The Tiger Club has moved from Headcorn to Damyns Hall Aerodrome near Upminster, Essex. ‘The airfield is within spitting distance of the major wartime defence airfield of Hornchurch, and in recognition of this the radio callsign is “Hornchurch Radio” on 119.55 MHZ’, says the club. ‘There is one marked-out runway, 03/21, and adjoining this is a large grass area offering aircraft such as Tiger Moths an unlimited choice of landing direction. It also has an excellent lounge/café offering plentiful food and refreshments. Access to the airfield is really good, just ten minutes from the M25 and only two miles from Upminster tube station. This benefit has already seen the reappearance of several former members who found travelling to our previous locations too tiresome, and we look forward to renewing the acquaintance of many more!’
The Tiger Club was formed during a Royal Aero Club dinner in January 1956 at the suggestion of Norman Jones of Rollason Aircraft (who was later to launch Pilot magazine). Founder members were Jimmy Denyer, Basil Maile, Bev Snook, Chris Wren and the Hon Peter Vanneck. Initially based at Croydon Airport, its then all-tiger Moth fleet included G-ACDC (‘AC/DC’) that is still with the club. Following Croydon’s closure in 1959 the Tiger Club moved to a new home at Redhill, and the club, its aircraft fleet and membership rapidly expanded, the latter including prominent names from the aerobatics, air racing and airshow communities, including Pilot’s late owner/editor James Gilbert and numerous past and present contributors to this magazine.
The Tiger Club can be contacted at its new home on tel: 01708 524633, email: [email protected]club.co.uk
Grant Shapps MP, Chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on General Aviation, has raised serious concerns over a potential development next to
Shoreham Airport, and the impact this could have on the airfield’s operations.
In a letter to Adur and Worthing Councils he says: ‘It is the objective of both the APPG and the Government to make the UK the best country in the world for general aviation. The APPG aims to do this by promoting the protection and enhancement of our network of airfields across the country which brings valuable skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, thereby creating high-tech jobs and growth in our economy.
‘As such, the APPG has serious concerns about the impact this proposed development (at New Monks Farm, Lancing) would have on the neighbouring Shoreham Airport site, and in particular the long term future of its two grass runways. Should the development be approved, it would mean aircraft using these runways would have to fly directly over the new development... either as the aircraft takes off or lands (and) would present a serious safety issue in the event of an aircraft experiencing engine failure or other emergencies.
‘In addition, a development so close to an active airfield could lead to a substantial increase in noise complaints from residents, which would undoubtedly create pressure on the airport to either reduce its activity or close completely. There are a number of listed buildings on the airfield which rely on a stable aviation environment for support and renovations [and] many aviation maintenance, engineering and flight training businesses at the airport that would be at risk if the development was to proceed, as would the highly-skilled jobs that go with them.
‘Furthermore, the APPG understands that Shoreham’s guidance to helicopters departing and landing at the airport is that they should avoid overflying built-up areas. Consequently the airport’s helicopter circuit patterns are directly above the unbuilt land proposed for development (which) would essentially make helicopter flying at the airport almost impossible to maintain and also run the risk of putting several helicopter companies based at Shoreham out of business.
‘Shoreham Airport is the only airfield of its kind in the local area, and the risk of losing it to development would, in the APPG’S view, cause great harm to the
transport infrastructure of the United Kingdom and employment in the aviation sector… It is therefore imperative that Shoreham Airport is fully maintained as a general aviation airport, and only by doing so can it remain sustainable for the many businesses and jobs which depend on it.’
John Frecklington, former Managing Director of Wickenby Flying Club and Wickenby Aviation in Lincolnshire, died
on 27 August, aged 85. John had been the driving force and architect of the formation and success of Wickenby Airfield until 1997, when he sold part of it and returned to his first love, classic aircraft. He owned and operated a Chipmunk, Auster J/1N, Tiger Moth and a Pitts S-2A on which he offered tailwheel conversions, aerobatics training, formation flying and hire.
John gained his licence at the age of seventeen with Skegness Aero Club and stayed with them doing pleasure flights. In 1964, together with Bob Merewood, he bought a Proctor IV and formed Wickenby Flying Club Ltd at the then disused former RAF Bomber Command airfield at Wickenby. Six years later he bought the airfield from a local farmer and formed Wickenby Aviation to carry out aircraft maintenance and charter. Over the next 43 years he flew and air tested more than 120 different types of aircraft and accumulated more than 15,000 flying hours. Blackpool Council has completed the purchase of Blackpool Airport and taken over the operating company Regional and City Airports (Blackpool) Holdings Ltd. Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool
Council, said: “This sale heralds a positive new dawn for Blackpool Airport… [that will] allow us to ensure that the airport itself can continue to operate as an important hub that can benefit the whole region. Blackpool Airport is such a key part of having a strong local economy and it is absolutely vital that we safeguard its future and ensure that it can continue to be used as an aviation and employment hub for the Fylde coast for the long term. We do not envisage the return of large-scale passenger aeroplanes to the airport. The purpose of this acquisition is to safeguard the helicopter and other commercial airside activities that take place.
“As a minority stakeholder, we have always retained an interest in the company continuing as an airport and serving the whole of the Fylde coast. Now as the sole owner, people can be confident that we have the airport’s best interests at heart. We will retain the current operating staff as well as exploring any potential opportunities for private companies with aviation interests to invest in the company so that it can grow in the future, but this is not about trying to bring jumbo jets back to the airport anytime soon.”
Blackpool Council last owned the airport in 2004, when it was sold to City Hopper, then again in 2008 to Balfour Beatty. Placed into administration in 2014 the airport closed temporarily before reopening with reduced capacity. During WWII Blackpool Airport, then known as Squires Gate, housed a Ministry of Aircraft Production factory which built more than 2,500 Vickers Wellington bombers. Hawker Aircraft reopened the factory in the mid-1950s, building Hunter jet fighters there.
Proposals are being drawn up to bring the first scheduled passenger flights to
Solent Airport (formerly Fleet Air Arm base HMS Daedalus) near Gosport in Hampshire, with a daily service from the Channel Islands. Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council which owns the airfield, said: “Already a thriving airport for private flyers and an increasing number of
business people, establishing a scheduled passenger service will open Solent Airport up to a whole new range of customers… We aren’t looking to compete with Southampton Airport and wanted to cover a more niche market that could one day in the future include flights to the Isle of Man or even short distances to France.” If the proposed service goes ahead, Air Alderney will operate it with B-N Islanders. Ports of Jersey Authority plans to
build three new aircraft hangars at Jersey Airport, each of 21,500sq ft, to meet increasing demand from local and visiting aircraft owners. Lee Mcconnell, Corporate and General Aviation Development Manager, says: “This significant investment by Ports of Jersey is sending a positive message to the global business jet market of our increasing confidence in the corporate aviation industry, which can only improve our credibility and visibility internationally, which in turn will attract more inward investment, aviation activity and local aviation sector job growth. We currently have a strong foundation of private aircraft based in Jersey, some of which are looking for new facilities. We also benefit from the island’s strategic and geographical location within two of Europe’s busiest aviation traffic zones — Paris and London — for corporate jet traffic, and may attract additional off-island aircraft also using our facilities as a stop-off location for hangarage and fuel services.” The CAA has updated its listening-out squawks introducing a number of new codes, and some changes to existing ones. The following new codes, and associated frequencies (MHZ), are now operational: Liverpool: Squawk 5060 on 119.850 Brize Norton: Squawk 3727 on 119.000 Southend: Squawk 5050 on 130.775 The following changes have been made:
Southampton squawk changes from 0011 to 7011 (frequency remains 120.225)
Bournemouth assumes sole use of 0011 on 119.475
Luton assumes sole use of 0013 on 129.550
Stansted changes from 0013 to 7013 (frequency remains 120.625)
Gatwick changes from 0012 to 7012 (frequency remains 126.825)
London City becomes Thames using 0012 (frequency remains 132.700)
A combined listening squawk and LARS card is available to print and download at: airspacesafety.com/listen/ Signature Flight Support now offers its Signature ELITE Class service at its new London-luton private jet terminal. It is available to passengers departing on easyjet flights, enabling them to avoid the commercial terminal. ‘Customs and Immigration and security screening are performed at the fixed-base operation with exceptional privacy, and customers enjoy all of the amenities... and can relax in well-appointed luxury lounges,’ the company says. ‘When departing for a flight, a Signature Flight Support luxury vehicle transports passengers directly to the aircraft where they can board at their leisure. Luggage is transferred to the aircraft directly by Signature staff.’
Adds Evie Freeman, Managing Director for Signature Flight Support’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Division: “Customers can now enjoy an ELITE Class experience normally only available to those utilising private aircraft. It removes the stress of transiting the commercial terminal and our staff can accommodate passengers’ needs in a world-class manner. We are excited to bring back the glamour to commercial air travel and we look to continue to expand this service in the future.”
Biggin Hill Airport’s London Heli Shuttle service, operated by Castle Air, is increasing its fleet to six Agustawestland AW109 Grands. Since it was launched in December 2015, the service has completed 2,500 helicopter transfers to the Battersea Heliport, which takes just six minutes. Biggin’s Marketing manager Andy Patsalides says: “We established our helicopter transfer following feedback that our clients wanted the fastest route to central London. It’s clear from the popularity of the service that we continue to prove ourselves as the preferred business aviation gateway for London and the City.”
G-ACDC has been on the Tiger Club fleet almost from the start
Blackpool Council is now sole owner of Blackpool Airport
Biggin Hill to Battersea Heliport in just six minutes
Solent Airport to receive scheduled passenger flights