Day 7, Flight 1 – Dundee to Durham Tees Valley (Captain: Trevor)
Simon oversleeps and we breakfast without him. He soon catches up with a quick bite to eat whilst Paul and I pack and arrange a taxi to the airport.
Routing out of Dundee we are handed quickly over to Leuchars for MATZ penetration, who then chew us out, assuming we hadn’t been passed over, due to the route we were taking! We obtain a basic service and fly one long leg round the coast via Edinburgh CTA to Durham.
We route to Kircaldy just so Simon can get to look at where he grew up from the air. Both Paul and I notice how Simons accent was becoming increasingly Scottish the closer he got to Kircaldy! Edinburgh radar are very accommodating and allow us to orbit at the edge of their zone, and then clear us across the water after their inbound traffic has passed us.
From North Berwick we route round to Holy Island, the Farne Island and Bamburgh Castle (another of my wish-list locations to fly across).
We transit through the Newcastle zone (who seem a bit grumpy) and are then handed over to Durham Tees Valley. A very long final into Durham presents me with my first ever opportunity to shoot an ILS approach for free – just to see how it works!
In Durham we receive excellent handling from Weston aviation. Fuel meets us at the aircraft and we are ferried to the George hotel for lunch. The hotel is completely deserted! We sent the front desk staff into a flat spin by Paul requesting anything gluten-free to eat for lunch.
A search party is dispatched in search of a potato and one is finally located and microwaved so we all can all eat and pass the time in the empty bar playing pool whilst the forecasted storms pass overhead! Outside the hotel we took a photo of the three of us with a very large bronze statue of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, a Canadian Lancaster bomber airman that was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for trying to help rescue a trapped crew member. Then it was back to the airfield.
The lady at Weston kindly ferried us to the local flying club to purchase some top up oil for AK and took us back to our aircraft. Great service, and all with a smile. Thanks Weston Aviation, what a contrast to Inverness!
Prior to our departure we watch Cobham Aviation scrambling, to be intercepted by RAF fast jets for target practice. We sat and watched what looked like dog-fighting in the skies above, and then we load up for our departure to Bomber County!