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Manston Airport : Possible Closure

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Manston Airport : Possible Closure

Old 19th Mar 2014, 19:10
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Manston Airport : Possible Closure

Manston Airport owner holds consultation over possible closure
BBC News : Manston

Kent On-Line : Manston

Very sad to hear ... but I guess inevitable given the number of failed attempts to operate a commercial airport out of North Kent following the RAF leaving in the 90's. Unsubstantiated rumours currently circulating suggest that the site could go for housing development if the airport closes

West Malling all over again

My thoughts are with Mark Girdler (Ted's Son - ex RAFAT) and TG Aviation ...

PS. Wander00 ... No more feeding the OM fruit-machine when on Diversion
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 21:23
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Sad news indeed for anyone with current or former Manston connections. Unfortunately, if it does close I feel this has been on the cards for many, many years as successive operators have attempted to make it viable but failed.

For me, Manston has always had more potential as a cargo field rather than with passenger ops. In the early 90's, while it was still RAF Manston, a civil operator tried to combine two poor passenger catchment areas by flying from Gatwick to Norwich and then RAF Manston for pick-ups before delivering the passengers to Cyprus. The following week, the jet reversed the route, dropping off at RAF Manston and Norwich before flying empty back to Gatwick. This lasted only one season (B737).

While in RAF hands, you would have to go back quite some time to see any operator using the Civil Enclave (commonly known then as Kent International Airport) who would have generated enough traffic to sustain the airfield had the RAF not owned and maintained it.

Since the RAF departed, no major operator has been sufficiently tempted to use Manston for anything truly meaningful over any extended period of time, so I think it's unlikely to happen now although it would be something I would be very happy to see. The fate of TG Aviation is quite rightly a worry as are the jobs that would be lost (about 150). The two museums are also on airport land and could also be at risk.

Hoping for a good outcome.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 21:51
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I remember coming back from Athens on A Britania y
737 Back in September 1990 or 91 Enroute to Luton.
The flight was having technical issues and the pilot infomed us strong headwinds over the alps meant we hadnt enough fuel for Luton.
So we landed at Manston on what I recal was this scruffy weedy runway we wasnt allowed off the plane These two suits came on board starting pulling some electronic boards close to.the cockpit . Then closed the panels n we left.
I dont recal any fuel being drawn. But it felt abandoned. Save for cargo aircraft.
The captain told us it mainly cargo.
So whats happening to KLM is it dropped ?.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 22:30
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Possible London runway?

I don't know a lot about Manston, but I always thought it had one of the longest runways in the country? So rightly or wrongly I have long harboured the idea that Manston could very easily be the runway that the London area so desperately needs. If indeed it does.

As a Londoner and a watcher of aeroplanes, any further increase in capacity at Heathrow just appears insanity - very expensive insanity. Not though even in the same class as the astronomically expensive insanity of a Boris Island a la Hong Kong. If, as many claim, we desperately need another high capacity runway/airport somewhere in the south, what's wrong with Manston?

It is but a few miles from the high speed rail link to the tunnel and a branch could surely be constructed? Similarly, it is not that far from the M2 or M20 motorways and spurs could be constructed without resorting to massive bridges or expensive tunnels. With prevailing winds the majority of take offs would be over largely empty farm land and, most importantly, movements would not need to conflict with either LGW, LCY and certainly not LHR.

Yes, an HS Rail branch would be expensive as would M20 and/or M2 spurs, plus smart new terminals, parking and baggage handling, but the costs pale into insignificance compared to Boris Island or Heathrow III. A sort of 'poor man's extra runway'. Passengers could be in central London or LCY in less than an hour, Heathrow in 75 mins, ditto Stanstead and a bit more to Luton. With HSII, travellers could be in Birminham in under two hours and Manchester in two and a half. Everyone else would be on the motorway network on the right side of London - the one that doesn't suffer from the Heathrow snarl up every day.

Anyone else feel the same?

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Old 19th Mar 2014, 22:39
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Sadly it's not the only one, and this could threaten a Vulcan

Wellesbourne Market site could be considered for housing by Stratford District Council - Coventry Telegraph

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Old 19th Mar 2014, 22:49
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Coff - you are right there about the gaming machine. Be a shame if Manston closed. I am sure Ted was at Valley same time as me.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 22:56
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Flew in Manston the other week, wet windy and dark, says it all really.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 00:01
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Flew my very last RAF sorties in and out of Manston, it being civvy by then (and clearly only used to puddlejumpers).
Fondly remember belling them up for their required '5 mins out' contact.
"Manston, Horseman with 2, 5 minutes out"
"...Horseman, we can't see you on radar, say range & bearing"
"53 miles, 020"
" You're supposed to call at 5 minutes!!"
"We have"
"You're at 53 miles?"
"Now 51 miles..50 miles..49 miles"
"(now squeaky voice)..er..er..2 downwind, 1 at initials"
"Contact all 3. Shall we just call initials?"
"Yes please"

On reporting to the tower, they admitted they didn't usually get arrivals doing M0.98 - they usually got calls at 8 miles. They forgave us when we let them sit in the cockpit.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 00:07
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Just to add to the woes on the GA front, Leicester, Panshangar, Bourne, Booker (Wycombe Air park) and Wellesbourne Mountford are all under threat; and guess why...housing development.

Incidentally for those of you who fly proper kit there's a PPRuNe fly in at Leicester on 19th April. Might be an idea to get there while it still exists. I shall be there along with my flying buddy who has 11,000 hrs shuffling fuel and eating in one of her Maj's secret aeroplanes. We will bore you to death with war stories.

Fox 3: reminds me of the epic call by a 71 to some place in the States.

'Callsign **** request FL700.'

*** centre 'Callsign **** cleared to FL 700, if you can get there'. Har har.

'Callsign ****, descending to FL700.'

*** centre. Silence.

By the way, I'm surprised that they would know what initials were at Manston. Strictly a mob thing apparently.

Last edited by thing; 20th Mar 2014 at 00:41.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 00:28
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I don't think they did know what we meant by initials; they were clutching at straws by that point. They might not have agreed if they knew it entailed the kind of run in & break that has tower controllers spilling their coffee down their shirt
They collared the other pilot on landing with "Do you do that at home?" to receive the response "Lower usually, I'm the Display Pilot"

p.s. I recall the -71 story was FL600, as IIRC FL660+ is uncontrolled airspace - one knows these things

p.p.s. My first ever flight was with my dad from Panshanger, aged 3, in an Auster. Some boys never grow up!
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 00:51
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Pal of mine has an Auster. he actually flies it four up. it's interesting watching him take off.

In fact while I remember my Uncle Roy who is 90 was in the Royal Artillery in Italy during the war on Auster spotters. He bought one after the war for 25. He can't remember what happened yesterday but if you say to him 'Tell me about the war' he can talk for about four days non stop. He was attacked once by a couple of Me109s and simply flew in tight circles about 50' above the German front line. The Me's daren't shoot for fear of hiiting the guys on the ground and apparently the Germans on the ground were cheering Roy on....
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:07
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I heard a similar one from a chap delivering a Tiger Moth from the factory, when he was bounced by a FW190 somewhere near Birmingham. "I just flew round an oak tree at 20 feet till he went away"

James Doohan (later 'Scotty' in 'Star Trek') flew Austers in the War. There are a few tales there too....
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:13
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James Doohan (later 'Scotty' in 'Star Trek') flew Austers in the War. There are a few tales there too....
Didn't his ashes finish up in space? Or was that Gene Rodenberry?
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:18
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Both, kind of..

Gene Roddenberry

On April 21, 1997, a Celestis spacecraft carrying portions of the cremated remains of Roddenberry, of Timothy Leary and of 22 other individuals was launched into Earth orbit aboard a Pegasus XL rocket from near the Canary Islands.[40] On May 20, 2002, the spacecraft's orbit deteriorated and it disintegrated in the atmosphere. Another flight to launch more of his ashes into deep space along with those of Majel (Barrett) Roddenberry, his widow who died in 2008, is planned for launch in 2014.[41]
James Doohan

His ashes, 1⁄4 ounce (7 grams), were scheduled the following fall for a Memorial Flight to space with 100 others, including Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper.[28][29] Launch on the SpaceLoft XL rocket was delayed to April 28, 2007, when the rocket briefly entered outer space in a four-minute suborbital flight before parachuting to earth, as planned, with the ashes still inside.[30] The ashes were subsequently launched on a Falcon 1 rocket, on August 3, 2008, into what was intended to be a low Earth orbit, however the rocket failed two minutes after launch.[31] The rest of his ashes were scattered over Puget Sound in Washington.[32][33] On May 22, 2012, a small urn containing some of Doohan's remains in ash form was flown into space aboard the Falcon 9 rocket as part of COTS Demo Flight 2.[34]
Both Courtesy of Wikipedia
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:31
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launched into Earth orbit aboard a Pegasus XL rocket from near the Canary Islands.
? Doth Morocco have spacey type abilities?
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:34
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Depends what they're smoking...
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:40
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Ah, you may be just old enough to remember the Marrakesh Express.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:43
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Heard of it, but the only highs I got were all courtesy of Auntie Betty's fast jets - as far as I can tell, all drugs are a pale substitute by comparison.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 06:43
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Pegasus XL

From Pegasus (rocket) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In a Pegasus launch, the carrier aircraft takes off from a runway with support and checkout facilities. Such locations have included Kennedy Space Center / Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida; Vandenberg Air Force Base and Dryden Flight Research Center, California; Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia; Kwajalein Range in the Pacific Ocean, and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 06:46
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Ummm, if Wellesford and Wycombe are in the target crosshairs - Heliair ain't going to be happy as they are predominantly one of the main operators (main office) at the former and have another major flying training / charter op at Wycombe.
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