THE WAXED BAT FLYING CLUB
"The Waxed Bats Scottish Trip" July 23 - 25, 2015
Having passed my GFT recently and joined the hallowed ranks of Pilots, I was offered a seat for this trip in Clif Collins' Calidus and as you can expect, was quick to accept.
Thursday - 23/07/2015
0930 in the clubhouse at Kirkbride for a pilot briefing (Ian and Jon in MTO GG, Ann and Rob in Cavalon HW, John and Chris in MTO CW and ourselves in Calidus JD) where the four day trip was - due to
expected bad weather on the Sunday -
reduced to three days, with the return planned for late on Saturday.
We then gathered at the hangar, performed the pre-flight and - with bare necessities stuffed in- formed line astern on R28 and at 1135 local, commenced our adventure.
The first leg was Kirkbride to Campbeltown and was expected to take 1:45 to 2 hours as we had a headwind of about 15mph. We headed NW for the Solwayand climbed to 2000ft, the air was smooth
visibility was good with small showers of
light rain. We passed over Annan at 1215 and Dumfries at 1220 descending to 1500ft to keep below the clouds.
We were travelling in a very loose line astern with us in the rear and GG inspecting every conceivable landmark at close range.
We passed Lough Doon at 1250, Maybole at 1300 and some ten minutes later flew out over the Firth of Clyde at Turnberry, ("going feet wet" as we aviators say) heading for the southern tip of Arran,
thus breaking the over water journey to
Campbeltown roughly in half. 14 minutes to Arran racing a large bank of raincloud coming in from our left, hiding Ailsa Craig, made it quite interesting. We traversed the Isle of Arran
from Pladda Sound to Drumadoon point, where we flew another 15mins over the sea at Kilbrennan Sound to
Campbeltown on Kintyre, landing there at 1400.
Campbeltown is a fine tarmac strip with a parallel taxiway where, upon leaving the runway, we turned the wrong way and had to ignominiously dismount and lift the nose around 'cos we didn't make the
180 and were heading into the ditch.
We retired to the terminal building for lunch to find that the wise virgins among us had laid in sandwiches, leaving those less wise bereft! There was some sharing however and coffee was
available, so all was not lost.
After lunch, we decided to have a sightseeing flight around the southern part of the peninsula. We took off to the north and circled left along the western coast with its sheer cliffs (and a
castle with spires and such, at which Ian had stayed) with the Mull of Kintyre (sans mist, luckily) at the extreme southwesterly point. The south coast is less sheer with some fine beaches and
the island of Black Point on our right. We carried on round to Campbeltown again and landed at about 1600.
At that stage, a friend of Rob and Ann arrived with a vanload of jerrycans to refuel us. A certain amount of negotiation with the authorities got the van close enough to unload the fuel and we
all piled in then for the short trip into town. Is it politically correct to say that we all felt like refugees for a short while?
Dinner in the Royal Hotel, followed by a modest libation and then to the B&B, well before midnight.
Friday - 24/07/2015
On to Oban. Took off at 1050 and headed north-ish. A lovely sunny day with light to moderate crosswind. Some small rainclouds to the southeast but brilliant visibility. As we flew
further up the peninsula, the ground became more and more Nordic, with sharp fjordlike formations. There seem to be caravan parks on every spare piece of ground. Every other inlet has a marina
was considerable yachting activity, truly a sailor's paradise. The cloudbase was 1400ft as we flew along the west coast of Kintyre with Islay and Jura in the distance to our left.
We landed at Oban at 1213, refuelled and three of us took off again for a tour of Mull at 1317. The wind was directly across the runway by now, so Rob and Ann sensibly decided to wait a while,
to see if it would improve later.
A short hop over the briny took us to Mull and again we orbited counter clockwise about the island. The weather started out dullish but brightened to brilliant sunshine for our passage up
through the channel to the northeast of
the island. It remained clear and bright across the top but ominous dark and ragged clouds were approaching from the west. Predictably, as we turned south, a misty rain arrived so we cut
the circuit short, hopped across the neck of the
island and landed at Glenforsa on a very soggy grass strip, beautifully situated on the edge of the sound.
A short stroll took us to the hotel for a lateish lunch and we re-grouped for the return to Oban at 1620. We were first off so we lined up on the grass, pre-rotated and were rolling when we hit
a particularly soggy patch and had to pull up and start again. On our second run, we got off OK and turned out right over the sound for the return trip. Ian and Jon had exactly the same
but sneaky Chris and John started their roll just past the soggy bit and had no problem. We landed back at Oban in bright sunshine at 1700. We bussed it to Oban town. Rob and Ann
Dinner in the Oyster Bar just up the road and another few scoops before retiring
at Lloyd's B&B.
Saturday - 25/07/2015
Breakfast at 0900 and Lloyd drove us to the airport in his severely chipped and tuned Subaru WRX. No speed limits were broken in the movement of these folk. Rob and Ann elected to walk
Arrived at airport 1030. Refuelled, pre-flighted and assembled for route planning. Again, due to bad weather forecast for our return to Kirkbride, we cancelled the proposed Inverness leg
as being too long, Islay was closed and Glendoe was too wet so, we elected to route to Perth for lunch then directly home to Kirkbride.
At 1144 then, we were lined up ready to follow our comrades into the sky. We turned east and flew up to top of Loch Awe where we picked up the railway line along Glen Lochry and between two
lines to Crianlarich then left all along Loch Tay to Aberfeldy then following the river Tay to where it turns south to join the railway line to Perth where we landed at 1309.
Lunch in Perth Flying Club cafe and 20L of fuel each (except for HW which had lots), a few pictures for our adoring fans and we were off again on the homeward leg at 1510.
It was brilliant sunshine as we lined up for departure but as we climbed out and turned left, we could see an enormous bank of rain ahead. We tracked southwest as far as Dunblane, keeping the
high ground to our left, in medium to heavy rain
all the way. At Dunblane, we turned almost due south passing Stirling and Cumbernauld on our left in the low-level corridor between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
At 1610 we passed Strathaven and set course directly for Kirkbride. The rain had eased by then and the sun appeared and we could see for miles. Bog, bog, bog, bog and even more bog.
A rolling landscape of boggy hills and valleys as far as the eye could see. it made me quite nervous flying over such inhospitable terrain. If we did have to land, it could be years
before a passing explorer might come across our remains. The wind turbines were all stationary, even the wind having departed the scene.
We passed between Dumfries and Lockerbie, keeping well wide of Spadeadam, at 1650, we noticed the aircraft museum below and did a couple of orbits to have a looksee. A dozen or so aircraft
sitting outside, a Sabre among them. We plan a groundside visit there soon.
We crossed the Solway at 1710 and home was in sight. Light rain came and went and we landed at 1720, just in time to witness Bob - in a 182 - snatching a banner from the grass outside the
hangars. A fitting end to a most exhilarating
Now that you have you gyroplane licence it's time to go flying, not just around the circuit but Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the world (ok maybe not the world).
The Flying Club is open to all, Magnis, Rotorsports, single seaters, raf 2000s any gyro that is legal can join up and go flying with us.
If you have only just got your licence or have been flying for a lifetime you will be made more than welcome, it doesn't matter to us who you trained with or what you are flying, this is about going places in gyroplanes.
We are planning trips every month with a maximium of five gyros on each trip so first come first served (no exceptions) so you won't be expected to fly with ten other gyros in the same airspace.
2015 Tour Dates
A £25 per person non returnable deposit will be required to reserve your place, all deposits collected will pay for the first evening meal including drinks. Only five gyroplanes per trip with two gyroplanes as reserves so contact me if you want to go.
PPL(G), current medical, current aircraft insurance and permit to fly (if P1 with own aircraft, not required if non paying passenger) Sense of humour and adventure also required.
For Pilots the ability to land within 100 yards of a pre determined point and the ability to take off with max all up weight within 400 yards.