Air­field pro­file

An­drews­field sits un­der the Stansted CTA but don’t let that put you off vis­it­ing this friendly air­field!

Pilot - - CONTENTS - Words & Pho­tos Nick Bloom

The key word I would use to de­scribe An­drews­field is ‘re­laxed’. You might not ex­pect this of an air­field whose cir­cuit butts into the CTR of an in­ter­na­tional air­port like Stansted, but some­how they man­age to keep things sim­ple and low-key. Hav­ing said that, if you be­gin your visit−as you un­doubt­edly should−by look­ing at the air­field web­site, you might find it some­what off-putting. In bold red cap­i­tals the air­field in­for­ma­tion sec­tion says, ‘ All vis­it­ing pi­lots’ (un­der­lined) ‘ are re­quired to read the Stansted let­ter of agree­ment’. Click on the link and it takes you to a nine-page doc­u­ment that I, for one, found a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to fol­low. So I rang the air­field man­ager for a per­son-to-per­son brief­ing.

“Which way are you com­ing?” he asked. I told him: slip­ping be­tween Sta­ple­ford’s zone and Stansted’s southerly Tmz−since my Cur­rie Su­per Wot doesn’t have a transpon­der−then fly­ing on a north-east head­ing un­der the Stansted CTA, past High Easter and thence to An­drews­field. “I won’t talk to any­one on the radio un­til I get to you, since it’s a hand­held and I’m open cock­pit,” I said. “Fine,” he said. “That’s it?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied.

Af­ter a few days of wind and show­ers, the weather looked like it was go­ing to set­tle, so I rang the air­field again. Al­though it was 7.45 on a Wed­nes­day evening, I thought some­one might be there. The phone was an­swered by a bar­man who said the air­field was closed for fly­ing. “Many cus­tomers in the bar?” I asked. “About a dozen,” he said. I was im­pressed; few air­fields are able to sus­tain a bar in the evenings these days. The next day I rang at six p.m. “Oh, you’ll need a transpon­der,” said who­ever took the call. “Not if I talk to Es­sex radar and ask for clear­ance to cross the TMZ,” I said, this be­ing my back-up plan. He agreed, so I booked in for an 0900 ar­rival the next morn­ing.

Some­thing in his re­ply sug­gested that re­quest­ing a non-transpon­der tran­sit while in the air might not be straight­for­ward, so I de­cided to tele­phone Farn­bor­ough Radar on 01252 526015 to see if he was right in think­ing that I’d need one. “Which way are you com­ing,” asked the per­son who an­swered. I re­peated the plan I had out­lined to An­drews­field’s air­field man­ager, em­pha­sis­ing no transpon­der and no radio con­tact un­til I ar­rived at An­drews­field. She asked me to hold, “While I ask”. Af­ter a minute or two she re­turned to say, “Yes, that should be fine”. And it was. Once in the air, I sim­ply fol­lowed the M25 to the M11 round­about, then took up a north­east­erly head­ing, called up An­drews­field on 130.55, joined down­wind on a right-hand cir­cuit and landed on run­way 27L.

In days gone by I’d have had a slightly ner­vous jour­ney on that north-east­erly leg, which is pretty fea­ture­less and with the po­ten­tial to in­fringe Stansted’s CTR should I get it wrong. This time, I had a ful­ly­charged Aware moving map GPS in the cock­pit so I knew ex­actly where I was. There’s been a lot in the avi­a­tion press lately about the need to avoid zone in­fringe­ments...

So here I am, just landed af­ter a pleas­ant 35-minute flight. It’s a Fri­day morn­ing, the air­field is open­ing for the day and the weather is fine and fore­cast to re­main so. As I lift the Wot’s tail­skid to turn the aero­plane so that it’s lined up with the oth­ers in the park­ing line, I won­der what I’m go­ing to find. Will there be lots of ac­tion, or−on a week­day−will it be quiet?

Walk­ing into the club­house, I find Roger Collins, a re­tired BT en­gi­neer, pre­par­ing for a nav­i­ga­tion ex­er­cise. “I learned to fly here in my twen­ties,” he says, “but af­ter six years of club fly­ing, fam­ily com­mit­ments meant that I had to give it up. I sub­se­quently took up ra­dio­con­trolled model fly­ing, but now I’m re­tired I can get back to full-size fly­ing again.” I ask him to sum up An­drews­field. “It’s a mar­vel­lous, friendly place,” he says. “There’s a bar, the staff are all friendly, the in­struc­tors are won­der­ful and we’re in semi-free airspace.”

I sign in and go to meet a man drink­ing cof­fee at the bar. His face looks fa­mil­iar and in fact it’s Pete Brand, 63, an ex-airline pi­lot who is a part-time in­struc­tor here, but who also works at Clas­sic Wings. “I spent five hours in­struct­ing in Tiger Moths yes­ter­day,” he tells me. Pete re­built a Bücker Jung­mann and spent nine years dis­play­ing it at air­shows. He has been in­struct­ing on and off for most of his fly­ing ca­reer. With his aer­o­batic dis­play back­ground, he teaches aer­o­bat­ics at An­drews­field in the club Cessna Aer­o­bat−there are cur­rently eight aer­o­batic stu­dents here. He says, “An­drews­field is above all a club. Other places are more busi­nesses, I sup­pose. Some mix be­ing a club with be­ing a busi­ness, but I can’t think of many air­fields that are so much there just to serve mem­bers. It’s about fly­ing here, of course, but it also has its so­cial side. There’s a nicely re­laxed at­mos­phere−you’ve prob­a­bly no­ticed no one wears uni­form. It’s user-friendly, yet man­ages at the same time to be pro­fes­sional.”

I tell Pete about my ex­pe­ri­ences with the web­site, tele­phon­ing the club and

“An­drews­field is above all a club... there just to serve mem­bers”, Pete Brand

Farn­bor­ough. “Vis­it­ing pi­lots can get into se­ri­ous trou­ble if they just barge in,” he says. “You must start with the web­site and the rea­son we ask peo­ple to do that is that it’s a touch too com­pli­cated to ex­plain on the tele­phone. It isn’t that dif­fi­cult, though. As you know, we’re right on the edge of Stansted, which is why we have a rel­a­tively low cir­cuit height of 700ft (QFE). There’s a height re­stric­tion on the

north-west side of 1,500ft, which is 1,214ft QFE. Squawk 7010 as you ap­proach and in the cir­cuit. But there’s plenty of flex­i­bil­ity for some­one like you com­ing in with­out a transpon­der and in an open cock­pit.”

We are joined by Keith Pog­more, whom I last met when we flew Sta­ple­ford’s T67 to­gether for a Pi­lot flight test. He’s here to­day to do some ex­am­in­ing. We chew the fat for a bit, then duty calls both of us. Peo­ple are be­gin­ning to ar­rive and I spot Ben Atlee, who is fif­teen and here for work ex­pe­ri­ence. He hopes to be­come a com­mer­cial pi­lot, he tells me. “Grandad was a spot­ter and took me with him to air­shows and to visit air­fields,” he ex­plains, “which is prob­a­bly how I got the bug.” He has had ten hours of fly­ing in­struc­tion at An­drews­field. I ask Ben what his fa­ther does, in case there’s an avi­a­tion con­nec­tion, but there isn’t: his fa­ther has a com­pany re­fur­bish­ing restau­rants. Broth­ers and sis­ters? “An older brother; he works in a pub,” says Ben.

I spot a pi­lot head­ing to­wards a club C172. Ray Bri­er­ley is seventy. He’s a club mem­ber and he’s fly­ing the Cessna to Thur­rock for its fifty-hour check.

Be­fore things get too busy I need to in­ter­view Mike Row­land, who is the Air­field Man­ager, and his part­ner−they’ve been a cou­ple for six­teen years−carol Cooper. They agree that now would be a good mo­ment and we go into Carol’s of­fice. Carol, I know, will have a full diary of in­struc­tion to­day−she al­ways does. I have flown a cou­ple of bi­en­nial flight re­views with her. She of­fers a unique com­bi­na­tion of putting you at your ease while con­vey­ing gen­uinely use­ful in­struc­tion. I’ve heard many oth­ers say the same. I’ve also met Mike on pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions and found him charm­ing and highly com­pe­tent.

There are around forty pri­vately owned air­craft based on the air­field, they tell me. Hangar space is pretty much all taken, but were there a va­cancy the charge is £160 a month in one of the crowded hangars, or

There’s plenty of flex­i­bil­ity for some­one com­ing in here with­out a transpon­der...

£275 in the big hangar they added in 2010. Out­side park­ing is £105 a month. Land­ing fees are £12 for a sin­gle and fuel prices are com­pet­i­tive. (Fig­ures in­clude VAT.) An­other rel­a­tively re­cent in­no­va­tion (2008) is the ad­di­tion of run­way mat­ting, which cost some £80,000 but al­lows An­drews­field to op­er­ate all year round. How­ever, when there has been a lot of

rain, the air­field still some­times has to turn vis­i­tors away, be­cause the park­ing ar­eas can be­come un­us­able, un­less re­stricted to lo­cal air­craft.

An­drews­field Avi­a­tion is the club which leases the air­field; the land is owned by two farm­ers. The air­field was con­structed by the USAAF in 1943 as a bomber base and was named An­drews Field for Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Frank M An­drews af­ter he was killed in an aero­plane crash. Ma­raud­ers flew from here, then, when the air­field was handed over to the RAF, Mus­tangs and later Me­teor jets. Fly­ing ceased in 1948 un­til An­drews­field re-started as a pri­vate air­field in 1972, be­com­ing li­censed in 1976. By then vir­tu­ally all traces of the USAAF run­ways and build­ings had gone, so the grass run­way was laid. There are pho­to­graphs and other mem­o­ra­bilia in the club­house to com­mem­o­rate An­drews­field’s WWII ori­gins.

A good se­lec­tion of air­craft to fly

The club has five Cessna 152s, in­clud­ing an Aer­o­bat, a PA-28 War­rior, a Cessna 172, and a Piper Ar­row, use of a pri­vate­ly­owned Beech Duchess, and use of a pri­vately-owned Cub for tail­wheel con­ver­sions. Trial lessons come in a steady stream through­out the week, and at week­ends there are two in­struc­tors just to pro­vide them. Stu­dents come from the Es­sex towns and coun­try­side, but also from fur­ther afield, par­tic­u­larly North Lon­don. “One ad­van­tage,” Mike says, “is that, as the air­field lessee, the club doesn’t have to pass on land­ing fees to stu­dents.”

The club has around 350 mem­bers, ap­prox­i­mately forty stu­dents (prob­a­bly dou­ble that num­ber if you in­clude tail­wheel, in­struc­tor and aer­o­batic stu­dents) and the air­field has around 3,000 move­ments a year. I ask Mike and Carol if they have no­ticed any trends in the last few years and they think it’s been fairly steady, “Al­though in­struc­tor train­ing has in­creased, PPL train­ing, self-fly-hire and fly­ing of pri­vately-owned air­craft based here has prob­a­bly dropped a bit”. The Cessna 152s each fly around 450 hours a year.

Carol, who is 54, started fly­ing when she was nine­teen. “It’s in the blood,” she says, hold­ing up a pho­to­graph of her grand­fa­ther with a Bristol Boxkite – he man­aged to sur­vive fly­ing through­out the whole of the Great War. She points out an­other photo of him with the Cooper Travers Hawk, a light air­craft he de­signed and con­structed in the 1920s. She has been an in­struc­tor ever since learn­ing to fly and now has over 23,000 hours. “These days I tend to spe­cialise in train­ing in­struc­tors and ex­am­in­ers,” she says. “I also test in­struc­tors, ex­am­in­ers and com­mer­cial pi­lots.”

Mike is 57 and started fly­ing when he was 36. He has had a long ca­reer−still on­go­ing−as an en­ter­tain­ments man­ager and agent, mainly for sports per­son­al­i­ties. “I still look af­ter Jimmy Tar­buck,” he tells me, “and TV sports pre­sen­ter Steve Par­rish, who, in­ci­den­tally is a pi­lot; he flies from Top Farm.” Be­fore that he was in the RAF (not as a pi­lot) and says he al­ways wanted to learn to fly. As well as fly­ing, he in­structs, cur­rently around forty hours a year, but mainly he’s the air­field man­ager, al­though he and Carol run it to­gether. In re­sponse to my ques­tion they tell me it brings a mod­est in­come. Carol adds, “It’s a way of life. I love the fly­ing and the peo­ple. Mike gets the grief be­cause he does the man­age­ment side.”

Back in the club­house, I find two pi­lots pre­par­ing for a flight. Richard Bon­ner is a re­tired jew­eller and Marc Ogilvie a guest house pro­pri­etor. They both have a share

in a TB-10 based here (there are five in the syn­di­cate) and they plan to fly to Bar­ton. “It’s friendly, re­laxed and easy-go­ing,” they tell me when I ask what makes An­drews­field dif­fer­ent from other air­fields. “No one runs out if some­one’s made a mis­take or for­got­ten to wear their hi-vis jacket. Lo­cals come to en­joy the fa­cil­ity and it’s the kind of place you still come to when the weather’s too poor for fly­ing. I usu­ally opt for a sand­wich, but I hear that the hot meals are good. You get cy­cling and mo­tor­bike clubs in here for the food and the at­mos­phere and it’s pop­u­lar with walk­ers too. It’s a great ren­dezvous point in the area.”

Mike takes me on a tour of the hangars, which have a lot of in­ter­est­ing aero­planes: a Falco, Jodel, two Pitts Spe­cials, a Su­per De­cathlon, a Europa tri-gear and sev­eral Piper tail­drag­ger types amongst oth­ers. Parked out on the grass is a va­ri­ety of Piper and Cessna nose­wheel types, plus an ARV Su­per2 and what I’m pretty sure is a Lake LA-4 Buc­ca­neer four-seat re­tractable am­phib­ian; it has an Amer­i­can reg­is­tra­tion and the cov­ers dis­play a Cana­dian com­pany logo, ‘Lake Cen­tral Air Ser­vices’.

Next I go into MK Aero Sup­port, the air­craft en­gi­neer­ing com­pany at An­drews­field, where I meet the pro­pri­etor, Mas­soud Khoshkhou. He tells me the com­pany has three full-time and three part-time en­gi­neers (four if we in­clude Mas­soud) and has 45 air­craft on its books rang­ing from an Aeronca tail­drag­ger to Senecas and Sarato­gas. Mas­soud is 62 and says he is too busy to be a pi­lot, al­though he did be­gin train­ing at Den­ham be­fore start­ing a fam­ily in­ter­vened. His son Cameron, who works here, is a pi­lot, which en­ables MK Aero Sup­port to col­lect and de­liver air­craft for cus­tomers.

Mas­soud grew up in Iran and came to the UK when he was eigh­teen. “I did in­tend to go to Amer­ica,” he says, “where

“It’s the kind of place you still come to when the weather’s too poor for fly­ing”

I was to be­come a civil en­gi­neer. How­ever, I came here first, liked it and de­cided to stay. I en­rolled at Thames Polytech­nic but dis­cov­ered a life­long pas­sion for air­craft and switched from civil to avi­a­tion en­gi­neer­ing.” He qual­i­fied at Kidling­ton and went on to work at Big­gin Hill and Stansted. Mas­soud set up en­gi­neer­ing at An­drews­field in 1982, but it wasn’t un­til 1988 that he bought the com­pany and be­came based here full-time. He also owned a main­te­nance com­pany at Den­ham for a while.

Mas­soud strikes me as par­ten­trepreneur, part-en­gi­neer as he also leases and buys and sells air­craft. He is mar­ried−his wife, whom he met in his twen­ties, works for the Caa−and has a daugh­ter who has a Mas­ters in Law. A charm­ing man, he tells me, “I have two projects when I re­tire; to learn to play the sax­o­phone and to qual­ify as a pi­lot.”

I am head­ing back to the club­house when I spot a cou­ple seated at the ta­bles out­side, so stop to say hello. John and Liz Town­row are both re­tired and live nearby. He worked as a joiner and she as a be­reave­ment co­or­di­na­tor. They’ve come for a cof­fee and to look at the aero­planes, they tell me−john did some glid­ing in his youth and they both like air­craft but have no thoughts of a trial les­son.

Some­one is pulling out one of the Pitts Spe­cials, so I go to in­ves­ti­gate. Al­lan Mill­son, 59, shares it with his son Chris. “It’s a nice day, so I’m off to fly some aer­o­bat­ics,” he says. Al­lan flies for Easy­jet and isn’t par­tic­u­larly se­ri­ous about aeros, al­though he has flown in a Begin­ners

Con­test. “This is a good air­field for a Pitts,” he says, “you’ve only got to fly three or four min­utes to get to a prac­tice area.” He’s been fly­ing from An­drews­field for twenty years−the Pitts since 2010 and be­fore that a Jodel. Hav­ing op­er­ated a Pitts my­self, I’ll bet an­other ad­van­tage is hav­ing a grass run­way. This short-cou­pled, over-pow­ered tail­drag­ger can get to be rather a hand­ful on a hard run­way, espe­cially when it’s slick with rain­wa­ter. Grass makes it rel­a­tively easy. Al­lan adds one more ob­ser­va­tion: “Southend zone’s changes have tended to send more pass­ing traf­fic this way, so I find I have to keep an even bet­ter look­out.”

In­side the club­house I find a trio of peo­ple all eat­ing sausage and egg sand­wiches−john, Ryan and Tarik. They have ar­rived in an Aeros Flight Train­ing PA-28 from Coven­try. John’s the in­struc­tor and Ryan and Tarik, both in their midtwen­ties, are train­ing to be in­struc­tors. I ask why John picked An­drews­field to fly to and he says, “It’s a chal­lenge for nav­i­ga­tion, be­ing close to Stansted,” then grins and ad­mits it’s one of his favourite air­fields. “It makes a change from Coven­try,” he says, “with its big run­ways. Here you get easy radio and a great hot sand­wich.” I ask Ryan and Tarik if they plan to be­come airline pi­lots and they both say pretty much the same thing: it’s not ex­cluded, but they both plan to in­struct for the fore­see­able fu­ture. The cir­cuit is rel­a­tively quiet, so I take the op­por­tu­nity to have a quick word with the duty Air/ground radio ser­vice op­er­a­tor, Ge­orge Brown­ing. I want to thank him any­way for his han­dling of my ar­rival and com­pli­ment him on his radio voice, be­cause he speaks slowly and clearly; I wish they all did. Ge­orge is 79, a re­tired de­sign en­gi­neer who has worked part-time at An­drews­field for 21 years. His du­ties in­clude look­ing af­ter the of­fice, book­ing pi­lots in and out, and tak­ing land­ing fees. Af­ter years of fly­ing as a pri­vate pi­lot he lost his med­i­cal and stopped pilot­ing nine years ago, but still flies from time to time as a pas­sen­ger.

Af­ter that, I nip into the kitchen for a quick word with Michelle and Dana. Michelle’s been taken up in a light plane, but not Dana, hint, hint. Michelle stresses that all the cook­ing is done with lo­cal pro­duce and, “Every­thing’s fresh, noth­ing bought in”. They’ve both been work­ing at the air­field (part-time) for four years. Michelle says, “It’s a fam­ily at­mos­phere, ev­ery­one’s re­laxed and wel­com­ing.”

Next I in­ter­view Pete Watkin­son, whom I spoke to on the tele­phone a cou­ple of evenings ago when he was man­ning the bar, as he is to­day. He says Wed­nes­day and Fri­day evenings are busiest for pi­lots and fly­ing club mem­bers, “but the bar gets used as a pub through­out the week. On a Fri­day we can eas­ily get ten or twenty in and Fri­day night is BBQ night to en­cour­age fly­ing in the evenings. We had four air­craft fly in last Fri­day, one from Rochester, just to get a BBQ burger. It starts at 1600 and stops when we run out of food. The last de­par­ture has to be by 2030−we like to get every­thing se­cured and on the ground af­ter that.” The bar has an en­try in The Good Beer Guide, “We keep a real ale on tap,” says Pete. The stan­dard break­fast is £6.50, with a small break­fast al­ter­na­tive at £4.75. Pete has been the bar/café pro­pri­etor here for four years. He’s a 1,600-hour pi­lot and has flown from An­drews­field for 21 years. He tells me he spent forty years in the mo­tor trade. “I was com­ing up for re­tire­ment and felt I could make a dif­fer­ence,” he says. “I told Mike that if the bar came up for grabs, let me know. It did, and I took it over.” Pete is booked in for an aer­o­batic les­son with Pete Brand this af­ter­noon. I

The bar gets used as a pub through­out the week and Fri­day night is BBQ night...

ask how his fly­ing started. He laughs. “My wife bought me a trial les­son. That was 21 years ago and she says I’ve not been home since.”

I see a teenage boy ar­rive and, in­trigued, ask what brings him to An­drews­field. He’s River Binks, thir­teen and his grand­fa­ther has bought him a trial les­son. Grandad (Ivan) and Grandma (Gill) ar­rive. I ask River, whose fa­ther is a builder, if he has a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in aero­planes. “Dad’s cousin is an airline pi­lot,” he says, and he re­ally is in­ter­ested in aero­planes be­cause when I ask him to name some from WWII, he says “Spit­fire, Messer­schmitt and Welling­ton”. Good lad.

My fi­nal in­ter­view is with a young cou­ple that come through the door just as I am think­ing of de­part­ing to fly home. They are a jolly pair and most in­ter­est­ing,

Anett No­vak from Hun­gary and Rod­er­ick Groen­eveld from Hol­land. They both have a share in a group-owned PA-28 on the air­field and been based at An­drews­field for two years. She is train­ing to be a pi­lot and he is al­ready qual­i­fied. They met five years ago, when she was a flight at­ten­dant on a Ryanair flight and he was a pas­sen­ger. She is now a flight op­er­a­tions as­sis­tant at Sta­ple­ford and he earns his liv­ing as an IT con­sul­tant. They are fly­ing to Alder­ney for two days, then to Antwerp where they have friends, then back to An­drews­field, a pretty am­bi­tious trip, and it’s great to see young peo­ple take to the air with such ob­vi­ous joy. I ask them to sum up An­drews­field. She says, “It’s hard to see from the air the first time,” and laughs. He says, “It’s small enough that you can get to know every­body”, and she adds, “more club, less ‘fac­tory’”. It’s a good sum­mary on which to end my visit. I say good­bye, sign out and head out to the Wot. The flight home is un­event­ful. Hav­ing a GPS re­moves the guess­work−per­haps at the cost of a lit­tle plea­sur­able dra­matic ten­sion, but it does pro­vide ab­so­lute cer­tainty. Ar­riv­ing back at my airstrip, the Wot makes a gen­tle up­hill land­ing. I taxi to the hangar and pull out the mix­ture con­trol. The en­gine runs down and all is quiet.

At one stage in my fly­ing, some thirty years ago, I used to fly to An­drews­field most week­ends. Nearly al­ways, my friend Brian was in the front cock­pit. It was when I’d just bought a Sky­bolt and I used to en­liven the jour­ney with a bar­rel roll and the oc­ca­sional loop. Some­times Brian and I would iden­tify High Easter en route, and some­times we wouldn’t, but I don’t think we ever had any trou­ble find­ing An­drews­field. At that point, the Sky­bolt be­ing some­what tricky to land, it was the wide, long grass run­way that was the main at­trac­tion, then the wel­come and re­laxed at­mos­phere. No one ever told me off for any­thing. We’d buy a cof­fee and some cake−then, as now, the cake was ex­cep­tional−and fly back.

In re­cent times, fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the Stansted TMZ, I have to ad­mit to a cer­tain re­luc­tance to visit An­drews­field by air. I’ve driven there a few times, and the jour­ney by road is some­what te­dious, tak­ing over twice as long. How­ever, now that I know how straight­for­ward and easy it is to fly there, de­spite the lim­its of a por­ta­ble radio and not hav­ing a transpon­der, I’ll be sure to go back.

In­set: In­struc­tor ex­traor­di­naire Carol dis­playes a pic­ture of her grand­fa­ther with a Bristol Boxkite, dat­ing from 1914 Above: No short­age of vin­tage tail­drag­gers at this grass air­field Left: Ben Atlee, ten hours into his PPL at fif­teen and plan­ning to be­come a com­mer­cial pi­lot

Right: Carol Cooper and Mike Row­land, the cou­ple who be­tween them run An­drews­field

Above right: air­field man­ager Mike Row­land points to the run­way mat­ting laid in 2008, al­low­ing all-year­round op­er­a­tion from grass

Top right: in­trigu­ing Lake LA-4 Buc­ca­neer am­phib­ian on the end of the park­ing line

Above: the up­per storey of con­trol tower is for oc­ca­sional week­end use

Top left: owl bird scarer on a Chero­kee, hope­fully keeps the cov­ers drop­pings-free

Right: Mas­soud and two of his en­gi­neers

Above: Mas­soud Khoshkhou, pro­pri­etor of on-air­field main­te­nance fa­cil­ity MK Aero Sup­port

Al­lan Mill­son off on an aer­o­batic sor­tie in the Pitts Spe­cial that he co-owns with his son

Right: duty Air/ground radio ser­vice op­er­a­tor and of­fice man­ager for the day, Ge­orge Brown­ing

Above: re­minder in the club­house that this was once An­drews Field, a USAAF base

Above: long-stand­ing club mem­ber and 1,600-hour pi­lot, Pete Watkin­son, runs the bar and restau­rant

Be­low: Anett No­vak from Hun­gary and Rod­er­ick Groen­eveld from Hol­land, about to fly a club PA-28 to Alder­ney and Antwerp

In­set top: if noth­ing else, come for the home-made cake In­set above : thir­teen-year old River Binks, here for a trial les­son

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