View Full Version : So, what else do aviators do?

25-01-10, 21:29 PM
Just a hunch, but judging by the few microlighters that I've had the privilege to meet so far there seems to be a propensity towards "activity" hobbies, particularly motorcycling amongst the rag 'n' tube fraternity/sorority.

So out of curiosity, what else do you lot get up to?

I'll go first - notorious butterfly hobbyist, but the ones that have stuck are biking (motorised and cycle), scuba diving, kayaking (limited these days), powered boating (similar), fly fishing & hill walking....

Could turn this into a poll if there's enough interest?

25-01-10, 21:33 PM
kyaking, climbing, radio control models, fishing, down hill mountain bikeing (never get the chace now), paintballing and tinkering in the shed :D

25-01-10, 21:44 PM
Other than flying my only other major hobby is Ju-jitsu which I have been doing for the past 2 years. If I have any spare time otherwise I do cheaper stuff to leave more money for flying: video games in winter and gardening in the summer. I used to go cycling quite a bit but as nice days for cycling are also nice days for flying I don’t seem to do much of that anymore :)

25-01-10, 22:01 PM
My other main interest is XC mountain biking, I like going away for a couple of days with a bivi bag, preferably off road. Did a 24 day trip from Glasgow to Oslo this year on the bike. Also into motorbikes, mostly enduro style like the F650GS Dakar or DRZ400, but can't afford that as well as flying at the moment. Also enjoy keeping fit, fiddling with gadgets, bit of gaming and building/fiddling with random stuff and a bit of hillwalking. I'd like to get into kayaking as well, quite fancy doing a kayaking exped, and some more cycling expeds.

Bill Scott
25-01-10, 22:20 PM
1. Used to do cycle touring in my teens.
2. LandRover rebuilds and off-roading was a severe affliction for many years.
3. Done some walking and might be doing a biggun at easter for H4H.
4. Have a collection of 1/72 airfix kits awaiting build into a freelance airforce and will build a 'kin hiuge diorama of an airfield for them in garage/shed. Just on hold until decided whether to stay here or move to a new abode.
(New abode: Checking Rightmove every week for bungalows in 5 mile radius of airfield ) I tried growing up once.... Absolute disaster, never again!

25-01-10, 22:23 PM
I rode bikes for years, until the perceived risks started causing ructions at home (following a 6 week stay in hospital.......), so I took up motor racing (just sprints and hill climbs) instead. I then built a couple of cars (there's a pic of one of them in my photo album), then acquired an old yacht so decided to take up sailing. As sailing was a bit tame, I used to go caving most weekends for the adrenaline buzz.


Bob T
25-01-10, 22:25 PM
I am still a motorcyclist and skier, but used to be into gliding, rock climbing, canoeing, parachuting, scuba diving, rally driving and anything else that seemed a bit dangerous.

25-01-10, 22:31 PM
I am a tame one lads, other than flying I seem not to have time to do anything else. I have a business that pretty much owns me, not the other way round... that takes up 12 to 16 hours a day, every day.
Enjoy cooking !!... and I am an avid reader in spare time.

25-01-10, 23:46 PM
Wow! Well that really seems to have sparked some interest and thanks for all the responses, some definite trends there. Bill, I'm particularly interested in the H4H walk - is that an open event, if so can you let us know more? Growing up? Why would anyone want to?

Jonkil, if you haven't already got one, let me strongly recommend an ebook reader (yeah, i know it's not the same as a real book.... but when you're travelling a lot it's a real bonus).

Jeremy - 6 WEEKS? That must have smarted....


3. Done some walking and might be doing a biggun at easter for H4H.
I tried growing up once.... Absolute disaster, never again!

Red Barron
25-01-10, 23:52 PM
Years ago I was big into sailing, living near the sea helped. I got into windsurfing and was one of six people who'd windsurfed in the Antarctic and Arctic circles back in the '80's. I've always had bikes, pushbikes and motorbikes, at one time I had six pushbikes including 2 tandems. I'm down to just two pushbikes now - and two motorbikes, an XR400 I use down the lanes and a Deauville I just have for, er, er, yes. I raced in the British Off Road Championship back in the mid ninety's in a modified Range Rover and did road rally's in a MK1 Escort. Most recently I had a boat on Torquay Marina and if you think flying is expensive try a boat, £3500 a year just to moor it. I went down to Lagos in Portugal as I was thinking of mooring down there, £1700 a year. However, from the apartment I saw a microlight fly by, went to see where from, met Gerry, flew down to Cap St Vincente, came back to the UK sold the boat and started lessons in a Quantum.

25-01-10, 23:58 PM
It was in 1975, Pete, and it still smarts now when the weather's damp! T boning a car on a bike at around 60mph doesn't make for a happy outcome..................... :)

One common theme in microlighting is biking, as you've already spotted. The vast majority of microlighters I've met over the years have had some interest in bikes.

At the risk of thread drift, I'm quite interested in your thoughts on ebook readers. I've been tempted by the Sony, primarily because the Kindle looks too restrictive in terms of tying you to one vendor and I'm not that fussed about direct download via a built in connectivity. The one thing that I'm waiting for is the price of ebooks to come down a bit. Charging the same, or more, for an electronic copy as for a printed one just doesn't stack up in terms of value for money. What are your thoughts on the various models around, Pete?


martin sanderson
26-01-10, 00:03 AM
i two have done the motor bike thing i still have my royal enfield continental GT its been undercover for a nummber of years now ,,
i all so keep a marine fish tank and am quite in to phoograph which i hope to combine with flying

26-01-10, 00:11 AM
Jeremy, I'll pm you about the ebook reader, if anyone else is interested let me know - btw I'm not a reseller, affiliate or anything similar!

26-01-10, 00:50 AM
I'm into seriously dangerous sports... Golf and Snooker :D

Always liked bikes and early into my mid life crisis bought a Harley. Sold it to buy my first plane. Never regretted it. I would have killed myself eventually on the bike.

Oh and like Jeremy have built a couple of kit cars. Got a legal 7 in the garage complete with bike engine. Must get it going one of these days.

E-Book readers???? Why not get the 7 inch sat nav I mentioned earlier?

26-01-10, 01:20 AM
Oh dear, forgot about golf - have clubs, rarely used (but have played frequently at Rosemarket, watching out for landing aircraft on the 4th tee! - may have changed by now). Squash - love it, not played for a while. Windsufing - got RYA 1, never progressed.

7" sat nav? Oh please, Vince - only just bought the 4.3" version from ebuyer as recommended here!

Glad you sold the "hardly worthitson".....

26-01-10, 01:30 AM
I've just ordered this 7 Inch sat nav. (http://www.microlightforum.com/showthread.php?1766-Just-found-Chinese-Supplier-of-7-inch-Sat-Navs&highlight=chinese) Will let you know how it works as an e-book reader. Loads of PDF's on the web. Got some software for reverse engineering PDFs and turning them into plain text.

Having said that, if I load a PDF reader onto it. Might be big enough to read plain PDFs

26-01-10, 09:12 AM
Flying for me is everything; it is my life and way o living. But I like activity which requires minimum of equipment. I like snorkeling very much, but not scuba diving (do not like those heavy tanks on my back), I like kayaking, sailing, biking, wind surfing; never done kiting though. My future goal is to go to powered hanggliding (not Moskito type, but Dragonfly). Hanggliding still is my favorite way of flying. Do you know this sentence: If aviation would be literature, so soaring would be poesy. I like reading books too. My favorite is science fiction (Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury). I also like humor and my “bible” is Jerome K. Jerome “Tree Men in a Boat” (I’d like to make the same route he did and look to those places he have depicted with warm sentiments and poesy). Among adventure literature my favorite author is Jack London. I was lucky to have opportunity to visit Dawson City, walk same places the Great Writer did and …. mine some gold using old technology – gold panning. Any one who likes free flying over water and woods would be more than happy – there are almost no roads in Alaska but water and woods and mountains. Great place for oneself challenge.

26-01-10, 09:52 AM
Where to start? I've got loads of hobbies, but flying does seem to have taken over... Like many others I'm a biker - picked up a shiny new R6 less than an hour after passing my test and still not killed myself yet! Working on my 'Zed' - a 400+bhp Nissan 300ZX, golf, RC model building, traction kiting, gaming, photography and I'm a half decent shot with a rifle. Oh and I suppose IT, as it's what I do for a living. There's probably more that I can't remember right now...

Still, things are certainly taking a back seat to flying - can't remember the last time I chose golf over going down the airfield ;)

Ronny Larsson
26-01-10, 10:44 AM
Well hunting takes all my time when not up there with the birds..

26-01-10, 10:49 AM
Better watch out your fellow hunters don't shoot you Ronnie :D

26-01-10, 11:34 AM
Dont get much spare time being self employed but when i do its gardening /motor bikeing , tends to be 2nd best due to bikeing weather is flying weather / fish keeping marine and tropical /decorating/building /used to do rc model helecopter flying but dont have the time anymore ....

Cheers Mike

26-01-10, 14:25 PM
Well I must be the exception to the rule when it comes to Motor Bikes & Aviation, I absolutely hated Motorbikes in my youth and still do.....though we did have an Ariel 3 & a Sinclair C5 for pottering around on. Bikes like the Yamaha RD250 were all the rage during my younger years and many friends had them (so I had to be pillion a few times, but scared me witless) I also had a cousin who raced those Sidecar Motorbikes and I did a couple of laps of Brands Hatch with him (that cured any lust I could have ever got for motorbikes)
At the age of 18 I got involved in a ModSports Team that ran a E-Type 3.8 and a Ginetta G4 and completed some testing in both cars around a few circuits,but never showed any real potential because I was always told " Be Careful" by my parents at the start of every test session.

Through my links to this racing team I met the likes of Stirling Moss, Martin Brundle, Win Percy, Andy Rouse, Gordon Spice & a guy called Derrick Brunt. Unbeknown to me Derrick Brunt was also a microlight pilot and we soon got onto the subject of flying because I had Cessna & Piper badges on my Racewear. Derrick Brunt used to race an Alfasud Sprint in 1980 BTCC Series against Stirling Moss in a Audi 80 & Martin Brundle in a Toyota Celica. Derrick also used to race a Vauxhall Magnum 2300 before the Alfasud and entered races as far away as Dubai.

My point is that Aviation seems to pull people in from all kinds of sports and walks of life, Years ago I possibly met Jeremy Harris at a few parties of a previous neighbour of mine and then many years later we met again at Spamfield. I have met many people through Aviation that after chatting to them I find out that we more than likely had met in different areas previously.

I think that Aviation brings people from every facet of industry, as a youngster I used to go drinking with the founder of Yuneec and would never have thought he would make any success in any industry, but just look at how Yuneec has progressed

26-01-10, 15:30 PM
Flying, Fitba and drinking in that order. Tried all the other stuff ( skydiving, motorbikes, aikido, shooting, golf, etc etc etc) but these three have stuck. Will always be willing to try something new but the fist three seem to have stuck.

Jon S
26-01-10, 16:50 PM
You lot make me feel down right sedentary.
I've never really had time for any active hobbies since I left school. Work always seemed to be in the way and then I got married, so anything 'expensive' was out of the question...

I was brought up on a small farm and not many of my 'farming' friends of similar age seem to have much involvement with activity sports, so maybe it's something to do with upbringing.

I had a 2 seater hovercraft (scarab 2) for a few years, but stripped it down to refurbish it and never found the time to rebuild it. Ended up setting fire to it, rather than move house with it for a 3rd time.

I've always enjoyed playing with electronics / computers / robotics etc and worked in embedded control for a short while. I still enjoy that sort of thing. I'm playing with domestic control systems at present.

I've always wanted to learn to fly and it's only now that I've got the time to get on with it - Also 'er indoors' is keen for me to do something I enjoy.

26-01-10, 19:14 PM
Peter, Given that Monkenhurst was a fairly regular haunt around 1974/75, and that a good friend was then going out with Sile (you know who!), I think it's probable that we may have met there. The only date I can definitely recall that I was at a big party there was the night that Graham Hill was killed, just up the road. I very clearly remember struggling to drive up there from Harrow that evening, in thick fog. I was there with a good mate at the time, who raced a 1293 Cooper S. He's stayed in motor sport and has been racing Lancias for years, (and is still a bit of a nutter!).


26-01-10, 20:21 PM
That is exactly the night I am on about (29th November 1975) The Graham Hill crash was the initial link that exposed the probability we had previously met. My father was good friends with both Sile's father and also Graham Hill. In fact my father was a member of Arkley Golf Club as well.
I seem to recall Sile was about 5yrs older than me, Jane was 3yrs younger than me.

FYI Sile is on Twitter & Facebook....... don't know if you use either, but if you do I will pm you links if you want to touch base.

26-01-10, 20:42 PM
This all follows a trend doesn't it? Was into Motorbikes then got the "voices" telling me to go faster! Quit that, always been into4x4 off road trialling and then replaced the bike with an old TVR S3 290, she isn't that fast but it must be one of the loudest! Great fun for a hoon about with the roof down! We used to sail and then sold the yacht to take up and pay for flying1 It definitely seems worth it.No toys now but hope someone p/ex's a plane with me someday.

Frank Thorne
26-01-10, 21:43 PM
Seems like I am another one that never had an interest in bikes, cars where another matter in my youth. Most of my first cars where rebuilt at one time or another and thats where I learnt about engines back in the days when the where not covered in sensors and electronic gadgets.

Photgraphy was an early hobby which turned into a business and then back to a hobby again when the darkroom became a thing of the past and the computer took over.

Music has always figured prominently having neighbors that taught me to play as a kid. Played in many amateur orchestras - mainly violin and also conducted. That often took up 3 nights a week and often many weekends but unfortunately I developed arthritis in my right hand which made playing difficult.

Always loved electronics as a kid and became a radio amateur in the early 80s - our house was the one with huge antennas perched on it. Not active these days due to lack of time.

Sports included Golf for many years and squash although these days the mind is willing but the body is knackered. I played my 21 year old son at Squash over Christmas and lost 3-1 and I was pleased to win one game even though the others where close. :(

Built and flew radio controlled aircraft.

Then I went and learnt to fly which was something I wanted to do when I was 16. Now I spend all my time tinkering with G-CBHM if the weather isn't fit to fly. DOOMED>>>>>>:cool:

27-01-10, 10:07 AM
...and squash although these days the mind is willing but the body is knackered. I played my 21 year old son at Squash over Christmas and lost 3-1 and I was pleased to win one game even though the others where close. :(

D'oh - how could I forget squash? I play every week! A mate and I played last night - 5 games a piece and completely knackered by the end of the night :sleeping:

27-01-10, 16:25 PM
Reading Flexies_n_Zeds posts I was wondering how many on here have had either a Z or ZX Motor Car ? The Datsun 240Z & Datsun 260Z seemed to be a very popular choice of Sports Car amongst Pilots in the 70's & 80's

I had a Datsun 240Z as my 2nd Car in 1979 ( it was a 1973 model, so I felt cheated that it was so old) then in 1983 I got rid of the 240Z and purchased a 1978 Datsun 260Z with only 3,000miles verified, the 260Z had a Targa Roof that was different from the normal ones in as much as you could take out the centre pillar as well if you wanted to.
In 1986 I convinced my Father that having been a sensible driver since passing my Test in 1979 I should be allowed a brand new Nissan 300ZX for my 25th Birthday present, surprisingly he agreed and I became the proud owner of my first 200 + bhp Sports Car ( I say my 1st car of over 200bhp as actually mine ) I did have the use of my Mothers 1976 Jaguar XJS (295bhp) until I got the 240Z which only punched out 150bhp and then I seem to recall the 260Z having about 170bhp.
Quite a few of the Aero Club members had Datsun/Nissan Z/ZX cars that we actually used to organise Treasure Hunts by car so everyone could have a mini rally in their steeds. By 1990 most of the Z/ZX owners had moved across to the Porsche 944 and then in later years to the Porsche 968 so the Z/ZX ERA ended there for most of us.
In 2000 I decided for Nostalgic reasons to buy another Nissan 300ZX and kept that until 2004.

NOWADAYS I only like Mercedes Benz cars.

27-01-10, 18:33 PM
hi all, i have a fzr 1000 fazer, the new model 06 which is mind numbingly fast, which i only ride in warm dry weather now , i also have a yzr 250 very rare e reg 1988 it comes out from under its covers about twice a year, had all sorts of bikes over the years,but they never replaced the longing to fly which came to me about 30 years ago, but as with most people i had a life to lead wife, kids 2of, work, gas bill, could go on,then about 2 years ago started to learn to fly, passed the test 12/09/09 after 57.30 hours inc 11.10 solo hours, i am still on a restricted licence as i have only done 1 qcc, but it is still good to just go and fly as and when i like (thats if the wife dont mind) as you say its very interesting that most seem to still like our bikes

27-01-10, 18:52 PM
Like a few on here, had motorbikes ZZR600 ZXR600 etc Sold to cover costs of flying and buy my first flexy. Never gone back, as like Vince, I think I might have wrapped myself round a lampost before now.
Play guitar, fishing( which I just dont have any time for these days...roll on retirement) walking in the Peak with my two Border Terriers (real dogs) and thats about it. Theres loads I'd like to do but theres not enough hours in the days, or days in the week etc

ps. Dont hold it against me folks, but I also have a Season ticket for Sheffield United.

27-01-10, 19:29 PM
I don't see why anyone would hold it against you just because you are a Sheffield United Season Ticket Holder ;-)

Nobody holds it against me that I have a Hospitality Suite at one of the Premier League Clubs.:guntoting:

andy dixon
27-01-10, 20:04 PM
now i fly i can't aford another hobby,but i have played out on large motorcycles all my life,now i just have a company bike to play on.....they are "old bill" bikes that are re-badged for VOSA and the DVLA.....ride round all day looking at wagons and buses that have been in a bump.......terrible job but someone has to do it !

27-01-10, 23:26 PM
Darn, forgot about the guitars (two of - one acoustic one electric). So many hobbies, so little time..... (and money).

Bill Scott
27-01-10, 23:50 PM
Forget about my exploits in motorsport....Road rallies in the late 70s plus the occasional sprint event and a goodly contribution to marshalling efforts. Our club ran the Lindisfarne Rally in Kielder,w hich was used by works crews as the practice for the RAC Rally going through there. Great stuff, when the RAC was a proper rally.

Motorbikes... Every now and then I fancy getting my hands on a tidy 1980s BMW R80RT or R100RT.

Anorak on...
I will admit to a fascination with bunkers (not the golf variety) which started with being in the ROC and a visit down the hole at Boulmer. Have been in a few other 'interesting' places, but I'd have to kill you if I told you
Gosh that's a smart Omega at the bottom of the drive

Peter, Datsun 'Z srs' Gorgeous motors. I worked for a Datsun dealers and took out our demo 280ZX.
Absolutely loved it. Superbly smooth straight six, all the extras and effortless ton. Good for those days.

28-01-10, 23:37 PM
......I like reading books too. My favorite is science fiction (Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury). I also like humor and my “bible” is Jerome K. Jerome “Tree Men in a Boat” (I’d like to make the same route he did and look to those places he have depicted with warm sentiments and poesy).....

Kestutis - don't do it! I recently re-read "3 men" and knowing some of the towns along the Thames as they are now I think you'd be very disappointed! Alaska, now that's a place I'd like to visit...

29-01-10, 07:38 AM
Kestutis - don't do it! I recently re-read "3 men" and knowing some of the towns along the Thames as they are now I think you'd be very disappointed! Alaska, now that's a place I'd like to visit...

:) :) :) I can imagine :)

Phil Perry
03-02-10, 11:00 AM
Cycling, Motorcycling, Astronomy, playing in rock bands, cooking, rebuilding old cars, Shooting rifle, pistol & antique firearms , Parachuting, snorkelling, Sea fishing, Amateur radio + digital communications, timewasting on Forums. ( fun though innit ?? )

03-02-10, 17:36 PM
Road rallied in the early 1960's and as I lived close to Silverstone had an interest in fast motors that has migrated to my son. Did an apprenticeship with Vickers Supermarine so always had an interest in aeroplanes/flying, finally taking up microlighting in 2001. Other current interest is the other extreme to microlights. I am a large share holder in an ex-GWR steam locomotive that runs on a preserved line.

03-02-10, 18:19 PM
I came down the bike route too - C90, Honda G5, Bonneville - I loved that bike but put in more oil than fuel, BMW R100RS, various other BMWs, PanEuropean - all gone now but hanckering after another, but flying takes precedence these days. Also sailing, paragliding and a fair bit of paramotoring too.

Gordon T
06-02-10, 15:01 PM
Motorbike (KLV1000), Sea fishing boat (Seahog Shortie), Kayaking (Ocean Prowler 15), Metal detecting (sad I know!), Mountain biking (specialized Rockhopper) walking and doing some Munro`s, drinking, chasing loose women and backing loosing horses.

10-02-10, 15:53 PM
Not very scientific but I like graphs....... so here's a graph!


10-02-10, 18:36 PM
Mmmm, lets see. Had several motorbikes but sold the last to fund my trike purchase. Also play golf now and again, like to snowboard when I can. Surfing too, but there is not much in the baltic between here and Denmark (oh for some nice Cape surf, mind you too many shark attacks there these days). Play badminton too and also enjoy mountainbiking. Into computer games (not enough time) and love watching sports on tv, mostly rugby and f1. Other than that, my family (wife and 2 girls) take up my other time. Not to mention work :)

10-02-10, 18:53 PM
We could have done that graph with a poll in the first post. Nice touch Pete,

11-02-10, 00:13 AM
Been some interesting stories though! Could always do a poll as a follow on, I'll leave that to you to decide if it's worth following up Vince.


11-02-10, 09:28 AM

Excellent effort from a fellow graph geek! Now to correlate activity against age in a 3-d histogram......


15-02-10, 10:51 AM
When I joined the navy I trained in radar and started shooting for the squad also did some sailing. when I left the forces I bought a sail boat and raced it also took up shooting with a local club shooting for my county, started racing karts ( cheapest form of motorsport I was told yeh rite NOT TRUE) my wife and me had motorcycles but after some mishaps we got rid before any major accidents, now then along this line in the 80's I saw some rags flying the skies you gotta be kidding never ever will I do that, BUT HERE I AM several years later bloody kicking myself for not entering this fantastic breathtaking sport earlier,i've done a few Fly Uk's toured about on my own done loads of fly ins seen sights from the air you never see from the ground,IF YOU WANNA FLY WITH THE BIRDS HOW NEARER CAN YOU GET.as long as I breath I'll fly.