Aerobility Touring Group - 2015

Aerobility Touring Group - 2015

Blackbushe - Old Hay - Old Buckenham - Rochester - Blackbushe
19 April 2015

Crews: James Brown, Barry Hobkirk, Geoff Marshall, Stuart Clarke & Trish Amess
Aircraft: G-CHFK PA-32-260 & G-BSYY PA-28-161

Sunday 19th April 0800 BST dawned cold and windy and the intrepid band of aviators assembled at HQ. The original plan was to use 2 x PA-28s but G-HARN was 'tech' due to a collapsed nose wheel oleo. The 'white van' otherwise known as 'FK' was the best alternative and a useful wheel chair, scooter & walker carrier!
Much discussion was had and graphs consulted to assure us that we were not going to take out any hedges at the Old Hay Farm Strip, a sporty 676 m of short (dry?) grass!
As it happened, there were no dramas with either aircraft and the short field landing and takeoff practice was worthwhile.

Farmer Roger, the owner met us with his Follow Me Landover and 'Rotty' and was genuinely pleased to see us. He plans an extension to the East/West strip soon, taking the fun out of it!!
From Old Hay it was roughly a northerly track up to Old Buckenham (EGSV). This required a transit of the new Southend RMZ! Again, no dramas and straight across to Chelmsford VRP and on to SV.
Old Buckenham were holding a 'Wings and Wheels' event so there was a bit of a scramble getting radio calls in on arrival. Sadly, possibly due to the wind there were not many 'wings' in attendance but there was a an array of WW 2, mainly American (given the history of SV!) vehicles and artillery pieces. Being just south of Norwich, the next high point east would be the Urals and that was were the wind was coming from! It was bitter! However the Sausage or Bacon Baps were good and 'the cup that cheers' did the business. They even waived the landing fees!

The home run was via Rochester (TO), a large grass airfield south of Chatham that is in the process of laying a 'hard' runway (see Sywell). Sadly the cafe had closed by the time we arrived so tea and cake did not materialize. Again landing fees were waived so after a short stop and crew changes it was back to Blackbushe.

The Team at Rochester.

All flyers got 2 legs each and I believe the overall experience was positive.
Your roving reporter,
Nic SaundersComment