Day 8, Flight 1 – Wickenby to Beccles (Captain: Simon)
Breakfast was unremarkable but perfectly adequate. Taxi to Wickenby and the taxi driver starts talking about being ex RAF – in comms at RAF Digby – so something in common with Paul in satellite communications! The two of them talk a foreign language on the way to the airfield!
We try to obtain clearance from Waddington LARS to fly around Lincoln cathedral on departure, but we’re asked to keep to the south only, so we decide instead to route direct to the coast.
Enroute towards the wash with a basic service, we’re informed of a NOTAM regarding a purple corridor for the royals, so we are kept north of this by staying just off-shore. We spot a huge house which we all think is Sandringham, We couldn’t be sure though as it’s not a feature on the aviation chart. Having since checked the internet, it definitely was Sandringham. Just as well we didn’t buzz it for a closer look! We might have been shot down!
Norwich provides a basic service and we route across the north coast of Norfolk, Cromer, Holt, Sheringham etc… Lots of bird sanctuaries and holiday parks along the way!
We contact Beccles about 10 miles out, and they are soon to be dropping parachutists, so our arrival was well timed. I watch the Cessna caravan with the parachutists on board depart. It needs almost all of the short half grass, half hard runway!
We have a quick chat with the guys in the club, mostly about our adventure and the fact that Beccles was the last stop on our trip. Richard very kindly offers us a lift into town in his Jaguar. He also recommends a great spot for lunch, The Waverley hotel overlooking the river. He goes completely out of his way and kindly offers to collect us after lunch when we are ready to depart on our final leg. What an absolute star and gentleman.
We have lunch, explore the town, drink more coffee, eat more cake and polish off an ice-cream. All of our waist-lines were suffering! Mass and balance would have been suffering as well had we not disposed of piles of printed plates and textual data for all destination airfields and alternates along the way. That was Kg’s of paperwork discarded!
Richard collects us and drives us back to Beccles airfield where we are the only aircraft listed on the arrivals board for the whole day. Such a shame that a great little airfield like this, with such welcoming people can be so quiet! So come on GA community, visit Beccles. It’s great! We snatch a quick photo with Richard and dodge the resident airfield chickens and cockerel before loading up for the last time and departing.
How many airfields have chickens?