The CIX VFR Club The Stapleford Gang
Club Events - Return to Kemble
We went back to the PFA Rally at Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire
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The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - Kemble 2005
We went back to the PFA Rally at Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire
 Report Sunday 3rd July 2005  
For full size pictures go to Kemble Pictures
This was our own event in connection with the PFA rally. Seven members left Biggin Hill in a line astern formation, including two new members - Pete Chapman (G-PETE) flying with us for the first time, and who normally flies (flew?) bigger things, and Dave Lidgeley (G-DLNV), a real world glider pilot, who had spent just one brief evening with us at Ha'penny Green (Wolverhampton to the the young), familiarising himself with us and the complexities of ATC dialogue. Dave has written a splendid "through new eyes" piece for us below. Kemble screenshot
We were joined on the tail end of the flight by another aircraft, unknown to the Club. It was being flown by Alan Squires, who had so much fun on the night, he promptly joined the Club! The flight was a loose formation with separations of between 0.5 and 2 miles, routing over the Dartford Crossing to Stapleford, then west via Bovingdon VOR, Oxford Kidlington aerodrome and Northleach Roundabout VRP. Because the official Vatsim event had been held on the Friday, we had expected only ATC on departure from our member Tim Hutchinson at Biggin. However, shortly after crossing the Thames, we received offers of ATC cover from Luton, Brize Norton and Kemble itself, which we gratefully accepted. Kemble screenshot
Having flown the same route twelve months previously the only real difference was more ATC cover and the numbers of aircraft - not only taking part, but who had parked at Kemble to watch the fun and games as we arrived. It was a truly excellent event - our most successful to date, and our warmest thanks go to all those who took part - pilots and controllers - not forgetting our member Ruth McTighe who was on shift as a Vatsim Supervisor that evening, and who was able to offer help and information when the problem with Thames Radar occurred as well as monitoring our progress. Kemble screenshot
Dave Lidgeley's story.
I am a new member to the CIX VFR Club and apart from a beginners night a few weeks back this was to be my first event with the club. I decided I would fly down from my home base EGNV - Durham Tees Valley (formerly Teesside) to join the event, and during the afternoon set about creating flight plans for my flight down to Biggin Hill and the Kemble fly in. The estimated flight time to Biggin Hill was 2hrs 15 minutes, so I planned my departure time to get to Biggin on time for the start of the event at 20:00. Real world events played their hand here and I did not get airborne till 18:00, 15 minutes later than planned. Not a good start. Kemble screenshot
I loaded Teamspeak and SB3, logged on and sent my flight plan. There was no ATC in my area so I climbed out to 2500 feet and set course to over fly Rufforth, Burn and other VFR points I could identify from the chart. Approaching EGSB - Castle Mill, with Vatsim Weather on, all I could see was mist and some low cumulus, but descending to 1500ft I was able to fly under it. It was raining slightly and still looked very misty and I began to wonder if the event might be cancelled. I could still see O.K. and by North Weald the bad weather had cleared and I was able to climb back to 2500 feet. Knowing I was going to be late for the event. So I was relieved to hear over the Clubs Teamspeak channel that the event last takeoff time was not going to be till 20:30 so I would get there in time. About 20 minutes out of Biggin again via Teamspeak I heard that Biggin Approach was online. This immediately made me break out in a sweat as live ATC is quite new to me and I am still not conversant with the correct procedures. So it was that at 11 miles to run, with a trembling thumb, I pushed the PTT key and called Biggin Approach. (Haven't we all been there - Ed.) Appporaching Kemble on ServInfo
I got an immediate friendly reply and was advised to make a straight in approach for Rwy 21 from my current location and to report the airfield in sight. I acknowledged and carried on, thinking that my performamnce wasn't too bad at all. Shortly afterwards I could see the runway lights through a slight mist and then the runway itself. I reported "field in sight" and was cleared to land. I could see other aircraft on the field by now and thought I better not mess this landing up in front of everyone and had the same level of concentration that I had when I did my first real world solo in a glider. Touch down almost on the center line - a big smile broke out and I started to relax again. I taxied to the main apron and shut down. It was 20:18 - 3 minutes over my estimated flight time. Not bad, I thought, for a 220 mile flight. I refueled and sat listening in to Teamspeak and Biggin Approach, waiting for the event to start. Kemble screenshot
Moments later, the flight leader called for taxi instructions. I waited till a few more had called in, listening to the procedures and making a few notes ready for my turn. I called in and was given instructions to taxi with caution and join the queue at holding point Delta 1 for runway 21. Eventually it was my turn to take off. Throttle wide open, 55Kts, pull back on the yoke and climb out. At 1000ft I made a climbing right turn to 2400ft and set off on track for Dartford and the M25 crossing. By the time I was straight and level I could see 2 other aircraft in front, so I simply followed them and took in the sights awarded by the Visual Flight VFR Photographic Scenery. So far so good. Kemble screenshot
I was asked to contact Thames Radar on 132.7 but could not get a response. I heard over Teamspeak that others were having the same problem. Eventually contact was made but I could not hear what the controller was saying and made contact by text. Very distracting this, and when I checked where I was, I had descended to 500 feet. I realized that by reaching over the yoke to type, I was actually holding slight forward pressure on the yoke - a new location for the keyboard required while flying I think. I climbed back to 2400ft and hoped that nobody noticed the oops. Nothing was mentioned Phew! Kemble screenshot
Apart from some turbulence and holding full forward pressure on the yoke to avoid going over 2400 feet and infringing the London TMA, all went well from there on. (I wish I could find thermals like that in the real world). Approaching Kemble from Northleach Roundabout VRP we all started to get into a position to join overhead of the left hand`circuit for Rwy 26. I saw a gap I could slot into and called Kemble Information. "Join overhead, you are No. 4 to land". I could see the 3 other aircraft in front of me. Onto finals and cleared to land I realized I was not sweating like I was on the approach to Biggin Hill and felt quite relaxed. I parked up on the grass next to three other aircraft and watched the others still coming in. All told, with the flight planning, flying and watching, I had had five and a half hours of total enjoyment. have also learnt quite a lot from the event with regards to ATC procedures. Many thanks to all who took part, to the controllers who handled the event so well and last but not least thanks to those who organized the event in the first place.
Our Thanks to the SEVERAL VATSIM controllers who offered ATC cover en route which we gladly accepted.
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