A Return Trip to Popham
A second club visit to this interesting unlicensed grass airfield near Basingstoke. Navigation skills needed to be precise, and the landing was quite "interesting" due to obstacles, and an offset approach. Tony updated the original Briefing Document, covering our flight from Biggin Hill to Popham and return. Several members who originally planned to join this event had to cancel. So a further visit can be expected early next year.
Night Flight - VFR
Night flight is a strange hybrid in that it is strictly IFR according to the law, with mandatory traffic separation, and either IFR or SVFR entry into Class D controlled Airspace, but navigation may be by radio beacons or by recognition of ground features, because the "sodium glare" of town street lighting stands out and dominates the view. Position reporting is normally by means of radio navaids not ground features, e.g. "present position 25 DME from (the) Delta Tango Yankee bearing two four zero" or "passing (the) Lima India Charlie". Inclusion of "the" is common, though maybe not procedurally correct. Peter Dodds produced a Briefing Document on flying from Redhill to Stansted at night, including two IFR flight plans, and an extract from the Instrument Flight document covering how to use a VOR.
Thursday Club Night Group Flight
For this Thursday, we did a round trip EGKB Biggin Hill - EGMH Manston, Manston - EGLC London City, London City - Biggin Hill, landing at each airfield. We had ATC cover at each airfield, and Thames Radar to provide a service in between. The Thames Flying Club was active with their own event, and there was an exam at London City. A good session for those members who joined in. Tony Driver produced a Briefing Document for the Manston Round Robin trip.
Flying in the Heathrow Zone
Flying around in the Heathrow zone. We had to avoid the airport itself. Following Ruth flying CAPITAL (G-FLYI - the "flying eye") on her standard route: departing Stapleford, entering the zone at Finchley, routing down to the A40, then turning west. A zone transit overhead Northolt, and then flying the Burnham-Ascot zone transit at 1000ft (which ducks under the ILS, and sets everyones TCAS off). Then east along the M3 and zone transit to the north via Battersea, then back home to Stapleford. Good fun, and was a nice challenge for Thames Radar. Ruth said "You can't fly VFR in a Class A zone, it must be SVFR." Preparing for this event we studied the London SVFR Rules document. Detailed routing was provided by Ruth, and is available here. Peter Dodds provided a map with the route marked. Note that the route follows the "Left hand Rule" which is that "when following a line feature, always keep it on your left." Peter also provided an FSNAV flight plan to follow that route using FSNAV. Peter said "It was a really good bash - lots of activity and cameraderie."
Tuesday Club Night Group Flight
For this Tuesday, instead of stooging round Gloucesteshire doing our own thing, we all started from Halfpenny Green - Wolverhampton Airport if you are posh, and flew as a group to Gloucestershire. This worked quite well and proved to be very enjoyable.
Gwlad! Gwlad! (Croeso i Gymru
Big hills, spectacular slate mines, deep blue lakes and a large airforce base at its north-western tip - that's North Wales. We went to Valley on Anglesey, a basic jet aircraft training centre, so we might have met a lot of DeHavilland Hawks! (Sadly, we didn't.) We departed from Gloucestershire at various times and in various aircraft from a Cessna 172 to a Spitfire. Guess who got there first!. Our thanks to Gordon Pownall for a long and dedicated stint on Valley Radar. Briefing.