Monday, 31 January 2011

Beverley

Beverley is one of the many small airfields across on the east side of the Pennines. The lie of the land is rather more conducive to airfields, being largely flat and there's certainly plenty to choose from.

January 29th was a pleasant day for a flight and I decided it was high time that I headed off east and explored a new airfield. Originally I thought I might go to Eddsfield, which is a few miles in land from Bridlington and is highly recommended. Unfortunately I couldn't get an answer when I phoned for PPR. I do know that they have had problems with the heavy snow and damage to hangars, so I had to assume that the airfield was closed.

Just down the road is Beverley, home of the Hull Aero Club, being just a few miles north of Hull. I knew little about the airfield but when I called for PPR it seemed friendly enough and so off I went.

With excellent visibility and little cloud, I was able to fly at FL55 on the way there, on pretty well a direct track from Kirkbride, via the RAF Leeming overhead and on to land at Beverley after a flight lasting 75 minutes.

What a delightful airfield! The people are really friendly and there is a fine selection of light aircraft, from the Tipsy Nipper to modern LSAs. I was, however, the only Sportcruiser there that day. The grass runway tends to get a big boggy and everyone is enjoined to use the north side of the runway and avoid taxying over the boggy bits. There was plenty going on, both in the air and in the busy club house.

After a quick cuppa and a very reasonably priced cheeseburger, it was time to head home to be ahead of darkness. The return flight was uneventful but with a little more cloud, which, at FL45 I was well above, resulting in some excellent views of the distant Lake District mountains as I cleared the Pennines.

Beverley is a wonderful airfield to visit and I will definitely make another trip there during the summer for a longer stop.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

First flight of 2011

After a poor end to 2010, I managed a unique achievement today - a flight on the first day of a new year.

Although the weather wasn't particularly promising, the forecast was for it to improve during the day and the cloud, although completely overcast, was quite high. I decided to drive to the airport and see what transpired.

In fact it wasn't a bad day at all at Kirkbride. Rather chilly at about 1°C and the easterly winds are back again but at least the cloud base was sufficient. It was just a local bimble for about an hour, around Carlisle, Locherbie, Dumfries and Castle Douglas but it was enough to blow the cobwebs off after almost a month without committing aviation.

Let us hope that the early start is a good omen for the rest of the year!