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Showing posts from February, 2009

Weddings Above

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I have been up and about over the big wedding in Hertfordshire this afternoon. I did shoot some video footage from above which I have now added to YouTube.
Everything went on time and according to plan and we seem to have featured on Sky News too, which is nice!More photos here:



The Price of Love

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It's Valentine's Day and the first in three years where the weather has been good. I should know, because Valentine's Day for me is normally a busy date in the flying season for my Airads business, as men - and sometimes women - all over the country propose or send special messages - pictured - to their sweethearts with a banner towed by one of my aircraft.

This year, nothing! Several enquiries and for the first time an attempt to pass-off a stolen credit card for a booking. the latter attempt was almost laughable, because my 'other job', as readers may know, involves a specialisation in crime and fraud.

Being suspicious about the telephone transaction for a flight over Bradford, I told the client, who was booking on behalf of someone else - sounds dodgy - I would call her back and then quickly used some subscription-based tools of my own to cross check her details, discovering that she should be 56 years old. As the caller clearly wasn't, I double checked the re…

Totally Jobs

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If you've nothing better to do on a dark February evening and feel tempted to Google the political archives, then you'll find that some twenty years ago, the UK's present workforce skills deficit was writ large upon the wall.

Gordon Brown's famous statement announcing British jobs for British workers has returned to haunt him this month but one has to ask why foreign companies, such as Total, think it more sensible to bus in their specialist workers from as far afield as Italy rather than recruit the necessary skills locally?

Back in the mid eighties, when I first dipped a toe in the political waters, I was asked to join Shirley Williams, Anne Sofer, Dr John Rae and several others in writing a House of Lords report on the UK's existing skills deficit. It was published as a Parliamentary White Paper (or was it Green, I can't quite recall) but it's in the archives somewhere because stumbled upon it quite by accident recently against a Google search against my …

A Long Sitting

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Time for a brief posting as outside, the world turns steadily whiter with the arrival of cold high pressure weather from the heart of Siberia.

In a week's time I could be finally free of written exams after two years. Over at Gatwick I have the last two remaining CAA theory exams to sit for my instrument rating, to add to all those that I previously sat for my commercial pilot's license. Ironically, I've probably sat almost the same exams before, Meteorology and Airframes, Electronics and Instrumentation but the CAA in its wisdom, rather than test on 'differences' between the ratings, (e.g polar streographic navigation) insists on throwing the entire kitchen sink at the poor candidate all over again.

Once the theory is out of the way, then it's fifty hours in the simulator and the real-thing before I can take the multi-engine flight test on instruments; likely to be the second most stressful experience of my life after having passed the original commercial flight…