Carlisle Air­field Pro­file

A po­trait in full of the air­field on the An­glo-scots bor­der that has a wider-than-usual mix of air­craft and a won­der­ful at­mos­phere

Pilot - - FRONT PAGE - Words & Pho­tos Nick Bloom

Some com­pa­nies be­have as though they want your cus­tom– like the restau­rant owner that greets you by name, re­mem­bers what food you like and says, “I’ve just the thing for you”. Oth­ers have a take-it-or-leave it ap­proach, in­quir­ing, stony-faced whether you booked and then in­sist­ing that you wear a tie. To me, the most strik­ing as­pect of Carlisle is how wel­com­ing it is. How many other air­fields mix mi­cro­lights, biz­jets, work­ing he­li­copters and au­t­o­gy­ros... and do it har­mo­niously? At Carlisle, avi­a­tion brings peo­ple to­gether, no mat­ter how they pur­sue it. The air­port restau­rant does a great fish and chips and there’s an im­pres­sive avi­a­tion mu­seum on-site.

The city is worth a visit (it’s a ten­minute drive away). There’s a cas­tle, a cathe­dral, Ro­man walls and spec­tac­u­lar Vic­to­rian civic build­ings in pink sand­stone. Th­ese are all set in streets, many of them pedes­tri­anised, packed with lit­tle bars and cafés. The at­mos­phere is his­toric univer­sity town−plus a bit of north­ern row­di­ness (I am warned against the drunks on Satur­day nights). Sadly, it’s too far for me to fly to by Cur­rie Wot (eighty- knot cruise). Vir­gin Trains (£110 re­turn) wins hands-down on cost, not to men­tion com­fort. Three-and-a-half hours from Eus­ton, I’m at Carlisle. A lady I meet on the train says she’s go­ing my way and es­corts me to The Crown and Mitre, a splen­did Ed­war­dian ho­tel in the pedes­tri­anised area, close to the cathe­dral and cas­tle (rooms start at £50). And an­other nice lady has vol­un­teered to take me to the air­port in the morn­ing. She is Louise John­ston, 36, and since March, she has been work­ing part-time in Op­er­a­tions for Carlisle Flight Train­ing. Her other job is as a health­care as­sis­tant in the NHS, and she works here at the air­port two to three days a week. “It pays for my fly­ing,” she says, “and I’ve just done my first solo”. She hasn’t any plans to go for a Com­mer­cial, and is likely to stick to pri­vate fly­ing, al­though she has been help­ing out with ban­ner tow­ing at Black­pool. “We had our first ban­ner tow here re­cently; it was ex­cit­ing−i’d like to do that.” Later to­day she’s plan­ning to take her brother and five-year-old nephew for a flight. (While es­cort­ing me round the air­field she tells me she learned to fly be­cause she’s al­ways wanted to fly a Spit­fire−and even though it’s £3,000 for just twenty min­utes, she’s sav­ing up. She watches all the WWII Spit­fire films again and again, ap­par­ently.)

As we drive in to the air­port in Louise’s sports car, and we head for Carlisle Flight Train­ing, I spot a trio: Mandy, Thomas and Chris Stevens. They are all go­ing to fly to­gether−it’s a trial les­son, an eleventh birth­day present to Thomas from his grand­fa­ther. Out­side on the apron, Louise in­tro­duces me to Matthew Kirkham, who is eigh­teen and has ap­plied to join the RAF. He is clean­ing aero­planes−he’s buff­ing the win­dows in one now−in re­turn for fly­ing lessons. He’s been do­ing this for eigh­teen months and has had eight hours’ fly­ing so far.

Next I meet Will Arm­strong, 43, who keeps a very nice look­ing Chero­kee 180 at Carlisle. His first ten hours’ train­ing was in a Cub, but he’s been pur­su­ing his PPL in the more usual low-wing Pipers since Oc­to­ber−he bought the Chero­kee in June. He’s got 44 hours and is due to take his fi­nal exam on Mon­day. Will is the se­cu­rity man­ager for an oil com­pany and per­haps a lit­tle op­ti­misti­cally hopes to use his Chero­kee for trav­el­ling to meet­ings. “It

costs my em­ployer £500 for first-class train travel to Lon­don, plus an­other £100 to con­tinue on to Brighton, plus £200 for a ho­tel. I reckon it will be quicker and cheaper by aero­plane,” he says. How­ever, he in­tends us­ing his li­cence pri­mar­ily for plea­sure; he’s al­ready plan­ning trips to Scot­land and the Chan­nel Is­lands−plus he’s aim­ing for a com­plex sin­gle rat­ing and to trade up next year. “Then I might get a he­li­copter li­cence,” he adds.

At this point, Lloyd, the air­port cat puts in an ap­pear­ance. He has his own hi-viz jacket, came from a lo­cal farm eight years ago and has lived in the fly­ing school ever since. He poses for the cam­era... even­tu­ally.

Next on the tour, Louise takes me to Cum­bria Gy­ro­planes, which has been here for three and a half years, and I meet owner, in­struc­tor and ex­am­iner An­drew Lysser. The ‘fleet’ cur­rently con­sists of five Mtosports, two owned by Cum­bria Gy­ro­planes and three by stu­dents. It’s only a year since the rules changed, al­low­ing clubs to hire out ‘gy­ro­planes’ (we would say au­t­o­gyro is the more de­scrip­tive term−ed!) The school is now able to of­fer gy­ro­plane in­struc­tion on a hire ba­sis at £130 an hour. How­ever, of the sev­en­teen cur­rent stu­dents, none is hir­ing−they all have shares or own a gy­ro­plane. But then a lot of them al­ready have a PPL (G) and are here, hav­ing trained in the flat­lands of Cam­bridge−to study ad­vanced moun­tain fly­ing. Or just to gain con­fi­dence to go places. The new­est gen­er­a­tion of au­t­o­gy­ros has a 90mph cruise−al­though 70mph is used in train­ing, as it’s the same speed for climb, cruise and de­scent and makes cir­cuit train­ing sim­pler. The max­i­mum level speed is 120mph. An­drew is proud of the prac­ti­cal­ity of mod­ern gy­ro­planes, telling me, “I’ve flown them to the north, south, east and west ex­trem­i­ties of the Bri­tish Isles. I be­lieve I’m the only gy­ro­plane pi­lot to land on Dun­nett Head beach, which is near John O’groats.”

An­drew has just taken a stu­dent through a prac­tice GFT. “He was trained by Steve Box­hall, who did a good job−i can tell,” An­drew says. He also tells me he has been town mayor for three years and plays elec­tric gui­tar and man­dolin in a band, so there’s more to him than gy­ro­planes.

I meet an­other en­thu­si­ast of th­ese ro­tor­craft near the Cum­bria Gy­ro­planes suite of rooms in one of the hangars. He is Keven Mckay, 52, an en­gi­neer­ing di­rec­tor. He be­gan with gy­ro­planes at Wick­enby, but af­ter twenty hours switched to fixed-wing, got his PPL, owned an X’air Fal­con and flew twenty hours in two years. “But I missed gy­ro­copters and now I’ve come back to them”. He plans to buy one and take the wife fly­ing. “Is she an en­thu­si­ast?” I ask him. “Not re­ally,” he says, “She just goes along with it”. The club seems quite busy, be­cause next I meet David Brown, 62, an en­gi­neer­ing man­ager, who has come for a trial les­son. “I’ve had three lessons in light air­craft, a trial les­son in a he­li­copter and one in a glider,” he tells me, “I’m an engi­neer and I’m in­ter­ested from that stand­point.”

Out­side on the apron there are two Ger­man-reg­is­tered Pi­la­tus Porter tur­bo­props and it looks like at least one is be­ing prepped for a flight so I go out to in­ves­ti­gate. I meet two Ger­man me­chan­ics, Alexan­der Ren­hard and An­drea Druhn and the French pi­lot Pierre Sta­bile. Ap­par­ently the flight op­er­a­tor is in Malta, and the sor­tie they’re em­bark­ing on is a sur­vey flight, “to check that roads are free from fall­ing trees,” al­though I sus­pect more than a bit has been lost in trans­la­tion. One lo­cal sug­gests they are prob­a­bly map­ping power py­lons−and some­one else thinks it’s some­thing to do with the rail­ways Sur­vey­ing of some kind, any­way.

I leave them to carry on and go to meet David Parker, who owns Cum­bria Mi­cro­light Train­ing. The school has been here since 1997, of­fers flexwing and fixed-wing train­ing and has a GT450 and two C42s, plus a num­ber of stu­dents are learn­ing in their own air­craft. There are 43 mem­bers in the club, and train­ing is £120 an hour in­clud­ing

VAT and land­ing fee. David says, “Carlisle has good run­ways, fire cover and ATC. Stu­dents who learn here aren’t afraid to fly to an air­port, which is good. It’s nice and friendly and we don’t have to worry about get­ting wa­ter­logged in win­ter. Plus it’s a scenic area with the lakes and you can fly up an es­tu­ary and have Scot­land un­der one wing and England un­der the other.” The club gets around five trial lessons a week and util­i­sa­tion per air­craft varies from 200 hours a year to 600, “Mainly de­pend­ing on the run of weather”. The club has two in­struc­tors.

Louise sug­gests we head for the air­field op­er­a­tions room at the base of the Tower. Be­hind the re­cep­tion desk, where vis­it­ing pi­lots check in and pay their land­ing fees, we meet Steven Fer­gu­son, ops as­sis­tant, who’s been here nine years. “Sto­bart is a good com­pany to work for,” he says. He operates the ra­dio dur­ing week­ends when the ser­vice is air/ground; it’s full ATC dur­ing the week. Steven says the air­port has around 16,000 move­ments a year and 55 lo­cally-based air­craft. “The big­gest is prob­a­bly the Fal­con 900 jet owned by Sto­bart,” he says. Apollo Air Ser­vices operates three Agusta 109s from here, and Northum­bria He­li­copters is based in New­cas­tle but flies train­ing sor­ties at Carlisle.

We stop off in the crew room so that I can pho­to­graph April and Kenny, to­day’s fire of­fi­cers−and Kenny is also duty re­fu­eller.

And next I meet Kevin Packer, 57, who is Duty Man­ager and Man­ager, Air Traf­fic Ser­vices, and has been here for ten years fol­low­ing a ca­reer in var­i­ous mil­i­tary and re­gional air­ports. I ask him to sum up what makes Carlisle dif­fer­ent. He thinks a bit and says, “It’s un­usual in mix­ing mi­cro­lights, jets and gy­ro­planes and can be chal­leng­ing, es­pe­cially when you get mil­i­tary Hawks com­ing through as well. Eigh­teen peo­ple work here, which gives it a rather homely, old-fash­ioned at­mos­phere. We try to be as wel­com­ing as pos­si­ble to GA vis­i­tors. The air­port is go­ing through rather a de­vel­op­ment stage at the mo­ment. Af­ter seven years of wran­gling, the Air Freight Dis­tri­bu­tion Cen­tre on the south side fi­nally got its go-ahead and will shortly be­gin op­er­a­tion. It’s go­ing to gen­er­ate in­come that should sta­bilise the air­port fi­nan­cially. Now the run­ways are go­ing to be re-sur­faced and we should be start­ing sched­uled flights in ATR-72 tur­bo­props to Southend and Dublin.” Carlisle Air­port’s his­tory be­gan in the 1930s on a site nearby the present one. It was called Kingstown and was coun­cilowned un­til the RAF took it over pre-war. The run­way was too small, so the RAF moved the air­field to a larger ad­ja­cent site and it changed its name to Crosby-onE­den. It saw out the war train­ing Hur­ri­cane, then Beau­fighter pi­lots, and in 1944 be­came a base for Dako­tas.

Cum­ber­land City Coun­cil got it back in 1947, which is when it was given its present name. Own­er­ship was trans­ferred to Carlisle City Coun­cil in 1968. In 2000, the air­port, which was mak­ing con­sid­er­able losses, was sold to Haughey Air (Lord Bal­lyed­mond’s com­pany) which did much to im­prove it, but sold it again in 2006 to WA De­vel­op­ments, which owns Ed­die Sto­bart Ltd. The cur­rent owner is Sto­bart Group Ltd, which also runs Lon­don Southend Air­port.

Louise and I go up to the Tower to meet the duty air/ground ra­dio op­er­a­tor, Joe Bezuszko, who is 51 and born in this coun­try−his dad came here from the Ukraine. He says, “Man­age­ment is get­ting more in­volved. They dropped land­ing fees

This is a happy en­vi­ron­ment but the air­port is a bit un­der-used...

(cur­rently around £17 for a PA-28, £8 for a mi­cro­light). I wish they’d do the same for fuel prices, but I do hear they are un­der re­view too. This is a happy en­vi­ron­ment, but the air­port is a bit un­der-used. We could do with more go­ing on.” I ask if he’s a pi­lot. He says, “When I was ten years old I used to cy­cle here from town, just to watch the aero­planes−in those days it was CSE train­ing pi­lots from all over the world and re­ally busy. I started lessons at 22−but then along came a mort­gage and kids, so I had to drop it un­til my thir­ties. I got my PPL and IMC. At that time I was work­ing in a fur­nish­ings fac­tory. I went to Air Traf­fic Col­lege in 2010 and my aim is to be an ATCO, prefer­ably here.” His wife works in a hospi­tal lab­o­ra­tory and they have twin girls aged 22. He ends, “I love avi­a­tion. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Our next visit is to the mu­seum on the air­field, where we find Lynn Wil­man and Kelvin Hardy man­ag­ing the re­cep­tion desk. Lynn shows us round. It’s an im­pres­sive fa­cil­ity cov­er­ing mainly WWII and the early post­war years. You can climb in­side some of the air­craft parked out­side, like the Can­berra. There’s a pro­pel­ler from a Hawker Hart and an­other from some­thing Great War, pos­si­bly an RE8. I am, as a one-time-sub­scriber to Prac­ti­cal Wire­less, rather taken with the valve ra­dios on dis­play, in­clud­ing one from a Welling­ton bomber. It’s time I took up An­drew Lysser’s of­fer of a ride in one of the Cum­bria Gy­ro­planes Mtosports, so that I can take over­head pho­to­graphs. An­drew is just say­ing good­bye to a cus­tomer, so I chat to Mark Win­ship, 43, an elec­tron­ics engi­neer, who has his own Mtosport. “I be­gan by learn­ing to fly he­li­copters,” he says, “but af­ter thirty hours in an R-22, I was be­gin­ning to think of it as a money pit. Then I dis­cov­ered An­drew and gy­ro­planes and bought this one; G-YROH. Since then I’ve flown 150 hours in it.” There are two ladies hov­er­ing nearby, so I say hello to them, Fiona and her mother Mau­reen, come for Fiona’s third try at hav­ing a trial les­son−pre­vi­ous at­tempts hav­ing been frus­trated by the weather. Fiona is a trans­port re­searcher at the Univer­sity of Birm­ing­ham.

An­drew’s part­ner, Ann Pep­per es­corts me into the chang­ing room and helps me into a ther­mal suit and crash hat, which comes with a vi­sor. This is the same gear worn by flexwing mi­cro­light pi­lots and is pretty es­sen­tial, even in sum­mer if you’re in the kind of air­craft that leaves most of you ex­posed to the el­e­ments. I need Ann’s help, es­pe­cially (“Breathe in,” she says) when it comes to clos­ing the zip that runs past my stom­ach. Then we walk out to the air­craft, where An­drew briefs me and Fiona−since she’ll be fly­ing next−on safety, how to climb in and out with­out dam­ag­ing your­self or the gy­ro­plane, and what and where is in the cock­pit. I take the front seat, which means I have to re­lease the hand­brake, the ro­tor lock and press the but­ton on the stick that en­gages the Ro­tax en­gine with the ro­tors to start them ro­tat­ing. The rest of the flight I leave to An­drew, al­though I do try a few turns. I flew an MT-03 au­t­o­gyro with Roger Sav­age from Carlisle some years ago ( Pi­lot Flight Test, Oc­to­ber 2007) and he talked me through every­thing from take­off to land­ing. The Mtosport strikes me as a re­fined ver­sion of the MT-03: a bit faster, prob­a­bly even safer, but with a sim­i­lar feel to it. Now as then, I find the slight con­tin­u­ous wob­ble from the ro­tors a bit dis­con­cert­ing, but on the other hand the gy­ro­plane is ter­rific for slow flight and for the view it gives you. Han­dling-wise, it’s not un­like a Cub and quite sta­ble.

I soon get the pho­tos I want and we re­turn for a land­ing, com­ing in, it feels, much too fast, but the mo­ment the wheels are down, the ro­tor acts like a parachute and we slow to walk­ing pace in sec­onds.

Fiona is stand­ing by in a flight suit and hel­met ready for her much-post­poned trial les­son. I say good­bye to An­drew and clomp in­side, where Ann’s wait­ing to help me out of my fly­ing gear.

It’s time for lunch, but I spot a pair sit­ting in the sun out­side Carlisle Flight Train­ing, and feel­ing a bit cold af­ter my

flight, go to join them. Phil Short is 38, an elec­tri­cian who started fly­ing train­ing here in April 2014, got his PPL in Jan­uary 2015 and has flown 110hr in a PA-28 since... plus a short spell in a PA-38 Tom­a­hawk. Gemma Wood­ing, 29, is a den­tal tu­tor and came along to­day as his pas­sen­ger. He says, “I live a mile away and come af­ter work”. She says, “He comes when­ever he has any spare time; he’s ob­sessed with fly­ing”. Phil grins at this. I ask him if he’s thought about switch­ing ca­reers. He says he’s thought about it, but he reck­ons at 38, he’s too old. He does plan to buy an aero­plane, though.

It’s very pleas­ant in the sun and soon two more peo­ple pull up chairs, financial con­sul­tant John Tuffield, 34 and jour­nal­ist Emma Broom, 36. She bought him a trial les­son as a birth­day present. He says, “I al­ways wanted to see what it was like; there was an of­fer we couldn’t refuse, 25 per cent off. Fly­ing an aero­plane was eas­ier than I an­tic­i­pated, you don’t need to move the con­trols much and it’s quite calm”. Emma didn’t ex­pect to go up with John, but, “It was of­fered, so I went. I’ve al­ways been a ner­vous pas­sen­ger in jets, but I didn’t mind this at all”. I ask if John’s think­ing of tak­ing lessons, but Emma an­swers for him, “Ac­tu­ally we’re look­ing to move house and can’t af­ford it”.

Now we are joined by John Coulthard, who is forty and a graphic de­signer. He started lessons in Jan­uary 2013 and got his li­cence in April 2014. “I’d have got it sooner, but I had to buy lessons as I could af­ford them,” he ex­plains. He has flown fifty hours since, mainly in the club’s two Robin HR200S. “I re­ally like the bub­ble canopy,” he says. Phil says, “Oh, I pre­fer the PA-28. I like jets... and the Boe­ing Stear­man. I like old aero­planes. I’m hop­ing to land on Skye next week.” En­thu­si­as­tic, you see.

It’s still pleas­ant in the sun, but I’m feel­ing peck­ish, so I walk across to the air­field restau­rant. I or­der a mug of Nescafé and a fish, chips and peas and sit down with the only other oc­cu­pant, Mike Law­son, 64, a heavy goods driver and a non-fly­ing mem­ber of Cum­bria Mi­cro­light Train­ing. “I go to the Christ­mas ‘do’s’ and I’m avail­able if any bal­last is needed,” he says. I ask if that hap­pens of­ten. “Well, no,” he says, “Just once, I got taken up in a Eurostar”. He tends to be found in the restau­rant at lunch time−i gather this from the way he’s greeted as a ‘fix­ture’ by other vis­i­tors. The owner of Cum­bria Mi­cro­light Train­ing comes in first, then there’s a thun­der of he­li­copter blades and an RAF Sea King in Search and Res­cue liv­ery lands nearby. Four burly RAF chaps come in and or­der mas­sive quan­ti­ties of food. The prices are cheap here and the por­tions gen­er­ous. My cod and chips costs £4.50, and is so good, I fol­low it up with a slice of home­made lemon cake.

Mike sees all the com­ings and go­ings of course and says he­li­copter crews of­ten drop by for a good lunch. But the air­port also gets its share of VIP traf­fic in light jets. “I’ve seen Harrison Ford, Ed­die Mur­phy and Prince Harry in this restau­rant at dif­fer­ent times,” he says.

Af­ter lunch I’ve one more call to make, be­cause shar­ing the hangar com­plex with Carlisle Flight Train­ing is Bor­der Air and I haven’t seen them yet. Their bit seems de­serted ex­cept for a woman in a wait­ing room, and she’s killing time over mag­a­zines while her part­ner has a trial les­son, so I re­turn to Carlisle Flight Train­ing.

There I meet Bob Stinger. He’s a fly­ing in­struc­tor who also works for Air-ads at Black­pool air­port. He says he and Carlisle Flight Train­ing’s other in­struc­tor fly 2,000 hours a year be­tween them, “which is a lot for two of us, so why can’t Sto­bart sell us fuel at a rea­son­able price? It’s 42 pence a litre more than they charge at Kirk­bride. I’m told it’s to match the price they charge at Southend”. Bob has been with the club full time for three and a half years. He says, “The air­field’s quite nice. We all get on with each other. It’s a bit quiet to be hon­est. To­day, there’s a choppy north wind: on days with bet­ter weather it can be rammed here. I’ll tell you what, the pi­lots who come through this place are in­ter­ested in aero­planes. At Black­pool they tend to get a li­cence and it lapses, but not here. Sam on the re­cep­tion desk, he’s six­teen. Louise is nice. Alan Rayson, who owns the club and is the other in­struc­tor, he set the club up ten years ago. Pre­vi­ous schools kept go­ing bust be­cause the own­ers took ridicu­lous salaries like £30,000, but Alan only takes what the school can af­ford. His main job is at Me­tal Box. He’s men­tioned set­ting up a schol­ar­ship to cel­e­brate the school’s tenth an­niver­sary−ten hours fly­ing train­ing to some­one who de­serves it.”

The school has two PA-28S and two Robins. Bob says, “I’ll tell you what’s prov­ing pop­u­lar lately, com­pan­ion cour­ses. I just did one for the wife of a Van’s RV-9 owner. In no time at all, she’s learned how to use the ra­dio and make it back here and land, should any­thing hap­pen to him in the air.” Bob has made seven flights to­day so far and has five still to go. The club has 54 stu­dents.

At this point a young fam­ily ar­rives, the Mil­li­gans. Si­mon Mil­li­gan runs a garage, his wife Kather­ine bought him a trial les­son voucher for Christ­mas and they’ve come−with chil­dren Keegan and Kelsie−to re­deem it.

I’m hop­ing that Bor­der Air’s in­struc­tor has re­turned by now, so go to look. Sure enough, he’s back. The stu­dent he has just taken for a trial les­son sounds keen−he wants to know how much it costs to learn to fly−so the flight ob­vi­ously went well. The stu­dent col­lects his part­ner and leaves and I sit down with Adam England. Like Carlisle Flight Train­ing next door, Bor­der Air has two prin­ci­pals; the other−the one who owns the club−is Howard Sand­ham, who isn’t here to­day. Adam has been in­struct­ing for a year, hav­ing learned to fly at New­cas­tle, Leeds Brad­ford and Sher­burn-in-el­met. Be­fore that he was a struc­tural engi­neer. Bor­der Air, which has been at Carlisle since 1991, is an AOC op­er­a­tor, so can do char­ter work as well as in­struct­ing and hir­ing out its air­craft to pi­lots. The com­pany does sur­vey work and aerial pho­tog­ra­phy as well as scenic flights over the Lake Dis­trict. Its head of­fice is at Carlisle, but it also has bases at New­cas­tle and Cum­ber­nauld... and Oban, where it has a sec­ond AOC. The fleet con­sists of a PA-28, a Cessna 152, 172 and 310 (“That one’s the boss’s”) and a Piper Ar­row 3.

Time to say good­bye

Adam’s next cus­tomer has ar­rived, Ashley John­son, a nurse whose trial les­son voucher was a leav­ing present from work col­leagues. I say good­bye and head off. John Coulthard, the forty-year-old graphic de­signer who flies Robins from Carlisle Flight Train­ing, is head­ing into town and has of­fered me a lift to the rail­way sta­tion.

He drives his Fiat 500 down the coun­try lanes with sporty gusto, and we chat about

“I’ve seen Harrison Ford, Ed­die Mur­phy and Prince Harry in the restau­rant”

fly­ing. John finds his job a bit frus­trat­ing, but says fly­ing has lifted him out of his rut. I sug­gest mi­cro­light in­struct­ing, but he’s not quite ready to make such a ma­jor ca­reer move... he’s go­ing to carry on hir­ing club aero­planes for now. I’m not sur­prised; if I had such a friendly set-up on my doorstep, I’d prob­a­bly do the same.

In­set be­low: Fiona about to get her long-awaited trial les­son in a gy­ro­plane

Above: Vis­i­tors can climb into the Can­berra cock­pit

Left be­low: in­side are to be found a com­plete Fly­ing Flea (the air­craft that started the home­build­ing craze in France and Bri­tain prior to WWII) and a Chip­munk fuse­lage

Left: the Sol­way Avi­a­tion Mu­seum’s out­side ex­hibits in­clude Vul­can B.2 XJ823 and...

Be­low: Dan­ish Air Force Hawker Hunter F.51 E-425 and English Elec­tric Can­berra T4 WE188, while...

Above, left-to-right: Amus­ingly-reg­is­tered Cessna Sky­lane G-WIFE; David Parker, who owns Cum­bria Mi­cro­light Train­ing; and Kevin Packer, Duty Man­ager and Man­ager, Air Traf­fic Ser­vices

Top: Carlisle’s WWII-ERA Con­trol Tower

Top left: Duty air/ground ra­dio op­er­a­tor, Joe Bezuszko

In­set be­low: we can­not re­sist por­tray­ing again Lloyd, the Carlisle Flight Train­ing cat

Left: Cum­bria Gy­ro­planes’ owner An­drew Lysser

In­set: Nick’s lunch – whoops, al­ready started eat­ing it!

Above: Phil and Gemma on the Carlisle Flight Train­ing sun deck

Right: the air­field café

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