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Newcastle Aero Club

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Newcastle Aero Club

Old 24th Nov 2004, 19:04
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Manchester
Age: 49
Posts: 272
Witchdoctor.
Pedantic doesn't really cover this attempt at a reply does it???

Does it matter the actual location of the training. My point is that without GA in all its guises, there would be very very few commercial pilots. Let's face it, even a 747 captain with zillions of hours in a log book, will probably have an hour or two in a Cessna 172 there somewhere. Think about it.

This is just another small provincial airport, who have dropped lucky with the advent of the Lo-Co's and suddenly think that they can become the next LHR. Liverpool (where I train) is a wonderful example of this.

Take easy & MOL away, and they will be banging on the door of GA to get some runway useage. Yet every year we suffer the rumour mill that the landing fee discount is being withdrawn and fees will clear 20 a go. Too big for thier boots comes to mind!!!!!
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Old 24th Nov 2004, 20:49
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: London
Age: 35
Posts: 11
So what is the future for these clubs/training organiastions based at provincial airports (sorry - shopping malls) which think they are LHR?
Pertinant at this time of year is the Christmas Present Trial Lesson, which not only keeps the Instuctors in a job for the next 6 months at many of these 'non dedicated training airfields' but also keeps the airplanes there which many rent.
Landing fees must be included in the price of the 'Trial Lesson' which in turn raises the overall price of the 'Lesson' way beyond that which an Airfield outside these restrictions can charge.
Slippy slope.

So, et al, What would you deem to be a fair Landing Fee?


Currently driving nice 240DL in Beige.

VD
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Old 24th Nov 2004, 22:48
  #23 (permalink)  
BRL
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Hi guys, I have split off the above post by Volvodriver. Don't want to go too far off the subject regarding the club at Newcastle.
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 17:44
  #24 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Posts: 155
Well, it sounds like the aircraft have been grounded until the December 9th meeting. No permission for flying was given so, no income for the Club at all now.

What a mess, what a shame.
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Old 28th Nov 2004, 12:04
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: EGNT/EGNV, UK - CYXU, Canada
Posts: 29
Certainly a long, interesting and indepth opinion there newcastlepilot.

One point that connot be overlooked - is that despite the squandering of what happened of the insurance money after the Duchess and hangar went up, the fact of John Parkin's big plans are wrecking any chance of GA stability at EGNT.

His name is worse than $*!t with all the GA people, refuellers (of who he's terminated BP's contract), Groundstar (oops sorry Swissport) and Servisair.

GA at EGNT is paying the price of EGGD - Parkin's last torture dungeon.. what also has to be remembered is that Parkin is subsidising the low cost airlines at a local authority owned airport (51%) - supposedly illegal under EU law(?) at our expense. Why has no-one actually challenged this is of interest to me?

It is not GAs fault that they want EZY, RYR and BEE to go to the North Terminal - indeed we pay enough of a price holding at E and F or at Stannington and the Bridges for them! GA at NT is paying over a 10-15 fold increase for an airfield that at one time was GA friendly - and according to an article yesterday in the Newcastle Journal still apparantly is!

Also for information - the aero club has 1 plane left not locked down... and the CFI seems to be the only one in the office - and I really do feel for all those about to get the heave-ho

Last edited by CSerpent; 28th Nov 2004 at 12:26.
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Old 28th Nov 2004, 22:48
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: EGNT
Posts: 115
It has been Parkins avowed intention to destroy GA at NCL. In that he has almost completely succeeded. Do not, for one moment, harbour any thoughts that any other business will be allowed to come in and take over where NAC left off. Parkin has other plans for the area on the southside where the aero club is currently situated and I don't imagine that Private or Training aviation is even in the picture.
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Old 29th Nov 2004, 10:04
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: EGNT/EGNV, UK - CYXU, Canada
Posts: 29
No doubt about that at all... only Samson, Northumbria Helicopters and the Police Helicopter for him to get rid of now.

Is there anyone with experience of John Parkin from EGGD that wishes to comment?
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Old 29th Nov 2004, 11:30
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: EGNT/EGNV, UK - CYXU, Canada
Posts: 29
One thing that has to be born in mind is the apparant decision of the landing fees...

The former Chairman-cum-recovery-driver was alleged to have decided to have taken on the discussion with the Airport himself over the landing fees - including that for Samson and Northumbria Helos from what I am led to believe - and the airport jumped at the chance to do as they wished,

As I say this was alleged - what amount of truth is in it I do not know, but I have not heard anything contradictory.

To me in reality the only lifeline available for NAC is Northern Aviation taking over the assets, like they did with Teesside Aero Club.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 07:53
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 113
Northern Aviation from Teeside, suggested by CSepernt from EGNV??
The said former committee member it should be recalled was instrumental in purchasing the PA28R at a vastly inflated price, without ever allegedly showing a formal engineering report to the committee. After a purchase price of about 43K a wing rebuild of about 30K for the corroded spars, the aircraft has remained grounded, and is because of malaligned wings probably almost worthless now.
The said committee member also developed a relationship with the vendor, who was subsequently involved in the purchase of a bulldog, which occupied the "slot" previously used by the PA28R on the airfield. The relationship was never mentionned prior to the purchase of the PA28R by NAC.
So do you really believe this is the sort of operation you would want to run NAC?? Personally I think not.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 12:43
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: EGNT/EGNV, UK - CYXU, Canada
Posts: 29
I'm not actually at EGNV, I just happen to own a share in a plane that's now based there courtesy Mr Parkin's legalised extortion. I did all my training at NAC, not TAC or CFS.

I can't comment on what happened when G-NELI was taken on board at NAC - I've flown her several times and she's been fine for me is all I can say. I can however say that Cleveland FS is operating in what seems to be a good state, buoyant and with plenty of bookings.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 14:12
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: England
Posts: 89
All,
Time for me to add a few comments..

Anyway, if GA is to be killed off completely, surely Sampson would be kicking and screaming rather loudly by now?
Not really, G/A related movements at samson generate very little revenue with very often only fuel being delivered, their real money is made within the bizjets // corporate handling sector and g/a is quite often i believe seen as more of a hinderence during busy periods.

The said former committee member it should be recalled was instrumental in purchasing the PA28R at a vastly inflated price, without ever allegedly showing a formal engineering report to the committee
The said former committee member was instrumental in purchasing the PA28R after approval from the aeroclub members by a vote held at an AGM at which the price of the aircraft was made known to all members & i dont think he should be held accountable for the fact that no other committe member or flying member queried the lack of maintenance reports.

Northern Aviation is a very succesfull operation at MME, far more succesfull than NAC proberbally due to the lack of money greedy CFI's and 'associates' fiddling the books to their benefit.

I would like to say before people start slagging off Norther Aviation/Cleveland flying school that i have no personal connections with them however i have been on several occasions and found them to be a far more professional flying school with high standards of flying training, aircraft maintenance and instructors who seem to care about their students more than the amount of money in their wallets, you are always made welcome there unlike NAC which i feel has a very bitter & unwelcoming approach to its customers.

Having been a member at newcastle for over 10 years i have seen it for from strength to strength and my feelings are that this 'diasaster' has been in the making for most of those years and helped along by most of those mentioned in newcastlepilots first post.

Yet again Money and greedyness has settle the fate of a good business.

F.T.L
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Old 1st Dec 2004, 11:34
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Age: 63
Posts: 132
FTL
I think there is one factor about GNELI that you have failed to mention. You are correct in saying that the membership voted to purchase the aircraft, but only "subject to a satisfactory engineering survey". I think the membership were entitled to expect that when purchasing such an expensive item on behalf of the club, the committee would take due diligence in so doing., and treat the purchase as if it was their own money they were spending. As I said at the last but one AGM, in my opinion the committee individually and collectively failed in this matter to safeguard the best interests of the club.
That having been said, I also failed to secure a vote of no confidence in the committee on that precise issue, with about 5 votes difference and about 50 members abstaining, so as has been said elsewhere, the club to some extent has got what it deserves. Nonetheless, a sad state of affairs.
With regard to your comments about greedy CFI and associates. Firstly I should point out that it was the committee that appointed the CFI on the terms and conditions which he enjoys. The CFI (and his associates) have always put in far more work for the club than they needed to. Who comes in and cleans the aircraft on bad weather days, who tries to keep the Bouser working etc. Who through his enthusiasm tries to encourage those who wish to fly to go further, who arranges social fly aways etc etc. I like many have much to be grateful for from the CFI. I don't always agree with him, and no-one is ever perfect, however, he and JC should be singled out for their commitment to NAC over the years. Between them they have kept the club alive, and tried to create a club environement not just a sterile accountant led flying training business. Ironically, it is probably the case that the affairs of the club would not be in such dire straits, had they been more involved in the running of the club, but in recent years they have been explicitly excluded from the decision making process.
As one who is happy to be called both a friend and associate of the CFI (and therefore included in your blanket criticsm), I must also point out, that I have given of my own time for no remuneration, by instructing part time. Contrary to other posts, I have also often flown my own aircraft at my expense to help out by collecting instructors or others, who have ferried club aircraft for maintenance, and I am not alone in this, so have several other club members. I think it very sad that the comments to date have all been so one sided, and none of the hard work and goodwill that has been given by the CFI and instructors has been mentionned.
Finally, remember this, it is the CFI and the intructors and others who stand to lose their livelihood, not you. I wonder what you have ever done for the club??
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 09:45
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Age: 63
Posts: 132
One of the saddest things to me is how the club has come to be a set of disparate cliques. Perhaps NPs recollection of the history explains why. I should add to my above post, I consider myself to have friends in almost all of the cliques, and I often hear both sides of the arguments. All I can say is that criticsm of the instructors is, in my view, unwarranted, and I'm not just talking about the CFI. It has been my priviledge to work with many instructors at the club over the last few years, and I can assure you that each and every one of them gave of their best for their students. They were without exeception a hard working bunch, who contrary to some posts above were certainly not greedy, the pay of most instructors is very poor indeed, and is a wage that most would struggle to bring up a family on.

Above all else what successive committees seem to have failed to do is unite the club in a common purpose, namely to provide flying facilities and training for both students, hirers and private owners alike, coupled with a social programme and facilities, that attract like minded people interested in aviation. That is the tragedy, and in my opinion at the heart of the downfall of the club. It is the structure which has permitted the minority who were either incompetent or dishonest to bring the club to finacial ruin.

I presume, with regard to some of the allegations of dishonesty posted elsewhere, that once the club is in administration the administrator will make a judgement about whether there is any evidence which warrants a police investigation. I like every other honest club member would want any dishonesty brought to light and prosecuted, even though this will not save the club.
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 10:50
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: North Cotswolds
Posts: 61
What a sad state.

I learned to fly at Newcastle, and was impressed by the quality of instruction from Messrs Lister (K & J), Bennett and Corlett, and others. Then I wanted to develop my flying and there was nothing to fly other than relatively tired PA28s. So a friend and I stuck our heads above the parapet, got elected to the committee and tried to get a touring plane to see whether people would stay in the club to tour rather than going off into private groups. maybe the TB-10 was a dog, maybe it wasn't, but all we got for it was grief and hate mail. I kid you not, I got obscene mail through the post to my home address for having implemented what was a committee decision.

Then it was decided the TB-9 should be put up for sale. It was flying more hours than the Duchess, but while this made the TB-9 uneconomic, it was argued that the same number of hours didn't make the Duchess uneconomic. Odd, I thought. Except that there were those who wanted to turn the club into a CPL/IR training establishment. A grand and genuine idea, but not a serious business proposition - ever. With one tired Duchess with a Janitrol heater that cut out, doors that leaked, and a grotty teaching area, we could never have competed with Multiflight.

So the TB-9 was sold for a song; and with the VAT refund the club bought a brand new PA28. Why? Half the price would have bought a 2,000 hour machine with a new engine.

And, month for month the TB-10 flew more hours than the Duchess, but this did not establish the case for a touring plane for those tired of renting stuff with instruments that may or may not have worked from day to day, and pootled along at 95kts.

The achievements I am proud of while on the committee? Getting a decent radio fit into G-BUIF. And proving that a touring aeroplane was commercially viable, even if the committee didn't feel able to continue having one at that time (no, no THAT one I grant you, but it proved a point.)

Whatever the whys and wherefores of the the Arrow, I flew it a bit and until it went U/S it was a damned good little plane, and one I would have flown a lot more.

The final straw for me was having a plane booked 2 months in advance for three days away, and being bumped the day beforehand because 6 of the 7 planes were u/s; and someone else had been wrongly booked in the column before me.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I called Cleveland Flying School, newly bought by Northern Aviation. And yes, I could have a plane at 24 hours notice, for 3 days. Was it alright that it was only a C152? Well, it was one just refurbished by Marshall's, looked great and everything worked. Check out - yes we'll arrange one for you. What more could I want?

Living half way in between EGNT and EGNV it was a no brainer. My membership at Newcastle has almost lapsed, and I have been flying at Teesside for a year and a bit now. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff there, the planes are refuelled before you go, they are clean, the instruments work, they are even pulled out of the hangar for you if you want to leave early.

Poor old Newcastle Aero Club has, IMHO, lost the internal battle it has been flighting with itself for years. Some people simply couldn't face the fact that the gentlemen's club which had existed there into the 70s and 80s was dead, that people don't go to airport clubs to eat average food any more, yet despite this money was poured into facilities in the clubhouse. In the meantime, no one could grasp the nettle and run the flying side as a business. To this day I don't know why - the reasons could range from innocent inability to communicate and organise, a lack of time for those on the committee, through to far worse. I do think that the club wasted thousands of pounds of unnecessary legal actions.

When member operated clubs work well, they are fantastic - look at Sherburn for example, and the gliding clubs mentioned in an earlier post. When they start killing each other it's only a matter of time. And it seems that time has come.

And lastly, Mr Parkin's salary in the year to 31/12/03 was, according to companies house, 290,000.

The airport wages bill in that year was down from just under 16 million to just over 14 million, turnover up by 1 million to 40 million, and profit after tax up from 7.8M to 11.5M

In the face of those figures I don't think Mr Parkin need worry about GA too much. I suspect we are a distraction from his core business; he needs to let Samson carry on since they keep business aviation away from his precious stands on the north side and if he closed that he would face the wrath of the ERG at the CAA. But he can claim he is making provision for GA through Samson, and that's all he needs to do.

Any chance Eshott could get a licence? Come on Storm, could you do that?

Last edited by dde0apb; 2nd Dec 2004 at 23:14.
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 11:00
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,784
An aside. I've no particular personal issues with regard to Newcastle - I've used the airport a couple of times and found it rather expensive, but extremely friendly and professional (although it was fairly clear that senior management didn't really want GA).

But this thread is a remarkable example of a sensitive and difficult subject being tackled on PPRuNe with great politeness and sensitivity - nothwithstanding that some people are clearly (and understandably) rather heated on various aspects of the subject.

My complements gentlemen for an example of PPRuNe at it's best.

G
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 11:21
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Almost Scotland
Posts: 303
Might I echo Genghis' compliments?

I have been following this sad saga with interest, not least because I am about to move from North Yorkshire (where I am a member at Sherburn) to another part of the country, where I shall have to find other facilities for hiring aircraft.

The detail clearly given has been most helpful as a salutary warning about how things might go awry.
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 13:30
  #37 (permalink)  
Paris Dakar
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Whatever the reasons are that have led us to this sad state of affairs - I would like to pass on some personal thanks before it may be too late.

KL - I enjoyed my first flying lesson at Newcastle so much and you made me feel perfectly at ease - one of the nicest hours I have ever spent in an aircraft.

JL - Thank you for the checkrides - and who knows perhaps if I had been a few years younger and had a good deal more money in the bank then I may have pursued a career in aviation - you always thought I should.

Stuart Knowles - Thank you for the checkrides too and I hope life flying the big toys keeps you happy.

JC - What can I say? If it wasn't for John I wouldn't be flying today. After a lay-off for a few years it was great to meet up with you earlier this year - we never manged to get our 'little flight' booked but who knows?

Dr W - Here is a man who ensures that Pilots never have to pay a penny more than they need to for their medicals - thank you.
 
Old 2nd Dec 2004, 19:49
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 117
Just to add a little to this. I can't really get involved with any sort of factual information on the club, no more than has already been posted anyway.

I'm very upset to see what is happening. It's been on the cards for a while and i'm one of many, i'm sure, that has personally warned MD (ex chairman) to his face that what he was doing was no good. Did he listen? He must have known better.

In terms of thanking people. Yes Dr W, JL, JC, Andreas, John Lamberton, Jonathan Charlton, Ian Chambers, Les Bates and of course MA, thanks for your help in my training for PPL in low hours!

Thanks really go to JC though, who day after day is there at the end of the phone with his individual manner that makes/made the place. Some people dont know how to take him but once he knows you he's great. Thanks again John, you're a star! I've shared his frustration with ongoings up there many a time to know that all he wanted was what was best for the members, did he ever get that? I dont think he did!

I'd love to see all this fixed and put right so we can continue the good bits and scrap the bad bits, but realistically I don't think thats going to happen. I think its gone too far

Posting under my real name, not a club aircraft for once

Ian Bowden.
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 21:29
  #39 (permalink)  
Paris Dakar
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Well said Ian,

Kind regards,

Andy West
(sorry JC that should read Air Cadet West! - take care Group Captain - I hope we can meet up soon)
 
Old 2nd Dec 2004, 21:37
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 117
This really is sad you know, is there NOTHING we can do?

Hope the guys get to read this anyway, maybe i'll print it all off and see they get it!

Ian.
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