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Sociable groups/clubs in the South?

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Sociable groups/clubs in the South?

Old 28th Oct 2020, 19:02
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Europe
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Sociable groups/clubs in the South?

Hi everyone,

I'm a commercial pilot about to renew my SEP rating and thereafter Im thinking about buying a share in an aircraft and I note that there are some good value shares available at Popham which is one of my closest airfields.

However, my desires are twofold - firstly, Id like to get flying cheaply and regularly and Ive heard that Popham often gets waterlogged throughout the winter - is this true, and if so, does it drag on for a long time, or just a day or so after particularly heavy rain?

Secondly, Ideally Id like to fly from an airfield with a club or in a group that is rather socialable - Im also after the social side of aviation... I understand COVID will have curtailed some of the fun & frolics for the time being, but thinking ahead here for more normal times (and perhaps any socially distant arrangements!). So I guess what Im asking here is Popham a sociable place or can anyone recommend a particularly sociable group there? Im in my 30s so whilst not ageist and enjoy socialising with people of all ages, Id also quite like to get involved somewhere where theres at least a few other younger people about as well.

Im based in Central Hants and dont want to travel miles & miles so I realise that really restricts me to Popham, Chilbolton, Goodwood, Blackbushe, Lasham, Thruxton and Fairoaks as other options.

Any thoughts/opinions greatly welcomed... many thanks!

AirUK is offline  
Old 28th Oct 2020, 19:16
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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I visit Popham occasionally throughout the year and it seems a lot better than many local grass fields with respect to waterlogging. In my opinion it does have a special kind of mud which sticks to our tail wheel and makes it a lot bigger. It can also be very slippery when very wet. In your list of local airfields I guess that Goodwood could be one of the worst for waterlogging, in spite of a major investment to cure it.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 01:18
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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I have been a member at Popham and Chilbolton, and still visit both a few times a year. Both are very "clubby".

The few times I've been into Thruxton, I've always found it basically a flying school with not much club side.

Popham has a longer runway and a lot more aeroplanes - that would be my first choice.

Genghis the Engineer is online now  
Old 29th Oct 2020, 08:41
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Decent hard runway, good cafe. Worth a visit to check the noticeboard and have a chat with a few of the locals.
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 00:44
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Europe
Posts: 43
Thanks everyone for your replies so far.
Based upon your recommendations, Ive narrowed it down to one of the groups at Popham (any confirmation of the reported water logging issues anyone?), Chilbolton, Blackbushe Aviation at Blackbushe and another Ive discovered, LTFC at Fairoaks. Does anyone have any experience of any of these other groups/clubs by any chance?
Genghis, when you say Popham and Chilbolton are clubby, Im guessing youre saying theyre rather sociable as opposed to cliquey?!

Many thanks again for your advice!
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 02:25
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
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I had a share in a PA28 at Popham for some years, it doesn't waterlog. It does get slippery and a little muddy at times, and in winter they often ban T&Gs, but basically, not a problem. Landing a heavyish light aircraft on 26 in zero headwind definitely puts hairs on your chest.

Yes, nice club environment at Chilbolton (it's a true club, run by and for the members); Popham has an LAA strut, cafe, and a general air of somewhere people like to hang around and relax between flying. Neither in my experience suffered much from cliques.

Genghis the Engineer is online now  
Old 30th Oct 2020, 10:36
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Europe
Posts: 43
Ah, thank you very much for all that info, Genghis! I just wanted to make sure.

If anyone still has any info on any of the other above-mentioned clubs or groups before I commit one way or the other, Id be most appreciative.

Best regards all and have a nice weekend (even if the weather does preclude flying!)
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 19:02
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Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: north of barlu
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Great if you want to go gliding....... Not much powered flying.
A and C is offline  

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