Monday, 06 April 2009 20:27 Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2012 09:48
7 FlexWing Microlights Fly From Barton to Caernarfon Via Shobdon
Arriving at City Airport Manchester (AKA Barton) at 7:00am! on Sunday morning, the 6 P&M Quiks and 1 P&M Blade microlights were prepared for our epic journey to Caernarfon via Shobdon. Mark gave the flight briefing at 8:00am and advised everyone of the terrible news of two people being killed in a microlight accident at Shobdon yesterday (Saturday 4th April). As this was the case we were unsure whether the airfield would be open or not, which meant the need for a telephone call to double check before departing. Everyone ready, we made our get away from Barton fairly promptly at around 9:00am.
John B in the Blade took off 10 minutes ahead to give him and his wife a head start. The rest of us took off and the formation joined together just before entering the Manchester Low Level Corridor. Routing corner to corner through the corridor we then took a straight route South to Shobdon. We caught John B up about half way down the Low Level Corridor before heading on South. The weather was fantastic and what you would expect of a fresh morning with little in the way of wind and no thermals at that time. As we entered our approach to Shobdon they informed us of a left base join which was not what we had anticipated, but Mark lead us in and we all landed safely and accounted for, John B arriving around 10 minutes after everyone else - which was not bad at all!
We fueled up and booked in, paid our dues and went for breakfast. Suitably fulfilled we prepared for the 2nd leg to the Welsh Coast. John B again got a 10 minute or so head start. We struggled keeping formation on this leg as some were held up at the hold for a few minutes. We finally got off and headed North West towards a big blackish hill with tower, where Mark and Tim were orbiting like Buzzards, waiting for the rest of us. Finally together we pushed on to the coast and finally caught John up just before we hit the coastline at Aberdovey Bar. Following Mark up the coast we got some great views and lowish level flying along the beach. John B seemed to be really enjoying the low level stuff at about 800ft at the waters edge, before heading on towards the disused RAF base at Llanbedr with Mark pointing out some nudists!
We finally got to Caernarfon around lunch time and headed for the restaurant, which was jammed. It took us about half an hour to get served, most settling for a sandwich and cuppa. Half an hour respite and we went to refuel, before setting off back to Barton. Heading up the coast past Colwyn Bay and a quick look at Conway Castle we headed off towards Liverpool. Mark expected a need to climb up to 3000ft over the River Dee as the tide was in. So a quick call to Liverpool got us permission to transit through Liverpool airspace at 3000ft. Heading over towards Birkenhead and over to Maghull, then Rainford and then home turf back in to Barton on Two-Zero. we were all down for around 5:15, packed up and off just before 6:00pm
Below are the photos taken during the day. Video footage will follow. Thanks to Mark for a fantastic day had by all.
The video of the microlight flying expedition can be seen in our video section - Check out Steve Jones' videography!
Photography by Manchester Photographer Darren Bardsley