[jhb_airlines] Re: EGBJ

  • From: "bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 15:42:45 +0100

>I can see me going there regularly now I've been shown the ropes by a
more experienced pilot.


Do so - it's an experience you won't regret. Ireland is a land of stories
and almost every flight I made there generated a story of its own - there
was always something to tell folks when you got back.

I can also recommend Enniskillen, Abbeyshrule and even Shannon - not very
busy these days. Inishmore is good but it's short - but I believe it is now
tarmac and a bit longer than when I flew in.

Avoid Dublin - it's just too busy now and it would not be fun. Even as I
type I can see five aircraft in the stacks holding up to FL130 and that is
normal these days. The Dublin Zone is almost as bad as getting through
Manchester or Stansted zones and the VFR routes and restrictions spoil the
fun it used to be.

Once you clear the Dublin Zone the rest of Ireland is a delight and
restrictions almost non existent. I'd landed at Abbeyshrule one day en route
to Galway (the old airfield - the runway I used then is now the taxiway) and
had to park on the grass - in those days Abbeyshrule had no taxiways. As we
disembarked we watched as a Cub landed and taxied over and parked next to
us. The pilot came across as we were chatting to Sam, the airfield owner,
and after the usual pleasantries he asked where we were from and were we
were going. I told them we were heading west and then south, just seeing
what turned up. Sam suggested it was time for some lunch and we could
discuss the route over a drink and some food.

Now, Irish hospitality is immense and I have found out the hard way that you
refuse it at great peril. When Sam suggested lunch it wasn't so much a
casual invitation as a statement of fact. I'd intended to be on the ground
at Abbeyshrule for just 45 min and then straight off to Galway but that went
right out of the window as soon as Sam mentioned food. The golden rule when
flying in Ireland is that time does not exist. Don't go there with planned
itineraries and times and deadlines because any such plan WILL NOT HAPPEN.
Chill out, go with the flow and relax..

A few minutes later Sam was driving Eamon and us (I was with a young lady,
also a PPL and now flying with an airline somewhere) to the Rustic Inn in an
old Cortina Mk1 or maybe a Zephyr. The inn was pleasant and the food,
rustled up in a hurry as we were unexpected, was basic but very good indeed.
We sat, ate and chatted with both Sam and Eamon giving advice about were to
go and who to see to "sort things out". By this they meant someone who would
not only sort parking and fuel out but would provide transport, find
accommodation and somewhere to eat too. I was told to speak to John at
Galway "He's English but he is a fine man.", Catherine at Farranfore (now
Kerry) and other names now forgotten as time passes..

Eamon asked what height I would be flying to Galway at and I said about
2000ft. "2000ft?" he queried.. "You don't see the countryside from 2000ft. I
never fly above 500ft if I can help it."

Back at the airfield I paid a miniscule landing fee and nothing for lunch. I
tried but you learn not to push things too far after the first refusal.
Eamon fiddled with the Cub and got ready to go off to Birr or Powerscourt or
somewhere equally obscure. He was blocking me so I would have to wait for
him to go first - but used the time to scrub out my straight line on the map
and draw a rather wiggly one following the route they had suggested.

Eamon came over to say goodbye and handed me a card. "If you have any
problems just give me a call." he said. I thanked him and a few minutes
later he was airborne and gone. Thanking Sam once again we jumped in and
fired up and were soon airborne. I didn't fly at 500ft to Galway but went up
to a more reasonable 800ft - and Eamon was right, it was delightful flying
at that level.

As we settled down into the flight Julie asked who Eamon was. I'd just
pocketed the card so I fished it out and looked at it..

Eamon Power
Director of Civil Aviation

I still have that card in my log book.. <g>


PS There are now 13 aircraft in the Dublin stacks..

Other related posts: