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I have been curious for some time, about several mysterious landmarks in the Thames Estuary, that feature on my Southern England aeronautical chart.  It turns out they are a network of former World War Two, Army and Navy sea forts.  

On 11th January, I took a short IFR flight from Biggin Hill, to keep the skills fresh.  I was in cloud for the majority of the flight and it tested my IMC rating to the max.  

Flying above the clouds

This is my first solo IFR flight after obtaining my UK restricted instrument rating.  I was keen to get the rating, so that there were more opportunities for me to fly in the UK, despite it’s pesky, rotten weather.  

Today I collected my UK IR(R) restricted instrument rating from the CAA at Gatwick.  I’m pleased to say I achieved 100% in the theoretical knowledge test, and performed well during my instrument skills test.  

I have started training for my UK restricted instrument rating, which will allow me to fly (subject to conditions) in cloud and poor visibility in certain UK airspace.  After about five or so lessons from Headcorn Aerodrome, I’m starting to train how to fly holding patterns and procedures.

Once again, I tackled a flight through Gatwick Class D controlled airspace in a PA28.  I took this route, as it was the most direct course from Biggin Hill where I’m based, to Shoreham where I intended to land.

When flying light aircraft, in uncontrolled airspace, mid-air collisions are primarily not avoided by instructions from radar controllers, or by using sophisticated cockpit equipment. Instead, pilots avoid collisions by using their eyes..a concept called ‘see and avoid’.  

Aerial view of Hastings from 3700ft

  Jon Hunt takes the return trip from Lydd Airport to Biggin Hill in the PA28.  Climbing above a layer of few clouds as we pass over Hastings and Bexhill, before descending to see good aerial views of Tonbridge and Sevenoaks before landing.    

After a break of more than a month from flying, I took India Zulu for a short trip to Lydd.  The flight, being only 30 minutes was convenient, as it didn’t cost too much yet gave me the opportunity to land-away.  

On 2nd July 2015, I took a flight along the M20 in Kent, in order to view “Operation Stack” from the air.  This is a police operation to queue lorries, affected by disruption to cross channel ferry or tunnel services, on Kent’s main motorway, the M20.

After a lovely 2 days in Newquay with my friend Andrew, it was time to return home.  

On Monday 8th June, I flew to Newquay from my base at Biggin Hill airport in India Zulu.  The 240 mile trip is my furthest yet, and was most pleasurable. I chose to fly via Guildford, Goodwood, Ryde, Christchurch, Swanage, Dorchester, Exmouth, Torquay, Plymouth, and Looe.

In the third and final flight of the day, Jon returns to Biggin Hill from Goodwood with Alex and Becky.  Routing via Midhurst and Guildford.  

Jon Hunt takes his friends Michael and Andrew for a short trip along the coast from Goodwood Aerodrome, capturing great aerial views of Bognor, Shoreham Airport, Beachy Head and Brighton.

Jon takes his niece and her boyfriend on a day trip from Biggin Hill to Goodwood on the Sussex coast.