Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1698930
Too much money and the business rates are huge. Considered it but life’s too short to argue with local authorities who think of it as a cash cow offshore oil industry facility. Looked like it would make a nice little flyin community (houses on stilts, maybe) with an “aviation village” in the big sheds.
#1698932
Flyingfemme wrote:Considered it but life’s too short to argue with local authorities who think of it as a cash cow offshore oil industry facility.


Except that the southern north sea sector is moving to end of life de-commissioning now... The Local authority needs to be thinking out of that particular box, except that will probably mean housing... :roll:

Regards, SD..
#1698952
Having not been a chopper jock I've never been in there and always stayed far enough away not to notice the layout until just now.

A bit of tinkering with Google Earth suggests the threshold to the main runway in the direction of the prevailing wind is only 180 meters from the main road with quite high street lights, and the final approach is near as makes no difference straight over the top of someone's house on the other side of the main road. None of which is really ideal as that's going to be about the 50 foot level for yer average light single, about 35 feet for anyone indoctrinated in the strange notion of three degree approaches. Cue world+dog dialling 999 on their car phones and reporting "a plane just missed me and seems to have crashed in a field", with a great deal of general hassle ensuing.

I know very little of helicopter ops but presumably on arrival they used to descend within the airfield boundary. I can imagine doing that myself in something suitably low-speed and responsive in a curved glide approach, like a Super Cub. But it's not the sort of place that looks terribly compatible with visiting fixed-wing pilots who aren't very much in practice with the location.
Flyin'Dutch' liked this
#1698970
For many years, light aircraft on pleasure flights operated from there with no problems, initially with Austers and later a Cessna 170, 172 and 206; on race days (it’s only a two minute drive to Gt Yarmouth racecourse) it wasn’t unknown to see Aztecs flying in to drop off and pick up jockeys as well as regular other visitors. From memory, the main runway (27/09, previously 28/10) is in the region of 580m in length.

I’m pretty sure it’s not suitable for housing as it’s on a flood plain for the River Bure and as far as I can tell, the local council wouldn’t want houses on there.

Ian
#1699013
chevvron wrote:I don't know when exactly it became 'helicopters only', but it was unlicensed apart from having licensed ATC and the declared distances for the helicopters were only sufficient to allow a FATO for public transport helicopters and much less than old fixed wing distances.

I believe it became rotary only when CHC Scotia (or its predecessor) took over the airfield. Fixed wing flying stopped in the mid/late 80s I think (happy to be corrected).

Ian
#1699020
I remember going to North Denes just once: flying on the police helicopter covering the eastern counties we were tasked with escorting a prisoner from court back to prison. This was not just any prisoner, I have no idea who it was but it was clearly not just any prisoner. As well as the prison van transporting him there was an escort consisting of several police cars and half a dozen police bikes plus a police helicopter overhead the slowly moving convoy.

We were asked to wait at the airfield at North Denes where we could get fuel and tea while the court was in session, before the prisoner was transported back to prison for, what I expect was, a longish stay. North Denes was a great little airfield, originally opened as a private strip in the 1950s, it had been regularly used since the mid-sixties by helicopters servicing the oil and gas platforms in the North Sea. By the time we visited it was owned by CHC and the single storey buildings which were their headquarters, some of which were clearly of the same vintage as the airfield itself, were ranged along one side of the small grass strip. It seemed a delightful place to work.

As a bit of a history buff I was interested in the name Denes which may well be derived from the word “den”. The right to “den and strond” was conferred by Henry II and was the “liberty for ships and vessels to come ashore” to dry and repair their fishing nets. As a port at the mouth of the River Yare was established in medieval times solely to support the fishing industry, this seems reasonable. Henry’s great-grandson, Edward, got involved with Yarmouth, too. He ordered that the number of windmills be limited, he didn’t say why, perhaps he was worried that there wasn’t enough wind to go around. I don’t know how he’d feel now, if he took off from North Denes and saw the huge, eighty metre tall wind turbines out on the Scroby Sands windfarm just off the coast here. Bloody surprised, probably, as he’d be a thirteenth century monarch in a helicopter.

I'll check my lottery numbers.
kanga liked this
#1699059
Lowtimer wrote:Having not been a chopper jock I've never been in there and always stayed far enough away not to notice the layout until just now.

A bit of tinkering with Google Earth suggests the threshold to the main runway in the direction of the prevailing wind is only 180 meters from the main road with quite high street lights, and the final approach is near as makes no difference straight over the top of someone's house on the other side of the main road. None of which is really ideal as that's going to be about the 50 foot level for yer average light single, about 35 feet for anyone indoctrinated in the strange notion of three degree approaches. Cue world+dog dialling 999 on their car phones and reporting "a plane just missed me and seems to have crashed in a field", with a great deal of general hassle ensuing.

I know very little of helicopter ops but presumably on arrival they used to descend within the airfield boundary. I can imagine doing that myself in something suitably low-speed and responsive in a curved glide approach, like a Super Cub. But it's not the sort of place that looks terribly compatible with visiting fixed-wing pilots who aren't very much in practice with the location.


I remember the Caister Comet Cessnas doing joy rides, but never flew with them. Although in my oil/gas career I flew in and out as a helio passenger countless times.

Take off was hover taxi to end of runway, then accelerate in ground effect, transitioning to forward flight before climbing out. Descents were not within the boundary. Pretty normal approaches were flown. When direct in from the east, fairly tight approaches were flown in order to transition to hover and exit towards which ever terminal without backtracking.

If it was my project, I'd be speaking to the owner of the land to the west, with the view to extending the main runway, allowing the eastern threshold to be displaced a bit.
#1699108
Chevvron said ..... I don't know when exactly it became 'helicopters only'

That happened in the early late 80's early 90's after some idiot from a flying club in Essex flew his wife and kids up there in an AA5 and couldnt stop at the end of the runway.

By all accounts he had to hammer the prop straight, he sent his family home by train ( which was the only good decision he made that day) and he then flew it back to EGS...

That for years was the end of North Denes for light aircraft .... all over the actions of 1 fool.