The Adventure Flying Guide

The Adventure Flying Guide

I receive a lot of messages and emails from people who are planning to set off on adventurous flying trips of their own. The kind of questions asked are usually very similar! This part of the website seeks to answer these questions and help pilots get a head start on the lessons that I have learned the hard way around the world, as well as tips I’ve received from other pilots who have gone before me.

I am by no means the most experienced aviator. I only started flying in 2005. I’ve been lucky enough to fly to 6 continents and more than 60 countries so far, though, so I anticipate that the material here should be of some use to others.

If you read this guide, and still have questions that aren’t answered or something wasn’t clear, please email me! I am always keen to improve the guide. I may be able to help you with the answer, and if not, no doubt we can track down the answer and both learn something.

In this guide I mention various companies, products and services that I’ve used and been satisfied with, to assist other pilots. None of these companies have provided any compensation, sponsorship, or other consideration to me.

Cruising east across Wyoming

The pilot

So, you want to set out on an adventurous flight. For some people, this would be their first crossing of the English Channel. For others, it might be their first flight outside of Europe or North America, or their first ocean crossing. Whatever the adventure is, the first thing to figure out is whether you, as a pilot, are ready for the challenge.

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The aircraft

You can use pretty much any aircraft for flying adventures such as these, and I have used a great range in my own trips. Of course, the capabilities of the aircraft will dictate exactly what you’ll be able to do on your trips; making sure you don’t push beyond safe limits is key. There are a number of features that really help on any “expedition” aircraft, though.

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Safety

One of the main concerns on any trip like this is, of course, safety. By their very nature, flying adventures take you away from familiar territory into new places and situations, and out of your comfort zone. Being prepared to deal with this, and thinking through the proper training and equipment in advance, is crucial.

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Equipment

As soon as you start flying outside of your normal area, and especially once you’re into more foreign and remote locations than you’re used to, it’s important to have a certain level of self-sufficiency. Safety equipment is covered in the section above; but there’s also plenty of other equipment that’s needed for carrying out a successful flying adventure. The trick is to work out what’s essential, and leave behind everything that isn’t; space and weight constraints are often severe in the kind of aircraft that we fly.

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Planning your adventure

The level of planning required depends on exactly what kind of adventure you’re planning to set out on. For a camping trip within the UK or USA, there’s not too much that needs to be figured out in advance; but if you’re heading off on a trip into the Arctic, through Africa, or across the Pacific, there can be months of work required to pre-position fuel, obtain permits, and so on.

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Flying your adventure

The day has arrived! All the planning and preparation is complete, and it’s time to set out on your adventure. This part of the guide covers tips for during your adventure, to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

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What if everything goes wrong?

Despite your best laid plans, things don’t always go exactly as you anticipate. The previous sections include tips and advice on how to deal with more “routine” issues, such as needing maintenance away from home; but what about if things go really, really wrong? This section cover some of the more significant problems that you could run into.

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Links

Throughout this guide there are links to a number of great aviation resources that I use when planning and carrying out my flights. They are summarised in this section.

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Example adventures

Based on previous trips, I’ve put together a few example adventures that one can try their hand at.

This section coming soon.