Useful Links

Going Flying

Quick links to websites showing current or future weather, wind and NOTAMs in an easily readable format. These links are configured for Gloucestershire UK, but can easily be changed for most other airports/airfields:

Current weather (METAR/TAF) in readable format. Find it hard to decode those one line weather reports and forecasts – this site does it all for you. The original reports are shown on the bottom left, and an interactive map is shown with other airfields – just click to view the latest reports and forecasts from elsewhere.

Wind Forecast: Detailed wind strength estimates including gusts, together with cloud cover for the days ahead.

10 Day weather outlook. Planning ahead? Long range forecasts can be very unreliable, but this gives an indication of when good weather windows might be ahead. Predicts cloud/rain/wind strength and direction.

Airfields to visit

Some airfields in Southern England, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit:

White Waltham: Near Maidenhead and within sight of London Heathrow, this long established club has 3 grass runways and a large clubhouse. Open until sunset or 8pm, whichever is earlier.

The Isle of Wight: Sandown A long grass strip out in the countryside, but within (approx 30 minutes) walking distance of the beach. Nearby Bembridge benefits from a hard runway and is only 10 minutes walk to the beach. Both have great scenery nearby.

Compton Abbas: Family run airfield with great atmosphere, located a few miles south of Shaftesbury in Dorset. Not always the easiest to spot from the air, but a good 800m grass strip to land on.

Popham: Very popular GA field, just west of Andover on the A303. Two runways, the main with an offset approach.

Dunkeswell: Charming, if somewhat remote, airfield in Devon. Active parachuting and nearby gliding. Don’t mix this field up with two other nearby disused/gliding ones. Club atmosphere with tearoom/bar open in the evenings. Land before closing ~6pm and take-off (unlicenced) before sunset.

Sywell, Northampton: The three grass runways have been augmented by a further tarmac one. A large and popular GA base, this field often holds flyins. The A/G radio is rebroadcast by tannoy, giving a flavour of activity and participation to those on the ground. Hi-viz jackets not required here.

Halfpenny Green: Also known as Wolverhampton Airport and just west of Birmingham, this is a hive of GA activity. The refurbished cafe and friendly tower staff will give you a warm welcome.

Shobdon: Tucked away in the Welsh borders, you’ll find gliding, microlighting and helicopters all active here. Large cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. Country walks nearby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *