Enstone for Circuit and landing practice

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I wanted to take some time to practice and refine my landing technique and thought the best way to do that would be in a Warrior from the Lyneham Club at Kemble. Nearby, Enstone offer a £25 “all you can eat” landing deal which is hard to beat. PPR is required, so I called Oxfordshire Sportflying for permission but got no answer. I also tried Enstone Flying Club and after a few rings, got both an answer and friendly approval. There was a cheery warning that failure to pay attention to noise abatement procedures was a hanging offence, which I solemnly promised to abide by.

Not busy at the club

There was only one other Lyneham club aircraft active that day, despite what was great weather for the time of year. With plenty of time in hand, I preflighted and checked everything out before departing mid-afternoon for the short flight there. I listened to, but didn’t talk with, Brize Radar – it didn’t seem worth it. Taking a route well north of Little Rissington, I turned east and was perhaps only 5 miles away before I clearly made out Enstone airfield.

Flight home
Sunny weather and good visibility all around

Having got used to the TB20, it was quite a change to remember how different the controls and checks are in a Warrior. Examples include re-aligning the DI and applying carb heat as part of the FREDA checks, which aren’t required in the larger aircraft.

Self announced traffic

As with my previous visits, there was no air/ground radio in operation, and so each aircraft self-announced. I made three touch-and-goes before landing, fitting in with other aircraft in the pattern and having to go around once despite doing my best to slow down early for spacing. It wasn’t feasible for me to extend the downwind leg for spacing if I was to avoid that hanging for breaking noise abatement procedures.

After landing, I taxied to the far west end and turned into the concrete apron in front of a large hangar. The parking area was a bit restricted and it might have been better to turn off a few metres earlier and into the grass parking area adjacent. This is the new home of the Enstone Flying Club, and comes with new club rooms, fuel bowser, large hangar space and a range of aircraft. They are building several replica Spitfires, and I looked round one which had been completed while another is in progress. They should be quite some spectacle when a full formation fleet have been assembled.

Grass parking
Grass parking with aircraft taxiing

A warm welcome

The CFI was very helpful and accomodating, relieving me of the landing fee, showing me the coffee machine in the kitchen and later helping turn the aircraft around prior to departure.

Spitfire replica
Clubhouse – the picture doesn’t do it justice – quite modern and airy inside
Hangar, with fuel bowser truck in the foreground

After a further four circuits including a touch and go on the grass, I returned back to Kemble and landed after hours where there were also a few other aircraft self-announcing their movements. The views over the Cotswolds on a sunny evening were golden. Parking up, packing up and paperwork completed, it was another brief but successful sortie.

Whether my landings got any better or not from this practice remains to be seen!

Time today: 1:40
Total PIC: 194:35
Total Time: 297:00

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