I also am not sure that Signature are the main culprit. As noted above the 'club' has had more owners than my grandad's shovel had handles. Mostly it has been run as a sideline by people with an aviation interest but no overwhelming drive. So depending who was in charge things have varied immensely.
Its last silver-ish era was when Bill Hendersen managed it for Tayside but that unfortunately is a long time ago.
Signature themselves probably barely have a business if it were not for the fuel. However hopefulyl someone will step up to the plate and try and make a go of it....
Ah youngskywalker, you need to meet that gentleman in the flesh and then understand his background.
I have and I must admit I was genuinely shocked (which takes a bit these days!). Living proof that journalism really is dead (well actually just staffed by the ignorant and the lazy who are loking for something to copy and paste) and hence the rise of the pundit.
This is a great shame but sadly it had to be on the cards for some time though. I initially learned to fly in Aberdeen and once I got my commercial licence I spent a period instructing there which on reflection is some of the most fun I have had in my flying career since I started. I continued to do it part time once I stepped into the airline world too. Memories of turning final over the cricket pitch for Runway 34 as well as other 'exploits' will be remembered for some time! It was a great place to work at and the flying was great as well. However the social side was just as good and that is what it will be remembered for most of all!
Well, Peter knew that the Thainstone House Hotel was getting a revamp, and the bar was getting ripped out, so a trusty band consisting of a couple of club regulars , a joiner, and myself (weekend fueller, plane cleaner, will do anything for flying hours, etc.) were despatched off to Inverurie on a "search and rescue" mission to "bring it home." Once installed, it actually looked good at the back end of the room.
Anybody know what happened to it when Signature ripped it out......maybe worth giving the Thainstone a call to see if they want it back !!!!
Sad news but not surprising in todays GA climate. I also learned to fly at Aberdeen Flying School at the end of the nineties and early millenium, in fact I was brought up just around the corner and can not imagine passing by without seeing light aircraft parked up.
Its not as if theres loads of space on the apron for Bizzies beyond Echo 1, I wouldve thought they would be better off keeping a few wee toys there and get some form of income from it but then again I do not know the whole story.
Someone mentioned earlier in the thread about ABZ not being that busy, reffering also to the London airports, are they forgetting the offshore heli traffic?
Anyway sorry to hear the news, good luck everyone in relocating.....
Unless someone knows something I don't! ..... GA is NOT being thrown out of ABZ ..... no one that I know of is "relocating" ..... the Flying Club has closed down as it was economically unviable partially caused by an increase in costs levied by Signature and probably more importantly not alot of customers willing (or able) to pay £190 per hour plus £21 landing fee .... IF they could find an instructor. The remaining private aircraft and flying groups can park on the Apron if they wish to stay although they too have to pay the new rate.
Sadly, because they have nowhere near here to relocate to, or I'm sure they all would!
The guys at Signature are all nice people, I'm sure it's not been done out of malice towards the club, just a change of direction now that the airport has expanded and become too busy. Even the commercial helicopter companies struggle to get circuit training done without huge delays, hence the investment in new simulators up here.
For me, it's worth the drive to Dundee, only £140 per hour to hire an aerobatic grob, and no landing fee. Amazing that a little city like Dundee has had such a successful flying club for so many years. I guess partly due to a smaller GA airport, no controlled airspace and also the air cadet contract which has kept the money flowing in. If only Aberdeen had a suitable alternative airfield near by, with the money up here I'm sure it would do okay, just look at how busy HJS helicopters are at Peterculter.
Would these "exploits" include Formation flying C152's in a flypast at ABZ ..... you really had to be there to believe someone had the brass neck to ask ATC for it!
I may have been involved in some of the formation flying activities! Not sure why a brass neck was needed since we were simply enjoying our flying and all these activities were done when we were on our own! However quite a few of my exploits were done in order to get me out of the road at the request of ATC. Looking back I am glad that I have these memories of happy times at the 'Flying Club' since as I said, they are the most fun days of my flying career and that is now after nearly 5 years of airline flying.
One of the funniest stories involved a few of my former colleagues who were flying together and were returning to Aberdeen from Dundee (from memory) on a maintenance ferry flight. To add some spice to the flight, they thought they would fly below radar cover right until they reached the zone boundary near Portlethen and then pull up into radar cover and contact ATC just before they entered controlled airspace for joining clearance. For some of the trip they were possibly looking up at the tops of the cliffs as they tracked north whilst offshore. After pulling up into radar cover and making contact on 'Aberdeen Approach', one of my former colleagues asked the ATCO (who they knew and lived on the coast near Stonehaven) how long he knew about them before they called up and was expecting to be told that the poor ATCO had no warning whatsoever due to no radar cover! They were obviously a tad surprised when the ATCO remarked that he had been expecting them for a few minutes before they called, however the ATCO remarked that his wife had phoned him at work and commented that she had just looked out of the house and seen a light aircraft level with the house whilst plodding up the coast!
Sad to hear the club is closing. I converted my Aussie licence to a UK licence there in the late nineties with Bill Anderson - a real gentleman. The club was friendly and flying in Scotland was a fantastic experience. I loved flying G-NERI before someone ran it out of fuel and wrote it off... Regards, Anthony Quick