Thread: Bute Airstrip
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 19:43   #5 (permalink)
Torque Tonight
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 822
I've been there. The strip is very short, has no facilities at all (apart from a picnic table) and as stated has obstructions at the Eastern end. It's well looked after, mown grass not billiard table smooth but not too bad and no waterlogging or other problems when I was there.

You will need a suitable aircraft and suitable skills to get in there. I went around from my first approach arriving at Bute, when I found one of the undulations and bounced. With the end hedge only about 400m away there's not much margin, so I threw it away. Landed fine on the second approach, but using the westerly runway (because of the prevailing wind) you have to consider obstruction on the undershoot which could force you to stay high and land deep with the obvious LDA problems. The obstructions consist of coniferous woodland probably a good 30ft tall right up to the road on the field boundary.

Top tip - on your recce, or circuit cast your eyes up and down the road running North-South at the 27 threshold and look for traffic. The road is completely obscured by the woodland when on finals. You may be suckered into the gap in the woodland where trees have been felled to try to cross the threshold lower and avoid landing deep. If you do this there is potential to be surprised by traffic that appears from behind the tress when you are on very, very short finals. I nearly had a midair with a removal van - I don't know who was more surprised!

Once you've made it in there, you can walk east through the woods, past the creepy ancient stone circle, to Kilchatten Bay, then head south along the waterfront into the village. Takes about twenty minutes. At the Hotel you can get a good meal and a pint (if you're staying overnight). You'll want proper walking boots or wellies, because this bit is waterlogged!

Thoroughly recommend a visit. When the weather is good it's a stunningly beautiful place and it's far more interesting flying into places like Bute than into normal GA airports.
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