Wales’ loss was France’s gain!!
We were pleasantly surprised to be visiting Calais on Saturday when, for some time, we had planned to fly to Caernarfon. This was not a navigational error but a cunning ruse to avoid the worst of the showery weather! With sparkling visibility and fairly smooth conditions, both Max and Neil, two of our keenest students, gained some valuable experience and thoroughly excelled themselves. A casual observer would have thought they were well-experienced pilots rather than the low-hours students that they are! Jeff, David, Neville and George travelled in style in G-AVEH, although the extra speed was not so advantageous this time, as the C172 consistently managed to turn up after the showers had cleared!!
Calais airfield makes a cheaper and quieter alternative to Le Touquet, being unencumbered with any form of ATC at the weekend!
Un jour fantastique was had by all; the only drawback being that with 4-up in the 172, there was no space for cheese or wine!
Wales’ loss was France’s gain!!
“Fancy a fly-out?” says Jeff.
“Good idea!” says I.
So the search for a destination began…. and we very soon found ourselves planning a club trip to Amiens for the Fly-In weekend in May. We luckily, and very kindly, had a helping hand from Martin, a regular visitor to France, who organised PPR for our 9 aircraft and 19 pilots and passengers, and gave us the heads up on all things France, including brushing up on (or learning) French RT. Which we did…….
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t perfect on the morning as we went, and some sensibly decided that they’d wait for a better day for their first Channel crossing. But 11 of us made it in 3 planes, stopping at Calais for customs, and changing seats. And then on to Amiens where we would be able to put into practice our new-found RT skills.
“Amiens, G-ECGC, vent-arriere, trente” says I, proudly. Quickly followed by “What did she say?!”
Of course, if you speak French on the radio, someone will speak back to you in French! The rest of our transmissions were in Franglais!! Roger and David, however, did a whole lot better and managed the full vocabulary, so well done to them!
We had a very warm welcome on arrival, free sausage and chips, which we enjoyed to the sound of a very professional swing band, and a complementary bus ride into town. Everyone was so friendly.
Amiens is a pleasant little French town with a stunning cathedral and inviting riverside restaurants. Most of us, James mainly, managed to slake our thirst for international air travel, something to be highly recommended!
All in all a fabulous trip, our furthest, and best, yet!
We were so lucky to be one of a few Flying Clubs to be invited to RAF Coningsby for the day, to see how the other half live…….!
So we grabbed the offer with both hands, and ten of us eagerly made our way there for an 0800 start on a beautiful morning in May.
The object was to engender mutual understanding of each other’s moda operandi , and highlight the importance of (and dispel any worries regarding) RT!! Which they did brilliantly!
A visit to the Tower and Radar Room filled the morning, which, luckily, happened to be the morning a Typhoon practised its display – wonderful!! After a feast in the Sergeants’ Mess, we were treated to a BBMF tour, and then got up close and personal to a Typhoon! What an amazing day!
Our huge thanks to all who helped put on such a fantastic day; we already have a waiting list in anticipation of the next one….
And 119.2 isn’t quite so scary any more…………
We are lucky to be able to make available this well-appointed, clean and tidy Archer II. G-SAPI has to be one of the nicest- flying PA28s ever! Available to Elite Members for online booking. Happy days!
Can you spot yourself in the photo? If not, why not…..?!
This photo was secretly taken on a Wednesday evening at Fenland.
The Clubhouse at Fenland is host to the most informative and stimulating Ground School lectures on all things aviation and PPL; invaluable not only for students but for post PPLs alike. So if you’re serious about your flying, come along and top up your knowledge base and become a better pilot!
Wednesdays 1830 til 2100 in the Clubhouse, everyone welcome, food and drink available.
Remember, knowledge is power…..power is thrust….thrust equals drag………….you may come away £10 lighter, but your spirits will be lifted…..why weight……………….?
Please ring the Flying School for the Topic of the Week. Look forward to seeing you all there.
Here we are on our trip to a bright and breezy Isle of Man.
Despite a medium to poor forecast, 4 aircraft out of the original 11 who planned to go, decided to brave the elements and managed to arrive at the welcoming Ronaldsway airport. Well done to Liam and Andy, 2 low-hours students, who both flew one leg each under minimal instruction, and both did a grand job despite the bumps and showers. Special well done to Roger who managed to get there without an IMC rating, which involved some cloud-dodging and extra distance flown. Although some heavy showers developed, we didn’t let them put a dampener on the day, and the return journey was blessed with beautiful blue skies, sunshine and unlimited visibility to the east of the Pennines.
We’re all looking forward to the next trip…….
Student of the Year 2015 goes to……..Luke Rowley.
The CFI’s Mug is presented annually by the CFI to the ‘Overall Best Student’, and has been presented most years since 1973. Some of the pilots are still flying here!
For 2015, we decided to score all students over a broad range of categories eg. Airmanship, Attitude to Learning, Natural Ability, how often they brought us cakes, er…no…we scrubbed that one off…… and Luke came out on top for 2015. CFI Steve said he was a pleasure to teach! Well done Luke!
We have a trophy!! Joint winner of the famous Guernsey NavEx, flying a timed route over Northern France and picking out landmarks from photos. Congratulations to our CFI Steve (with a teeny bit of help from Lisa!). And for the 3rd year running, winner of the Aviation Quiz (have already drunk the prize!).
We really enjoyed our weekend; the AeroClub always put on a fabulous show, full of aviation activities to indulge in, a spectacular hangar dance, great food and always a warm welcome.
Guernsey is a beautiful island, well worth a visit, so save a space in your diaries for the middle of June next year! We’ll definitely be going back!
So… we picked a beautiful day for our School fly-out to Sandown! Or Dan-down as it has been colloquially renamed (by Dan!) Dan, the new lessee of the airfield has grand plans for making Sandown the first airfield resort and ‘The best airfield in the World’ (his words!)….. he’s already installed showers and hot-tubs ready for his Summer Glamping weekends. May well be worth another visit soon…!
For some of our members it was the first long-distance trip post PPL, and for others, a chance to brush up on navigation and an excuse for lunch!
Richard gained his PPL earlier in the year and flew G-AVEH on the outbound leg as part of his differences training, under Steve’s instruction. David flew G-ECGC out and Simon flew her back; both relatively new PPLs. Murray, Louisa and Jerry came along too in their own planes. We all enjoyed a (long) walk in the sunshine and lunch on the beach. And, of course, some great flying! A grand day out!
The January fly-out was a wintry visit to Wales. Our Intrepid Trio, Jeff Helm, Roger Tunnard (taking the photos) and Jeff Moreland set off in G-MICK, the school C-172, and enjoyed 4 hours of flying to Caernarfon and back, taking in a landscape of winter wonderland.
The planned stop at Halfpenny Green never materialised due to the fact that it was reported that the 3 pilots were….. ‘taken ill’. However, all was well, as rather than being ‘taken ill’, they had actually landed at ‘Tatenhill’!
A fantastic day’s flying was had by all, sharing the flying and the costs. They each enjoyed 4 hours’ flying in our comfortable C-172 for less than £32 per hour per person! (Whilst enjoying good health throughout 😉 )