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February 2020

Get a Hobby: Bastille's Will Farquarson on Flying

Want to pick up a new hobby? Bastille have a suggestion for you...
Published: 11:13 am, May 23, 2018
Get a Hobby: Bastille's Will Farquarson on Flying
So you're in a massive band. How do you be even more rock star than that? How about learning to fly a bloody plane. That's what Will Farquarson from Bastille has done. Aye aye, capt'n!

Hey Will, how’s it going? Having a good 2018 so far?
2018 is going well. We just took some time off touring to record our third album, so we are all really looking forward to getting back on the road.

We hear you’ve just passed your flying test - congrats. How did you pick up the hobby?
Thanks. I’ve loved aviation since I was a child. My dad and I used to go to a lot of air shows, build model aeroplanes and would quite often go to Birmingham airport just to watch planes land and take off. I’d kinda always wanted to fly but had been so focused on music that I’d never really thought of perusing it. After the success of our first two albums, however, I was fortunate enough to find myself in the position in which I could dedicate sufficient time and energy to make it a reality.

What sort of planes do you fly? Are there different qualifications for different types, or is a career with EasyJet on the cards if Bastille goes tits up?
Haha. I never thought about flying professionally really, although, as someone who has only ever really worked in music, it is nice to have a useable life skill. I’m currently only permitted to privately pilot single piston engine planes, so no fast/big jets. There loads of different ratings that you can get as a private pilot though. I quite fancy doing my aerobatics rating one day.

How many hours of training have you put in to get to this point?
Currently, I’ve flown around 75 hours. I’m really conscious of how little experience I have and so take everything I do very slowly and cautiously. I think aviation is one of those areas in which you probably never stop learning, and for me, as I’m so new to it, every time I enter the cockpit I learn something.

Do you need any special equipment to learn to fly, other than the obvious (i.e. a plane)?
No. Really you just need to find a school. I learned at Sussex Flying Club that is based at Shoreham airport, and they provide everything you need to complete the programme.

Is flying a bit like driving a car in the air, or is it a totally different experience?
It’s pretty different really. The main difference is that it is far more procedural. A typical flight requires a comprehensive flight plan, safety checks, filing air traffic control procedures, keeping a log on route, entering the flight into your pilot logbook and probably a debrief. So you can’t exactly just hop in and fly to France and back without planning. Plus there is up and down to consider, so it’s a bit like driving in 3D.

Have you ever come close to crashing a plane?
Not yet. Although my instructor Dave would probably beg to differ. His is an unenviable Sisyphean task.

Where’s your favourite place to fly?
I’m lucky to fly all around the south coast of England which is really beautiful in the summer. I’m hoping to fly in America next time we are on tour which will be a really fun way to build up my hours.

Are you going to fly your bandmates about to shows from now on?
No. Kyle is a bit scared of flying and thinks I’ll crash. He says the headline is too perfect to take the risk.

Taken from the June issue of Dork - order your copy below. Bastille are playing loads of festivals over the summer, including Neverworld, which runs from 2nd-5th August.

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