Elvington

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May 20, 2006

So, to our fourth ‘Fly Out’. The day started well with a very acceptable forecast across much of the country, or certainly the bits we wanted to use. The crews gathered at North Weald at 09.00 to prepare and plan the trek North.

 

G-DCKK, four up with Andy Ramsay, Alex Kenning and guests Dan and Lee. G-AVNS with Paul Bazire, daughter Suzie and guest Rob. G-BRBH with Paul and Andrew Hutson. With aircraft prepared and fuelled we mounted up for departure. A brisk wind at 280º and 18kts indicated a runway 31 for take off. G-BRBH was first off followed by G-DCKK. G-AVNS was lagging slightly in the queue and had to be delayed as I had elected for the longer concrete of 02, despite the crosswind, being three up and quite heavy with fuel, the prospect of hurtling towards the red and white posts, the bushes and the M11 at the end of 31 in the Piper wasn’t terribly appealing, despite what the performance figures say! Routing north and passing through the Stansted/Luton corridor took us into less restricted airspace and each crew split into their slightly different chosen routes. The cloud was broken around 3,000-3,500ft and visibility excellent. Routing north above RAF Wittering and Cottesmores ATZs contact between our three was established again with us all talking to Waddington Radar for a FIS. The crew of AVNS being very impressed to hear DCKK already reporting at Flight Level 60. A strong NW wind was slowing things down and NS surprisingly was the first to call York Radio from 10 miles out.

 

The enormous 10,000ft runway and 50 acre apron being visible from miles away. Joining downwind for R26 presented no problems there being no other traffic, but the very brisk wind at 18kts and varying 280/300 made the final approach interesting with some windshear being encountered at 1/2 mile from the threshold. DCKK was next to arrive with BRBH after that. All arrived within the 20 minute window requested by the airfield operator. Good navigating chaps. This former wartime RAF base was home to Halifax heavy bombers during the Battle of the Ruhr. After the war it was handed over to the US Strategic Air Command who built the existing (and still in excellent condition) 1.92 mile runway and the huge apron. However it was never used and later abandoned in 1958. Apart from some early Blackburn Buccaneer testing in the 60’s it remained unused. Today apart from private flying its facilities are used by numerous groups from model aircraft and land yachts to bike track days.

 

After regrouping and a friendly greeting from the airfield manager with arrangements to refuel, it was off to the Air Museum, first stop being lunch of course with copious helpings of roast beef and naturally, Yorkshire pudding. The airfield buildings and hangers have been preserved and renovated to form an excellent museum.

The return was by similar routes reversed with the new experience of being overtaken (thankfully at a safe distance) on take off by a large red, jet powered Eurofighter – fortunately only a model but a lot faster than us!

 

Routing south was uneventful with us in AVNS cruising at about 3,000ft but deciding to get above the cloud into some less bumpy air, also a chance for a little IMC practice. A call to Waddington Radar to upgrade to a Radar Service and ‘G-NS climbing FL 60’ brought the response ‘G-NS, roger, report reaching’. With AVNS struggling through the cloud at 80kts and a rate of climb indicated at 150-200ft minute it took so long that Waddington after about 15 minutes actually called to ask if we were there yet! Levelling out panting and wheezing brought beautiful views of blue sky, and skimming over the cloud tops made it all worthwhile.

Back into North Weald on R31 as the wind was still rather brisk, all safe and sound with a very enjoyable and satisfying day behind us.

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Contact us

North Weald Flying Group operate out of the Squadron at North Weald Airfield.

The airfield is 10 miles south of Stansted and can be seen from the M11. Follow signs from the A414 and on entrance to the field, follow the perimeter track all the way around the field until you arrive at the distinctive Squadron building.

email: paul.bazire54@gmail.com
phone: 01992522090