Wednesday, 26 March 2014


What is FutureLearn?
FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform founded in December 2012 as a company majority owned by the UK's Open University. It is the first UK-led massive open online course platform, and as of October 2013 had 26 University partners and - unlike similar platforms - includes three non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council and the British Library. FutureLearn’s 1st courses opened in late 2013 with a wide range of topics available from ‘The Causes of War’ to ‘An Introduction to Physical Actor Training’. The courses are offered online only and typically will requires 2-3 hours per week to complete each weekly module. Most courses are 6-8 weeks long.
I recently completed a course on ‘England in the Time of Richard the 3rd’ which was offered via FutureLearn by the University of Leicester. Currently I am studying ‘The Causes of War’ presented by King’s College of London. I will post my notes from this latest course under the History Notes page when I complete the course. In the meantime you might like to visit the website for more info.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

TGO 2014 Planning

Route for Stuart's (1st timer) and my 3rd crossing in May:





Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Night Flight - G-CCTT T/O 19:57 10 Mar

With ZV on her annual maintenance, this was a chance to do some ILS approaches and get a check out in the Cabro owned TT. This is a very well equipped C172 - Dual everything and Garmin 430 Sat NAv and Comms Panel.

Met up with Safety Pilot (and Cabro rep who would provide me with a check ride to allow me to take TT aloft alone whilst ZV is away) Alex Guild at 1900; carried out pre-flight and off blocks at 1940; a little bit of waiting whilst Commercial and Helo traffic cleared then off the ground with IFR clearance to go into Radar directed ILS approaches to R/W 16; At T/O surface wind 190 6kts

1st Approach turned in a little early and so had to roll out short of my planned approach heading, then found that the actual wind was also stronger than forecast so had 10 deg of drift set for the approach. Nevertheless on looking up at decision height was spot on glideslope and centreline so go around as directed 090 to 3000ft for another radar directed ILS

2nd approach - this time turned in spot on and added 10 deg wind crrection from the start, approach was spot on to DH (using Alex as Safety Pilot and IR rated I went to his lower DH than my own allowed) which was 460' (250 AGL). Looked up and carrried out go around as before.

3rd Approach - this one to land. Pretty much as the 2nd approach but with Radar bringing in a very tight base leg. By now Radar was getting busy with more commercial traffic. 10 deg wind correction again and this time reducing speed from 4 DME 1st to 90 Kts then 80 bringing in 10 deg of Flap. I then took 20 deg Flap - Alex advised for future no more than 10 Flap until visual though also debriefed that I controlled speed reduction, glideslope, attitude change with Flap 'beautifully, you must have been well taught'. At DH of 460 looked up and handed blind flying goggles to Alex and took 30 deg Flap. With an arriving commercial ac behind landed long to try to clear the RW as quickly as possible. Thereafter back to Signature and shut down

Lessons/ Learning Points

  1. Consider no flap, or no more than 10 until visual
  2. BUMFELCH; FREDA and STIM checks early and break up