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Response from the office of Natalie Elphicke
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
Response from the office of Natalie Elphicke
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
Response from the office of Natalie Elphicke
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
quietflyer1907
May 01, 2021
@Paul Osborne Hi, Paul. Clipgate is a delightful and very friendly air strip to visit, but on a smaller scale than Maypole. It has limited space for aircraft parking, and little in the way of hangarage, so I very much doubt that it could accommodate more than a few of the aircraft that were based at Maypole, other than on a very short-term basis. A privately-owned light aircraft typically spends rather little of its life in the air (we're not talking Ryanair here!). What it needs above all else is a comfy place to bed down for the night, and to while away the non-flying hours whilst its owner is beavering away to afford its upkeep and accommodation: many horse-owners would recognise the scenario! An owner seeking a home base for his/her recreational aircraft is much more likely to be attracted by the prospect of hangar space than by the availability of glamping pods or any other on-site facility. It would be very much in their own interest to avoid overflying noise-sensitive areas and to ensure good relations with their neighbours: I guess there may be one or two hooligan pilots but, in my 40-odd years of flying, I have yet to meet one! Most small airfields/airstrip owners willingly accept reasonable planning constraints such as an annual limit on the number of aircraft movements, prohibition of training flights, or restricted operational hours: this often suits everyone concerned, owners of home-based aircraft and neighbours alike. I venture to suggest that such an approach by local residents would be far more likely to achieve an amicable outcome than (and I certainly do not include you here!) hysterical predictions of white-knuckled trainee pilots overflying local houses at 100 feet, or even 45 feet according to @Linda Steger's earlier post! I can, of course, understand Linda's particular misgivings, the three Stoneheap Cottages and Mulberry Lodge (the magical, mystical venue for the noise-free Smugglers Festival) being just about the closest properties to the extended centreline of the proposed NE/SW runway; however, overflight could easily be avoided, both on approach and departure, by a properly-briefed pilot. Think I'll bow out now, but will follow the progress of any full planning application with interest.
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Response from the office of Natalie Elphicke
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
quietflyer1907
Apr 29, 2021
@Richard Attenborough In what respect?
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If not a quiet airstrip, then ....
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
quietflyer1907
Apr 29, 2021
If you mean Rochester Airport, Paul, that's hardly a reasonable basis for comparison: it's a licensed aerodrome (i.e. licensed by the CAA for use by aircraft for the purpose of "public transport of passengers", and for flying training using larger or multi-engine aircraft), with protected airspace (Aerodrome Traffic Zone), runway lighting for night operations, and three flying schools, one with a substantial training fleet. If you find yourself in the area, pay a visit to Clipstone Farm airstrip, near Denton: it's much closer to what's envisaged at Manor Farm, although with a small caravan park rather than glamping pods! Alternatively, try Hamilton Farm airstrip and caravan park, near Ashford. Both provide hangarage for a modest number of light aircraft, and accept a limited number of visiting aircraft by prior permission. I wonder how many people realise that there's an airstrip as close by as Ripple?? In answer to your earlier question, I live about 3 miles from the farm strip where my own light aircraft is based, together with 9 others. The owner permits the occasional visiting aircraft, but only following a mandatory telephone briefing that includes the need to avoid overflying specific noise-sensitive areas/properties. My own home, in a rural hamlet of fewer than 30 properties, is slap bang in the middle of the Local Training Area of two licensed aerodromes with several flying schools (including the one at which I am a part-time instructor), and is clearly also a turning point for (sometimes very!) low-level sorties by a variety of military aircraft; interestingly, few of my neighbours appear to notice this aeronautical activity! There are, however, two local sources of noise that are widely considered a nuisance: motorbikes speeding on a long, straight section of an A-road a mile away, and late-night music from a Wedding Venue in a nearby village. Finally, I fear you misunderstand the purpose of "The Circuit"; please bear with me here! At an aerodrome with a full Air Traffic Control service, a pilot's approach, landing and departure will be directed by a Controller (ATCO), usually with the benefit of radar assistance; at other licensed aerodromes, an Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officer (AFISO) or an Air/Ground Radio Operator may provide the arriving pilot with information such as the runway currently in use, meteorological conditions and local traffic information of which they are aware, but the responsibility for the safe planning and execution of approach, landing and departure rests solely with the pilot; an unlicensed aerodrome may provide an Air/Ground Radio Service or no service at all: arriving and departing pilots may announce their intentions to other air traffic in the vicinity by means of blind radio calls on the "SafetyCom" channel, but this is not mandatory and, in any case, aircraft may operate "non-radio" in uncontrolled airspace. At the vast majority of aerodromes, therefore, the safe arrival of aircraft depends upon the discipline of "The Circuit". The Circuit basically provides a predictable flight pattern that allows the pilot of an arriving aircraft to familiarise themself with the landing area and safely to integrate their arrival with others. Joining the circuit is an essential element of airmanship and, at a busy, uncontrolled aerodrome, is perhaps one of the most essential. The majority of uncontrolled aerodromes therefore promulgate joining instructions, together with a circuit pattern that avoids noise-sensitive areas, in order to ensure safe and disciplined approaches and landings. The circuit also provides a pilot with the facility to maintain landing and takeoff skills by performing a few "touch and go" manoeuvres if necessary to satisfy currency requirements. At a training aerodrome, "flying circuits" may indeed constitute the majority of aircraft movements but, at a typical farm airstrip, circuit flying for its own sake is relatively uncommon: an experienced private pilot and aircraft owner is more likely to wish to fly off somewhere for lunch with family or friends than to fly repeatedly around Little Mongeham.
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If not a quiet airstrip, then ....
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
If not a quiet airstrip, then ....
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
quietflyer1907
Apr 28, 2021
I rather doubt it, Paul: last time I visited, the continuous drone of traffic, on (presumably, given the prevailing wind direction) the A256, was very noticeable. Other objectors have tried to give the impression that the area's perfect silence is disturbed only by the beating wings of the occasional raptor, which (of course) is total nonsense. Richard will eventually be successful in obtaining planning consent for a diversification project of one kind or another, despite the success of local opposition to earlier (arguably less controversial) applications. Of the various possibilities, I would suggest that a small, quiet airstrip might be the least intrusive. One thing that objectors seem to fail to understand is that a light aircraft (whatever its power plant) lands virtually noiselessly: perhaps they are misled by the reverse thrust employed by large passenger jets after touchdown in order to quickly vacate a busy runway. Another common misunderstanding is reference to "flight paths": the area lies within uncontrolled airspace, so pilots would not obliged to follow any designated flight paths. The exception would be the local "circuit", a flight pattern designed to allow arriving aircraft to coordinate their arrivals safely: this can, admittedly, present a nuisance problem at training aerodromes, where student pilots will fly repeated circuits in order to practice and perfect takeoff and landing skills, but a small, grass airstrip is far from the ideal training environment, and a planning constraint upon the number of aircraft movements would preclude repetitious circuit flying. Kent has numerous "farm strips", many of which are used solely by their owners and, perhaps, a few friends. A number of others welcome considerate visiting pilots by prior permission. Maypole was a little different, in that it provided additional facilities (notably customs clearance and fuel) which made it especially convenient for pilots wishing to nip across to France with the minimum of fuss; it was also extremely friendly! Rather than simply condemning the proposal out of hand, why not arrange a visit to one of the other Kent airstrips that welcomes visiting pilots? You won't find it populated by psychopaths intent on ruining neighbours' lives, just enthusiasts who realise that they have earned the privilege of viewing the world from a perspective that is available to all but is grasped only by relatively few. Who knows, you might even be offered an opportunity to share that privilege, if only briefly. You might even feel you want to join them!
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If not a quiet airstrip, then ....
In Say no to Mongeham airfield!
quietflyer1907
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