Fabulous Farnborough and Sunny Seething
Following on from AeroExpo, we paid a visit to Farnborough Air Show. I remember, as a child, going there for the first time and saw Concord up close. Every time I have been there since there has always been that buzz of excitement waiting for a favourite plane to display. Now that the Vulcan has sadly gone, it’s the roar of the Typhoon engines that really makes me smile.
Visiting on the Sunday, we had some spectacular shows where the organisers were using up some left over pyrotechnics. The heat of the blasts during the Apache display was something else.
It was a pity that the Red Arrows didn’t display, I can’t understand why as the enormous A380 happily played up in the skies with steep turns at low altitudes, however we did get a fly past. Sitting back in the sun and watching planes was the perfect way to spend a summer’s day.
Over the course of the next week my buddy started to learn aerobatics so it was with some trepidation that I went flying with him the next week in case he tried out something in our Warrior!
We are filling up the map and new airports are becoming harder to find.
However, I read about Seething Airfield being a friendly place to visit so we set off towards East Anglia.
A report from an aircraft turning back from the south coast due to very low cloud led us to check the weather quickly. The TAFs and METARs had predicted 2500ft and it seemed alright along the North Downs. We hoped it was a coastal ‘blip’, and carried on.
The skies were quiet until we contacted Southend Radar whereupon it was very busy. I was keeping a good lookout for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight that was meant to be criss crossing in front of us but unfortunately we didn’t see it. Visibility turned out to be the best we have had for some time and as we passed over the flat expanse of Essex and Sussex it was easier to look towards the coast to get my bearings.
I had to do a bit of a detour to get around the published NOTAM for the BBMF but after minimal searching I spotted the airfield.
Seething was indeed a very friendly place to visit. Chatting to some of the members they explained that they own and run the airfield themselves. We were offered coffee and had bought sandwiches as there wasn’t a cafe, however, while we sat in the sun they tried to tempt us with ice creams and chocolate cake. It was a great club atmosphere and we wished it was closer to home. One member gave us a little show of ‘almost aeros’ in his Mooney and I wished that there was a chance to play like that at home. Heathrow would not be happy.
The only downside was the number of Thrips (tiny little black insects that came from the surrounding wheat fields) I was wearing white and seemed to attract them. They didn’t cause any problems until I put on my headset to fly home and felt one wriggling about in my ear. Very disconcerting.
On the way back I relaxed and admired the view until we got to the QE2 bridge where we had 2 converging aircraft and a random glider below us all arriving at the same place at the same time. The trouble with an easy to spot VRP!
All in all a very gentle flight to a laid back part of the country.