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Beach landing NW England

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Beach landing NW England

Old 21st May 2020, 17:47
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Beach landing NW England

Hi, hope you don't mind me posting here as a non pilot. This afternoon I saw a light aircraft land, and shortly thereafter take off, from a beach in NW England. Is this normal/allowed or is it likely to have been precautionary and unscheduled?
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Old 21st May 2020, 20:12
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Originally Posted by Pax Mancunia View Post
Hi, hope you don't mind me posting here as a non pilot. This afternoon I saw a light aircraft land, and shortly thereafter take off, from a beach in NW England. Is this normal/allowed or is it likely to have been precautionary and unscheduled?

No such thing as a bad question....!

Pilling Sands has long been a favourite, and - indeed - there were special exemptions made in the NW to allow people to use the beach near the nuclear power station (use of which would, otherwise, have been banned with the post 9/11 restrictions).

In Scotland, we even have the world's only beach airport - Barra - used for scheduled operations.

So, to answer your question, it's normal, it's allowed and - while it may have been someone practising for an engine failure - it is unlikely to have been a real emergency. If it had, they wouldn't have gone around!
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Old 21st May 2020, 21:43
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Thanks!

I knew about Barra but wasn't aware beach landings were a normal thing - never seen one before (aside from emergency helicopters).
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Old 22nd May 2020, 05:40
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Beaches? Free public access unless there is a bylaw. Nothing wrong with landing on a beach. Thought that was common knowledge.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:07
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Check out the website of this great charity for more pics like this....

LANCASHIRE LANDING FLY IN - HOME
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:09
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My first flight was in a Giro Aviation Fox Moth from Southport beach when I was just a little lad [in the 1950's].
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:37
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Thanks for the link and for all the other replies.

Despite growing up by the sea with many expansive beaches in the area (Gower), I never saw a beach landing. Maybe the sand was too soft. I guess somewhere like Pembrey could work for this sort of thing.

Edit - just had a message from a friend who has himself landed at Pilling some years ago as pax in colleague’s microlight.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 15:44
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NW airfields

There was an old commercial beach airfield at Middleton Sands in the 30's. It is still used for microlights etc.
The sand there is hard and cars can drive on it.

The UKairfieldguide website has some history.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 17:11
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Old 23rd May 2020, 17:13
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Originally Posted by mpprh View Post
There was an old commercial beach airfield at Middleton Sands in the 30's. It is still used for microlights etc.
The sand there is hard and cars can drive on it.

The UKairfieldguide website has some history.
More precisely: Middleton Sands - UK Airfield Guide
No amount of praise is sufficient to Dick for his ceaseless efforts.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 18:05
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I've landed on beaches, but have walked many more times. Surface can change. Unless an emergency, don't land unless the beach has been checked since last high tide, and preferably very near to landing time.
At Solas, a large plywood sheet once washed up, and was not visible from the air until very close.
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