My Aviation History
As you may have guessed, I love flying!
Until recently I was a flying instructor and examiner at Shoreham Airport in West Sussex, where I learned to fly on the Condor aeroplane in the mid-nineteen seventies. For many years I was the Chief Flying Instructor and Head of Training at a commercial flight training school. Currently, as I am grounded for medical reasons, I work as a freelance aviation consultant and theoretical knowledge instructor for commercial pilots, and an author in my spare time! During the summer months I also help out at a flying club with vintage aeroplanes, like the Tiger Moth and Piper Cub.
My speciality is in flight training, as an instructor, examiner and technical author, although I also flew as a charter pilot on light twin engine aircraft. Pooleys commissioned me to write aircraft guides for the Cessna 152 and Piper Warrior series, which were published over ten years ago and explain the working of the aeroplanes to the non-technical minded. Any pilot needs to have a basic understanding of what makes the aeroplane function to assist in problem solving when things don’t go quite according to plan! If it’s aeronautics you have a problem with, then a book I always guide my students to is Flight without Formulae by A.C. Kermode. First published in 1940, it brilliantly simplifies the theory of flight. I try to use the same teaching principles in the classroom when explaining some of the highly technical points that pilots have to learn for their commercial pilots’ exams or instructor qualifications. The skill of the instructor is to impart a complex subject in an easily understood way using the appropriate building blocks of knowledge.
Apart from flying, my favourite subjects to teach are the aircraft technical studies; covering engines, electrical systems and hydraulics. Rather than having just the theory to work with, such a lesson can be brought to life with practical demonstrations and sectioned items to investigate. Seeing the components in real life, rather than just an illustration, really helps understanding – particularly if you have limited experience of the subject matter.