Fishburn News 2016

Fishburn News 23 December 2016 David Thompson

With the full force of Storm Barbara thankfully giving the north east a miss I had a choice of a Frenzied Friday in the shops or Black Eyed Friday in the pub but instead chose a much more sedate Christmas Eve Eve up at Fishburn with a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit or two in the clubhouse ! 

Understandably things were quiet , very quiet and all through the airfield not one aeroplane  was stirring , not even a Groppo Trail with a newly repaired radio ! The Fishburn based Trail G-CHGM was the first of it’s type in the north east but has now been joined by Baxby based G-CIMV which made it’s maiden flight on the 7 October . The equally rare and as yet unregistered Glasair Sportsman continues it’s rapid progress towards a 2017 maiden flight as does the off-site RV-9 G-CIPL . From rare to unique and the recently arrived Voltair 86 G-CHTX of designer , builder and owner David Skill which has been looking for a new and worthwhile home and I’m pleased to say that thanks to these Fishburn reports the Voltair will be moving on again in the New Year . Details to follow…….

The Fishburn Aviation Heritage Centre is looking for a New Year kick-start and featured in the Northern Echo with an appeal for both new members and help with raising funds or donations , particularly the latter . Offers of any kind are welcomed by the chairman Mike Eastman who can be contacted at ; mike@firefly53.freeserve.co.uk .

Elsewhere Cessna 150 G-AWUN has moved under cover for maintenance whilst the GA Livery team have been busy putting the final touches to the new PTT Aviation C152 formerly known as G-BJVT which as of yesterday became G-PTTA , and very smart it looks too . Also with GAL is the recently arrived Carlisle based RV-9A G-CGXR which is in for a re-spray .

Fishburn News 14 December 2016 David Thompson

With Christmas fast approaching and a local rugby club ‘do’ in the clubhouse approaching even faster, Santa’s not so little helpers were laying hardcore in the car park around the new and very smart paved entrance while the tinsel and lights went up inside !

The recent damp and wet weather has restricted both residents and visitors in taking to the air and condensation problems inside the hangars are a cause of concern for possible water ingress problems to electrical circuits and engines with some owners buying cockpit or hangar heaters to try and alleviate the problem . The rarely seen PA-28 G-RISA was undergoing her annual inspection whilst also notching up her half century since rolling off the production line in 1966 . In her previous life she was G-ATZK and I seem to remember Bagby based for a short while too ?

The GA Livery team are still busy with ‘VT and also hope to have an RV in before Christmas too , weather permitting !

Fishburn News 2 December 2016 David Thompson

With the second window of my advent calendar barely open I was back at Fishburn to see the recently arrived Voltair 86 G-CHTX which , as seems to be the trait at the moment , has made the short hop south from Eshott . The word hop is quite appropriate as I first saw this unique battery powered aircraft at the GNFI at Eshott in 2013 and although it’s owner , designer and builder David Skill has spent many , many hours on it’s development it has yet to have a sustained flight and only hops and ground runs at present . It is superbly built , has under-gone many changes in its short life and is a huge credit to Davids tenacity with the design , including a change of battery pack , but its elusive first flight is still yet to take place !

Staying well under the radar during recent weeks has been the change of ownership of the Hangar 9 paint spraying and aircraft rejuvenation company which is now owned and operated by ‘JJ’ under the new title of General Aviation Livery Limited . Having now put down roots in the local area South African JJ , he tells me that JJ is much simpler to say than the full Afrikaans version ! , has already completed the delivery of PA-28 G-WOLF and now has C152 G-BJVT in for a complete re-spray into the PTT Aviation corporate colours and is hopeful that more of the fleet will come here too to follow ‘VT and the owners Aerobat G-KOVU . Here’s hoping ! There are still some changes to be made to his Facebook account which should happen shortly but in the meantime it can be found here ; 

https://www.facebook.com/RS-Paintworks-742929239077575/ .

Fishburn News 23 November 2016 David Thompson

A bright and sunny but bitterly cold day found plenty of activity going on around the airfield and a visitor too although it’s only tea and coffee in the clubhouse at the moment but Beryl hopes that normal service , bacon butties et al will resume in the new year !

The gap in the front row of hangars has now been filled with the completion of the new Hangar 4 for Peter Harle whose Ikarus is now resident in there and sporting some very fetching ‘hare’ logos after it’s move south from Eshott and it should soon be joined by his new Tecnam P2008 G-HRLE . Also new is former resident G-CDLS which recently flew across the Pennines from Kirkbride and will take the place of it’s smaller sibling G-CCVN which is being prepared for sale .

Whilst the last few months have been somewhat turbulent the airfield has continued to operate , residents aircraft have flown when time and the weather allows although visitor numbers have been low but one positive aspect has been the steady influx of new resident aircraft and another area of encouragement are the on-going self-build projects of which there are at least six in various stages of construction . I was fortunate enough to have a recent look in the Fishburn equivalent of Area 51 and the long term rebuild of the Jurca MJ-77 Mustang which has been here under a slow and painstaking rebuilding programme over the last few years . I saw it in a dismantled state when it first arrived , I’m pretty sure it was an ebay purchase ? , but now almost complete it looks very impressive and must be on course to fly next year ? Let’s hope that these positives in the clubhouse and in the hangars carry on into the new year and bode well for 2017 . 

https://www.facebook.com/fishburnair/

 

Fishburn News 20 November 2016 David Thompson

Remembrance Day , the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month , is a significant anniversary in the lives of the peoples of  Britain , the Commonwealth and the countries of the  Allied Forces of the Second World War . This year the date coincided with the Morgan family taking back operational control of Fishburn Airfield , an airfield established in 1990 by the late John Morgan and his wife Beryl were they and a close group of friends could gather together to keep and fly their aircraft from a small grass strip to the west of the village from where the airfield takes its name . The original clubhouse finally succumbed to old age and much wear and tear in May 2015 and it was in there that Beryl served her legendery bacon butty for the last time to Andreas , the owner of then resident PA-28 D-ECIM and whose surname I never knew ! It is hoped that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible and that the bacon butties will once again return to the menu ! A new Fishburn Airfield Facebook page has been created and can be found at ; https://www.facebook.com/fishburnair/ .

 Meanwhile out on the airfield , resident TB10 G-BGXD which arrived from Teesside on the

24 June , departed to new owners at Blackpool on the 25 October with Glastar G-CBAR acting as the crew ferry . Not wanting to be grounded for too long following the recent departure of Bulldog G-JWCM to Eshott it’s former owner has purchased Groppo Trail G-CHGM from Lancashire whilst his Vans RV-9 G-CIPL has moved off site to continue its construction elsewhere . Another off-site move is that of PA-28R G-BBMK which has been reported both as being seen road running south on the A1 in late October or as having moved north to Eshott ? Confirmation of  it’s present location would be appreciated although it must be fuselage only at present as both of its wings remain stored at Fishburn !

 A busy start to November saw Cherokee G-WOLF fly out whilst G-BJVT arrived from Teesside were she had stood tied down and engineless outside of Hangar 3 for several weeks earlier this year . Another new resident arrived in the shape of Emeraude G-AYTR which has made the short journey north from Bagby .

Fishburn News 20 October 2016 David Thompson

The month started well with several visitors calling in after visiting the Northern Aviators fly-in at Hexham on the 2 October which had received a good turnout itself with around 20 or so aircraft making the journey to the ‘challenging’ grass strip to the south of the town . Two Fishburn residents had also made the journey and it was nice to see several aircraft parked out around Café 26 in the late afternoon sunshine . The Bagby based Zodiac had been up as far as the Firth Of Forth on what had been a superb autumn flying day .

The Aircraft Restoration Group have swapped their aircraft over with the Dove being moved to take up gate-guard duty next to Café 26 while the Venom has gone into the back field for the winter and covered with a tarpaulin in the hope of getting some protection from any bad weather . Their EoN Primary has moved into Hangar 1 were it is receiving some TLC from John Burns who has also taken delivery of a new Minimax in G-MYYS which arrived last month from North Moor near Scunthorpe . His Sluka G-MZOI has gone to a new owner in Ireland whose ferrying aircraft arrived from Ireland via Kirkbride , Prudhoe and Chester-le-Street . Don’t ask ! Resident Bulldog G-JWCM has also departed for pastures new , moving up the coast to a new home at Eshott and will be replaced by the yet to arrive Groppo Trail G-CHGM . Another more sadder arrival were the mortal remains of Chipmunk WP859/G-BCXP which were roaded up from Bagby on the 17 October following it’s mis-hap there earlier in the month .

A slight correction to the new GlaStar under construction in that it is actually a Glasair Sportsman and as yet unregistered while the RV-9A under construction , G-RVSK is a retirement project of an RV for it’s owner Sandy Kenworthy ! A new hangar is also under construction on the front row to replace Peter Metcalfe’s original ‘container’ hangar which latterly Paul Gabriele used to house his Pitts S-1S G-BKKZ . It is being built for Peter Harle for his recently registered Tecnam P208 G-HRLE which may well replace his Eshott based Ikarus C42 G-HARL ? A Zenith CH701 may also be inbound soon too ?

Fishburn News 28 September  2016 David Thompson

After a busy summer for myself with very few chances of getting to Fishburn I made a couple of pre-autumn visits to catch up with things aviation and found the airfield to be swan like with not much activity on the surface but plenty going on out of sight !

Team RS have almost completed the transformation of G-FMSG into G-KOVU whose registration and lion cub logo should give a clue as to it’s local owner were it will fly alongside G-NALA and ZAZU in the PTT fleet . Taking it’s place in the spray shop is the Elstree based Cherokee G-WOLF which arrived via Nottingham on the 4 September and is already stripped down and primed . The recently acquired Ikarus C42 G-CFIT is currently based at Eshott with Purple Aviation as is their Taylor Monoplane G-BDNC which is dismantled and being prepared for it’s permit renewal . 

The Teesside based Cherokee G-AVWL arrived for maintenance from Teesside on the 25 June and is in open store alongside the ARG Dove which is now complete and looking very smart in it’s full German national markings .

Sadly resident Chipmunk WP859/G-BXCP came to grief at Bagby when she struck a hangar after control was lost during a landing roll whilst airborne for an air-test as part of it’s permit renewal and appears to be a write-off . A great shame as it’s owner had first flown in a  Chipmunk as an air cadet and Charlie Papa was his first aircraft . On a positive note there are two on-going GlaStar projects at Fishburn as well as two Vans projects and after a very poor previous 12 months weather-wise it is hoped that all four will make progress towards completion and flying in 2017 ? Hopefully !

Fishburn News 31 July  2016 David Thompson

A mid-summer catch-up for me and the chance to write up on a couple of new residents and the departure of another with Vans RV-7A G-ELVN moving north to Eshott but still maintaining a link , if a little tenuous with Fishburn . Following the announcement in June of the RS Aviation take-over of both Purple Aviation at Eshott and the lease of that airfield RS formed a new company North East Aviation Limited to oversee this operation and expand the microlight flying training which saw the arrival of their first Fishburn based aircraft in Ikarus C42 G-CFIT which flew in from Old Sarum on the 6 July , Cherokee G-AYKW being the ferrying aircraft . The RS fleet has also been expanded with the recent purchase of Taylor Monoplane G-BDNC from it’s previous owner at Church Fenton , sorry Leeds East Airport , and which flew into Stanton on the 30 July but will eventually move to Eshott were it will team up with their other Taylor Monoplane G-BDAD in the new hangar there and of which there are great plans for the future…!

The latest arrival for RS Paintworks is a much travelled Cessna FA150K Aerobat G-FMSG , previously both G-POTS and originally G-AYUY which arrived on the 27 July . The Aerobat has already been stripped down and primed ready for it’s new top coat of a ‘bluer than blue blue’ before it takes up it’s new identity of G-KOVU which may well give a clue to it’s new owner and eventual base ? Also still in Hangar 9 is the dismantled FHAC EoN Primary and making a fleeting visit for some primer work and seen by me on the 1 July was resident Vans RV-9A G-RVSK . Originally registered in March 2014 this long term project is finally gaining momentum but is rarely seen outside of it’s hangar and on this occasion was having some internal primer applied before the owner completes some more work and it disappears back into it’s hangar again ! With the departure of ‘VN to Eshott and Christen Eagle N75CE back at LBA for some maintenance Hangar 8 is almost empty at the moment although it was busy last Wednesday evening as one of it’s resident owners hosted a visit by the Teesside and Crook Model Flying Clubs who brought along an impressive collection of their members aircraft .

The Fishburn Historic Aviation Centre Venom J-1790 is now complete and on gate-guard duty next to Café 26 resplendent back in it’s Swiss Air Force markings whilst Dove D-IFSB stands in the back field also sporting a fresh coat of paint and is now complete except for it’s rudder . The back row of new hangars are all complete and occupied now and the museum are just waiting on funds and manpower to start putting their hangars up to get their aircraft under cover before the winter weather arrives and undoes all the recent hard work .

RS Aviation "Press release" 30 June 2016

"We’re extremely excited to announce the acquisition of the former RAF Eshott Airfield and the purchase of Purple Aviation Limited - one of the UK’s leading microlight flight schools. 

We are very enthusiastic about the future potential of Eshott Airfield.  With our drive and passion to protect and improve the site we will be looking to draw on the heritage of the former RAF base with future projects.

Storm Smith has developed the airfield and flight school over the years and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to build on his success.  

We will continue to further the energy of Purple Aviation at Eshott Airfield, whilst extending the operation to our second base at Fishburn Airfield. To cope with a second base of operations, we have purchased a third Ikarus C42 aircraft to expand Purple Aviations existing fleet. 

Fishburn Airfield has been inundated over the past year with locals wishing to fly in this beautiful part of the country. Many people have dreamt of learning to fly, and will have believed it to be beyond their reach. Purple Aviation and its highly experienced team of friendly instructors will now be conducting trial lessons and pilot courses from the airfield at affordable prices." 

Fishburn News 29 June 2016 David Thompson

With the Wings & Wheels day just over a week away the tension in the RS air was palpable with conversations covering everything from the amount of burgers and food needed on the day to the possible need for a three phase generator bearing in mind the frequent power cuts at last years fly-in ! Things are further complicated as after something of a lull and disappearing off the radar so as to speak , the wind turbine issue is back with an amendment being submitted to DCC on the 16 June for one turbine ‘on the hill’ up behind the farm off Harap Road . The application and all of the associated paperwork can be found on-line here ; https://publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application with the application number being ; 7/2011/0293/DM .

Team RS have also been busy giving the fuel bowser a lick of regulation bright yellow paint , the door of Hangar 1 is getting a make-over too and a new windsock flies close by with another windsock promised for the 26 end as well . Well done Andrew and Sam !

Whist thing on the ground are slow to take off thankfully the aerial side of things is going well with the Harvard flights for Saturday now fully booked and a list has been opened for Sunday and that is filling up quickly too , helicopter flights will be available in R44 Clipper II G-RWEW and possibly another chopper too ? , Purple Aviation are bringing two microlights down from Eshott for trial flights , Jet Provost T3 XN637 will display as planned as will Wacky Wabbit plus all the hoped for flying arrivals and the ‘Wheels’ too should all make for a great day .

 Team ARG led by Mike have been busy too and thanks to RS the Venom was able to spend some time in the spray shop and has been restored to her former Swiss Air Force glory and should be complete with new Swiss national markings and serial number on the day . Also hiding in the spray shop is their recently acquired EoN Primary which although has no positive identity the framework markings indicate that it was built in 1946 . So even older than Mike then ! Repainting the Dove has also begun but has to be done outside as it will not fit in the spray shop , the Venom had to be ‘modified’ to do so , and whilst internally complete with its German radar calibration gear still in-situ new seat covers are needed if anyone has any tucked away ? Both the Dove and Venom will be available for viewing next to the flight line where Hangar 4 once stood and if there is a large donations bucket there please give what you can because there is still a lot of work to be done to get the museum hangars up and the aircraft under cover .

Residents wise Glastar ‘AR has had some engine work done and was up test flying on the 24th as Bede BD-4 G-BOPD arrived from Yearby , itself test flying a recent mod to its ignition system . The Jurca Spitfire was being worked on and it’s hoped that it will be flying before the summer is out once the final LAA paperwork is received . It ground ran at last years fly-in and I expect the same to happen again this year and very impressive it was too . On a sad note , I’m told that long-time Fishburn resident Bill Blakemore is poorly with ill health . A lot of local pilots will have trained with Bill who was a QFI at Teesside for many years and have him to thank for their wings . We wish him well .    

Tickets for the Wings & Wheels Day will be available on the day but be warned , they are few in number and when they’ve gone , they’ve gone . You have been warned !

Fishburn News 25 May 2016 David Thompson

A very quiet day and not even the weather was to blame . Well , indirectly it was as Team RS were down at Duxford doing some work on Wacky Wabbit which had been damaged in the high winds of Storm Katie on the 28 March . She was one of two Duxford based Harvard’s which were damaged in the high winds and fortunately she only suffered superficial damage including damage to the port elevator which was brought back to Fishburn for repair . You can keep up to date with Wacky Wabbit via its Facebook page but make sure you search for ‘AJ841 Wacky Wabbit’ or you’ll end up looking at a six foot tall white rabbit – no alcohol required !

The days notable visitor , actually only visitor , was the Fadmoor based PA-24 Comanche N218SA which was en-route to Mount Airey , South Cave , airfield after a two day trip up to Scotland . Setting off from Mount Airey yesterday ‘SA flew up to Perth and then back to Glasgow for an overnight stop before heading for home again via Café 26 at Fishburn !

The ARG Venom is now sporting an engine nacelle even if not an engine itself plus a few more panels and wing stores points too and the museum received a huge boost with the DCC building control inspector approving the hangar groundworks which means that the concrete footing for the hangar can go in soon . Parts of the Robin hangar from London Colney have also arrived and now that the Dove has been stripped of all its dayglow bands it is being prepared for painting and as ever , volunteers are more than welcome !

Fishburn News 4 May 2016 David Thompson

I am starting this report with an important notice regarding access by aviation enthusiasts , spotters and/or photographers , who visit Fishburn Airfield . Due to an increase in the number of visiting aviation enthusiasts the airfield operators will be introducing an airfield pass scheme were the visitor must read and acknowledge a set of air-side rules and safety guidelines before a pass is issued . Failure to comply with this request will result in access being refused .

Unfortunately people have been ignoring the ‘no public access’ signs which have been erected on the fence gates near Café 26 as well as the access roads . Please , if as an aviation enthusiast you wish to go air-side , obey the signs and request access at the office within Café 26 . I’ve never known anyone being refused access to date but there is always a first time ! Thank you .

And now onto things aviation with the RS hangar empty while ‘OH soaks up the sunshine outside while its paint remover dries and the Cherokee Six is complete and ready to depart . Taking advantage of these two unusual occurrences happening together , sun shining and an empty hangar , Rich uses the opportunity to cut the grass and tidy the site up . The new King Air simulator goes live next week , from Monday 9 May and is bookable via the website at ;
http://www.fishburnairfield.com/ or via the RS Aviation Facebook page . Likewise the ARG team have been busy with the Venom and she now stands , well almost , on her undercarriage with the booms and wings now attached to the fuselage pod .

Quite a few of the resident aircraft are on pre-annual or annual checks with the Irish RV due to return home in the near future to gets its paperwork signed off . The hoped for Tiger Moth
G-APFU failed to appear and looks likely not to do so although as mentioned previously
Ikarus C42 G-HARL is destined to arrive here and Skyranger 912 G-CIUI is still awaiting its final LAA paperwork before it can fly but as ever , Eric Bentley has done a superb build with ‘UI and includes some nice ‘fixtures and fittings’ ! Former resident Autogyro G-CFAG was re-registered in March as G-UIRO and now resides in the Wirral.

Fishburn News 27 April 2016 David Thompson

This was my first visit in over month and apart from an Indian Summer last week nothing appears to have changed in relation to the weather – it’s rained and is raining . In fact it’s hail-stoning !

The RS team continue to make hay while the sun doesn’t shine and the Sherburn Aero Club Robin G-BWZG returned home on the 14 April , swapping the same day with one of their Cherokee fleet ‘OH which is now in the spray shop . The Cherokee Six is now stood outside of Hangar 9 awaiting new internal trim and fittings and is due to depart next week and will be replaced by an as yet unknown Cessna 182 . The front row hangar skyline changed forever recently when Hangar 3 , the Skyshaw Aerobatics nissen type hangar , was removed and will be replaced by a new build to house future resident Ikarus C42 G-HARL which is presently based at Eshott . The Skyshaw hangar was previously home to Peter Metcalfes Pitts S-1D G-BETI , now flying as G-PIII and so was ideal for Paul Gabriele Pitts S-1S G-BKKZ which moved out from Fishburn last year . Some people may also well remember Paul’s previous mount and also resident , Sukhoi SU-29 HA-HUO which flew from here around six years ago and which sported a red and black fuselage with a white tail ? Mentioning hangars , the four new ones on the back row are now sheeted and the concrete floors are due to be poured soon . Weather dependent !

Plans are well advanced for the Wings & Wheels day on Saturday 2 July , an unfortunate clash of dates with the Great Yorkshire Airfest at Leeds East Airport , and tickets are available from the RS Facebook page , by visiting Café 26 or from the website at ; http://www.fishburnairfield.com/read-me/ with a new totally re-vamped website due to go live soon . The Harvard flights are a bargain at £260 for a 20 minute flight , so I’m told ! , and are selling out fast with twelve slots already sold and the newly completed King Air simulator will also be available to fly and is being test flown this coming week by its manufacturers . To get some pre-Wings & Wheels practice the airfield will be hosting the Northern Meet of the Vintage Piper Aircraft Club on Saturday 14 May . No further details are known at present but it promises to be an excellent day .

The Aircraft Restoration Group have recently started to rebuild their Venom with the wings and tail booms reattached to the pod  thanks to a growing band of volunteers and a very handy telehandler and its driver Dave Morgan ! Since the first sod was cut back in January foundations for the first hangar have begun thanks to Thompsons of Prudhoe and as well as the already acquired Romney huts a very rare Robin hangar is due to arrive soon having been donated by the De Havilland Aircraft Museum .

Fishburn Historic Aviation Centre update David Thompson April 16th

A model of the proposed aviation centre is now on display in Café 26 has been put together by Mike Eastman of the Aircraft Restoration Group who will oversee both the project and day to day running of the centre . No stranger to the UK aircraft restoration scene Mike first came to local prominence in 2007 after he built a full scale replica Spitfire MkV , W3850/ PR-A Irene for the Ripon Branch of the Royal British Legion and which appeared at many local and national events as a means of fund-raising for the ‘Legion through ‘cockpit photo’ opportunities and corporate hire . Thanks to his local contacts Mike even secured some local sponsorship and arranged for the Spitfire to be hangered at by 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming between events ;
http://www.corporatedrivermanagement.co.uk/spitfire_support.php . When the Spitfire was controversially put up for sale by the RBL Executive in November 2009 , Mike spread his wings and established a small workshop near Topcliffe and took on other similar projects including rebuilding the Loch Doon Spitfire , P7540 for the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum . A new acquisition is an EoN Primary glider from the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum at Flixton near Bungay in Suffolk which is believed to be BGA1461/CDN ? Photo here ; http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1349968/

Phase 1 of the project is the building of the workshop and stores which already has planning permission in place as well as 90% of the required funding thanks to the County Durham Community Foundation and the British Aircraft Preservation Group . The ceremonial cutting of the first sod took place on the 8 January and groundworks for the hangar base are due to start shortly but just like the residents flying and the construction of the back field hangars these have been seriously affected by the rain and poor weather over the last few weeks , actually months !

Phases 2 and 3 will see the building of a main and secondary display hangars to accommodate the ARG aircraft collection and enable the group to get the Venom undercover . The hangars have already been acquired but funding still needs to be found for their construction and Mike is actively seeking volunteers of all ages and experiences to help the aviation centre to take-off . Commercial sponsors and donations are also very welcome with local company Thompsons of Prudhoe already involved and ready to start on Phase 1 as soon as the weather improves . The North East Land Sea and Air Museum at Usworth have donated a hangar and a larger and rare ‘Robin’ hangar has been dismantled at the De Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall near London , and will be transported up to Fishburn as time , funds and the weather allow . The Robin is believed to have originally been built at Hatfield and used in Mosquito production before being moved to the museum .

Work days are on a Tuesday , Wednesday and Saturday , 10 ‘till 4 and anyone interested in joining the centre as a volunteer or sponsor is asked to contact Mike Eastman directly on ; 07803-809883 or email ; mikeATfirefly53.freeserve.co.uk replacing AT with @ . Unfortunately Mike has recently undergone heart surgery at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and is recuperating at home and well on the way to a full recovery . We wish him well and a speedy return to Fishburn were his skills and expertise and needed !

Photograph captions
A diorama of the historic aviation centre on display in Café 26 at Fishburn .

Spitfire V W3850/BAPC304/PR-A Irene at the RAF Leeming Families Day , 12 September 2009 . The PR-A codes denote 609 (West Riding) Squadron AuxAF which was formed at Yeadon in 1936 and since 1999 have been based at Leeming as an Air Defence Support Squadron .

Fishburn News 16 March 2016 David Thompson

My last opportunity for a visit prior to the Easter holiday and a nice break in a hopefully sunny and warm south of Spain . It was while Fishburn suffered the usual wind , rain and even snow as Storm Katie blew through the UK ! Since then the taxy-way at the end of the middle row of hangars has been rolled to allow easier access to the runway and may well require more permanent work when the back-back field hangars are built .

The RV-7A (G-ELVN) is now half way through her LAA certification test flying and was up again today for a short flight off to the north which was curtailed due to the low cloud and so is still two hours short of the required five .

In the RS hangar the Robin (G-BWZG)  is being stripped down and is minus several panels while being prepared for a respray from its current mainly green and white colour scheme into the more familiar Sherburn Aero Club colours . The Cherokee Six (N370WC) has been primed and is in the process of being masked-up prior to a top coat being applied .

Fishburn News 10 March 2016 David Thompson

This seems to be something of a recurring theme of late but it poured down yesterday and night and the troops are now very , very restless and want to fly . If only ! Any outstanding maintenance work has been done , aircraft polished and hangar floors have been swept clean all in anticipation of some good flying weather although some managed to get airborne last Sunday , Mothers Day including Europa G-CDEX and Bulldog G-JWCM which flies at every opportunity .

Work continues both inside and out on the Dove whilst in the overlooking Café 26 window there is a potted history of the aeroplane and a collection tin for any spare change you may have , fivers and tenners would be appreciated too ! The Venom remains in open store behind the RS hangar whilst inside work on the Cherokee Six N370WC which arrived on the 3rd is well underway . The Beverley based 172 G-BTMR returned home on the 7th with G-AWOT doing the ferrying which also saw it call into Sherburn to bring the Robin back to Fishburn .

Although not yet seen by me , confirmation that Skyranger 912 G-CIUI is a recent new resident here and a reminder that Tiger Moth G-APFU will arrive to become a
resident on the 25th

Fishburn News 3 March 2016 David Thompson

Quite a lot of activity today but sadly very little of it was in the air ! With the ground now much firmer work has re-started on the four new hangars in the back field with the sheeting on one now almost complete .

Down in Hangar 9 the Beverley based 172 is due to depart for home very soon but as it needs to call in at Bagby to be weighed its departure may be delayed due to the state of the runway there . It would be a shame to splatter all that new paintwork with mud ! Coming the other way however was Cherokee Six N370WC which did arrive with its spats full of mud and was promptly hosed down before RS start work on it . One of the ever expanding Flying Fox Aviation fleet , ‘WC arrived from Ireland last summer were it spent a lot of its time at Newcastle , that’s EINC and not EGNT . It flew up from Bagby in 9 minutes although I suspect the returning crew ferry flight in G-AWOT took a bit longer ! Sharing the hangar with ‘WC will be the sole Sherburn Aero Club Robin , G-BWZG which is due to arrive on the 7 March and will be getting a make-over into the SAC corporate colour-scheme to match the rest of their fleet .

Tickets for Wings & Wheels 2016 on the 2 July are now on sale and RS are asking for people to buy their tickets on line or if not then via Café 26 as there is no guarantee of tickets being available on the day . Link here ; http://www.fishburnairfield.com/event-tickets/ . The Tiger Moth shown on that page , G-APFU , is due to fly into Fishburn on Good Friday , 25 March to take up residency here and the RV-6A EI-EWY which arrived on the 10th February is also confirmed as a new resident .

Fishburn News 23 February 2016 David Thompson

A nice Spring day ideal for flying but only one visitor am and a local flight pm were all the airfield had to show for it before the wind picked up from the north and the cloud closed in to stop any further activity . That and also perhaps that Café 26 is also closed on a Tuesday ! The runway remains open and is slowly drying out although still rutted in places and the grass continues to grow unchecked , impossible to cut without causing more damage to the ground .

The RS team have been busy finalizing the details for the Wings & Wheels Day on Saturday 2 July with the ticket prices now confirmed as £8 with children U12 free entry with an adult . There is an entry limit of 5,000 tickets which are available on-line now via their website ;

http://www.fishburnairfield.com/event-tickets/ or from Café 26 . Aircraft attending to date include a return for Harvard AJ841 Wacky Wabbit , hopefully one of the Goodwood based Harvards and possibly a third Harvard too , Jet Provost T3 XN637 really G-BKOU from North Weald as well as helicopter and vintage aircraft rides plus of course a wide variety of wheels of all different sizes and makes ! The ‘vintage aircraft’ rides will be in Tiger Moth G-APFU which will shortly be moving to Fishburn after being acquired by a well know local pilot and aviation enthusiast and it is hoped that a YAK-52 will also be moving into Fishburn in the not too distant future so possibly two opportunities for vintage aircraft rides ?

 Work on the four new hangars in the back field is yet to start again but RS plan to have a new hangar built and in use in the back-back field this year and good news too on the historic aviation centre front with the awarding of a grant to Mike Eastmans team to enable them to get the groundworks and foundations in for the Romney Hut so all they need now are volunteers , you !

Anyone willing to get involved is asked to contact Mike directly by ‘phone or email ; 07803-809883 or mikeATfirefly53.freeserve.co.uk . Replacing AT with @ . The King Air simulator , Project Jim , is almost complete thanks to the effort and hours put in by Jeff and it should be fully operational and available to fly well before Wings & Wheels and looks very smart with full instrumentation , a 180 degree screen and realistic surround sound as the wind whistles by , well almost ! In the RS hangar the Linley Hill based 172 is almost complete with a new windscreen fitted as well as looking very smart in familiar paint scheme while the Mooney has moved next door prior to departing early next week , actually on the 29 February , whilst the 172 is due out three days later on the 3 March . The RS team are fully booked for more re-spray work this coming year with another Linley Hill aircraft due in plus some more from Sherburn so all well and good on that front with only the on-going wind turbine issue clouding what appears to be a very clear and blue horizon at the moment .

Fishburn News 12 February 2016 David Thompson

The improving weather over the last week or so has seen the number of airfield movements rise but unfortunately , rather like the air temperature , it has rarely moved into double figures ! Apart from the two arrivals for the embryo Fishburn Historic Aviation Centre another notable arrival was that of new resident RV-6A EI-EWY which arrived from Ireland on Wednesday 10th and was flying today as its owner got some conversion to type time in .

The Mooney has finally left the RS hangar and gone next door to be completed whilst taking its place , the Beverley based 172 has been stripped down to bare metal and its front windscreen removed to have a new one fitted . The RS team have also announced that this years Wings & Wheels will take place on Saturday 2 July which will see the return of the Wacky Wabbit Harvard AJ841 with flying display by a Jet Provost already confirmed but ticket details and prices have yet to be finalised .

Fishburn News 3 February 2016 David Thompson

Even though the abysmal weather continues to restrict any flying there have been two notable bright spots of late in the arrival yesterday of the Dove and Venom and last weekend , the 31st , the maiden flight of RV-7A G-ELVN which was air tested by Paul Johnson , one of the most experienced Fishburn based pilots with many , lots of , flying hours in his log book including the Air Anglia F27’s into Teesside . Ah , the good old days when we had a busy airport !

The Mooney continues to occupy the RS hangar whilst the next patient 172 G-BTMR has been stripped down ready to move in and take its place while the other RS operation , Café 26 continues to attract plenty of passing customers as it too waits for the rain to stop and the sun to shine !

Fishburn News 2 February 2016 David Thompson

The first two aircraft of the Aircraft Restorations Groups collection arrived at Fishburn Airfield in the late afternoon of Tuesday 2 February when the De Havilland duo of Venom FB54 (G-BLKA) J-1790 and Dove Mk6 D-IFSB arrived by road , and sadly not by air , from the De Havilland Aircraft Museum at London Colney in Hertfordshire .

The Venom was unloaded almost immediately but the Dove had to wait until Thursday to make what could be its final flight as it was unloaded by crane from a flat-bed lorry and set down on the grass close to Café 26 to become a focal point for the cafe customers , although given the current weather its probably best viewed through the windows whilst sat inside in the warmth !

Although dismantled and looking every bit like a big model aircraft kit the Venom is complete but currently minus its Ghost jet engine which will arrive later . Now unloaded and looking much more like an aeroplane the Dove has been set belly-down on trestles with the wings , engines and rudder all at an easy working height ready to re-attach to the airframe . There is still some preparation work to be done with next weekend , Friday 12th through to Sunday 14th set aside for putting the Dove back together with the eventual aim of being able to ground run and taxy it as well as being used as a classroom . With the Sunday being
St Valentine’s Day you could even make a special day of it , but then again…..

Anyone who attended the Fishburn Wings&Wheels Day last October will have seen two other aircraft from the ARG collection , Flea Replica G-ADRZ and the unique Thurston Aviation Tawney Owl G-APWU , both of which will move to Fishburn in the future along with Spitfire FSM BR954/JP-A and Sea Vampire T22 XG743/597 .

Last year the group acquired a Romney Hut which originally came from RAF Doncaster and is very similar in design to a large Nissen Hut , Nissen and not Nissan ! , and their main priority is to get this erected to house their exhibits . This is the first of three hangars and its fame has been cleaned up and lies dismantled behind the RS hangar , so if you have been down there recently you will have either seen it or fallen over it ! The group desperately needs volunteers to erect both the hut and the aircraft and to support the on-going project that is The Fishburn Historic Aviation Centre . If you feel that you can help the group in any way or have any technical or trade skill that could be of use please contact the ARG chairman Mike Eastman either by ‘mobile or email ; 07803-809883 or mikeATfirefly53.freeserve.co.uk . Replacing AT with @ .

The group featured in The Northern Echo on Friday , hopefully the first of many ;

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/14255238.Historic_planes_arrive_at_County_Durham_airfield_set_to_open_as_aviation_museum/

ARG news article from the D&S Times , March 2015 ;

http://www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk/weekend/features/11838820.Plane_and_simple__it_s_a_labour_of_love/

Fishburn News 25 January 2016 David Thompson

A bumper bundle of reports to both welcome the New Year in and catch up with what’s being going on over the last few weeks , even months ! I suspect that like most if not all of the other grass airfields throughout the UK , Fishburn has been hit hard over the winter by the rain and gales which have lashed the country with no flying taking place here from late December until almost mid-January and even then with only half of the runway being suitable for flying . Even then that was the top half , the 08 end , with the 26 ‘gradient’ being too wet and soggy . Resident
Jabiru G-CDCP went up on the morning of the 13th and the runway was promptly closed soon after his landing with RS wanting to avoid any rutting and further deterioration of the grass surface , which with such a warm winter is in need of a cut !

Not quite the happy New Year RS wanted was the re-emergence of a planning application to erect two wind turbines on land to the north of the airfield in plans first mooted back in 2011 and opposed at the time by Fishburn Aero Club members who believed the application would be withdrawn . Not so , as the application surfaced again last October in an article which appeared in The Northern Echo . Needless to say both RS and the Fishburn flying community have come together to oppose the application citing the obvious danger to aircraft both flying from Fishburn and in the vicinity of the airfield , the danger not only from their physical presence but also their wake turbulence and plumes which would have a disastrous effect on any aircraft in the airfield circuit . The closing date for any comments has now past but many more have been added since and can be viewed on the Durham County Council website here ;

https://publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application
Reference number ; 7/2011/0293/DM

A thread on the aviation forum PPRuNe has comments both for and against the application and can be found here ;

http://www.pprune.org/private-flying/572717-fishburn-airfield-wind-turbine-planning-application-please-support-airfield.html

The RS team have been busy on the Teesside based Mooney which was stripped down to it’s bare metal before being primed and then given a new over-all white colour scheme which will be finished off by two ‘go faster stripes’ of red and silver . As the Mooney moves out its place in the hangar will be taken by Linley Hill based Cessna 172M Skyhawk G-BTMR which arrived on the 21st for a re-spray . The team are also moving into the virtual flying world , remember my mention of Project Jim in November ? , with a King Air 200 flight simulator which is going into Hangar 1 with access from the car park .

Mention of Linley Hill allows me to give some advanced notice of a special fly-in the Hull Aero Club will be holding on Saturday 20 August when they will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their move from Paull Airfield to their then new home at Leven in 1991 . A full days flying programme is being planned , weather dependent ! , but they hope to include flypasts by both the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight and The Red Arrows . Just a pity they won’t get a Sea King from Leconfield !

On the residents front special mention needs to be given to Cherokee D-ECIM and in particular it’s owner Andreas , I never knew his surname ? , who returned home to Germany before Christmas but who has recently been back to collect his aeroplane before finally leaving here together on the 20th , night stopping at Teesside before flying south the next day . His claim to fame being that he had the last ever bacon buttie cooked by Beryl in the old clubhouse before it was demolished !

Elsewhere on the airfield the Christen Eagle departed to LBA before Christmas for some repair work and has yet to return , the RV-7A ‘VN now appears to be complete and has undertaken some engine ground runs , RV-9 ‘PL is making progress and is now starting to look like an aeroplane , Jabiru ‘CP is the only resident I’ve seen fly so far this year although a few have taken to the air on the odd day of good weather , err – one day of good weather , and ‘CP returned to its hangar splattered in mud but its owner grateful of some flying time .
Construction of the four new hangars on the back row has also stopped due to the weather and the condition of the ground as has the work on the first footings of the new aircraft museum cum restoration workshop which will go in the fallow field between the back-row and the Garmondsway farms . The Aircraft Restoration Group led by Mike Eastman will be moving their fleet of aircraft into Fishburn within the coming weeks , even days , with the imminent arrival of an as yet unidentified Venom and a German registered De Havilland Dove Mk6 D-IFBS which has previously been used for radio nav-aid calibration in Germany . The group was originally based near Topcliffe and then moved to Pickhill but soon outgrew their workshop necessitating this hopefully last move to Fishburn which will be both a permanent and bigger home using a Second World War Romney Hut which the group acquired from the former Doncaster Airport . If you’ve walked down by the RS hangar recently you will have either seen it or fallen over it !

The only other snippet of local news is that Rutan Varieze G-BVAY , Permit expired in November 2002 and with a No Fly Date of January 2016 , is up for sale by its Sunderland owner and comes complete with its own trailer . Further details can be found on the noticeboard in
Café 26 .

Link back to Fishburn News reports 2015


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