Janine hops over to France

Janine has been progressing through her hour building at an excellent rate and really making the most of the hours in preparation for the CPL(H) course. As part of her hour building, Janine had the opportunity to fly to France as part of a larger hour building trip involving 4 aircraft.

Two Cabri G2 and two R44 helicopters were involved in this trip of 5 hour building pilots and 4 flight instructors. Janine flew from Leicester to Lyon Bron over two days but unfortuntely, due to being restricted by time off work, she had to cut the trip short and did not quite make it to the Guimbal factory in Marseille.

Despite this, Janine had a very enjoyable time and gained a lot of experience on the way including flying along the London heli-lanes which takes a lot of preparation and planning as London control are strict and you really have to be on the ball. Janine did exactly that and prepared very well to be able to enter the heli-lanes where she was cleared through to London Bridge before continuing on to Headcorn for a fuel stop.

After taking on fuel, it was time to continue on to the channel crossing into France en route to Le Touquet which is where Janine and flight instructor Stephen Davey moved into the realm of French radio. This actually turned out to be just fine after first hearing a lot of French being spoken over the radio. The channel crossing was carried out at the shortest distance over water and they continued to Le Touquet for the first overnight stop.

On the next day, Janine began as a passenger in the back of an R44 from Le Touquet to Troyes. She then flew the second leg to Lyon Bron over the beautiful countryside of France. One of the main differences about flying through France is that they use half-mil charts only which cover a larger area but contain less detail than the quarter-mil charts we are used to using in the UK. Another notable difference was the number of restricted areas which need navigating around, over, under or through as required. 

Janine wasn’t particularly phased by any of this as her flight planning was thorough which was then coupled with smooth flying and confident radio calls. The worst thing about this trip for Janine was simply that she couldn’t go all the way to Marseille and back again. However, she was immensely happy that she could fly at least some of the trip and having the chance to fly the London heli-lanes was fantastic.

Janine continues to build hours in anticipation of her commercial course which begins later this month.