This month
600kg interview
A brave new world
FLYER’S Ian Seager interviews our own Geoff Weighell and LAA CEO Steve Slater about the new 600kg weight limit and the possibility of common approval between the UK and European manufacturers. It’s fascinating stuff, and they all agree on one thing: it’s an exciting new dawn for recreational flying in the UK.

Geoff Hill, Editor
Photo Competition
CHAPS and chapesses, take a bow while patting yourselves on the back – although maybe not after a few pints of Old Sparrowfart in case you do yourselves an injury. Why? Because after a record 30 entries in last month’s photo competition, this month the postbag is bulging with an almost as impressive 23, and they’re so good that we’ll run the best of the best over four pages of MF again rather than the usual two. This could become a habit… VIEW THE AUGUST ENTRIES.
Dual delight: BMAA lobbying gets flying buddies back in the air
PILOTS in England and Northern Ireland can now fly dual with non-household members, after BMAA Chief Executive Geoff Weighell met the Department for Transport and the CAA to state our case. The move also means that instructors can get back to work.

“The allowance doesn’t mean that distancing can be ignored; you will still have to take precautions,” said Geoff, who at time of writing was still pushing the Scottish and Welsh assemblies to allow dual flying again. Pilots are still advised to follow the Government advice for anyone in close contact with others during the Coronacrisis. The gist of the recommendations is to wear a face covering and clean all shared surfaces after use.

The specific information on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is at the end of this link. The Scottish five-mile travel limit was lifted at the start of July, which meant that many pilots could get to their airfields.
flight school bookings
Freedom – but not yet
freedom rally
THE annual BMAA Freedom Rally at Enstone airfield in Oxfordshire, planned for 24-26 July, has been postponed until 19-20 September because of the Coronacrisis. And as we said previously, all aircraft are welcome, not just the SSDRs at which it’s normally aimed.

To book the barbie on Saturday for £15, email To register your attendance at the rally, click here.
You have control
THE CAA has launched a safety campaign to raise awareness of loss of control GA incidents, since they make up 20% of all GA accidents and 44% of fatalities. The six-month campaign, which will examine how loss of control happens and how GA pilots can avoid it, kicks off with a look at loss of control in the circuit.
Join the BMAA
Whisper it quietly
THE ever-innovative Deepak Mahajan and Sergei Gratchev at Flyabout Aviation are planning to start the world’s first – and smallest – electric airline. Using their shiny new Pipistrel Velis Electro, Deepak plans to tour the country offering training and experience flights to spread the word.
No end to Southend busts
SOUTHEND is the latest zone targeted by the Airspace & Safety Initiative. “During 2019 there were 33 reported infringements into the Southend CTR/CTA. A large percentage of these infringements were undertaken by aircraft that made a late request for a transit whilst very close to, or already having crossed, the Controlled Airspace boundary,” said a spokesman.
Love is in the air
THE entire team at MF Global HQ confessed to a manly sniffle after watching this lovely video of Skyranger pilot Kiran Reardon proposing to Samantha, his partner of seven years, at 3000ft.

“It was a lovely evening, and once we landed, we were greeted by our parents with balloons, confetti and champagne,” he said.
Long and short of it
AFTER landing long once too often recently, Ben Atkinson had a stern word with himself, then made short work of the 350m runway at Brown Shutters Farm. Happy with that, he then headed off from Kemble with his girlfriend Daisy for a first landing at Badminton. We could say he didn’t make a shuttlecock-up of it, but obviously we won’t.
Yawn patrol
dawn flight
WHILE most of us were snoozing at 3.30am on Midsummer’s Day, insomniacs like Doug Coppin, Paul Kiddell, Alex Smith, Nick Stone, Eddie McCallum, Dave Watson, James Horn and Russ and Aaron Stein were up for a scramble to Eddsfield and Fenland for a 6am breakfast then home for lunch. Paul, now back to his regular 400 hours a week, had been up flying until 10.25pm the evening before. He is bonkers, but we love him.

“A total of 16 planes of pals made it, and after we did more strips, ending up with seven fields in hours of flying, so good to be back to banter and general piss-taking,” he said. “John Parker from Fenland organised the café 6am opening, and kudos to Rory Whaling from Peterlee, who did six fields on his first big trip since getting his PPL in his syndicate Jabiru.”
Andy in peak form
O solo mio
BEN Atkinson looks back at his first solo in the Eurostar, and talks newbies through the overhead join.
It goes up tiddly up up…
THEN it goes down tiddly down down. Derrick Pugh’s runway, that is. “Derrick owns a couple of Shadows in darkest Wales and flies them from this barking mad field next to his house,” said David Bremner. “I’ve flown the Escapade and his Shadow there a couple of times, but it’s a quite amazing place – the original ski jump! It’s a classic example of what microlights do best.”
Friends reuflighted 
flying with mates
THE only thing better than flying is flying with your mates. Ask Paul Walker-Williamson.
Capital idea
WHAT do you do for your first flight after lockdown? If you’re Alan Stern, jump straight into your X-air Falcon at Hunsdon and head straight for central London, of course.
Manchester mania
IAN Macbeth of the Cheshire Flyers and daughter Carys had the same idea, going for a whizz over Manchester Airport and Jodrell Bank, usually forbidden fruits.
River run
river run
LIKE most of us, Gary Loughran wanted to be a fighter pilot when he was a kid, but he had a good go at pretending to be one by following the River Quoile in Northern Ireland in his Thruster out of Newtownards.
Alpha male
PUTTING together a new Pipistrel Alpha? For Deepak Mahajan and the folks at Damyns Hall, it’s easier than an Airfix kit.
rc glider
Bee is for beautiful 
“THIS is absolutely mesmeric. This guy posts masses of similar videos flying RC gliders from a beach cliff, and they are all good, but this one deserves an award,” said David Bremner, who spotted this balletic video of John Woodfield flying the Lazy Bee

“Apparently he’s a retired policeman who decided he was going to spend his retirement making gliders and moved to be near the lovely cliff site he uses. His wife is the very talented videographer.”

Watch out for the bit at 4:15 where the rudder falls off.
Stupid is as stupid flies
DONE something really dumb in your flying life? Take heart: you are not alone, as Paul Berge reports.
Das Concorde ist angeflugeling
rc concorde
NOW we know why Geoff Hill only got a C in O-Level German. They do have a thing for giant scale models in Deutschland, but Otto Widlroither’s one-sixth scale Concorde really takes das biscuit. Ein Hobnob, naturally.
Do not adjust your set
virtual red arrows
STYMIED by the virus, the RAF Charitable Trust has replaced its annual tattoo with a virtual event that will take place this weekend, 18-19 July. The world’s largest military airshow launching the world’s first virtual air tattoo? Sounds about right. 

Four hours will be live-streamed on each day from 11am to 3pm on YouTube and Facebook. It’s all entirely free, but donations are encouraged. As part of the event the Virtual Red Arrows will meet with members of the actual, real-world Arrows. We can’t speak for the RAF pilots, but the virtual boys sound pretty excited…
Runway behind you
YIP, as useless as altitude above you and fuel in the hangar, as AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli says in this analysis of two engine failures after takeoff, one fatal and one not. The reason he knows about the latter is because he was in it. 

It’s also a good reminder of Wolfgang Langewiesche’s advice in Stick and Rudder that most flying problems can be solved by pushing the stick forward. Warning: contains brief swearing.
The mow the merrier
…and as a companion piece, Paul Berge of AVweb is as funny as ever on the joys – and otherwise – of grass runways.
and finally...
Pooch patrol
IF you’ve ever wanted to combine circuits with a dogfight, here you go.
Microlight Flying June 2020