Happy New Year everyone!
2018 started both windy (gusting 30 knots) and wet, but despite the weather Compton still opened the restaurant to welcome members, guests and passers by with new year greetings and delicious food.
Unfortunately the Fly in was cancelled, but our Ops staff were busy planning exciting events and training opportunities. All aircraft are undergoing annual maintenance checks and the restaurant is thinking up new seasonal menus. Its a busy month ahead here at the Airfield.
Saturday 6th January saw our first *Members Only* Breakfast. With the weather not being in our favour over the last couple of months, it was great to see our members meeting up and having a chat. And what could bring people together better than a delicious breakfast for only £5.50!? Our members chatted about flying and aircraft and tried out a flight simulator.
As a club, we love getting our members together for a good chinwag and some flying fun (weather permitting), so we will be making our *Members Only* Breakfast a monthly event, along with many other exciting events we have planned.
Upcoming Dates: 3rd February, 3rd March, 7th April, 5th May, 2nd June
Here at Compton we like to celebrate Christmas early, so on the 24th November we made our way over to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. We had some drinks and a chat before taking a seat underneath the wings of Concorde for a three-course meal. With soup or salmon and prawns for starters, Christmas dinner, lentil dahl or salmon for mains and Christmas pudding or fruit salad for pudding we were well fed with good quality food. Some mince pies and coffee topped it off with a walk around hangars 1 and 4 to look at the amazing aircraft on display.
A huge thank you to the Fleet Air Arm Museum for providing a brilliant evening and another thank you to everyone who attended and made it such a special event.
With the increasing number of drones in use in the UK, and the risk of collisions growing, the CAA launched an initiative called " Drone Safe " designed to help ensure drone users in the UK can access the information they need about how to fly their drones safely and legally, without endangering others. During November we hosted the first of a series of CAA roadshows promoting " Dronesafe ". Nearly 100 attendees were given presentations by Clive, NATS, a drone school and the CAA followed by a practical demonstration outside. Despite it being a cold, wet and windy day it was well received by all and everybody went away wiser about drone operation and as hopefully safer pilots too.
Volunteer ground crew are required for the vintage fleet at Compton Abbas Airfield, to join our enthusiastic and happy team. Duties include meeting clients and arranging completion of documentation prior to flight, escorting clients to the aircraft, giving safety briefings, overseeing the entry and exit of the aircraft and securing them into the flight harness. Ground positioning of aircraft out of and into hangars, fuelling and cleaning aircraft are also duties to be undertaken. Keen and physically fit persons over the age of 18 would suited to this role best. If this interests you please sent your details by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Its not often that we have female students, or flight instructors, but today we had one of each in the same aircraft! The lovely Janice instructors for us a few days a month and Olivia had the privilege of having her first "official" flight with her which sets her off on the course to gain her private pilots licence. We have over 50 students at Compton with five aircraft to choose from and several different licences. Boy or girl, young or old, if you have always dreamed of flying then pop in and pay us a visit and we can chat about all the options available to you.
Compton is pleased to announce that we will, from the 1st November, have a classic American biplane to add to our experiences. The Boeing Stearman was born in American in 1940 and served in the US Navy as a military trainer. With top speeds of up to 220km/h this striking aircraft with its blue and yellow colour scheme is a delight to fly. If you would like to buy a voucher for yourself or someone else then you can do so on our website - just click here! We will be flying every weekend from the 4th November.
The recent bad weather did nothing to dampen the party atmosphere at Compton’s Caribbean Night. Amid blow up flamingos, palm trees and twinkly lights the Compton Café was beautifully transformed for both members and staff to enjoy a summers evening of fine food, rum punch and dancing.
There was a colourful selection of flowery fancy dress costumes; a couple of Bob Marleys, a bevy of grass skirted young ladies and a very dapper Plantation owner (Peter Upshall). Bob Kinch won ‘best dressed’ with his excellent Reggae star impression, including dodgy walk and overly relaxed demeanour.
We enjoyed some Jerk Chicken with coleslaw and jacket potatoes with some delicious chocolate cake (courtesy of Mike Nelsons birthday!) which went down very well and fuelled (possibility in addition to the rum punch) the festivities.
Graham Bowen’s mobile disco kept the crowd dancing to his excellent mix of music, even when the café girls decided to compete in an impromptu Limbo competition…well done Chloe, a bright future in the art of limbo awaits.
Who needs blue skies, 30 degrees and golden beaches? …a great evening was had by all at Compton.
In July Compton played host to this years’ Aerobatics Competition. Members of the British Aerobatic Association were competing for the Don Henry and Air Squadron Trophies. The arrival on Friday saw an impressive and colourful array of aircraft from as far afield as Ireland and Durham. 25 immaculate high performance aircraft visited the airfield. They included Pitts Special, Cap 231, Edge, Extra, RV-8, a DR107 and Aero Sport. The weather was favourable, with a cloud base above 2700 feet, kind winds and an appreciable crowd.
The competition saw three categories; Sport, Intermediate and Advanced and the competitors certainly gave a fabulous display of skill, teamwork and good spirits, flying late into the evening and enjoying the last of the sunshine.
Sadly, it was the last of the sunshine, for Saturdays event was a day spent watching the weather forecast and planning alternative routes home . A medal presentation from Fridays competition awarded golds to David Thomson (Advanced category in a CAP 232, OH-SKA), Matt Morris (Intermediate in an Extra 200, G-TWOO) and Chris Waddington (Sports class in a Pitts S-ISE G-BOXV) Well done to those guys, and also to all who took part. We’re already looking forward to next years’ competition which will be held in July 2018.
Thanks as always to Mike Nelson for the picture.
You can see the full write up on the teams website here: https://www.aerobatics.org.uk/contest/result/127
On the 12th June we welcomed the arrival of our new Chipmunk, G-BZGA. Having been a much loved aircraft of the Real Flying Company for several years, the aircraft was ferried down to us, along with four other aircraft in tow to hand her over in style.
We are really excited to now be able to offer, as well as flying experiences in her, full tailwheel conversion training, aerobatics training, full Private Pilots Licences, stall and spin awareness, or just an hour of fun in this popular trainer which is such a delight to fly.
Keep your eyes peeled on the website and social media for information on when we will be launching flights!
We arrived at the airfield early on 14th May, ready and raring to go. The sun was shining, the clouds were lifting and the wind was as calm as can be expected when you’re on the top of a hill! Everything was set for a brilliant day and the weather didn’t let us down!
Pooleys are a company which sell flight equipment. Once a year they collaborate with us at Compton Abbas Airfield to run an event for all their customers to come and show off their planes and chat with other pilots. Pooleys set up their tent down by the Harvard, selling their products and running a Bose and Garmin competition.
Over 100 aircraft visited us on the day and with the help of our lovely volunteers who marshalled and fuelled like there was no tomorrow, the day ran smoothly. Fast track baguettes and drinks were being offered on the terrace meaning that everyone was fed and watered without any issues and we saw smiles from everyone.
To make the day a little more special we had a Channel 4 film crew on site all day to capture the whole thing. Although we can’t say much more than that, we hope to see it on TV soon!
After such a smooth event day, we would like to give a huge thank you to all our lovely volunteers, organisers, Pooleys and the weather men for such an amazing effort!
If you would like to attend another of our event days then grab some more information, talk to us at reception or visit our website – www.comptonabbasairfield.co.uk. To keep up-to-date with everything happening at the airfield follow us on twitter @abbsair or like our Facebook page.
Five members flew in 2 two aircraft from Compton to Duxford in a Chipmunk and a PA-28. The weather wasn't especially kind but it didn't hamper the enjoyment of the flight which included flying over Oxford. Air Traffic Control was excellent on both legs of the journey which made for a thoroughly good day. Steve flew from Compton to Duxford as "I wanted to land on a big runway!" ably assisted by student Gary who helped with navigation. Raymond flew home by a different route and executed a fabulous landing back at Compton. Bob made the trip in his Chipmunk with Tom in the back seat.
In 1968 Duxford was used as one of the locations for the shooting of the film Battle of Britain. On 21 June and 22 June, one of the original World War I hangars was blown up in stages for the filming (without the concurrence of the Ministry of Defence) and the airfield was spectacularly filmed from the air in a realistic bombing sequence. Ironically this was the nearest Duxford came to being destroyed as no significant wartime German raids were carried out on the aerodrome.
Duxford is a brilliant location for a fly out as for the aviation enthusiast there is so much to see. Not only are there the best aircraft museums in the country there is a lot of activity in the air too. Spitfire's, Harvard, Dragon Rapide... plus military Apache helicopters plus the usual gaggle of GA aeroplanes.
By Steve Beale
On Friday 17th March four Lynx helicopters took a farewell flight across the south of the UK, marking the end of the operational service for it’s type. Compton Abbas was the penultimate place on their tour before they landed in Yeovilton for the last time. Plenty of people turned out to say farewell, and a few others thought they would make the most of the crowds!
We had a fly past from the Wildcat which is replacing the Lynx, who gave a little bow to the crowd before departing, a Gazelle from the Royal Navy Sharks display team did a bit of showing off and an Apache whizzed along the runway too.
After a little longer waiting the formation of four Lynx arrived, flying along the runway to the waves of the crowd, departing off to Yeovilton. Pictures by Mike Nelson Photography. To keep up-to-date with what’s happening at the airfield follow us on twitter @abbasair or like our Facebook page.
On Saturday 5th February we held a flying buddies meet for our solo hirers. As the members arrived they grabbed a drink and started to get to know each other. Gemma then came in and gave the flying buddies an update to everything happening at the airfield, including upcoming events, potential fly outs and some ideas of what to get up to with your licence.
Then ideas were discussed amongst the group as to how to encourage more flying and things that they would like to do. This included flight orienteering, visiting le Touquet and overnight bookings. The flying buddies got to know each other a little more and a plan was made to keep them flying together as much as possible.
If you would like more information or would like to join the flying buddies then have a chat with us in reception or send an email to email@example.com.
On Saturday 12th February we held a flying buddies meet for our students. As the members arrived they grabbed a drink and started to get to know each other. Cara then went in and gave the flying buddies an update about everything happening at the airfield, including upcoming events, potential fly outs and spoke about going in the back seat of each others flights to gain more experience.
Then ideas were discussed amongst the group as to how to encourage more flying and different things that they would like to do. This included group revision sessions, planned fly-outs to assist navigation skills, a visit to an air traffic control tower and a talk from Sky Demon. A forum has been created so that the student buddies can stay in touch and get to know each other a bit better.
If you would like more information or would like to join the student buddies (you just need to be a current member of the club) then have a chat with us in reception or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for an Operations Team Member. If you are interested in finding out more about the role then please email email@example.com in order to obtain a job description. The job is part time which will most likely be every other weekend plus one or two weekdays - this can be flexible depending on the candidate. Look forward to hearing from you!
When learning to fly you spend a lot of time with a Flying Instructor, but at some point after lots of practice at taking off and landing, they will jump out and tell you to go for it on your own. This is called a first solo flight. Here at Compton Abbas Airfield the first week in January saw three first time solo flights in three consecutive days. On the 3rd we saw Harry Dodd take the controls of our PA28 Piper Warrior with a successful take-off and landing. Aged 16 this is a huge achievement for Harry who hasn’t even learned to drive yet! On the 4th we saw our very own operations team member, Cara Bennett, take her next big step into aviation. And on the 5th Hector Gibson-Flemming took to the air for this milestone in his training. Nothing quite beats seeing the grin on the faces of those first time solo-ers as they manage to take to the air on their own for the first time. Congratulations are in order for all three and we are excited to see them pass the rest of their exams and gain their wings in 2017.
We wanted to celebrate Christmas in style so this year we held our Christmas Meal at The Museum of Army Flying in Middle Wallop. The Museum holds an extensive collection charting over 100 years of the British Army in the air, with over 35 fixed wing and rotary aircraft on display.
We sat surrounded by a myriad of planes, helicopters and other flying devices we had never seen before. After a few drinks and a look round the museum, a three-course meal was served and crackers were pulled. It was wonderful to see our members being festive and getting to know each other a little better.
With some lovely food, lots of planes and brilliant company a great night was had by all!
Monday 12th of December saw our Staff Christmas Party. The theme was Pop Idols and we were not disappointed, with outfits ranging from Elvis to the Wurzels. The evening started off with a few drinks and a natter and then we sat down to a delicious lasagne made by Margaret. The food went down a storm and then we had some interesting games planned by Michelle! The first involved a tennis ball, tights and some water bottles… Whoever came up with this game was a genius. The tennis ball was put into the bottom of the tights and then the top was put over the head of the victims (I mean volunteers!), they then had to use the tennis ball to knock over a series of water bottles, the winner was the first to knock all of the bottles over. With lots of laughter Tom managed to knock the bottles over quicker than Rose, which bagged a win for the DH team. We then moved on to Human Hungry Hippos which involved skateboards, washing baskets and plenty of balls! Nick and Andrew bagged another win for the DH team leaving them as the overall winners, although Compton won the costume competition at the end of the night!
We finished the night off with some karaoke and dancing. We had some interesting versions of Grease, Winter Wonderland, Like A Virgin and many others. Graham surprised us all with his wonderful electric guitar playing and we even had some playing the spoons! A great night was had by all and a huge thank you to the Hughes’, Michelle and Graham.