We had to go to Gloucestershire Airport today, as Lee needed to renew his Class 1 Medical with an aviation doctor there. We’d spent a weekend in Wiltshire and it was sort of on the way home, so we drove rather than flew in this time. While Lee was having his medical I had a cappuccino and worked on my laptop in the lovely cafe there, from which this was the view.
In fact there was a fence between me and this gorgeous business jet, with a vaguely amusing sign warning one not to “loiter”. It’s hard not to loiter when there are so many interesting things to see!
Lee passed his medical with flying colours and we had lunch together in the cafe afterwards. Over lunch, sitting by the window, we spotted Carol Vorderman flying off in her little plane!
We also saw this Harvard do a few fly-pasts. You’re not normally allowed to do this, but warbirds seem to do it all the time! (This one’s a video so click the play button to watch it.)
After lunch we were going to go straight home, but we got distracted by various interesting aircraft coming in, including this helicopter from the Defence Helicopter Flying School. Here’s Lee looking quite the anorak!!
The runway looks quite undulating seen from this angle. You can also see the heat rising from the tarmac. I have flown into this airport before and remember it being quite tricky taxiing around because there are several runways, so repeating the taxi instructions back to the air traffic controller was a challenge!
A better view of that helicopter.
We had Lee’s handheld radio with us so that we could listen to aircraft talking to the tower, from which we learned that this Hercules was on its way over.
The business jet had its APU on so we decided to hang around to wait for it to depart. Apparently it had flown in from New York this morning and was about to go to Stansted.
When it powered up the engines, this is how close we were!! My hair is going to be difficult to brush this evening!
We saw this Tiger Moth doing quite a few flights, and the business jet had to wait for it to land before it was cleared to enter the runway.
Lee used to fly this plane when he was doing his airline pilot training at Gloucestershire Airport.
Here’s the business jet lining up for take-off. I really didn’t think there would be room for it to turn around on the runway, but it managed somehow! I find it nerve-wracking enough turning Wilhelm round on the runway, with his long wings.
Off she goes. The engines sounded incredible on take-off!
We headed home after that, but the plane spotting didn’t end there; when we got home, this Dragon Rapide flew over! This is what airliners looked like in the 1930s. Quite a good spot!