Who says December isn’t a good time to fly?

Apprentice Tom Preece has completed his night rating as part of the CPL course with a spectacular flight through London as it settled down for the evening. Finishing the rating in December it was the perfect time to see the capital lit up like a Christmas tree. After a picturesque sunset at Blackbushe, Tom set off on the stroke of darkness with CPL instructor Paul Andrews.

Tom Preece is reaching the end of his apprenticeship culminating in the CPL course. As part of the CPL course applicants are required to complete their night rating consisting of five hours night flight including five solo circuits. The evening weather was kind and after seeing a brilliant sunset, Tom and Paul were ready to depart in G-OAVA on their ambitious routing.

The planned route took them through the UK’s busiest airspace and on frequency with three major London Airports. Departing Blackbushe it was straight onto Heathrow radar to join the Heli lanes and head towards central London. They were able to see all the major sights from a completely new perspective as seen in the day and there was certainly a festive feel to the flight. Winter wonderland was brilliantly lit up, the London eye sparkled with Red and the Shard towered above them all in bright white. Upon reaching Vauxhall they were then transferred to London City to hold west of London Bridge allowing for their departing traffic. It was then “best speed” required; sneaking through the gap to the Isle of Dogs before the next jet departed for sunnier climes.

Biggin Hill overhead was the next stop of the trip. Leaving the City airspace to the South, G-OAVA cutting smoothly through the air, they picked out the execujet airfield from the darkness and tuned for Buckland in preparation to cross Gatwick.

The Gatwick controllers were extremely helpful in facilitating the crossing. Passing them from approach to tower to director, controllers slotted them in between arriving aircraft and they were across, ready to turn for home. Passing though busy airspace is certainly a great way hone your “RT” work and push your workload. The 100NM route required eight frequency changes, six height restrictions and a couple of holds.

Tom is now into the final part of his CPL course and well on the way to becoming a fully qualified commercial helicopter pilot.

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Thank you for a fantastic experience. It was very well organised and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Groupon Customer

Just a short note to express our thanks to all at Phoenix Blackbush,for a truly enjoyable experience.Our special thanks go to Simon Halfpenny not only for his cheerful sense of humour but also for his skill as a pilot,over the last 25 years I have flown with many pilots most being military or EX.& I can say that Simon ranks amongst the best that I have had the pleasure to fly with. (London Helicopter Tour)

Clive Stewart Morrison

We would like to say a huge thank you for all your help and service on our big day. It was an amazing day and your contribution helped our wedding be the day we wished for and a success. We appreciate all your efforts on the day. Lots of Love Vanessa & Ravi  

Vanessa & Ravi (Wedding Charter)

Phoenix for me is now more than just a school to learn how to fly, it has a very homely feel to it, where students and the staff have become a family.

Stuart Russell (Student)

I really enjoyed my training with Phoenix Helicopters (even with the stresses of a tight budget and timescale!), and having now passed my PPL I will definitely be continuing my training and self-fly hire there.

Sean Larsen (Student)

A very enjoyable flight. A birthday present for myself and friend and trial first flight. Hoping to do the flight down The Thames next year for our 40th and 60th birthdays!

Groupon Customer

We both had a fantastic flight and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a lovely clear day which helped make the views over West Sussex stunning. 
Having a flight in a helicopter is something I have wanted to do for years, it was great to enjoy such an experience.

Kim and David Edwards (Pleasure Flight)

Phoenix Helicopter Academy at Goodwood is a great place to learn to fly. Relaxed, yet totally professional. The instructors go out of their way to ensure you get the best training. Highly recommended!

Kevin Piotrowicz (Student)

Easy to find with excellent parking. All staff, including Toby, our pilot, were very approachable and happy to chat. Great atmosphere. A thoroughly enjoyable experience all round.

Groupon Customer

Thank you all at Phoenix, SO much! I think it's finally sinking in for Matt exactly what went on yesterday. His maiden chopper flight was wonderful and he had a great day. Such a smooth flight. Really can't thank you enough for making the day so special

Aimee and Matt (Charter)