Useful airfield information and home of the forum's fuel price league tables.

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By joe-fbs
#858320
I used Ulster Flying CLub at Newtownards as a base while holidaying in the area for the first two weeks of April. I had a very thorough work-out of a check ride in a 172; two days of touring (see separate entries I have written about Enniskillen, Eglinton and Donegal); a briefer check ride in a Warrior; and a local tour which included T&G at both Belfast City and Belfast International (thanks, ash cloud).

First thing, local weather. It was, contrary to all stereotypes and expectations, flyable for almost our entire holiday.

Newtownards has very decent facilities: three operational hard runways; an excellent cafe with real and varied food; a well equipped flying club (both aircraft and the club house); a helicopter school; a VGS (based on the other side of the airfield from the rest); and numerous based aircraft (some interesting, including a Bird Dog and a WIlga).

Ulster Flying Club is excellent: well staffed; responsive; and friendly.

Arriving by road for my check ride, I got slightly lost. Although the Western entrance (on the A21) has big signs advertising UFC, it is in fact only for the VGS. The entrance for everything else is to the East side (on the A20).

Arriving by air, the airfield is straightforward to find being at the North end of a very large lough. Relying on the Belfast International VOR-DME to find Newtownards doesn't necessarily work as once below controlled airspace to the East of BI, I always lost the signals. The controlled airspace above and to the West of Newtownards is a mix of class D and E. It proved to be staffed by very friendly ATCO, as well as the T&G on Ash Day 2, I had previously made trouble-free transits over both airports. Away from Belfast, there is no controlled airspace to worry about unless you cross to the republic (which we did with very little complication). In fact, vertical navigation was the opposite of my usual worries from Halton where it is all about the CAS above, in Ireland it was all about the high ground below. Despite the excellence of the weather, both of my long flights involved detours to follow the lowlands as the high ground was too close to the clouds. The geography of Ireland is just marvellous: mountains (well they pass for mountains in the British Isles!); lakes; beaches, rugged coasts. It was a joy to fly over.
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By 140kias
#874622
A fairly large group from Fife are hoping to fly in to Newtonards on Saturday and sample the night life before returning Sunday.

Any top tips for a good night out ?

Fingers crossed for better weather than currently being forecast.
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By Dave Phillips
#875085
140kias wrote:A fairly large group from Fife are hoping to fly in to Newtonards on Saturday and sample the night life before returning Sunday.

Any top tips for a good night out ?

Fingers crossed for better weather than currently being forecast.



Bangor - Jenny Watts
Donaghadee - Grace Neills

Drop me a pm if you want more info. I'm not planning to be in tomorrow but I can certainly come across and give you some steers.
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By 140kias
#876841
Dave - thanks for the feeback. Unfortunately we didnt make it due to forecast for the Sunday but some of the group and planning another attempt this weekend.

Real shame as we went to Blackpool and then the Isle of Man Friday/Saturday and had great weather. The plan was to meet up with the rest of the group in Newtonards on Saturday evening but the Carp forecast for Sunday meant we curtailed the trip and ended up on some of Edinburgh's finest hostelries instead. Mrs 140k was not pleased when I eventually stagerred in at 3.45am.

The plan was (and probably still is) to stay at Strangford Arms in Newtonards.
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By 140kias
#887132
Thanks top excellent weather we finally made it to Newtonards on the third attempt. 8 planes, 20 pob, not much sleep and quite a few sore heads the next day.

Strangford Arms was actually pretty good. £45 B&B in nice rooms. Excellent food. Live music. All under the one roof.

Thanks to everyone at EGAD for a very warm welcome.

ps. Dave - you dont look anything like your picture.