OK, I admit it, - I have never been to Le Touquet !
I couldn't go today because........
1. Well, obviously, it is over water and I need a life jacket, a raft and a Duke of Edinburgh swimming badge, which I don't have handy.
2. I have to File a flight plan and a customs form and I don't agree with this infringement of my civil liberties, and, er, well.. I don't know how.
3. I may have a mechanical fault and not be able to fly back, I will have to live there, eeking out a living sharpening knives or casual labouring on local farms
4. I could have an engine failure and they will send a Sea King helicopter to fish me out of the water, followed by a nasty letter and a big bill.
5. What if I get to the middle of the channel and I can't see France, I turn around and I can't see England ?
6. I won't understand French ATC, I will fly the wrong way around the circuit, Pierre will talk to the CAA and my license will be revoked
...all compelling and valid concerns, don't you think?
Below is an account of my first cross channel trip, which I hope will answer some concerns and encourage other pilots to 'go foreign'
Three stages of your first Channel crossing
Stage 1. Worry about what might happen.
Stage 2. Fly across the channel
Stage 3. Lie about trip to pilots at stage 1
I had alway wanted to fly a light aircraft across the channel - it is a huge milestone in a pilot's life. Once you have flown to another country you will get the bug and you will be flying all over Europe - Wasn't that why you dreamed of flying in the first place?
For me there was a simple choice to be made at the outset - whether I was a coward or a fool. I could go with an instructor (or another pilot who had done it before) or I could bite the bullet and go on my own.
A coward or a fool ? - let me explain........
If I went on my own-
- and something went wrong I would have been a fool, but not a coward.
- if it went well , I was not a fool (or, at least, nobody would know) and also not a coward
If I went with an instructor/pilot -
- and something went wrong I would not have been a fool, but I would have been a coward
- if it went well, I was a fool and a coward (a fool because I could have done it on my own)
Cowards live much longer than fools, which complicated the equation, at which point I thought 'none of this makes any sense and I really should stop putting lager on my cornflakes'
This is something I need to do - F*#k it, I'm going ! - When you reach this point - you're ready!
Prep hangar drag planes no fuel low level pre fuelled
airborne 124.6 confusion told report mid channel
report 8 miles
demand to be dicked about
Ramp brits demise of twin
reception - phoned tower wifi bike hire english speaking
Golf Papa Yonkee report on final
What if I can't see France - It hasn't moved - just because you can't see it - it is still there