Category: Aviation

A Ballooning MOT

Posted on by 5WC in Aviation, Hot Air Ballooning

Not many people seem to realise that a hot air balloon is a registered aircraft, exactly the same as the Boeing 747 jetting you off on your summer holiday or the whirlybird helicopters used by the country’s air ambulance services. Being a registered aircraft means that in the same way your car required an annual inspection to prove roadworthiness, a hot air balloon is required to pass an annual airworthiness inspection.

This inspection is carried out by CAA recognised Inspectors who undergo training with all the major manufacturers and then work under the umbrella of an approved maintenance organisation. And, as a result of this longwinded trail of countenance, some may argue that this level of bureaucracy oppresses an otherwise basic and simple form of aviation transport, and while suitable to our heavier than air cousins, for an elementary system of fabric and wicker it is more than unnecessary, but whether you agree or not, you just have to look at the safety record of ballooning to see that the system does work. Read more

Fixed Wing Fun – A Day In A Plane

Posted on by 5WC in Aviation
Microlight Flight - Header

Aviation has obviously played a major part in my life, but as I’m sure you will have guessed, aviation in my eyes is lighter than air, and apart from a single passenger flight in a “Lightship” 15 years ago, unpowered and of the hot air variety.

Recently, however, an old childhood friend got in touch through the wonders f modern social media. He’d just moved back to the area, suggested we meet up for a catch up and instead of the usual “let’s meet in the pub” offered up the idea that we swap air time. A qualified fixed wing pilot, his idea was simple – a flight in a plane for a flight in a balloon with a bit of chatter thrown in for good measure. Seemed like a fair deal to me. Read more

Red Arrows Over The Goring Gap 2014

Posted on by 5WC in Aviation

Every year in September The Royal Berkshire Shooting School holds a charity day in in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Bishopsgate School. As a lunch time treat for the participants there is a stunning display by the RAF Red Arrows, which takes place over the Goring Gap and thus, the village I live in.

While sadly, the budget wont stretch to taking part in the day – a team of 4 costs £1800 – I  can, however, walk up the hill that shadows the western side of the village and watch/photograph the display from there. Read more