AND MULTI-PURPOSE The removeable Velcro strap securely holds the kneeboard in. Once the strap is removed, the kneeboard becomes a sleek iPad case for everyday use. Easily take your iPad from air to office to home where the built-in and adjustable stand converts the case for laps, desks, or tabletops. Use a low slant for reducing wrist strain while typing on the on-screen keyboard or a higher angle for watching movies or photo slideshows or when typing with a wireless keyboard.
  • HEAVY-DUTY AND DURABLE YET LUXURIOUS Made of, and wrapped in, high quality, genuine black leather for a rich, sumptuous, and satisfying feel. Soft and supple micro-fiber material lines the inside, protecting your device.
  • International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.

ASA VRF Pilot Kneeboard

The ASA VRF Pilot Kneeboard is another great option for those who use EFBs. It has a similar design to the MyGoFlight model but also includes an integrated clipboard that allows you to take notes during your flight.

This durable brushed aluminum VFR kneeboard gives pilots everything they need in one place, from important information about visibility and communication frequencies right down to how many minutes it’ll take before reaching cruising altitude with this particular type of aircraft. All this information is conveniently located on the custom-designed surface; specifically formulated by experts who know exactly what’s required while piloting.

ASA New VFR Kneeboard ASA-KB-1-A
  • VFR kneebord "New" Version
  • Dimensions 6-1/2" x 9-1/2"
  • ASA-KB-1-A

FlyBoys Classic Kneeboard

FlyBoys Classic Kneeboard is the ultimate flight kneeboard for commercial and general aviation pilots. It’s a favorite among military pilots. The ultra-rugged D600 fabric ensures years of trouble-free use in the most demanding environment while a flexible design allows you to customize your kneeboard with checklists, inflight guides, and more.

The included flexible plastic clipboard (FB1060 ) is perfect for holding paper charts and other materials.

Flyboys Pilot Kneeboard IFR/VFR
  • The Flyboys Pilot Kneeboard is the most versatile aviation kneeboard on the market.
  • Designed by an F-16 pilot, this kneeboard is narrower than typical trifolds.
  • It features 7 eyelets for securing checkilists, plastic checklist pages, or even an in-flight guide.
  • Removable plastic clipboard for writing clearances.

Destination Departure Pilot Kneeboard

The Destination Departure Pilot Kneeboard is a brushed aluminum kneeboard with a strong pen holder at the top. It’s probably more ideal for short VFR flights as some users report that the clip is too strong for an iPad screen.

It also has a soft strap and strong velcro attachments to ensure it stays in position on your leg while the flight controls remain accessible. The aluminum material makes it a durable item. The cushioned edges protect hands from grazes and knocks should any sudden movement be required.

Destination Departure Pilot Kneeboard – Aluminum Pilot Writing Board – 5.5 x 8 Inch Knee Board Clipboard – Metal Clip and Practical Pen Holder – Comfortable Elastic Strap
  • Dimensions: 5.5” x 8” kneeboard, 4.5” x 1.5” clip, 1.5” wide elastic strap aluminum strong construction with a flexible plastic clip pen holder that attaches to the kneeboard clip for any aviation accessories
  • SOFT AND STRONG FABRIC STRAP ensures a perfect fit for all leg sizes, men or women as well as durable construction to prevent future rips or tears along with strong velcro ensuring attachment during all phases of flight
  • A COMFORTABLE DESIGN which allows easy adjustment and use for any size person allowing ease of access for anybody who needs to use a kneeboard
  • CAN HOLD MOST AVIATION ACCESSORIES like an e6b flight computer on the kneeboard tray, plotter, sectional chart, and most student supplies
  • GREAT FOR ANY PILOT who needs to simplify things in the cockpit as well as convenient VFR information on the faceplate including information like light gun signals, transponder codes, VFR weather requirements and more

Jeppesen VFR Trifold Kneeboard

Jeppesen’s VFR Trifold Kneeboard is the perfect tool for keeping all your essential aeronautical information & equipment front and center during flight. Made with 600D Denier Cordura polymer, this durable kneeboard has plenty of space to easily organize any aviation essentials you need on hand while flying.

It has two leg straps with velcro fasteners. It’s a versatile kneeboard that has a detachable clipboard so that it can be used independently of the kneeboard.

No products found.

ASA IFR Tri-Fold Kneeboard

ASA’s IFR Tri-Fold Kneeboard is perfect for pilots who need to carry more. This strong aluminum tooled clipboard is silkscreened with important IFR information and fits into a black 3-panel jacket. The left panel has ample room for small books, papers, and other items that don’t fit elsewhere.

The center panel holds the kneeboard under clear plastic with a pen/pencil holder and buttonholes on either side allowing a pilot to fold back one or both panels with the leg band. The right-hand panel contains a clear pocket for an approach plate or pilot’s operating handbook. There is also a buttonhole for a yoke-mounted microphone and clips for holding a flight log and other papers.

ASA IFR Tri-fold Kneeboard
  • Strong aluminum tooled clipboard silkscreened with important IFR information fits into black 3-panel jacket. Has room for charts, books, flight computers, etc.

MyClip Multi Kneeboard Strap for Tablets

The myClip Multi Kneeboard Strap for Tablets and Phones is a lightweight, one-handed device that allows you to securely attach your electronic flight bag (iPad) while flying. The innovative design provides an easy on/off attachment system with no clips around the case; simply slide over it and snap it into place.

It’s not a pilot kneeboard, just a strap, but once the tablet is in place it effectively becomes a kneeboard.

No products found.

Flight Outfitters Slimline iPad Kneeboard

The Flight Outfitters Slimline iPad Kneeboard has a rotating cradle that allows you to use your tablet in either portrait or landscape mode. Two mesh pockets provide extra storage for documents and other small items, while the heavy-duty elastic strap ensures it stays secured to your leg. This is a reversible kneeboard that can be used on either leg.

Flight Outfitters iPad Slimline Pilot-Friendly Compact Cockpit Flight Kneeboard, Small, Black
  • Two mesh pocket on the side of the kneeboard provide storage
  • Expandable loops securely hold corners of the iPad to the bracket
  • Heavy-duty elastic leg strap
  • Weight (empty): .5 lbs.
  • COMPATIBILITY: Small: iPad Mini up to 5th gen; Large: iPad 5th, 6th, and 7th generation, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 10.5, and iPad Air 3

LIFT Aviation Navigator L1 Leather Kneeboard

The LIFT Aviation Navigator Kneeboard is for pilots who want a premium leather kneeboarding experience that looks and feels just as good when not in use. The FIDLOCK™ quick adjustment buckle fit system allows you to easily change your mind, while the over-knee leg strap with silicone printed no-slip grip keeps it there during flight time. This model also comes with an expandable zippered pocket holding small items securely inside.

ASA iPad Air Rotating Kneeboard

The perfect tablet kneeboard for your iPad, this binder has an elastic strap that ensures it stays in place while you’re flying across the countryside or making a water crossing. It rotates 360 degrees so there are always options when adjusting from profile to landscape mode. Plus with its variable tilt feature, it makes map reading and checking for landmarks so much easier, no matter the light conditions or the position of the sun.

Kneeboards for Pilots

Kneeboards for the pilots in your life make a welcome gift. They get a lot of wear and tear during their life (the kneeboards, not the pilots, though that may also be true) and consequently may be prone to damage if not looked after well. A velcro strap or the pen holders may break, for example.

Next to the flight bag and the aviation headset, pilot kneeboards are one of the first items on the student pilot’s shopping list. The latest models may also include a power port, they may be reversible with several pockets for an inflight guide and other documents.

The best pilot kneeboards are not necessarily the most expensive. You don’t need a top of the range tri fold reversible kneeboard in your flight bag if you’re just going for a VRF flight in the local area. You just need something on which you can jot down in flight pertinent information and that will hold maps.

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Compton Abbas Airfield: History & Attractions at this Grass Airfield

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Compton Abbas Airfield (EGHA) is one of those airfields that attracts many new visitors and which has a loyal selection of aviators who frequently drop in. It is arguably one of the most picturesque airfields in the South of England. I have a personal reason to be fond of the airfield as it was here that I completed my PPL in 1991.

The airfield is on top of a hill about 3 miles south of the Dorset town of Shaftesbury. The hill is one of the chalk hills known as Cranborne Chase.  The nearby village of Compton Abbas dates back to Saxon times and the literal meaning of the name is ‘village in a narrow valley’ near the ‘abbey’ in Shaftesbury.

This grass airfield is known for its warm welcome, social and aviation events, and of course, flying in various forms. It’s a popular meeting point for widely dispersed pilots who want to meet up before exploring the south coast.

Flight Experiences

There are several flight experiences available for anyone who wants a taste of flight in vintage aircraft or for aviators who want to try something new.

Compton is one of the locations in the UK where you can have a flight in a Harvard. The particular Havard at this airfield is a 1946 Marines At-6C Mk2a. Click here for more information.

If the Harvard Experience is out of your price range then how about a flight in an open cockpit biplane of the 1940s, the Boeing Stearman, used during WWII to train Navy Pilots, or the closed cockpit of a 1950s RAF trainer, the de Havilland Chipmunk, used until comparatively recently to train Army pilots at the Middle Wallop airfield in Hampshire. They would learn to fly on these fixed-wing aircraft before graduating onto helicopters at the Army Air Corps School of Flying.

If in vintage aircraft flying is not for you then there are two other options in more modern airplanes. You can try your hand at conventional flying in a light aircraft aboard a Piper Warrior or an Ikarus C42 which looks like an airplane but is in fact in the microlight category.

Flying Club

Compton is the home of a busy and active flying club. As well as being a prime location at which to base an aircraft members can hire from of a fleet of Piper Warrior aircraft and an Ikarus C42 providing ample solo hire availability. Club members fly out to other airfields and enjoy other social and aviation activities.

Airfield Cafes

There are two cafes at the airfield, the Compton Cafe (for visiting pilots and customers attending for experience flights) and the Runway Cafe which is open to all. In fact, as with many picturesque airfields like this one, the Runway Cafe is frequented by many people who simply want to enjoy the view, watching the airplanes come and go, with the backdrop of the open country rolling away in the distance.

By Clive Perrin, CC BY-SA 2.0,
View from the patio outside the club house and restaurant. Looking NW across the landing strip, Melbury beacon between the aircraft and Shaftesbury on the right.

Flight Training

Flight training is available for the following licences at the Flying School at Compton which has been teaching people to fly light aircraft for over 30 years.:

  • The CAA Private Pilots Licence
  • The Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL)
  • The National Private Pilots Licence Microlight (NPPL(M))

They can also provide training for additional ratings including Tailwheel (essential if you want to fly vintage aircraft), Instrument Rating (Restricted).

Opening Hours

The airfield is open all year from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00-17:00hrs (local), apart from bank holidays. The Runway Cafe is open from 10:00-16:00hrs.

Compton Abbas really is a lovely place to visit, by road as well as by air.

Compton Abbas Airfield in the news

Compton Abbas may be a small airfield but it hit international headlines in the 1990s.

Asil Nadir is a Turkish Cypriot business tycoon who fled the United Kingdom in 1993 aboard a twin-engined Piper aircraft that took off from this airfield. The Piper landed in northern France where Nadir transferred to a private jet that took him to Northern Cyprus. He absconded after being charged with multiple counts of fraud and theft. He was later convicted in his absence and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In August 2010, he returned to the UK to stand trial, but was released on bail and subsequently absconded again. In 2013, he was finally brought back to the UK to stand trial and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Nadir is currently out on parole and living in Turkey.

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Piper vs Cessna – Should you fly a PA-28 or a Cessna 172?

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One of the first decisions the aspiring pilot has to make is which aircraft to fly while training and it’s often a matter of Piper vs Cessna. Both aircraft are frequently found in the local flight school fleet. Thousands of examples of both remain in use all over the world.

The available aircraft will depend on those at the flying clubs and flight training schools within a reasonable driving distance of the student’s home. There may be other choices but since these aircraft are still very common I thought it would be interesting to make the comparison.

Piper Aircraft

PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior
Photo by Abe Drzycimski on Unsplash

The Piper PA-28 (28th Piper design) is family of aircraft that began with the Cherokee. Then came the Warrior, Arrow, Tomahawk, Archer, and Cadet. The range includes those with the S for seaplane denominator and the R for retractable undercarriage.

In this comparison I’m thinking of those with fixed gear only like the Piper Warrior and Piper Archer III. Modern variants of the Archer remain in production.

Piper PA-28 Cherokee

The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a light aircraft that was first introduced in the 1960s. In its heyday it was popular among private pilots and flight training schools and many examples remain in use.

The Cherokee has a traditional cantilever low-wing design and is constructed of aluminum alloy. It is powered by a Lycoming piston engine and has room for four people in its cabin. The Cherokee is easy to fly and is known for its stability and short-field performance. It is an economical choice for flying schools and private pilots, and its popularity has resulted in over 32,000 aircraft being built to date.

Cessna Aircraft

The Cessna 172 also has some variants and we could include the Cessna 152/150 in this comparison. At one time Cessna aircraft are one of the commonest types to be found at flight schools all over the world but different airplanes have entered the market over the years. We now have the reality of electrically powered flying machines.

Both are single-engine light aircraft with a tricycle undercarriage. For some private pilots who rent aircraft by the hour the choice is a matter of personal preference only but if you’re a private pilot with your own plane you might be able to explain in more detail why you prefer one over the other.

Cessna 172

The Cessna 172 is a four-seat, single-engine airplane that first flew in 1955 and is still being produced today. More than 43,000 aircraft have been built, making it one of the most popular planes ever made. The172 is used for a variety of purposes, including personal flight, flight training, and light cargo transport.

The aircraft is relatively simple to fly and maintain, which has contributed to its popularity. It also has a good safety record, with only a handful of fatal accidents over the past few decades. The Cessna 172 is an iconic aircraft that has played a significant role in aviation history.

Other Airplanes

Some of the points one could make about the PA-28 would also apply to other low wing aircraft like the Grumman AA5 -A Cheetah, the aircraft that I first became accustomed with when I started flying.

I have flown in the Cessna aircraft mentioned here and a few of the Piper aircraft, including the Piper Tomahawk on one occasion. I recall thinking that there was more leg room and with the seat fully back I couldn’t reach the rudder pedals even though I’m quite tall.

Speaking of the Cheetah, it has a sliding bubble canopy which provides easy acess to the cockpit and the back seat. This contrasts greatly with the single door on the Piper.

The most obvious difference between the two aircraft is that the Piper aircraft are low wing and the Cessna aircraft are high wing, but what difference does that make? Let’s take a look.

Low Wing vs High Wing

Photo by Josiah Farrow on Unsplash

Some people prefer low wing aircraft because they feel more like the aircraft they’ve always imagined they would fly. Low wing airplanes provide better visibility of the sky above. Depending on the cockpit canopy type this can be exceptional, particularly with the bubble-like canopies of some aircraft.

High wing aircraft provide better ground visibility. In a high wing Cessna 172 you can see much more of the ground and for some students (and qualified PPL holders) this is preferable since it makes identifying navigational landmarks so much easier. It also presents more photo opportunities for passengers and makes sightseeing easier. A high wing aircraft is preferable for conducting surveys, aerial photography, and civil air patrols like Sky Watch.

The high wing Cessna aircraft provide shade from the sun when in the air and protection against the rain when entering or exiting the aircraft. With the wing above, you have enough time to put up an umbrella before walking across the apron. The wing can also act as additional protection if you’re camping with your aircraft at a fly-in, for example.

Fuel Drains & Refueling

Aircraft with low wings like all the Piper aircraft mentioned above are easier to refuel, but you have to bend down to access the drain points to check the fuel for water contamination.

With high wing airplanes the opposite is true. It’s easier to drain the tanks but you need a stepladder to refuel the tanks from above.

With the fuel tanks in the higher wing of the Cessna the fuel is gravity fed to the engine. The Piper aircraft require an electrically powered fuel pump to maintain flow to the engine. Some see this as a disadvantage as it’s one more thing that could fail.

Either way, the private pilot needs to pay close attention to fuel management and has to remember to switch tanks at the appropriate time. Forgetting to do so has been the cause of engine failure on a few occasions.

Preflight Checks

Preflight inspection of the undercarriage is easier on a high wing than a low wing plane. It’s also possible to check the status of the tires on the main wheels prior to landing.

However, removing the filler cap on the fuel tank for a visible check of the fuel level and then ensuring that it is tighly fastened is easier on the low wing plane. With a Cessna you need to get the stepladder out again.

One Door or Two?

The Cessna 172 has two doors
Photo by Nicolas Peyrol on Unsplash

The PA-28 has only one door on the starboard side. The Cessnas have two doors, one on each side, making them much easier to get in and out of. That could be a significant factor if your passengers require assistance entering and exiting the aircraft.

I assume there must be structural reason why a PA-28 doesn’t have two doors. It must have been the matter of some debate when it was first announced that it would only have one door.


A high wing aircraft has more ground clearance so as the pilot taxis to or from the holding point it’s easier to see ground obstacles. This is particularly useful on grass airfields that may not have a clearly defined taxiway.


The Cessna 172 tends to be more stable in the air due to the pendulum effect of the design but is more sensitive to crosswinds when landing.

A low wing airplane can take advantage of the ground effect as it settles down to land and tends to cope better with crosswinds due to the lower centre of gravity and the fact that the gear is spread wider apart than aircraft with high wings.


The Cessna aircraft have a wing spar from the underside of the wing to the fuselage on either side. This creates additional drag. The Piper aircraft have no such struts. Again, I’m only assuming here but I suspect that’s mitigate the effect of structural changes caused by putting two doors in the fuselage.


Generally speaking, Cessna aircraft have electric flaps while Piper aircraft have manual flaps. There are some exceptions but it’s another point to consider. So on the one hand it’s electric flaps and gravity fed fuel, or manual flaps and an electric fuel pump.


Choosing between these two airplanes is more to do with personal preference than anything else. As you can see, different airplanes are designed in ways that trade one advantage for another. There is no right or wrong answer the question, “Which is the better aircraft?” Both low wing Pipers and high wing Cessnas have their loyal fans who fly nothing else.

Try several variations of both low wing aircraft and high wing. The planes that you may find more easy to fly may surprise you.

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How to become a bush pilot flying in remote areas and rough terrain

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If you have ever wondered how to become a bush pilot then this post will give you some pointers. Bush pilots are responsible for flying into and out of remote areas, often transporting cargo or passengers. They are pilots skilled in STOL operating in and out of short strips. They fly airplanes equipped with floats, tundra wheels, and skis.

This type of aviation occurs all over the world. Bush pilots fly in places like Canada, Alaska, Central & South America, Africa, South East Asia, and Australasia.

To become a bush pilot, you’ll need to have a commercial pilots license and a lot of additional training and experience. Aspiring bush pilots need to learn precision flying. You’ll also need to be comfortable with long periods of solitude, as such pilots often fly for hours at a time without seeing another person.

The training that the aspirant bush pilot will need will depend on the terrain in which he or she intends to operate. You may need to train with several flight schools to complete all the required training for flying in remote locations.

Five Hundred Feet Above Alaska
  • Brantner, Robert M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 04/19/2019 (Publication Date) - Robert M. Brantner (Publisher)

What is a bush pilot and what do they do

A bush pilot is someone who flies aircraft in wilderness areas, often in support of resource extraction operations such as mining, forestry, and fishing. They may also fly tourists into wilderness areas and ferry passengers when overland travel is not possible.

Many bush pilots are freelance and work on a contract basis. Some work for larger companies that operate in remote locations.

Bush piloting typically involves flying smaller aircraft, such as single-engine planes and helicopters. They must be able to land on short airstrips and in other challenging locations. Consequently, the job has some additional risks that include rapidly changing weather and abnormal conditions.

Despite the risks, these pilots are essential to the operations of many businesses in remote areas. They provide a vital service that would otherwise be unavailable.

Photo by Jared Watney on Unsplash

How to become a bush pilot

Bush pilots are a special breed of aviators. They must be skilled in flying in difficult conditions, and they must be able to think on their feet. They fly into areas that conventional pilots regard impossible, or at least too dangerous to risk.

The first thing you need is aviation experience. You should have a few thousand hours of flying time under your belt before you even think about becoming a bush pilot. This is not the type of flying you can do just after you’ve obtained a private pilots license.

  • Wyatt, Lynn (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 10/10/2017 (Publication Date) -, Inc. (Publisher)

You also need to have a good knowledge of survival skills. This is because if something goes wrong when you’re flying over a wilderness area, you may not be able to get help right away. You need to be able to build a fire, purify water, and find food in the wild.

Lastly, you need to have a good mental attitude. A bush pilot must be able to deal with stressful situations and they must be able to stay calm under pressure. Conventional flying involves a higher degree of predictability. There is near-constant radio contact and plenty of opportunities for forced landings. Bush flying on the other hand can be the exact opposite and therefore a bush pilot needs to be resilient and self-reliant.

The skills and experience you need to be a bush pilot

So what skills and experience do you need to be a bush pilot? Well, you need to be able to fly a plane, but you also need to be familiar with the terrain and weather conditions in the area where you’ll be flying. You need to be able to navigate your way through dense forests and over rugged mountains, and you need to be able to land on short airstrips.

To prepare for bush flying you’ll need to devise a training program that will meet your specific requirements and for most this will include some time that will cover mountain flying. Your advanced bush pilot course is likely to include several on this list:

Photo by Marco Tjokro on Unsplash
  • Tailwheel conversion
  • Mountain flying
  • Sea plane rating or sea plane refresher course
  • Ski plane experience
  • River landings e.g. on gravel bars
  • Landing on frozen lakes
  • Glacier landing training
  • STOL flying with unconventional types e.g. tundra tires
  • Survival skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Basic mechanics & maintenance

You need to have a good knowledge of survival skills. If you’re forced to land miles away from the nearest help you’ll need to be able to build a fire, purify water, and find food in the wild. You will also need to know how to protect yourself and your passengers from predatory animals e.g. bears.

Lastly, you need to have a good attitude. Bush pilots must be able to deal with stressful situations and they must be able to stay calm under pressure. If you’re not sure if you have what it takes to prepare for bush flying, many flight schools offer training.

Why people become bush pilots

Bush pilots are an important part of the aviation community. They provide essential services to people and businesses in areas that are not easily accessible by other means of transportation.

There are many reasons why people become bush pilots. For some, it’s because they love flying and want to experience new places and cultures. Others want to help people in need, such as during natural disasters. Still, others become bush pilots because they want to start their own business or transportation service. Whatever the reason, bush pilots play an important role in the aviation community.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

There are a few things that all bush pilots have in common. They are all passionate about flying, and they all have a strong desire to help others. They also have a high level of skill and experience. Most bush pilots have years of flying experience, and many have flown in some of the most remote and challenging areas of the world.

Where to start

If you’re wondering what to do after you’ve obtained a private pilots license then bush flying is one option, even if you don’t intend to do so commercially. You’re going to need at least a PPL, a tailwheel rating, and a lot of PIC time in your logbook. On the other hand, you may want to obtain a commerical pilots license first if you intend to fly professionally as a bush pilot. Find yourself a certified instructor at a qualified flight school who can teach you the basics of flying into (and out of!) a remote area and how to make quick decisions in abnormal conditions.

Yyou’ll need a flight school that will teach you some of the above mentioned ratings and gain some flight experience in off airport conditions. Log hours on floats and several aircraft types. If you can do all that then you’ll be ready to apply for an entry level position or at least fly confidently into a remote location for your own enjoyment.

Flying to Extremes: Memories of a Northern Bush Pilot
  • Prinet, Dominique (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 280 Pages - 03/01/2021 (Publication Date) - Hancock House Publishers (Publisher)
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The Aerial Application Industry aka Crop Dusting & Crop Dusters

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Aerial application (aka crop dusting) is the process of spraying a crop with a pesticide or herbicide from an aircraft. Ag pilots may also spray seeds, conduct aerial surveys, or spray marshy areas to supress insect population e.g. mosquitos.

The aerial application industry refers to the business of crop dusting and other aerial applications, such as fertilizer spreading, seed planting, and frost protection. The industry has grown tremendously since in the early days of nearly 100 years ago when the first commercial dusting was pioneered. Today there are thousands of pilots involved in commercial dusting in the United States alone.

While still often referred to as crop dusting the term ag pilot and aerial applicator is now preferred, thus crop dusting pilots are now aerial applicators of crop protection products. Research has revealed that the application is best applied at certain points in the crop’s growing cycle e.g. at the VT stage for corn. Droplet size and flow controls are also important when taking the crop and the the risks that are to be mitigated into account.

The Crop Dusting Industry

The aerial application industry is vital to agriculture, as it allows farmers to protect their crops from pests and diseases. Crop dusting is also used to control weeds, and to spread fertilizer and other crop inputs.

Aerial applicators in the USA must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They must also have a valid pilot’s license, and pass a written exam about aerial application procedures.

The industry is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets standards for the use of insecticides and other chemicals. Aerial applicators must follow these standards to ensure that they are not harming the environment or people.

Aerial applicators must also take care to avoid sensitive areas, such as schools, hospitals, and homes. They must also avoid flying over people, animals, and vehicles.

The industry is a safe and vital part of agriculture. It plays an important role in crop protection, and in providing other benefits to farmers.

Image by Jan Amiss from Pixabay

Crop Duster Planes

Crop dusting airplanes are typically small, single-engine planes. They are equipped with a hopper that holds the pesticide or herbicide, and a long boom that extends from the back of the plane. The boom is equipped with nozzles that release the pesticide or herbicide onto the crop.

Crop dusting planes fly at low altitudes, and they must be carefully calibrated to ensure that the pesticide or herbicide is applied evenly across the crop. They typically fly in a grid pattern, so that every part of the crop is covered.

Crop dusting aircraft are operated by licensed pilots, who have undergone special training in aerial application procedures. The pilots must also take care to avoid sensitive areas, such as schools, hospitals, and homes.

Crop duster planes are an essential part of the agricultural industry, and they play a vital role in protecting crops.

Crop Duster Drones

Aerial applicators are now using drones to dust crops with pesticides and herbicides. Drones are a safer and more efficient way to apply pesticides, and they can reach areas that are inaccessible to crop dusters.

Drones are equipped with cameras that allow the pilot to see the target area, and they are also equipped with GPS systems that help the pilot navigate to the target area.

Agricultural Aircraft

An agricultural aircraft is any aircraft that is designed primarily for agricultural purposes. It could be fixed wing, rotary wing, or UAV (drone).

Crop Dusting School

There are many schools that offer crop duster pilot training. Some of the best known schools are the Agricultural Aviation Service in Stockton, California, Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Technology in West Lafayette, Indiana, and the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. These schools offer courses on aerial application procedures, aircraft maintenance, and crop science.

Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

Ag pilots are taught how to carry out aerial application efficiently to cover more acres per gallon of fuel, the importance of drift mitigation, flow controls, and aerial application droplet size for optimal results during their aerial work.

Crop Duster Salary

Crop duster pilots make a good salary. They need to have a pilot’s license and pass a written exam about aerial application procedures. They must also follow Environmental Protection Agency standards to make sure they are not harming the environment or people. Most crop duster pilots make between $30,000 and $50,000 per year.

Crop Dusting & Water Bombing

Ag pilots can be called upon to fly as water bombers. I recall watching a brush fire on the Greek island of Kephalonia being tackled in this way.

Crop Dusting Accidents

Flying at low level will inevitably involve a certain amount risk that can only be mitigate with intensive training and experience. Flying over so close to the ground requires quick reactions to avoid power lines and other obstacles. There have been a few accidents over the years but these should not detract from the high safety standards maintained by the pilots of today.

  • Crash into a house in Illinois in 2013, killing the pilot and two people inside the house.
  • Crash into a soybean field in Minnesota in 2014, killing the pilot.
  • Crash into a cornfield in Nebraska in 2015, killing the pilot.
  • Crash into a tree in Iowa in 2016, killing the pilot.

Crop Dusting Jobs

Some examples of jobs within ag aviation include:

  • Ag pilots (fixed wing aircraft or helicopters)
  • Ag pilot (drone)
  • Ag pilot instructor
  • Crop consultant
  • Agricultural scientist
  • Supplier of agricultural materials
  • Employee of an ag aviation service

Crop Dusting History

The aerial application of pesticides and herbicides from powered aircraft began in the 1920s. Prior to that, in 1906, a New Zealander by the name of John Chaytor had experimented with the idea using a hot air ballon with mobile tethers attached.

The first crop duster pilots were known as “agricultural aviators.” They were men who had served in World War I, and they had experience flying airplanes over battlefields. When they returned to the United States, they found work spraying crops with pesticides and herbicides.

The first crop duster planes were modified surplus war planes, and they were not very effective. The first successful crop duster plane was the Ayres Thrush, which was designed specifically for aerial application. The Thrush had a hopper that could hold 500 pounds of pesticide, and it could cover an acre of land in just two minutes.

The crop dusting industry has grown significantly since the 1920s as more crop protection products and application technologies have evolved thanks to relevant research. There are now more than 10,000 ag pilots in the United States, and they spray more than 1 billion acres of crops each year.

Crop areas prone to weeds and pests have benefited from the controlled aerial application of dry chemicals, although today there are concerns about the ag application of such substances used to control pests in particular.

Aerial work of this type in agriculture has its limits. The aerial application of crop protection products can do nothing to solve other problems common in crop production such as soil compaction.

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Learn to Fly at Andrewsfield Aviation Saling Airfield Essex

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Andrewsfield Aviation like to offer friendly but professional flight training at all levels. They provide training for the Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence (LAPL) and the Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) aboard their fleet of Cessna C152 and Piper PA28 aircraft.

For these licences candidates need to complete a minimum of 30 or 45 hours respectively and pass 9 written exams on the various ground school subjects.

The final step before gaining your Pilot’s Licence is the Skills Test during which your flying ability will be tested by an examiner. But don’t be daunted – their instructors will be there to guide you and mentor you every step of the way.

PPL Achieved

Once you are the proud owner of Private Pilot’s Licence you’ll free to take friends and family on trips of your own choosing.

As your confidence and skills develop you’ll soon be able to fly further afield. For example, you could fly to popular destinations like Le Touquet in northern France, only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Andrewsfield. Stop there for lunch and fly back in time for tea.

One major advantage of learning at Andrewsfield is that home landing fees are included in the lesson price. Many other flying schools charge landing fees in addition to your normal lesson price.

Andrewsfield was the choice of Paul Bonhomme to renew his Flight Instructor Rating. Paul Bonhomme was one of the stalwarts of the Red Bull Air Race series. He announced his retirement from the championship just days after securing a record-breaking third title at the 2015 Series finale in Las Vegas.

Additional Training at Andrewsfield Aviation

In aviation the learning and developing never ends and they offer further instruction for Instrument IR(R) /IMC training, a Night Rating, and an Aerobatic Rating. You can even go for a Multi Engine Rating in our own Beech Duchess B76 aircraft.

If your ambitions include teaching then they can provide you with a Flight Instructor Course (FIC) which is open to PPL and CPL pilots. However if you don’t want to commit to the full FIC course and if you have at least 300 hours logged as Pilot in Command you can opt for the Class Rating Instructor (CRI) course which will enable you to perform type conversions, check outs, and refresher training.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training is also available and is normally carried out using our Piper Arrow PA-28R-200 aircraft.

Trial Lesson Gift Vouchers & Hour Building

If you’re looking for a gift with a difference then why not buy one of their Trial Flying Lesson vouchers. The lucky recipient will have the opportunity to take control and fly the aircraft, and will be presented with a Certificate of Completion to mark the event.

Finally, they can also offer flight training and hour building at our satellite flight school in Naples, Florida where we can also take you from zero hours right up to EASA/FAA CPL/ATPL licences.

Saling Airfield, Essex

Saling Airfield is a small general aviation airfield located in the village of Great Saling, Essex, England. The airfield is home to a number of light aircraft and is used for private flying and flight training.

The airfield was originally built by USAAF engineers during the Second World War and was used by both the RAF and the United States Army Air Forces. Various USAAF squadrons operated from this airfield including heavy bombers sent on daylight raids over Germany right up to the end of the war. The RAF’s including visits by numbers 19, 65 and 122 Squadrons.

This war time airfield that once saw B-26 Marauders and Spitfires on its runways is now a busy general aviation airfield.


So whether it’s on a full or part time basis Andrewsfield can offer you the flight training you need at very competitive prices. Please visit for more information and follow the links to their social media accounts where you’ll see what our students past and present have to say about our services.

Or call them now on 01371 856744 and they’ll answer any questions you may have about learning to fly. They look forward to welcoming you to Andrewsfield.

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How To Make Money with a Drone – 7 Tips For Drone Pilots

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Drone pilots all over the world are earning money with their drones. Could you? In this post I’ll describe how to make money with a drone whether it’s full time or part time.

It is still possible start a drone business that will succeed and last in the long term, and earn money as a drone pilot and aerial photographer. However, as we shall see, it’s one thing to be a good drone pilot but quite another to run a successful drone business. Some people are better at working for themselves while others are more suited to working for others.

Drone operators are now using the very latest UAV technology for remotely controlled aerial surveys of all kinds, from bridge inspection jobs to constant camera surveillance of sensitive areas and projects. While you’re wondering where to start you can continue to practice flying and create stock photos ready for storing and selling on a stock photography site.

A love of flying drones

If you love photography and drones, then starting your own drone photography business could be a great way to combine your passions and earn a living. There are many advantages to running your own business, including the flexibility to set your own hours and work from home.

You’ll also be able to choose your own clients and projects, which means you can pick and choose the work that you’re most passionate about. And if you’re good at what you do, there’s no limit to how much money you can earn. Of course, starting any business requires hard work and dedication, but if you’re willing to put in the time, a drone video business can be extremely rewarding.

My own drone businesses

My advice is derived from the experiences I had between 2013 and 2016. In 2013 I noticed drones were becoming increasingly sophisticated and popular and I noticed the rapid growth of companies like DJI Innovations. Consequently I registered several domain names and got involved in this burgeoning industry.

At first I was a retailer, reselling drones ( DJI Phantoms) using a site called I also blogged about drones and unmanned aviation on, and then I ran my own aerial photography business under the name I did all this in my spare time while employed full time as Network Engineer. It was a busy period!

Too busy in the end. I sold the business and the collection of websites to an aviation partnership. It became clear to me that in order to fully exploit the potential in this industry it would take more time than I was able to give at that point so it was better for everyone if I let it go.

My drone course

This post is a very short version of what I used to create a course that explains things in much more detail. Here’s a description of the course and its contents.

Are you ready to make money with a drone?

DJI Mavic

So, what I’m about to tell you is based on my own experiences. The opportunities are huge and if you’re ready then you can look forward to a long career in the world of unmanned aviation and possible a very lucrative business if plan and start correctly.

I’d be very interested to know more about you and your ambitions, and if any of what I’m about to say is of use to you. So please, read to the end and leave me some feedback in the comment section below.

Drone pilots & The Law

First I need to make some assumptions about you. I’m going to assume that you are already familiar with the technology and your particular models of drone, and the laws, legislation, and the necessary permits for flying drones in your particular country. I’m going to assume that your drone piloting skills are already up to the required standard.

If you fly drones then it is of course essential that you comply with all the laws and stick rigidly to all the safety recommendations when operating unmanned aerial vehicles of any kind. For commercial operation you will need a drone license in most countries. Check with the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA or the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK for the latest regulations.

Flight skills

The reason I want to set aside the technical aspect and the subjects related to training is because plenty of people have explained this already. I can see from articles and videos already published that there’s plenty of advice about the practical side developing drone flight skills and getting the required training for a commercial operator’s licence.

Besides, drone technology has evolved over the past few years. Any drone pilots offering drone services now have more advantages in that department than I did in 2014. The number of commercial drone pilots with a current remote pilot certificate is growing year on year. When I started there were less than 150 individuals (or legal entity) listed with the CAA.

Running a business

Instead, I would like to pass on my advice about running a small business on your own, planning ahead, and gaining new clients. You might be very adept at UAV flying, aerial photography, and video editing but you need more that these practical skills to make a success of a your business.

The tips that follow apply to any aerial photography venture whether your speciality is aerial photography, videography, aerial mapping, thermal imagery, agricultural services, aerial roof inspections, or whatever. I’m sure you have your own ideas but a aerial footage business is obviously the most common starting point for most drone pilots.

Making money with a drone as a side hustle

Not everyone wants to commit to a full time running their own drone business with all the risks associated with it in its first few years. Some drone pilots just want to earn some money with a drone in their spare time. Here are just a few ideas of ways in which you might be able to achieve that goal.

  • Aerial photos for stock photography. As a part time drone photographer you can submit your aerial photos and drone videos to stock photos sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, etc.
  • Aerial photos for sale. Some drone photographers simply create a portfolio of drone photos on sites like and sell them direct to the public.
  • Start your own YouTube channel. Show off your aerial video footage by creating YT videos and develop a drone YouTube channel that can eventually be monitized through Adsense and other ad revenue.

1. Preparation & planning before can make money with a drone

Your first task is to consider your market.

  • Who are your potential customers likely to be?
  • How will you find them and how you will you retain your current clients?
  • How will you persuade them to use your services as opposed to a competing drone service?
  • How far are you prepared to travel?
  • Is all your business going to be locally based, in your home country, or abroad as well?

What’s in a name?

You will also need to decide on a business name for your new business. This might be based on your business location or on the services you intend to supply. It’s worth spending some time on this and giving considerable thought to the branding. Review the names of current drone companies and come up with something original of your own.

You’ll need a steady stream of clients

This may seem obvious but it’s suprising how many people rush into business without considering this in detail. Even if you already have ten people who have promised to hire your services you will need ten more, and ten more after that for years ahead.

Are they likely to be one-off clients or is any chance of repeat business with them? Obviously it will be a bit harder if all your clients are only going to hire you just the once. Repeat business and up-sells will make life a little easier.

How you can make money with a drone

Real estate industry

Real estate agents are a common source of potential customers. There’s a fairly constant demand for real estate photography so it’s a good place to start looking. Real estate agents need plenty of good quality marketing materials that include aerial clips of the properties for sale. Some make their own aerial videos but others still outsource the task to drone operators.

Construction and insurance companies

Another area that you might want to explore is construction drone services. Construction projects have been transformed by the use of drones for planning and capturing the progress from breaking ground to completion. Drones can film and photograph the site from the air, create 2D and 3D maps, and record the exact location of the buildings’ infrastructure as it is built.

Aerial wedding videography

Like funerals and haircuts there are some things that happen every year no matter what the enconomy is doing and one of those constants is weddings. Taking drone photos of the guests as they arrive and depart from the celebrations is another way in which drone owners can earn.

Good quality aerial footage of weddings can be combined with the still images to create memories that will last a lifetime and people are willing to pay for it. As with all such drone footage though you’ll need to be adept at using video editing software.

Aerial inspection services

Aerial surveying is one of the most common ways in which UAV video companies obtain clients. There is a contstant need for good quality aerial footage of the areas listed below, particularly after storms have passed through, but also to survey gradual aging and deterioration.

  • Roof inspections (domestic & industrial)
  • Wind turbines
  • Solar panels
  • Bridge inspections
  • Power line inspections
  • Gas pipeline inspections
  • Data collection
  • Drone surveying
  • Aerial mapping
  • Precision agriculture
  • Cell tower inspections
  • Whole building inspections

Utility companies in particular are making good use of drones for aerial surveys of not only pipelines and cables but also water or gas outlets.

Aerial surveying

Aerial surveillance is another area to explore. As well as for security this can also be for wildlife and environmental monitoring purposes. You may be required to perform air surveillance over wild open spaces using mapping drones in order to note the changes in habitat or to capture custom aerial footage of wildlife.

Drone deliveries

While drone delivery is still in its infancy and drones have not yet replaced helicopters for larger deliveries it seems certain that the day will eventually arrive when you’ll be able to make money by fulfilling drone deliveries, either on an ad hoc basis or as a regular service.

It’s been a few years since Amazon first started experimenting with drone deliveries but work has continued. Fixed wing drones were used to complete a drone delivery of medicines from Solent Airport to the Isle of Wight during the pandemic.

Many more examples of drone deliveries exist particularly using disaster relief drones where the local infrastructure is severely damaged and drone flying is the only way to delivery urgently needed supplies and medicines.

Make money in the drone market

Be the drone pilot that runs a drone shop selling the best drones. Be the person who sells drones but with added value because you can explain how to use various drone models face to face with customers and perhaps give demonstration flights.

Teach your customers how to capture the best drone footage. You needn’t be just the person who sells them. You can also use your knowledge and enthusiasm to build up a healthy client base of repeat customers.

2. Create a business plan for your start up

If you’ve ever watched the TV show Dragons’ Den (and I recommend you do) you will probably know that it is essential to know the figures for your business. It doesn’t matter how good the product or service, if it doesn’t show a reasonable profit in a given timeframe then it’s never going to succeed.

So your first task is to create a business plan. This doesn’t have to be a complicated PowerPoint presentation with pretty pictures and multimedia (unless you intent to pitch for some investment) but you should at least compile one or more spreadsheets that remind you of what your capital costs and expenditure are likely to be in the first 12-24 months. There are plenty of free Excel templates online. Just google for ‘business plan templates Excel’ or similar phrases.

You’ll need an initial investment for buying not only at least one well equipped drone, but also supplemental kit like thermal imaging cameras or cameras for collecting infrared video. You’ll also need to budget for ground vehicles of one kind or another. Your business is designed to help you anticipate where you’ll need to invest but also how you can save money.

What’s your CODB? Know your numbers

DJI Inspire

You should know the answers to basic questions like, What’s your CODB? (cost of doing business). You need to understand for your own benefit and be able to explain to anyone who might be an investor or a lender of funds. You need to be certain how many clients and how much business you need per month to break even and go into profit. You’ll need to set an hourly or daily rate for your business.

I cannot stress enough how important this is for your success. Many ventures of this sort (in fact, any type of business) fail in their first two years because the owners just don’t know what to charge for their products or services. Set the right price at the start.

Don’t forget to factor in drone insurance. You will need not only hull insurance for the UAV and all the other kit you take to site, but also general liability insurance against any mishaps that result in property damage or worse, injuries to people as a result of your commercial drone activities.

Business insurance is a must, not an optional extra. Any company or sole operator not paying for liability insurance are taking a huge risk and are probably operating illegally without drone insurance, bringing the drone industry into disrepute.

You’ll also need to decided whether you’re going to operate as a sole proprietor or as a limited liability company.

3. Controlling the budget for your business venture

The second point I want to emphasise to keep a tight rein on your budget. You might thing that you need every new gadget, tool, and software for your business. It’s very easy at the start when you’re flushed with enthusiasm (and you’ve still got money to spend!) to buy all the latest kit.

Just remember that for every pound or dollar you spend you will have to replace it with several pounds or dollars. Do you really need that gadget or software today?

Don’t get bitten by the softare bug and suffer from upgradeitus. A lot of software tools are filled with features we don’t use. Stick to the essentials.

While there will always be a need to maintain your equipment and some online tools will help your marketing you need to be certain that everything you buy earns a good return on investment.

4. Set the right price for your drone flying

Photo by Saffu on Unsplash

Imagine the scenario; you’ve quoted for a job but your client hesitates and tells you that they can only pay a proportion of your price. They may even hint that they will hire you again if they can secure a discount this time.

My advice is to stick to your original price and don’t be talked into a discount that results in you working at a loss. You should know from your plan what your break even price is so you’ll know there will a point at which it’s just not worth taking the job.

The contrary argument to this is that some work is better than none but once you let a client agree to a discount it’s much harder to obtain your full price later on. You need to explain to them that your price is set in accordance with the going market rate and that, just like them, you need to make a fair profit just to stay in business.

Remember also that a small discount for them is a much bigger loss to you than they imagine. For example, if you need to take £300 to break even so you add £150 profit and your quoted price is therefore £450.

If they persuade you give to them a 10% discount then you’ll lose £45, but that’s £45 off the total price. By giving them a 10% discount you’ve just lost 30% of your profit!

So brush up on your negotiation skills. Eventually it will pay off. People tend to respect those who show confidence in their own abilities and pricing. If your work is of sufficient quality then people will respect you and your prices.

5. Reinvestment and further drone training

Following on from the point about profit there is the need for reinvesting in your business. You didn’t think that £150 was going to go into your back pocket, did you?

Drone technology is evolving rapidly. I like to think that these years are similar to the early years of mobile phones or the world wide web. We are beginning to see the potential but no one is really sure just how big this technology is going to be.

You’re going to need to reinvest some of your profits in new equipment and perhaps external drone training and online courses for yourself. As your business grows you may need to send employees on drone training courses too.

Training is the usualy the first budget to be cut when a business experiences a downturn in sales but it’s essential if you and your employees are to maintain currency in their respetive skills and certifications.

All this needs to be considered while still keeping in mind the points mentioned previously about your budget. You will have to discern between what is sound reinvestment and what is non-essential.

6. Marketing

Photo by LexScope on Unsplash

Even the most talented people can fail in business by not attracting new clients. If you’ve got excellent drone piloting and other skills then you are off to a great start but you need to feed your business with new clients.

There are some businesses that do well simply by word of mouth. Good work is referred to others and the orders continue to flow in but they are rare. Most businesses need to budget for marketing every month.

Presumably you added a marketing budget to your plan. If not then do so now because it will have an impact on your prices.

Don’t imagine that marketing is something you can do just on rainy days when there’s no flying. You will need to put some effort into it every week, come rain or shine.

You can do a lot yourself to save on costs but what you save in pounds in spent in hours so you’ll need to decide whether or not some or all of this task can be outsourced.

Free online marketing

There is a lot you can do to attract potential clients online. We are all familiar with websites and the various social media (SM) accounts that can be set up for free but it takes time and doesn’t always work. If you rely on this method alone and no new clients find you then your business will start to fade before it’s fully begun.

You can showcase your work in a website or YouTube channel but if your potential clients don’t find you there, then what?

You can add your company details to one of the many UAV directories but if the website isn’t being promoted enough to bring you new clients then your subscription could be wasted.

You can start tweeting, create a Facebook page, and upload shots to Instagram. You can open as many accounts as you like but how much time can you spare each week to spend on these tasks? Do you know the best times to post?

I’ve been checking lots of drone business websites and SM accounts. It’s apparent that a lot are underused and left neglected. Nothing says ‘don’t bother’ more than a dead account that hasn’t seen a tweet or update for six months.

You’re going to need to combine the efforts in attracting organic traffic via your website and SM accounts with the more direct approach of paid advertising.

The marketing budget

Once again, this refers back to your business plan. Knowing where to spend your budget depends on your target market. Is print advertising still a good choice for reaching them? Perhaps a quarter page advert in a specialist trade magazine is a productive choice.

Or should you do what more and more businesses are doing and pay for clicks using Google Adwords, Bing, or Facebook ads?

Don’t forget you can also try the old fashioned method of cold calling. However, I strongly suggest you research this first. Take the time to find out what the best format is for an email. Learn about the best heading, opening line, second line, and signature in your emails. Keep a record of what emails you send out and note the responses.

Research your clients and show a genuine interest in them and their business and they may return the favour by responding to your unsolicited email. Send a follow up if you like but whatever you do don’t spam people.

7. Time management

Yes, this old chestnut. It crops up in every list of tips for would-be millionaires but it does so for a very good reason. If you’ve ever read any autobiographies written by successful people you may have spotted two bits of advice that they all want to pass on.

The first is that we all only have 24 hours in a day. No one gets any more.

The second is that it pays dividends if you spend your time wisely. It’s a precious commodity and it’s not infinite. So develop the habit of spending 90 minutes each day doing your essential tasks. I suggest you spend 90 minutes on marketing

Do this before you check your email, Facebook, or Twitter. Don’t read the news or faff about with online distractions. Do your 90 minutes of marketing then at least if the rest of the day becomes unproductive you have at least succeeded in achieving that much.

This concludes my list of seven tips for starting a business using umanned vehicle systems. If you need any help with your website, social media management, pay per click advertising, or internet marketing videos then please get in touch.

I hope I’ve demonstrated knowledge of both the market and running a business so I would be glad to quote for your online marketing needs.

Drone pilot jobs

Of course, you don’t have to take the risk of starting a UAV company of your own. If all the above seems like just too much effort and risk then you can find drone pilot jobs and work for someone else, either as a permanent employee or as a contractor.

As a drone pilot you might choose this route in order to gain experience learning how to operate expensive drones in a commercial environment first before venturing into self employment or starting a UAV company

Operating a drone photography business

In conclusion, if you’ve set you’re about to start a drone business in which you legally fly drones for commercial purposes then as a business owner you’ve got a lot of planning, preparation, and research to do. You will need to be familiar with the drone laws and local rules in order to operate safely. As a drone service provider you’ll need to have a strategy for keeping your existing customers,

I hope this post has given you some inspiration and ideas for how to make money with a drone. If you found this post of interest or helpful in any way I would be grateful if you’d add a comment below. Even better, please share it!

Thank you for reading and good luck with your drone business.

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Flight Simulator Experience Near Me – Best ways to enjoy simulated flight

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There is a flight simulator experience waiting for you in many places around the UK and elsewhere. You’ll find links to a full range of flight simulator experiences in the UK below.

Modern flight simulators are so much better than the slow, unrealistic examples of the past. Many are full-motion simulators, so you get to feel all the sensations of climbing, descending, and turning. There are so many types of simulators, from Spitfires and other famous fighter aircraft to airliners, from light aircraft to modern military jets. You can even recreate the famous Sully Experience by ditching your airliner in the Hudson River.

The huge advantage of simulators is that no previous experience is required. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never sat in an aircraft before or don’t know the first thing about cockpits. You’ll be given a full briefing to ensure that you, or the lucky recipient of your gift, will enjoy the experience and that you come back for more.

Where to go for Flight Simulator Experience


North of England

North West England

The Midlands

Eastern England

South West England

South East England

Flight Sims With Professional Pilots

Another big advantage of simulators is the fact that they are open all year round and, unlike real flying lessons, the weather never postpones the event. So whatever the wind or the precipitation outside you can enjoy a realistic flying experience.

Some of these flight simulator experiences are run by professionals who use the same simulators for training commercial pilots. You’ll be sitting in the same cockpit as the pilot who attends refresher courses or a new pilot on the way to obtaining a commercial licence.

Others are the cockpits of fighter jets in which you can experience the sensations and sounds of today’s modern combat, and World War II vintage aircraft in which you can relive the dogfights of the past, going into aerial battle with a computer-generated adversary or perhaps a friend in another simulator.

Alternatively, how about trying to land your aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier as it moves about in a rough sea? Some of the modern jet simulators include air to air combat, aircraft carrier landings, air to ground bombing, air to air refueling, formation flying, and full mission campaigns.

Whether you lean toward a Spitfire simulator or landing a Boeing 737 at LAX or an Airbus A320 at Heathrow, there’s a simulator experience waiting for you. They are the next best thing to being in the cockpit of a real Spitfire or flying an airliner into any airport in the world.

Airliner Flight Simulators

If airliners are your thing then you could choose to experience landing at some of the world’s most famous and spectacular airports; St Maarten, Innsbruck, and Kai Tak. Sitting in the darkened cockpit your eyes will see and your ears will hear exactly what real pilots experience.

Do you suffer from a fear of flying? Spending some time in a flight simulator has been known to relieve the symptoms of nervous flyers. Included in the links below is a link to a fear of flying course in Northampton or Sussex. Professional and patient instructors are on hand to walk you through every step.

Flight simulator experiences are also an excellent choice for businesses and companies looking for that fun and safe team-building exercise that is open all the year-round, whatever the weather.

Ready to give one a try, or thinking of giving the gift of wings to someone else? Why not go with a friend and take turns, or bring some of the family and make a day of it?

Use the links below to make a choice then follow the clicks to a booking. It’s an experience that is fun, safe, and very realistic. It may even give you the taste for real flying.

History of Flight Simulation

For as long as there have been airplanes, people have dreamed of flying. Early inventors attempted to build machines that could mimic the experience of flight, but it was not until the early 20th century that the first true flight simulators were developed. The earliest simulators were used for training pilots in the military, but it wasn’t long before civilian pilots began to use them as well.

Flight simulators have come a long way since those early days and they are now used for a variety of purposes, from training students and qualified pilots under the watchful eye of an instructor and checking their ability to fly real aircraft to entertaining people and giving them a flight experience.

The commercial simulator of today is a motion simulator that generates the physical sensation of piloting a plane as it lands at an airport or passes through any kind of weather. They can be configured for any type of skies and destinations.

Despite their many uses, all flight simulators share one common goal: to give their users the closest possible experience to flying without leaving the ground.

The Realism of Flight Simulator Software

The realism of flight simulator software has evolved in proportion to the hardware, processing power, and software of our computers. Flight sims have been around for almost as long as the personal computer. Flight simulator software has always been a best seller over the past few decades.

It was the idea that there might be a realistic alternative to actual flying that first attracted me to PCs. I was learning to fly in the 1980s but I didn’t have enough money to fly as often as I’d like.

To have a very realistic flight simulator on a powerful home PC seemed a great idea. However, it was to be a long time before the software and the processing power evolved into something satisfactory let alone a package that was truly impressive.

The evolution from the first attempts to the visual, auditory, and process realism of today’s flight sims are demonstrated in this video (it’s over 30 minutes long so you might want to scroll through it for glimpses).

Perhaps you can remember those early versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. At first, they seemed poor substitutes for a real cockpit and instrument panel. As the years passed they began to take on a depth of realism that has evolved into something very close to the real thing.

Virtual Aerospace

Today, realism is everything. Real pilots who want to practice on light aircraft and aviation enthusiasts who want to fly airliners demand the accuracy of the Captain’s seat. They want total immersion in the experience. When someone is paying to use a Spitfire simulator they want to feel realistic controls as if they’re sitting in a Spitfire cockpit.

Combat flight sims have always been popular but as realism has improved the demand for civil aviation simulators has increased as well.

Today you can fly an airliner from startup to shutdown and select every button for every task, just as the aircrew would do in real flight. Perhaps some of those flight sim enthusiasts daydream of being asked to assist with any emergency that results in the aircrew being incapacitated!

The Virtual Cockpit

The idea of a passenger being able to land an airliner in an emergency has often been the subject of debate among pilots and aviation writers. As the realism in affordable flight simulators improves it can only add more fuel to the fire.

Today’s flight sims contain fully functioning instrument panels to the front, overhead, and to either side. You can turn and select buttons and turn dials. The instruments give clear and accurate information based on your flight parameters.

For some years now it’s been possible to select the time of day, weather, and random flight emergencies as well as dozens of aircraft types. Given the number of locations and terrain available it is not possible to live long enough to try every combination available.

What’s Next?

It seems likely that the next generation of flight sim developers will exploit the potential of virtual reality. Surely there can be no greater fully immersive experience. As well as, and perhaps in conjunction with VR, there are likely to be more advances in the feedback from the control columns and pilot seats.

So, whether you’re a pilot who is unable to fly due to bad weather or an enthusiast looking for the next best thing, there is plenty of scope for exercise and enjoyment in the world of flight simulator software.

The Future of Flight Simulators

The limitations of flight sims used to be the fact that, no matter how realistic the graphics displayed on the screen nor the sounds coming out of the speakers, the pilot couldn’t feel the sensations of flight. Now that augmented and artificial reality has now found its way into the world of flight sims it’s possible to experience the physical sensations both by using cockpit seats that move in response to the aircraft’s movements and by fooling the mind using virtual reality goggles.

Flight Simulation FAQs

What is the best flight simulator?

There is no single best flight simulator. Professional pilots use a variety of simulators depending on their needs. Some are designed for training and others for recreation. The market for flight simulator software is large and growing, so there is something to meet the needs of everyone from beginners to experts.

What are the different types of flight simulators?

There are four types of flight simulators: full flight simulators, cockpit simulators, cabin crew trainers, and device trainers. Full flight simulators provide the most realistic experience and are used for training pilots. Cockpit simulators are used to train cabin crew and simulate the environment of a cockpit. Cabin crew trainers help prepare cabin crew for their roles. Device trainers are used to train pilots on the use of devices such as radios and navigational aids.

What are the best features of a flight simulator?

There is no single best feature of a flight simulator. However, some of the best features include the realistic graphics and sounds, the ability to fly in different weather conditions and locations, and the variety of aircraft available to fly. Additionally, flight simulators can be used for training or recreation, making them an enjoyable experience for pilots and aviation enthusiasts.

How realistic are today’s flight simulators?

Professional pilots use a variety of flight simulators depending on their needs, and many aviators find that today’s flight sims provide an experience that is realistic enough for training or recreation. The graphics and sounds in many sims are realistic enough to fool the mind and devices such as cockpit seats that move in response to the aircraft’s movements can provide a physical sensation of flight. Additionally, virtual reality goggles can be used to further immerse the user in the experience.

What is the future of flight simulators?

The future of flight simulators is likely to include more immersive experiences, such as virtual reality, and more realistic sensations, such as those provided by moving cockpit seats. Additionally, the market for flight sim software is large and growing, so there is likely to be something to meet the needs of everyone from beginners to experts.

Are there any good free flight sims?

Yes, there are several good free flight simulators available. Some are browser based while others are free to download for a PC or Max. All of these simulators are realistic and provide a great experience for pilots and aviation enthusiasts.

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Flying in a Spitfire at Duxford: An Experience of a Lifetime

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For anyone who is a fan of flight and of warbirds in particular, flying in a Spitfire at Duxford is an opportunity not to be missed. At the Imperial War Museum Duxford you can enjoy flight experiences with some of the most iconic planes from World War II. You can fly wing to wing with these vintage aircrft or enjoy the full Spitfire experience with a flight in a two seater Spitfire, during which you’ll have the opportunity to take the controls yourself for an unforgettable experience.

Put on a flight suit and enjoy a very special flight in a two seater Spitfire, a Harvard, or a Tiger Moth. Alternatively, how about a window seat in a Dragon Rapide as you fly wing to wing with a Duxford Spitfire flying alongside?

After your pleasure flight you can round of the day with entry to IWM Duxford and marvel at the fascinating collection of famous aircraft where you can learn all about the aviation history of Britain, the USA, and elsewhere.

Flying in a Spitfire

Few two seat Spitfires exist

Few aviation experiences are as exhilarating as flying in a Spitfire. These iconic WWII fighter aircraft that played such an important role in the Battle of Britain are still revered today for their sleek design and powerful Rolls Royce Merlin and Griffon engines. And what could be more exciting than taking the controls of one of these historic aircraft?

Fortunately, there are a few companies that offer the chance to fly in a two-seat Spitfire. These flights typically last around 30 minutes but they can last longer. They’re packed with adrenaline-pumping action. You’ll get to experience first-hand what it was like to fly one of these legendary aircraft. To fly in a Spitfire is one of those flying experiences that will put a grin on your face that will last for weeks.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, be sure to check out flight options in a two-seat Spitfire.

Harvard Flights

Harvard T6 at Goodwood

Harvard flights are an option at Duxford and elsewhere in the UK as I’ve explained in this post.

You step into the aircraft and are enveloped in the smell of leather, grease, and oil. You can feel the excitement in the air as you strap yourself in and prepare for takeoff. The engine roars to life, and the plane begins to vibrate as it accelerates down the runway. In a matter of moments, you are airborne, and the ground is falling away beneath you.

As you climb higher and higher, the world below seems to shrink until it is like a toy model. You can see for miles in every direction, and the sense of freedom is exhilarating. For a few brief moments, you forget all your cares and worries and simply enjoy the ride. That is the power of flight.

Tiger Moth Flights

Tiger Moth at Shoreham

You’ve always dreamed of flying, and there’s no better way to experience the joys of aviation than in a Tiger Moth biplane as I explained in this post.

As you take off in the two-seat open cockpit, you’ll be surrounded by the sounds of the engine and the wind rushing through the wires on the wing. You’ll instantly feel a sense of freedom as you climb into the skies.

And as you soar over the landscape, you’ll have a unique perspective on the world below. Whether you’re taking in the sights of a cityscape or enjoying the tranquility of a rural setting, flight in a Tiger Moth biplane is an unforgettable experience. So what are you waiting for? Book your flight today and enjoy all that aviation has to offer.

Dragon Rapide Flights

Dragon Rapide at Goodwood

You board the plane, take your window seat, and buckle your seatbelt. The two Gipsy Six engines roar to life and within minutes you’re airborne, soaring over the English countryside. The fields and hills look like a patchwork quilt from above, and you can see for miles in every direction.

As you fly, you spot landmarks in the distance or perhaps a river winding its way through the landscape. The ride is smooth and peaceful, and you can’t help but feel amazed at the beauty of it all. Before long, you’re reluctant to land back on solid ground.

This was air travel in the 1930s. Slow, elegant, and graceful.

Dragon Rapide & Tiger Moth Flights

If you can’t decide between the Tiger Moth or flights onboard the elegant flight in the Dragon Rapide then why not do both? You can select a date and time or buy a gift voucher for someone special.

Flights as a passenger aboard a de Havilland Rapide are more affordable than flights in the warbirds and you have the added advantage of the privileged position inside where you can make yourself comfortable, ready for the Duxford Spitfire flying alongside.

Formation Flights with a Spitfire

Another option for those who want the ultimate flight experience is to fly in formation with a Spitfire, either in the back of a Harvard or sitting in a passenger seat aboard a Dragon Rapide. With both options the two aircraft will fly side by side, wing tip to wing tip, giving you plenty of opportunities to take many memorable photos and create wonderful video clips.

Light Aircraft Flights

Learning to fly is an exhilarating experience, and it’s something that anyone can learn to do. It all begins with some trial flying lessons

During an introductory flying lesson, you’ll have the chance to take the controls of the aircraft and learn what it feels like to fly. You’ll learn about the basic principles of aerodynamics and how to control the aircraft in different conditions.

If you’ve ever dreamed of learning to fly, a trial flying lesson is a must. It’s an experience you’ll never forget, and it could be the beginning of a whole new chapter in your life.

Imperial War Museum at Duxford

The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is the perfect place to learn about the history of military aviation. As you explore the museum, you’ll see countless examples of both American and British aviation aircraft that played such an important role both before and during the Second World War.

The museum houses a collection of over 300 aircraft, tanks and vehicles, as well as uniforms, medals and personal memorabilia. There are also interactive exhibits, films and audio guides available. The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is a unique and fascinating place to visit.

Duxford is a working airfield and plays host to a number of events during the year. It’s well known to Spitfire fans due to the airshows held there each year. The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is located on the site of the former RAF Duxford, a Second World War fighter base.

Spitfire Gift of Wings

The memory of a Spitfire flight experience will last a lifetime. To fly in a Spitfire will make you appreciate all kinds of things; from the courage displayed by the young men who went into battle in these aircraft, to the young women who delivered them from factories to airfields in all weathers, to the pilots of today like those in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight who fly with such precision.

Continue your journey of discovery and broaden your experience by visiting the Biggin Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill airfield in Surrey, North Weald airfield in Essex, and Headcorn aerodrome in Kent. Flights from some of these bases can reach the white cliffs of the southern coast and Beachy Head, providing the opportunity for the ultimate souvenir photograph of an iconic Spitfire set against the backdrop of the white cliffs – a timeless shot evoking the Battle of Britain.

Drop in to Solent Airport during weekdays in the summer to watch the two seater Spitfires taxi up as they take lucky passengers on flights around the Isle of Wight. These Spitfire flights begin at based at Goodwood airfield. The passenger may be a very experienced pilot who is converting to the Spitfire and is undergoing training or simply someone who is enjoying a wonderful day and fulfilling a lifetime ambition to fly in a Spitfire and who knows, perhaps perform a Victory Roll somewhere over the Solent.

Points to note about Spitfire Experience & Spitfire Flying

  • Duxford Spitfire flights and others in the vintage aircraft mentioned above are provided by Classic Wings.
  • Included in the price is complimentary same day entry to the IWM Duxford.
  • All flights weather dependent so be sure to check with the team before leaving home to travel to Duxford, particularly if you have a long journey. With the journey time, the pre flight briefing, the Supermarine Spitfire flight (or whichever flight you choose), and the visit the the museum itself, you’ll be kept busy for the whole day.
  • Be sure to have enough power and memory in your phone or camera for all the video footage and breathtaking photos you will probably want to capture.
  • Actual flight time on the day may vary slightly.
  • All flights are preceded by a safety briefing.
  • All information on this page is correct to the best of my knowledge so always check with the vendor for confirmation.


Even if you’re not an avgeek or aviation enthusiast, to see a Spitfire flying gladdens the heart. this iconic aircraft seems to reach out to people in a way that few other type can. To fly in a Spitfire is therefore a fantastic experience and Duxford airfield is one of several places in the UK where this is possible. With its heritage and history this airfield is a very appropriate venue.

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Harvard Flights UK – Take a Trial Lesson in this Legendary Aircraft

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There are several places in the UK where you can enjoy a flight experience in this fighter trainer. Harvard flights are available for everyone, no previous flying experience required. You can simply enjoy the flight experience or log it as time on type with an instructor. If you love flying then you’ll love the Harvard.

You may have seen a Harvard fly at airshows or on display in a museum. It’s a two-seat low wing aircraft used to train pilots for combat. It has a large radial engine and makes a disctinctive sound on take off when at full power the tips of the propeller reach a supersonic speed.

Where to book Harvard Flights UK

With so many still flying a Harvard flight is not the incredibly rare opportunity that it used to be, thanks to the dedicated owners, pilots, and mechanics who keep them flying.

What to expect during a Harvard Flight

As with any trial flying lesson the instructor will give you a thorough pre flight briefing during which you will be told what to expect and some essential details about the aircraft and the flight itself. It’s highly recommended that you pay close attention to this ground briefing as it will all make sense when you’re in the air.

Once in the air you’ll be given the opportunity to take the controls. If you’ve flown in light aircraft before you’ll be able to contrast and compare the lightness of touch needed to fly this iconic aircraft. it’s hard to put into words what a fantastic experience it is to have a trial flight in this fighter trainer.

If a flight in the legendary Spitfire is beyond your budget then a trial lesson in the mighty Harvard is the next best thing for authenticity when it comes to being airborne in a WW2 fighter.

My Harvard Flight Experiences

My two flights in the Harvard were a few years ago now but they are etched in my memory. The first flight was in July 2000 in G-BKRA based at Shoreham Airport and now in the hands of the Real Flying Company. I enjoyed 30 minutes flying over the Sussex countryside. I flew most of it myself under the careful supervision of the instructor pilot.

The second flight was in a G-AZSC, a Harvard Mk IIB based at Goodwood Airfield in West Sussex. This was ten years later in October 2010. This particular aircraft was once owned by the pop star Gary Numan. This particular plane is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 piston engine and was built in 1943.

One of the first things you might notice about this aircraft is that it still has a machine gun fitted to each wing. Once strapped in to the cockpit the first thing that struck me was how the cockpit was devoid of anything except the essential flying controls and dial. There were no frills or unnecessary decor. This is very much a military aircraft with a distinctive smell of what I assumed to be a mixture of the oils, grease, and leather of the interior.

On the first attempt at this flight the instructor took the sensible decision to abort the flight due to a rough running engine discovered during the power checks. Sure enough, a defective spark plug was later discovered and replaced. On the second attempt the flight went ahead and all was well. On this occasion I flew along the south coast from overhead Portsmouth, heading east. The flight lasted a full hour.

World War

The North American Harvard was used by various training units as a basic combat trainer including the Royal Air Force during and just after World War II. Pilots who has perhaps learned to fly on a smaller, lighter aircraft (like the Tiger Moth in the UK or a Boeing Stearman in the USA) would graudate to this advanced trainer. It is a much heavier aircraft and once mastered the pilot would be ready to graduate onto fighter aircraft like the Spitfire.

Armed aircraft were also used in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, as well as by many other air forces around the world both as a basic trainer and as a combat aircraft.

North American T-6 Texan

The North American T-6 Texan was a single-engine trainer aircraft used by the United States military during World War II. The Texan was first manufactured in 1935 and quickly became one of the most popular training planes in history. More than 15,000 were produced during the war, and the plane remained in service until the 1950s.

The Texan was known for its ruggedness and versatility, and it served as the basis for a number of subsequent military aircraft. Today, the Texan is revered by aviation enthusiasts and continues to be flown by private pilots around the world.

Is it a Texan, Harvard, or SNJ?

The same AT-6 aircraft type was referred to by different military forces using different names:

  • North American Harvard – RAF and other British Commonwealth forces (also Yales)
  • North American Texan – US Army Air Corps (USAAC)
  • North American SNJ – US Navy. You can see an example of this at Compton Abbas Airfield where they have a 1946 SNJ-5 Harvard.

The aircraft was used in a variety of configurations for various purposes:

  • AT – Advanced trainer
  • BC – Basic combat trainer
  • BT – Basic trainer
  • SNJ – Scout trainer North American

Airworthy Harvards

There are many examples of the T6 Harvard flying today which means that you don’t have to go far to see one in flight or to enjoy a Harvard experience. As well as the USA and the UK there are aircraft of this type all over Europe and some in the Middle East.

North American Aviation Company

North American Aviation was an American aerospace manufacturer, founded in 1928 as a consolidation of several small companies. The company produced a wide variety of aircraft, including bombers, trainers, and fighters.

During World War II, it was one of the largest producers of aircraft for the Allied war effort. After the war, the company shifted its focus to the production of jet-powered aircraft. In 1961, the company merged with Rockwell Standard to form the North American Rockwell Corporation.

The new company continued to produce aircraft for both the civilian and military markets. However, changing market conditions and increasing competition led to financial difficulties, and North American Rockwell was acquired by Boeing in 1967.

Despite its relatively short history, North American Aviation left a lasting mark on the aerospace industry. The company’s innovative products helped to shape the course of aviation history.

Book your Harvard Flight today

Whether you’re already a pilot, a student pilot, or just someone looking for a unique experience, you should book a Harvard flight today. Flights get booked up in the summer months so you may have to wait a few weeks for your turn. Put it in the calendar now.

When the day arrives you’ll be able to take the controls of this fighter trainer and imagine what it must of have been like to train pilots or even go into combat. It’s a fantastic experience and I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.

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The Learjet 35, 35a, 36, and 36a. Versatile Light Jets

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The Learjet 35 is one of a family of small, light jets that were produced by the Bombardier Aerospace company. The first jet in the Learjet line was the Learjet 23, which was introduced in 1963. The Learjet 35 was the first model to be certified for use in the United States. The Learjet 36 is the latest model in the Learjet line, and it features updated avionics, upgraded engines and fuel tanks, and a redesigned interior.

Each new model coming off the production line saw an increase in its fuel capacity, cruise speed, maximum range, and service ceiling. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the different models in the Learjet family.

Sadly, production of the Learjet ceased in February 2021 when Bomardier Learjet announced the cessation of production and with that 1,600 jobs were lost. By 2017, 3,000 Learjets had been produced.


The Learjet 35 is a twin-engine jet aircraft that was introduced in 1973. The Learjet 35a is an upgraded model of the Learjet 35, and it features a longer range and updated engines. The Learjet 36 is a stretched version of the Learjet 35, and it features an updated cockpit and a redesigned interior. The Learjet 36a is an upgraded version of the Learjet 36, and it features a longer range and updated engines.

Learjet 35

The Learjet 35 jet aircraft is a popular choice for private and corporate aviation. Its performance, range, and cabin size make it an excellent choice for short-haul flights. The jet is powered by two Garrett TFE731-2-2A turbofan engines, which give it a maximum speed of Mach 0.86.

The jet has a range of 2,410 miles, making it ideal for domestic flights. The cabin of this model of Learjet can accommodate up to eight passengers, making it perfect for small groups or families. The jet also has a spacious baggage compartment, making it easy to store luggage or other materials.

The Learjet 35 is an excellent choice for those who want a versatile and reliable light jet aircraft.

Learjet 35a

Learjet 35A
By Omoo, CC BY 2.5,

The Learjet 35a is a midsize jet aircraft that was introduced in 1976. It is a development of the Learjet 35, with several significant improvements. The most notable changes were an increased range. Over 600 were built.

Other changes include an updated interior with greater cabin width, more powerful TFE731-2-2B engines, and new avionics. Together, these improvements made the Learjet 35a a more capable and comfortable aircraft than its predecessor.

Learjet 35a take off

Learjet 36

The Learjet 36 was first introduced in 1976, and it is based on the earlier Learjet 35 model. The main difference between the two models is that the 36 has a larger fuselage fuel tank giving it a longer range.

The 36 can seat up to eight passengers, and it has a typical range of 2,500 miles. It is a popular choice for private charter companies, and it has also been used by several high-profile individuals, including celebrities and heads of state. TheLearjet 36 is an iconic aircraft, and it is still in production today.

Learjet 36a

The Learjet 36a is a twin-engine business jet that was introduced in 1995. It is a stretched version of the Learjet 35 and can seat up to 8 passengers. The 36a has a cruising speed of 541 mph and a range of 2,405 miles. It is powered by two Garrett TFE731-2-2B engines, each of which produces 3,700 lbs of thrust.

The 36a also features an upgraded interior, with more legroom and storage space than the 35. The increased cabin size comes at the expense of range, however, as the 36a can only fly for 2,405 miles before needing to refuel. Nevertheless, the Learjet 36a is a popular choice for business and private travel, thanks to its comfortable cabin and impressive performance.

Learjet 36A take off

Learjets for Military Use

The United States military is always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve. In recent years, that has included incorporating cutting-edge technology into their operations. One example of this is the use of Learjets for military purposes. Although they were originally designed for civilian use, these planes have proven to be extremely versatile and have been adapted for a variety of military applications.

Today, they are used for everything from medical evacuations to airstrikes. It can also be deployed on a reconnaissance mission. Thanks to their speed and agility, Learjets give the military a significant advantage on the battlefield. With these planes in their arsenal, any military service is better equipped than ever to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Armed forces and police services with Learjets in their fleet:

  • The United States Air Force
  • The Italian Air Force
  • The Bulgarian Air Force
  • The Italian Army
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Learjets for Business Use

Learjets have long been a staple of the business world and for good reason. These jets offer a wide range of features that make them perfect for traveling executives. For starters, Learjets are fast, allowing businesspeople to get where they need to go quickly. They also offer a high degree of comfort and extravagance, with spacious interiors and plenty of amenities.

In addition, Learjets are extremely reliable, meaning that businesses can count on them to get their employees to their destination safely and on time. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder that the Learjet remains one of the most popular choices for business travel.

Learjet for the Emergency Services

In today’s world, emergency services are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to help them respond to incidents quickly and efficiently. One area that has seen significant advances in recent years is air ambulance transport. Rapid response times are crucial in emergencies, and Learjets have emerged as a leading option for air ambulance transport. Thanks to their speed and maneuverability, Learjets can get to incident sites quickly, even in difficult terrain.

In addition, their size means they can land in a wide variety of locations, including smaller airstrips and rural areas. As a result, Learjets have become an invaluable tool for emergency services, providing a rapid and flexible way to get critical care to those who need it most.

Examples: Polish Medical Air Rescue

Learjet Manufacture

The company was headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, and has facilities in Montreal and Tucson. Learjets are built at the Wichita facility. The Montreal facility is responsible for engineering and design, while the Tucson facility assembles the wings and fuselage.

In total, around 1,600 employees worked at Learjet. The company produced over 3,000 aircraft since its inception, and its jets are used by a variety of customers including corporate executives, government officials, and celebrities.

Learjet 45
By MilborneOne at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Bill Lear

William Punnett Lear was born in 1902 in Hull, Massachusetts. An inventive mind from an early age, he dropped out of high school to start his own business repairing and installing car radios. In the 1930s, he began working on developing a new type of autopilot for small planes.

His design was eventually adopted by the U.S. military during World War II, and he went on to develop navigation systems for both radar and sonar. In the 1950s, Lear set his sights on the jet engine, and he designed and built the prototype of the Learjet in 1963. The Learjet quickly became a popular choice for both corporate and private travel, and it helped to revolutionize air travel.

Today, William Lear’s legacy continues to be felt in the aviation industry, and his name is synonymous with innovation and excellence.

John Lear

John Lear was Bill Lear’s son. John followed in his father’s footsteps and became a successful businessman in his own right. He was also an accomplished pilot and set several world records for aviation.

In addition to his business ventures, John was also an active philanthropist, supporting several causes including education and environmental conservation. He was a passionate advocate for aviation safety and worked tirelessly to promote awareness of aviation safety. 

John Lear and UFOs

In addition to being an accomplished pilot, he was also an avid ufologist and a friend of Bob Lazar. For years, Lear was fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life and the governments’ alleged cover-ups of UFO sightings.

While some people might have dismissed Lear as a crackpot, there’s no denying that he was sincere in his beliefs. And who knows? Maybe one day he’ll be vindicated and we’ll all find out that the truth is out there.

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How to sleep on a plane and get some quality rest

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How to sleep on a plane well enough to get some quality rest is a matter of some debate. What works for you might not work for someone else but there are some tried and tested methods that seem to work for almost everyone.

For many travelers, sleeping on a plane as well as they do in their own bed is a near impossibility. However, with a little foresight and planning, it can be made more comfortable.

Here are some tips for how to sleep on a plane and get some quality rest.

Choose your seat

If you’re flying First Class or Club Class you will probably choose your seat at your leisure. Even if you don’t and you leave it to chance, you’re guaranteed plenty of space in which to keep your legs straight in these seats.

For those flying in Premium Economy or Economy class, things are a little different. If your booking allows it and you’re prepared to pay the fee (or if you’re already able to choose your seat through your points in your frequent flier airline loyalty program) then you can increase your chances of getting some rest by choosing the right seat.

A window seat is a good choice because they are away from the aisle. If you’re sitting in an aisle seat trying to get some shut eye then you might find it difficult due to the number of people walking by, other passengers and flight attendants, and the occasional brush of your arm that often occurs in such situations.

As well as the sensation of a brush as a flight attendant passes by, there is also the risk of being knocked by a trolley or any passenger who might be unsteady on their feet.

On the other hand, one disadvantage of window seats is that you have to ask the other person next to you to move if you need to use the toilet.

Bulkhead seats are another option as they often have extra legroom. However, they may also be the location set aside for parents traveling with babies, particularly on long flights.

How not to do it
Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

What to bring on a plane to help you sleep

There are a few key things you can pack into your carry on that may help you to rest comfortably and get to sleep.

A comfortable pillow and blanket may help, though of course you will be provided with both. However, having your own travel pillow and perhaps blanket too can create that extra layer of comfort.

An eye mask and earplugs can also help block out light and noise. A neck pillow can help support your head and neck, and finally, consider bringing along some warm socks to wear if your compression socks don’t do the job.

Seasoned travelers end the wear layers of comfortable clothing so that they take off or add a layer as required. They also bring noise canceling headphones, not just for sleep time but also for using the entertainment system. However, some airlines have greatly improved their own headsets over recent years.

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How to get comfortable on a plane

To get comfortable in an airplane seat, start by adjusting the seat to your ideal position. If you can recline, do so, though be courteous to the passenger in the seat behind you. There’s an unwritten etiquette for a long flight and that is to wait until after the meal has been served and cleared away before fully reclining a seat.

If you can’t wait until then recline your seat a little so that you can at least get comfortable. Use a small pillow to support your lower back. Place another pillow behind your head or neck, if needed.

Use a blanket to keep warm, but avoid putting it over your head as this can make you feel claustrophobic. Make sure the seat belt is fastened over the blanket so that the flight attendant doesn’t need to wake you to check that you have it fastened.

Put the tray table into the upright position so that you don’t knock against it while you’re getting comfortable.

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How to fall asleep on a plane

There are a few different techniques you can use that will soon have you falling asleep aboard the aircraft. One is to relax your whole body by tensing and releasing each muscle group, starting with your toes and working up to your head.

Another is to focus on your breath and count each inhale and exhale. Use a rhythmic pattern such as four counts in, pause, for counts out, pause. Abdominal breathing like this is proven to reduce the heart rate and is often used by people to settle their nerves before public speaking or some other stressful activity.

You can also try to distract yourself from any thoughts that are keeping you awake by focusing on a mantra or positive affirmation, or by listening to relaxing music through headphones. On an overnight flight or other long flights, the entertainment system may have such music available.

Tips for sleeping in a noisy environment

Noise can be a major distraction when trying to sleep. Here are a few tips for how to block it out:

  • Use earplugs or noise canceling headphones, or both.
  • Using a sleeping mask seems to help. It blocks out the blue light during an overnight flight or the cabin lights in the daytime. It also blocks the glare from the screens of people watching films.
  • Focus on relaxation techniques to calm your mind and drift off
Use a sleeping mask to stop the blue light, cabin lights, or screen lights
Photo by Wenhao Ryan on Unsplash

Air travel earplugs also help to alleviate earache experienced by some passengers during climb and descent.

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How to adjust to the time difference when traveling

When traveling to a different time zone, it can be difficult to adjust your body’s natural rhythm. Here are four tips for how to quickly and easily adapt to the new time zone.

What to do when you first arrive

When you first arrive in a new time zone, try to get as much rest as possible. This will help your body adjust more quickly. If it’s daytime, try to stay awake and active. Exposure to natural light will help regulate your body’s internal clock. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can disrupt your sleep.

Start adjusting a few days before

If you know you’re going to be traveling to a different time zone, start adjusting a few days before your trip. Start by slowly shifting your bedtime earlier or later by 15-30 minutes each day. This will help your body get used to the new schedule.

Try to stick to a routine

When you’re in a new time zone, try to stick to a routine as much as possible. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Eat meals at regular intervals. Get exposure to natural light during the day. And avoid napping, as this can make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Give yourself some time

It can take a few days or even a week for your body to fully adjust to a new time zone. Be patient and give yourself some time to adjust. If you’re finding sleeping elusive, try using some of the tips in this article.

How to deal with the dreaded jet lag

Jet lag can be a real pain when traveling. Here are four tips for how to deal with it and get back on track.

First, try to adjust your sleep schedule before you leave. Start going to bed and waking up at the time you’ll be on vacation. This will help your body get used to the new schedule.

Second, cut down the alcohol consumption and drink less caffeine before and during your flight. These can make it worse. Too much booze means you’ll have a hangover too.

Third, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Start before the journey so that your full bladder doesn’t wake you from your deep slumber.

And finally, get some exercise. A light walk or jog can help improve your circulation and energy levels.


It is possible to catch some sleep using air travel, whether it’s on a short hop or long haul flight. Check through this article and gather together a few sleep aids before your next flight. Review the neck pillows that are currently available as some are better than others.

Choose your seat wisely, get a window seat, and gain more space if you can. Pull down the window shade and make yourself comfortable With a little planning and practice, you can sleep peacefully imagining that you are tucked up in First Class and arriving at your final destination refreshed and with no trace of the red eye.

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