Discover how light aviation has affected the daily lives of diverse people in all parts of the Europe.
In the many nations light aviation is an accepted part of life. In these countries, there are very few restrictions on private flying. Landing an aeroplane is relatively cheap, parking overnight or for longer is expected, fuel is available and there are very few difficulties in flying between these countries. As a consequence light aviation is not only a source of pleasure but also a means of bringing people together and an enabler for trading and travel.
However, in most of the world non-commercial (private) flying is seen as the privilege of the rich. Small aeroplanes are only used by commercial organisations for training and to reach truly isolated places. In such cases, they are flown by professional pilots. The idea that a light aeroplane can be used by an individual, as a means of transport, such as a car, is not widely accepted. Flying privately between countries is complicated by red tape and is often very expensive.
The objective of the Flying Visit adventure is to find out how the access to light aviation has influenced the lives of people around Europe.
Planes of this type and age were not designed for long distance high altitude journeys. Flying for hours, with a single engine,sometimes over long stretches of water or uninhabited terrain in unpredictable weather will be the most obvious difficulty.
The plane has simple avionics and no autopilot, this means flying each leg manually as well as navigating and communicating simultaneously.
Additionally, there will be administrative issues related to flying a light aeroplane between countries involving: overflight approvals, flight plans, arrival and departure from international airports more accustomed to airliners than small planes. Potentially, politics may prevent what should be a simple flight, forcing a longer journey of many hundred or even thousands of miles.
Although aviation is conducted in English, there may be many occasions when other language skills will be required when communicating on the ground.
The trip has now started. Raising sponsorship money is still ongong... there are some sponsors on-board more of whom will be announced shortly and there is always room for a few more.
The modifications to the plane that are required have been made. There have been some challenges which John and the sponsors have overcome. The flight started on Wednesday 27 April 2022!
John has now passed his International Instrument Rating revalidation ensuring that he is well equipped for this adventure.
Photo © Keith Wilson