Group flying opportunities & questions
#1711206
I’m looking for a share based at White Waltham or Fairoaks (or possibly Blackbushe, Booker).

Recently revalidated after a break from flying. Relatively low hours, lapsed IMC, some aeros training.

Looking for a friendly group, with shared flying ideally, to build experience and keep learning. Anything considered from Warrior to Cirrus, and anything in between.

IFR capable (for eventual renewal of my IMC rating) would be preferred, as would non-equity (or low equity).
#1711510
Do you have any specific mission in mind? e.g. solo touring, touring with friends, aerobatics, short trips only, visiting short and/or grass airfields? This will affect the choice of steed quite dramatically.

"My" Slingsby Firefly shareoplane is a good compromise for my prefered missions: solo medium-distance touring, dual aerobatics, dual burger-runs, and very occassional formation flights with traditional trainer aircraft cruising at 90-100 knots, and able to operate of medium/long grass airfields. I wouldn't want to use it for long trips, however, or even for medium trips with a passenger in it, and it's not suitable for farm-stripping. It also doesn't excel even at my core missions - it's a compromise, after all!
#1711562
VFR_UK wrote:Thanks, I was there today and grabbed details of a couple of shares. Just thought I’d see how much is out there, maybe there are some hidden gems that aren’t advertised!

So far it seems there’s less around than when I flew previously.....

FWIW, I was in a similar position - a WLAC club member looking for a new share but not finding anything that suited me.

After a while I put an advert on the notice board "local pilot looking for share", detailing my flying experience, and what I was after in terms of ideal capabilities and my budget.

A month later somebody phoned me up saying "I may have just what you are after" - turned out he was right and I am still in that syndicate.

G
T67M, VFR_UK liked this
#1711700
VFR_UK wrote:I’m looking for a share based at White Waltham or Fairoaks (or possibly Blackbushe, Booker).

Recently revalidated after a break from flying. Relatively low hours, lapsed IMC, some aeros training.

Looking for a friendly group, with shared flying ideally, to build experience and keep learning. Anything considered from Warrior to Cirrus, and anything in between.

IFR capable (for eventual renewal of my IMC rating) would be preferred, as would non-equity (or low equity).


Have you considered Popham which has some members in that catchment area?

I know of a share going in an IFR warrior if that is of interest. Not sure if it has been advertised yet but they change hands quick. PM me for more details.
#1711766
Genghis the Engineer wrote:After a while I put an advert on the notice board "local pilot looking for share", detailing my flying experience, and what I was after in terms of ideal capabilities and my budget.

A month later somebody phoned me up saying "I may have just what you are after" - turned out he was right and I am still in that syndicate.

G


Thanks -I won’t feel disheartened until mines been up a couple of months then ;)

No airfields are exactly on my doorstep but Popham’s way too far - shame as there’s a few nice AC there. WW is already a bit of a trek, with Fairoaks slightly closer (but lacking in the atmosphere dept)
#1711875
FWIW when I was looking for shares I was looking at Blackbushe (where I did my PPL), Fairoaks, White Waltham, Booker, Denham and thought Popham/Redhill/Biggin would be too far.

Looking at the map Popham/Redhill appears much further away but it is nearly all motorway and not necessarily chugging along slow roads. (For me Fairoaks is 15 mins, Blackbushe is 25-30 mins, White Waltham 35-40 mins, Popham 35-40 mins, Thruxton 50 mins, Booker 50 mins, Redhill 55 mins, Biggin 1hr+).

It is worth assessing the total costs of your flying to include travel time/costs as using an airfield a bit further away can sometimes reduce the overall costs.
For me the difference in car costs is more than offset by the difference in aircraft monthly/hourly rates (and club memberships) and aircraft availability.
We have had active long term members from as far away as the Croydon, Bristol and Exeter areas. (That would be too extreme for me!)

If you can afford to fly a Cirrus regularly, the differences in travel distance/costs above are likely to be negligible to your budget. You may end up choosing a share (or have an additional share) in a less expensive Cessna/Piper/Robin/LAA types etc a bit further away than the initial search and get more flying done with the same budget.

It would be interesting to know what impact the 8.33kHz radio upgrades had on the availability of IMC capable aircraft as some owners may have downgraded their aircraft to basic coms to keep costs down.
#1712096
I did think about that, but although cost is an important aspect (and we all want the best value we can get), with family/work commitments time is equally important. An airfield well over an hour away - even in good traffic - would mean less chance of flying. Would be ok for longer trips but wouldn’t make sense for bimbles.

Am very envious of people with airfields less than 1/2 hour away....
#1712117
I agree, having had quite a few shares over 30 years flying. Nearby counts for an awful lot, both from the point of view of being able to just go and get in the aeroplane and because you tend to have a portion of your social life about the syndicate and flying club.

With that regard, incidentally, the social side at White Waltham is about a hundred times better than at Booker, and where I'd be looking were I in your position.

G
VFR_UK, treborsnave liked this
#1712127
Genghis the Engineer wrote:With that regard, incidentally, the social side at White Waltham is about a hundred times better than at Booker, and where I'd be looking were I in your position.

G


Definitely top of my list (and where I spent most of my time flying post-PPL).

Fairoaks is slightly closer to me and has a nice tarmac runway (and I hear pilot controlled automatic lighting too?), and some bigger aircraft - but seems to lack any social or even flight planning spaces - not the place you’d want to hangout particularly if weathered off.

Now Waltham doesn’t seem to have changed at all in the years I was away - certainly the decors the same and the training fleet seemingly just older - but there’s a lot to be said for a bit of community spirit / somewhere for friends to sit before and after flight or if weathered off. And some planning spaces.

Warriors at £170/hr isn’t ideal while looking for a share, but then it's not the most expensive of the ‘London’ airfields either. In fact it’s possibly the cheapest! Especially with free home landings with membership.

Blackbushe about the same distance as WW and has quite a few groups. Never been there so will have to check it out over the coming weeks.