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First trip to Bembridge

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First trip to Bembridge

Old 16th May 2013, 14:12
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Join Date: May 2012
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First trip to Bembridge

I am hoping to fly into Bembridge one week-end as soon as the weather improves.

Assuming that there is gliding taking place on the grass runway so there are no overhead joins I am wondering which would be the best approach for runway 12.

I will be coming along the south coast of the Island from the west via St Catherine's point and am considering a downwind join which would take me over the sea to the east of Bembridge village (to avoid overflying). However I am a bit concerned about aircraft taking off on 12.

Is this route generally acceptable or would most pilots join QNM at 1500 over runway 12 and then turn downwind?
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Old 16th May 2013, 15:58
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When I visited last, I joined downwind to avoid possible glider traffic. The gliders use an opposite direction circuit to powered aircraft and there are some noise abatement procedures to follow. Fortunately the details are all here, and they should answer any questions when you phone for PPR

Bembridge Airport Isle of Wight, Genuine Airfield Infomation
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Old 16th May 2013, 15:59
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(Actually, it looks like you don't need PPR anymore unless you're operating out of hours).
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Old 16th May 2013, 19:04
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(Actually, it looks like you don't need PPR anymore unless you're operating out of hours).
PPR required Monday to Friday.

Bembridge Radio operating hours are between the hours of 0930 and 1530 local on Saturdays; Sundays and Public Holidays. Prior Permission to land during operating hours is no longer required.

Last edited by patowalker; 16th May 2013 at 19:05.
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Old 16th May 2013, 19:07
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I visited over Easter - a great bunch and good food in the adjoining pub.

Be aware that there is a slight downhill slope on the southerly runway which can make things 'interesting' in a Warrior if you are slightly fast!
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Old 16th May 2013, 21:17
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Google vectis gliding and theres all the info there. Excellent grub at the propeller inn on the airfield, and DO walk by the hedge to get to it to pay your fees. Don't walk across the runway as so many twats do. The coastpath to bembridge has basically disappeared into the sea so is definitely closed. 12 landing fee for a single.
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Old 16th May 2013, 22:24
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To answer the question (and do check the web site as I am going from memory) the downwind side of 12 is to the south so if coming from St Catherines you are probably best to join crosswind. You could join right base but you do need to be aware of traffic into Sandown (the approach is relatively close).

It is worth noting 12 slopes downhill and the land rises to the threshold. There is a tendency for the novice pilot to land long and depending on the aircraft the runway can end up all too short! (with the ground rising over the caravans to the cliffs at the other end).

Landing the other way it is worth noting that in a strong wind, particularly with a cross wind component, there can often be pronounced sheer and turbulence as you come over the caravans and all the way down to the runway. It is one of the few places over the years that still has the ability to catch me out and has done so on more than one occasion.

In my opinion the Propellor Inn is sadly truly dreadful - give it a miss. The Crab and Lobster is a great deal better under new management and worth a visit - particularly for the views. The cafe at the Lifeboat station is a treat for really good seafood. Sleepy Hollow is a very special treat but you need a car. Car hire is easy and cheap from Bembridge - they will even deliver to the airport for around 30 for the day, and you leave the car back at the airport on your return. Treat them well it is a very good service they offer.

The coastal path isn't closed although some sections have fallen over the cliff and you have to work your way around - there is one section that occasionally has some tape baring your way, but you can duck under. You can also walk along the beach at low tide but at the far end before freshwater bay there is a scramble over the rocks if the tide is much above half way.

Personally I have walked across the runway many times. Keep your eyes peeled, it is rarely very busy. After all there are plenty of airports with public footpaths crossing the runway / threshold!

Enjoy, it is still one of the very best places to visit in my opinion especially on a hot Summers day. If you are there for a day hiring a car is really well worth it if you fancy a little touring around and generally having a good day out.
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Old 16th May 2013, 23:58
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Don't walk across the runway as so many twats do.
I have crossed a fair few runways in my time and have therefore achieved full twattishness.
What I do is to stop, look and listen in both directions and then if safe to do so, cross briskly.
I have found it to be a much safer undertaking than crossing the road outside my house, even when not wearing a hi-vis jacket.
I have also been known to enter a runway in an aeroplane.

Last edited by flybymike; 17th May 2013 at 00:01.
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Old 17th May 2013, 08:12
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Many thanks for your reply. I didn't think you could join cross wind because of the gliders so I thought I could give the end of runway 30 a wide birth then join downwind past Bembridge village.
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Old 17th May 2013, 10:45
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theolderflyer,

I think the instructions in the link posted by 1800ed are very clear:

Visiting aircraft should be aware that the glider circuit is to the south of the concrete runway, and will either be 30 Left or 12 Right as appropriate. Overhead or dead side joins are therefore not permitted. Power traffic should use the North side of the airfield for circuits, these being 30 Right or 12 Left as appropriate.
and

Visiting aircraft are advised to join either at 1500 feet on the runway centre line (QDM) or down wind on the North side.
Flying down the centre of the runway at 1500' has the advantage of being able to see what's going on on the ground and checking the windsock and signal square.

I went there a couple of years ago. A very nice airfield and you have the advantage of telling your non-aviating friends that you made an "overseas" trip.

Last edited by India Four Two; 17th May 2013 at 10:46.
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Old 17th May 2013, 11:25
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It is clear. The circuits are as they always were for gliders - in other words 30 left or 12 right keeping the gliding traffic to the south, with powered traffic always flying their circuit to the north.

Sorry about the obvious error in my last post I of course meant to join the circuit to the north (which would be a crosswind join from Catherine's point).

So from Catherine's Point a crosswind join might be unwise if there is gliding activity and a better alternative would be to stay just offshore and descend directly into the downwind thus remaining clear of Sandown as well but watching for any departing traffic from 12.

Of course the reality is Bembridge and Sandown are sadly very quite these days; keep your eyes out and look out for any sign of gliders out on the grass and you will be fine.
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Old 17th May 2013, 12:59
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Thanks once again, it's removed any doubt from my mind, just want to get it right.
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Old 17th May 2013, 13:09
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@ Patowalker
Bembridge Radio operating hours are between the hours of 0930 and 1530 local on Saturdays; Sundays and Public Holidays.
this sentence clearly lays out the days of RADIO OPERATION

and this sentence
Prior Permission to land during operating hours is no longer required.
clearly states that PP is not required .

The term "Operating hours" could be taken ambiguously, but i'd expect the reference to be "Radio hours" in that case.

So, What about Non-operating hours? I presume the airfield is officially closed ?

Purely academic interest and 'cos i like the isle of Wight!
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Old 17th May 2013, 13:43
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Phone for PPR and make blind radio calls when approaching
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Old 17th May 2013, 16:55
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I have been to Bembridge many times and I must admit to being a fan of the Crab & Lobster. I went there one manic Saturday and joined downwind for 12 behind another aircraft who had already called downwind. I couldn't see him.

He called left base just as I turned left base. I still couldn't see him and I was starting to get a bit worried. (There were another three aircraft in the circuit and the gliders were out).

He called finals for 12. I couldn't see him nor could anyone else in my aeroplane. However, he was certainly not between me and the runway so I continued. He suddenly appeared in my 12 o'clock coming the other way in the process of making a go-around from runway 30!!!!!!!

"I think I have made a silly mistake. I've got the wrong end of the runway" said he as he went over my roof. Just to keep everyone's attention, he then turned left into the glider circuit.

Be very careful out there.
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Old 18th May 2013, 22:56
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I have been to Bembridge many times and I must admit to being a fan of the Crab & Lobster
Went to the Crab & Lobster for the first time today and I will definitely be back! Nice walk and lovely food.

If using rwy 30 allow for a/c in front of you in the circuit to land + backtrack to the twy. Watched a PA28 land today, the a/c behind hadn't allowed for this and had to go around.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 05:28
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READ the vectis website and it says walk around the PERIMETER, you twats! Nothing wrong with the propeller Inn food either, particularly of a weekend and l suggest the coffee is much better than the crab and lobster!
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Old 22nd May 2013, 16:26
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It isn't much further to walk around the perimeter from parking to the caravan either.
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