Day 3, Flight 3 – Campbeltown to Oban (Captain: Trevor)
Our route up to Oban puts our previous mountain scenery into stark contrast. The mountains are getting bigger. Strangely it seems, everything is getting bigger. The sky and the sea too. The view enroute to Oban is simply breath-taking, and as a low-hours PPL this was one of the highlights of my trip. The other thing we noticed heading up into Scotland is that the radio falls very quiet (read silent). There’s just no other traffic out there!
This makes it feel all the more special to be experiencing this flight and scenery almost to ourselves.
Our approach into Oban is far from what I am used to flying around the flatness of Essex! A right hand circuit and curved approach was needed from downwind over Ardmucknish Bay to the 19 threshold. There was, what appeared to be, high ground on the base leg which was best avoided, and at the other end of the runway, open water to greet us if I overshot the landing! Without question, Oban was the most challenging approach we had to make so far on our trip. Just as well the low hours PPL was in the hot seat – again!! Do these instructors engineer this on purpose? You be the judge! Anyway, as I made my first (after licenced hours) approach into Oban I was closely followed by the local air ambulance helicopter. Well I thought, if this doesn’t go well at least we won’t have a long wait for a ride to hospital! It didn’t go brilliantly. I was too high on the approach so elected to “Go Around” and complete another circuit. On the second attempt I slowed AK down on the downwind leg and got the flaps down sooner, and descended sooner, for a curved approach touching down in the first third of the runway. Much better!
We let ourselves out with the gate code provided and Steve from Ards House (our accommodation for the night) kindly collected us from the airfield.
Ards house is a fantastic location with a view across the waters edge. A short walk down to the Oyster Grill for a well-earned meal outside at over 20 Celsius in Scotland – with a sunset view. We sit out until after 23:00 it’s still light.
We would all recommend the Oyster Grill, the food and service were really good.
The weather report looks poor and our route to Stornoway & Wick across the top of Scotland is looking ever more impossible. Broken clouds at 0 feet on the METAR for Stornoway – even the locals are baffled as to why we would want to go!