LEA at Oxford Airport have sent FTN a report of their activities, following resumption of flying training earlier this week. As reported previously, LEA were the first ATO to approach the CAA to inform them of their plans to resume training under a highly modified operation, designed to keep their customers and employees virus free.
Day one of our new regime was both an exciting day and one peppered with anticipation. Six students, all progressing through their basic and advanced flight training returned to their accommodation over the weekend in preparation for their return to the academy. The six were training together pre-Covid-19 and live together in our LEA accommodation, so adhere to our ‘family group’ precautions.
After settling back into their accommodation, the six students arrived at the academy in the morning, along with their allocated Flight Instructor, ready to plan their first flights. Each student and staff member in the academy begun their return by completing the declaration using our WellSpace App. This enabled us to track that everyone entering the building had self certified as healthy and weren’t showing any Covid-19 symptoms. On arrival at the academy, their temperature was also checked as a further precautionary measure and we’re delighted that so far everyone returning is fit and well.
All six students registered with their Flight Instructor at their allocated ‘family group’ briefing room and prepared for the day’s flights ahead, with refresher briefings and a detailed look at the week ahead. Refreshments throughout the day were available at their dedicated ‘family group’ breakout area.
In addition to local flying and the use of familiar airspace, several students have been able to take advantage of the opportunities at Gatwick where they can currently fly into its airspace and carry out low approach and go arounds (with prior approval)
All students flew, with a variety of lessons including dual check flights, solos, dual IFR, circuits, touch and go approaches. In addition to local flying and the use of familiar airspace, several students have been able to take advantage of the opportunities at Gatwick where they can currently fly into its airspace and carry out low approach and go arounds (with prior approval). Students are also noticing a marked difference in conditions as they return to the academy, from longer days, sunnier conditions and changes to the countryside as we’ve transitioned from winter through into spring.
By the end of the week, each of the six students are on track to have flown at least five times each in our DA40 single-engine aircraft (with some achieving six or seven flights this week) including their Qualifying Cross Country’s and are moving ever closer to our fleet of DA42 multi-engine aircraft and completing their CPL phase.
Captain Steve Rees, Head of Training, Leading Edge Aviation states “I’m delighted to see the return of our first ‘family group’ of students and even more pleased to see the professional approach they have taken, along with our instructors, to working within our strict guidelines – which are of course all about keeping them, the rest of the Leading Edge team, their families and the public safe.”
Whilst we’re in phase two, we are still not accepting visitors and the majority of support staff will continue to work from home. We of course hope to be able to welcome visitors soon, but not before it is safe to do so, both for them and our teams.