Updated: May 7
No flying turned into Snow Flying; Daniel Langton enjoys an icy looking first flight post lockdown
In this issue:
Shaw's Report - our Chairman Ian is back up flying to his relief.
Club Night Report Thanks to Stewart Prentice for his considerable efforts on his presentation.
Coming up at Club Night Irv Lee talking about a pilot's worst enemy - the weather.
Achievements - Congratulations due.
Favourite Amazing Flyout 1 2021- plans for possible maybe(s).
Alphabet Airfields - don't forget to keep collecting.
Medical mayhem - CAA requires online registration to their portal in order to submit 'self-decs'.
Airfield Attractions - Sara Milton shares ideas and information on things to do near to airfields.
DHF Santa substitute visitors - A Christmas present exchange brought a sports cruiser to visit.
Events and tour dates: please remember to look at the last page; the dates are correct and when I know of a major event I include it here. Feel free to let me know of any that you think might interest other Cheshire Flyers.
So pleased to be back in the air and thankful (to the best of my knowledge) there have been no Cheshire Flyer mishaps.
Dave West and myself jointly managed a couple of flights together in RKID - ‘Wires n Wheels’ style ie one sorts radio / nav (and undercarriage), the other does stick waggling stuff.
I have to say if you don’t already subscribe to this method of flying with your buddies, it’s a great way of sharing workload and making the flight enjoyable and ‘educational’ for both parties.
Other than forgetting to stop climbing until far too close to Manc’s airspace – it all went fine…
Then I managed my first CF flyout (technically 3 aircraft or more) of the year, yesterday, to Welshpool. I’ve not flown for ages in the Eurobubble. Thankfully Sharon was available to keep tabs on me; this time it was forgetting to put the petrol cap back on (which Sharon sorted) followed by not being able to figure the radio out (which Sharon also sorted). Ian Macbeth commented ‘It’s fantastic to see everyone in 3D again’ - couldn’t have put it better myself.
It was funny to see everyone wearing our splendid Cheshire Flyers merchandise – note to self ‘write my name in collar’…
So now we’ve got lockdown out of the way – hopefully for good, and cobwebs have been cleared it’s time to get touring. Capt Braders with assistance from Sharon and others have put quite a lot of effort into options for FAF1 (see below). We’ll discuss more at clubnight.
Looking forward to seeing you on Monday.
Club Night Passed
Many thanks are due to Stewart Prentice who talked to us about Anti-submarine warfare and took us through an exercise in how the aircraft try to locate submarines at sea. This was a very interesting peek into the invisible activities of the RAF and the sort of things that are likely still to be going on around the coasts of Britain, Europe and further afield. Stewart clearly put a lot of time and thought into the presentation which made it all the more absorbing and informative.
Club Night Future - April 19th
Our guest speaker is Irv Lee of Higherplane Aviation Training Ltd fame. Irv is planning to talk to us about the effects of weather for pilots. If you have any specific questions about licences and other stuff there will be time after Irv's presentation to ask him. Irv's website is www.higherplane.co.uk and is packed full of information.
Well done to Craig Fairman who did his First Solo at Dairy House Farm on Wednesday 14th April.
And hot off the press.... Well done to Simon Allerton who did his First Solo at Dairy House Farm on Sunday 18th April.
FAF 1 May 21-25 - possible tour options
Captain Braders reminds us that FAF1 planning needs some thought and we need to organise ourselves
As we all know, the principle of a FAF is go wherever the weather looks best for a UK flyout. We consider several alternatives but leave the final decision to just a few days beforehand. This year, however, with so many people likely to be holidaying in the UK due to Covid restrictions, making last minute reservations may prove difficult. Perhaps, therefore, it would be prudent to consider booking a selection of hotels in advance that offer late cancellation policy/deals.
Regular Faffers will be aware that for several years we have been trying to get to Orkney but have always been thwarted by the weather. As no-one knows how this year will pan out, it makes sense that Orkney be given priority as Plan A. With so many islands to visit, it also makes sense to stay for at least three nights. Past research led to the conclusion that the private airfield on Lamb Holm is the place to base; Lamb Holm has a welcoming owner and is free from the restrictions and expense of using Kirkwall Airport. Kirkwall, the main town for accommodation and evenings out is only a 10 -15minute taxi ride away from Lamb Holm. Camping is a possibility too.
If the weather cooperates it would be good to reach Orkney on day 1 (21st May) and stay three nights (21,22 & 23rd). It may suit some to make a more leisurely journey north and stop overnight somewhere on route. An option for the return home could be via the Great Glen with a final night’s stay (24th) somewhere on route.
To reassure those not keen on over-water transits, it is a very short distance from mainland Scotland to Orkney, and the islands are very close together, so crossing the water should not put you off joining the flyout.
There appears to be a reasonable selection of accommodation in Kirkwall, but not many offering a very late cancellation policy; a few offer 48 hrs notice e.g. The Shore.
Elsewhere in the UK, large chains such as Premier Inn offer a flexible rate permitting cancellation up to 1pm on the scheduled day of arrival. Bearing in mind the potential for last minute cancellations and trying to hedge for the weather as much as feasible, three alternative routes/directions (Plans B, C & D) are proposed which have Premier Inns (or similar) reasonably close to airfields. This is a summary of the proposals:
Plan A - N/NE. 21st May to Orkney (Lamb Holm Airfield) via a selection of on-route stops. Stay 3 nights in a Kirkwall Hotel with aircraft based at Lamb Holm. 22nd and 23rd tour the many islands and airfields of the Orkney Island group. 24th May commence journey home potentially stopping overnight at a location to be decided.
Plan B – N/NW. 21st May to overnight at Prestwick (Premier Inn by Airport). 22nd May tour the Western Isles and overnight in Oban (Premier Inn in Oban Town). 23rd to 25th May to be decided.
Plan C – S/SE (Clockwise). 21st May to overnight at Clacton (Premier Inn Seafront). 22nd May tour the SE and south coast to overnight IoW Sandown (Premier Inn Marrie Gardens). 23rd Exeter; 24th Swansea.
Plan D – W/SW (Anticlockwise). 21st May tour of Wales to overnight Swansea (Premier Inn City Centre). 22nd May tour Somerset and Devon to overnight at Exeter (Hamilton by Hilton with cancellation possible up to 23:59 on 21st). 23rd Sandown (Premier Inn); 24th May Clacton (Premier Inn).
Plans B, C & D at least provide an initial plan that can be built upon; any suggestions for alternative days/nights can be discussed at club night and following days. These plans are not in preference order, the weather will dictate what is the best direction in which to head.
How's your alphabet coming along?
Don't forget that the competition for the Cheshire Flyer with landings at airfields covering as much of the alphabet as possible, in their logbook, ends on August 31st, 2021.
There seem to be issues with the CAA portal and being able to make a Pilot Medical Declaration or 'self-dec' as call them. Various Cheshire Flyers have encountered difficulties with this. The BMAA website makes reference to such with a link to the guidance document for registering on the portal (see below). You need to have a medical in place (and a CAA reference number) before you can apply for your NPPL via the BMAA. However the one certainty at the moment is that it takes ages - potentially 10 days or so before your identity is checked and verified once you embark upon the process. Daniel Langton has been researching this and has come to the conclusion that until you apply for a service you don't get an option to upload your identity documents. However, at the time of writing the medical option was displaying that the service was withdrawn. So leave plenty of time to renew your medical before it expires.
PILOT LICENSING FOR MICROLIGHTS: MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS
Flying in the UK. A pilot may only fly microlights as Pilot In Command in the UK if they hold valid medical certification. The NPPL medical certification can be by a Pilot Medical Declaration made on-line on the Civil Aviation Authority web site. Pilots must use the CAA Customer Portal to access the Medical section of the CAA website. This link explains how to use the Portal. Portal Guidance This link takes you to the Portal login page where you can also Create an Account. Portal Login For the BMAA medical advisor's guidance on the online medical submission, see here Other accepted medical certification may be available, but applicants should check with their instructor prior to solo flight.
The BMAA strongly recommends that student pilots make their medical declaration, or obtain other acceptable certification, at the start of their training to ensure that they will be able to hold such a medical, and do not wait until just before they are ready to fly solo, by which time they must hold a valid medical.
Flying abroad. The UK Pilot Medical Declaration is only valid for flight within the UK. If you intend to fly outside the UK you must contact the National Aviation Authority of the country that you want to fly in and find out whether they will accept your UK declaration or not. We don't list each country's requirements on this website as they can change without notice and we don't want to publish misleading information.
Sara Milton is looking for reviews and recommendations
Sara has started up a Facebook page called Fly-in Lunch UK.
Sara has populated the page with some airfields she has visited and given ideas as to things to do around them. Some interesting snippets there - I certainly wasn't aware that there was much around Halfpenny Green for example - and certainly not premium craft cider-maker.
Sara would like pilots and their passengers to share information on airfields visited for the benefit of other flyers. Feel free to add posts to this public Facebook site that she has created. For those of us that don't really use Facebook (and I am one of them) please also feel free to provide those details for this magazine.
Halfpenny Green (Wolverhampton)
Cafe on the first floor and there's benches outside too with runway view.
Still within the airfield itself, just before you exit on the right, there is a Antique and Vintage centre with lots of nooks and crannies filled with all sorts of items, many too big to take home though!
Exit the airfield to the right and after only 5 mins, on the opposite side of the road is the small Halfpenny Green Cidery. If open you may be able to purchase from a selection of different still and sparkling ciders.
For a further walk, to the north of the airfield, approx. 40 mins away is the Halfpenny Vineyard and cafe. There is also a craft shop and a Wild Zoological Park at this location with unusual birds!
Pilot Tip- check with your pilot regarding available storage room for any purchases/duty free!
Leave the airfield turning left along the lane to a T-junction. Cross the road and pick up the small footpath that has hedges on the right and houses on the left. After a few mins you'll cross the churchyard and pop out in the village.
A couple of pubs and a fantastic cafe 'On The Green' which is directly opposite the ancient Butter Cross Monument.
Alternatively turn right at the T-junction and approximately 150m up there is High Ash Farm with the 'Cobwebs' coffee shop and separate butchers shop.
All this just a 5-10 mins walk from your plane!
Pilot Tip- the runway has a rise
The first floor family ran cafe overlooks the runway with great food. Exit the airfield to the right though and after a windy country road walk of about 25 mins will bring you to Llanbedr village with shop, pubs, accommodation and a grade II listed church.
There's also a bike hire shop.
Alternatively exit airfield to the left and after about 25 mins you come to the Shell Island campsite with cafe and beach/sand dunes. The tidal estuary regularly floods though most days (on this side) with the high tide the road is then cut completely cut off so don't get marooned!
Pilot Tip- the runway can be multi-use e.g. vehicle testing
Great place to visit if you heading to The Lakes. A very small Pilots lounge at the Control Tower but within the Airfield is The White Heather Hotel.
No longer a hotel but still a large restaurant, only open a few days a week and restricted opening times so check before you turn up!
You can even taxi up to and stop at the car park if you're careful to avoid the car traffic!
Really big portions, 'Sunday Lunch' style dining.
A car or taxi might be needed to visit nearby areas.
GA flying allowed again - it feels like Christmas
G-DADZ a sports cruiser made a visit to Dairy House Farm at the end of March, its owner Paul Kinsella with P2 Richard Skeggs (both BA 777 pilots). Paul's parents live in Sandbach and he flew up to exchange Christmas presents having not seen them in person for 12 months. Paul told John that West Tisted, from whence they came, which is near Southampton, is a great strip, very long and the owner is a nice chap.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Next Club Night 19th April, 2021
CLUB TOUR DATES 2021
FAF 2021 dates:
Musgrave/Anglesey fly-in: 5/6 June
OTHER FLY-IN/FLY AROUND DATES 2021 - that Cheshire Flyers might attend
Spamfield 2021 - May 29-31
Fly UK 2021 - June 18-27
Sandown Flamping Weekend Flyin June 26-27
Aero Friedrichshafen - July 14-17
Popham 2021 - August 14-15
LAA Rally at Sywell - September 3-5
Guernsey Aero Club - September 10-12 - lots of Cheshire Flyers booked into this.