Our first completed Adult Course

Since the creation of our full 20-hour courses, the response has been fantastic! - With all ages taking up the challenge to complete an abridged Commercial Pilot Licence condensed into 20 hours of simulator training. The first of our adults to have completed the course recently flew his real-time,  solo, Carlisle to Newcastle IFR (instruments only) flight.

A superlative effort landing safely at Newcastle following an itial go-around from an NDB to ILS approach and a radar-vectored ILS approach:

Mr. 'L', (who would like to remain anonymous at this time) sets the 'standard' for an IFR NDB approach into Newcastle International Airport departing from Carlisle on his final flight of his full 20-Hour course.

Although arguably not his finest flight, the initial approach (1) preceded a go-around (2), followed by re-establishing over NT (3), with a near miss (4), and radar-vectored ILS (5) to a SUCCESSFUL landing!

The planned approach can be seen here:

Congratulations Terry on completing the course! ;-)

His full flight can be watched here: 

Lunch on the wing - with Age Concern, Durham

This last week saw the official launch of our LUNCH ON THE WING initiative in conjunction with Age Concern, County Durham.

Eight intrepid elderly ladies and gentlemen joined us for a social buffet lunch supplied by the catering arm of the Durham Fire Service. During the lunch they entered the Simulator two at a time to take the controls of a light aircraft followed by a challenging scenario of their choice flying into and out of airports around the world in all kinds of aircraft! 

It is always a delight to meet groups of individuals determined to keep sociable and eat well making the most of this opportunity to help maintain and enhance their physical coordination and mental agility. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, it was apparently quite difficult to completely let go of competitiveness between our guests!.... 

A fabulous time, and one we aim to repeat monthly for the foreseeable future. 

Fear? - What fear?...

CONGRATULATIONS go to Joe this morning after taking the controls on his first ever light aircraft flight following our tailored FEAR OF FLYING simulator course! A massive personal achievement and one we're hugely proud to have been a part of! He's now going on to get his Private Pilot Licence!

Late in 2016, Joe arrived at our Flight Simulator Facility in Langley Park, with an excessive fear of flying, to the extent that sitting in our immersive simulator caused great stress and anxiety. Weeks before a commercial holiday flight, he would start to suffer from anxiety to the point where even setting foot on a plane was debilitating.

However, following his initial consultation and lesson, Joe decided to take our adult course: Principles of Flight. Armed with this new knowledge and understanding of how aircraft operated he wanted to take things further and take a flight from Durham Tees Valley Airport. Following a couple of weather delays, today Joe took to the skies to overcome his fears and was even able to take the controls of the aircraft for a significant part of the flight! 

The vast majority of people find their first flight in a light aircraft slightly daunting, but almost invariably, having landed everyone wants to get straight back in the air and today, Joe was no exception. I look forward to continuing Joe's training with an aim to getting him his Private Pilot Licence. 

Today was a great reminder as to why I love my job and why I set this facility up.


Poor Jordan doesn't have much luck - today his IFR Boeing 737 flight from Birmingham to Edinburgh suffered:

- passenger heart attack diverting his flight from Edinburgh to Newcastle
- a fuel emergency
- undercarriage failure
- flap problems
- stormy weather
- and his senior cabin crew member Triston having a minor panic attack!

A herculean effort. Well done to our Bursary Student after only 10 hours training!

Jordan, our most recent recipient of our Junior Pilot Bursary is currently studying advanced navigation and flying a Boeing 737 around pre-planned instrument routes across the UK. 

This is only his 11th hour of lessons...!

Demand for Pilots is on the up....

With both Boeing and Airbus sighting increased demand for aircraft of the next 20 years with estimates of up to 620,000 new pilots, now is looking like the best time to learn to fly.

Of course there's no way to predict the future; the terrorist attacks in 2001 led to a catastrophic global downturn in the industry with many airlines going bust; followed by the economic slump following 2008 which again impacted the industry heavily.

However, despite these industry body-blows, the rise and rise of aviation across the world as a whole plods on with an air of dogged inevitability. Is it still the same industry it was towards the end of the last century? Many would argue not. With the rise of the Low Cost Carrier, came game-changing ideas which forced the industry to consider every penny. Is the lifestyle of an Airline Pilot still the glamorous vision depicted in 'Catch Me If You Can'?

"Where are you going tonight? Somewhere Exotic?"

Gone are the short breaks sipping cocktails by the hotel poolside and gone are the uber-salaries for all but the veterans of aviation. 

So does this mean the life of an airline pilot is now no longer worth the effort and expense?

Of course it is! - Just look at all those buttons!...

The odds of surviving your next airline flight.

Statistically, as you've probably been reliably informed by some party bore, “airline travel is the safest form of travel”. Well statistics can be manipulated in any number of ways but in this case they are very hard to dispute. But how safe is 'safest'? Delve into your pocket or stuff your hand down the side of your sofa and see if you can snag a coin. Now, flip it and predict the outcome; head or tails. Get it right? - Great - the odds were 50/50. Simple. Flip it again. Your odds of calling it correctly AGAIN are now 1 in 4. Not bad odds but already less than the average lottery scratch card. Flip it and call it again. On the third flip your odds are now 1 in 8. It's already starting to feel unlikely that you'll continue to get it right another time if you haven't failed already…

So the odds of dying on any single flight across the world are around 1 in 11,000,000.

To replicate these odds you'll need to call heads or tails correctly CONSECUTIVELY at least 24 times.

The next time you fly, if you have a fear of flying, try keeping a coin handy and try replicating these odds. You should find it desperately difficult. That said, if you do manage to call 24 consecutive coin flips correctly then (happily) your odds of completing that task AND dying in your forthcoming flight are now 1 in 121,000,000,000,000 !... 

It’s also worth noting that if you are unlucky enough to find yourself on a plane that does crash, on average, 95.7% of passengers actually survive.

Happy flying!