Monday 09 December 2013 16:23 UTC
Where have you been? What have you seen?
Firstly, a thank you to the formites that made useful suggestions in a past thread to my request for “as quick re-fuelling as possible” up the West coast to Scotland. . I also apologise in advance for any spelling and grammatical errors and do hope that it does not offend any of the pedants too greatly.
Secondly, I do hope that some of the trip reports I post do inspire some fellow pilots to use their licence to go explore this great country. There is some truly beautiful scenery to be had and you don’t need to be rich and have all the latest supa dupa kit to do this, I am as poor as a church mouse and fly with the basics.
YES, the Scotland trip happened – up on the 24th and back down on the 25th and NO, the Swiss cheese was never on the menu, lots of Dutch cheese I think – yum!!
My partner in crime was Paul. We come together once a year to do a cost shared flight to some where interesting and challenging.
PD in the below…
The chariot of the trip was a very nice Archer – G-BYKL. Having said this, I do find the Archer, while a very capable machine, ever so boring. I just want to yawn when I think “Archer” BUT it is the one aircraft we have in common and so the die was cast.
G-BYKL at Barton
Due to horrible viz over the weekend, we were late departing on the Saturday and as a result Stornoway was sacrificed, but an excuse to do the trip again in the beloved steroid. The viz in the picture below is still quite good.
Shoreham to Barton – The Edge – chock to chock – 1:55 – 66.36 litres used.
Barton to Carlisle – PD - chock to chock – 0:50 – 33 litres used.
Carlisle to Plockton – PD - chock to chock – 1:50 – not refuelled.
Plockton to Oban – The Edge - chock to chock – 0:45 – 90.41 litres used (starting from Carlisle).
Oban to Barton – The Edge - chock to chock – 2:30 – 85.5 litres used.
Barton to Shoreham – PD - chock to chock – 2:00
It would be my first trip into the Manchester corridor and into Barton. Baptism of fire given that the visibility was 4000 – 5000m. . In fact the entire trip up and most of the return trip varied between 0m to 8000m viz. Pick a number and we had it. The only nice leg was PD’s final leg back into Shoreham.
Apart from the visibility challenging us, we had GPS failure and no radio nav coverage in places and so the Edge dusted off the mark one eyeball and we did ok. Even his estimate done the “old fashioned” way agreed spot on to the GPS when they finally resurrected themselves. Very happy with that. The Visibility posed re-fuelling issues in that trying to find an airfield with an acceptable visibility to land at proved very tedious and did affect the original plan a little.
Plockton itself is wonderful. The scenery breath taking. The hotel we stayed at was very pleasant and the food yummy. The Edge also rather enjoyed their local beer called Plockton. It was sweetish so not to everyone’s taste but for others YUMMY.
I had the fried squid for the starter - £5.75 and the Scampi basket for the main - £9.50. Can’t remember what Paul had – sorry. The most expensive item on the menu, if I remember correctly was the Seaford platter at £14.75. The food was excellent with nice sized portions.
I could not fault the service at any of the airfields we landed at. All were very friendly and helpful. Given my past experience with Carlisle – which was a rubbish experience, I was loathed to be forced into Carlisle for fuel as a result of the blooming visibility but I have to say this time around I had no gripe at all. It was AG, we were allowed to taxi to the pumps, service was quick and friendly and so forth. The complete opposite to my first time experience. I guess one should always give a place/person/thing a second chance. I will now go back there and hopefully many more times after that.
Aaaah, I did kick myself, after all the help from the Aware team to get my Aware up and running again for the trip, I left the jolly thing at home and had to dust off the faithful 96. Doh. As I had moved house the day before, I will not kick myself too hard. I was tired.
That's a geat write-up; thanks.
Ahh, so that was you in Barton over the weekend !! I was FISOing on Saturday, but was supervising a new member of staff so probably didn't speak to you directly. However here's a photo of you taken by one of the resident enthusiasts :
G-BYKL by QSY on-route, on Flickr
Thanks for visiting, I'm glad you enjoyed your trip
I'll try to convince my fellow club members to make England/Scotland the destination for this year's European Summer Tour. Some of these pics will come in handy when trying to persuade them.
Everyone can make mistakes. Yesterday, for instance, I thought I was wrong, but I wasn't.
A clean pair of underpants and socks are all you need innit?
Indeed a beer is long overdue. I dont think I have seen you and Samsonite this year. Jolly poor show on my part..
Hey, we mustn't forget to mention the fantastic help we got from Cumbernauld - we didn't even go there but the guys were just so helpful in passing us weather experiences from local pilots and checked the various webcams (eg. Glenforsa) which helped us to decide to go for Plockton after Oban had closed. And, of course Scottish Information were absolutely superb as always.
A few more photos of this trip here:
Very nice report - glad you enjoyed the trip.
Why didn't you go to Mull - it is a truely great place for a visit?
Couldn't agree more. It is a truly wonderful experience flying into Glenforsa, staying at the hotel and catching up with other pilots over a wee dram with scenery, silence and, if you're lucky, a magical sunset to die for. The island is gorgeous and if you have time then Iona is just a short ferry ride. Not sure if bicycles are easily available to hire from the Glenforsa area but they sure ought to be.
On this trip we did try phoning them a couple of times but there was no answer unfortunately. And I understand that dropping in unannounced is a bad idea. The other place we were keen to visit was Barra but the timings didn't work out. If we had had just one more day on the trip then all these extras would have been possible with the weather system we had.
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