Articles > First Trip to Kemble (February 2007)

By Phil Parmiter

What with the good weather we are having this February, Colin decided it was time to explore further afield. Redlands was going to be our destination for Sunday, but after listening to Andy about the reception we were likely to receive, we changed our plans and headed of to Kemble.

Not too early a start, around 9:30, saw myself and Colin pulling G-MARO from its hangar at Pymore . After the usual boost start form his car we soon had the Sky Ranger's Jabaru engine up and running. With the plane carrying more fuel then we had ever loaded into the plane before, Colin decided on a full flap take off. This proved unnecessary as the plane lifted off around half way down the strip.

Soon after take off and in the cruise we headed off to pass north of Henstridge and past The Park gliding site near Wing Farm. Checking with Salisbury automatic services [DAAIS / ATIS 122.750 - Ed.] about the ranges we were clear to enter and pass overhead at a height of 3,500. We soon had Keevil in our sights off to the north and called RAF Lyneham for penetration into their MATZ. We received instructions and asked for our intended route, which was past Avebury, Wroughton and onto Kemble.

Left: Avebury   Above: Wroughton

Cleared for penetration at 3,000 we soon passed our waypoints calling Lyneham as we progressed.

Once cleared to change frequency and having reduced height for our landing at Kemble, things started to get busy with our initial call to Kemble being placed as number Three. Once we had picked our way through the radio conflict we were soon in the circuit for the landing though.

Kemble was very efficient both in the air and on the ground, with explicit instruction being given and prompt action and pilot R/T expected in return.

Down to the AV8 restaurant for a couple of cups of coffee and some lovely warm soup. With smiling waitresses serving food, both myself and Colin commented on the welcoming atmosphere that exuded form Kemble's staff.

Above: Kemble tower

Bottom right: Colin 'superb landing' Whitford

A quick trip around the Hunters and Canberras and a peek in the hangars satisfied our curiosity and then a necessary trip to the loo soon had us back in the plane. With using only 20 litres to get to Kemble (with a head wind) I decided that we would proceed with out a top up of fuel. Our route would take us back near Compton or Henstridge and fuel could be picked up en route if necessary.

As it happened we called into Compton for another leak and another cuppa. Colin phoned Mike Hawkins to see if he was going to be at his field but he said he was "out playing at Old Sarum”. So after a lazy stroll down the flight line and Colin hopping into a Eurostar to see if it fitted him, we were back in G-MARO set to go back to Bridport. Colin said we would go and see if we could locate Mike's field even though he was out and about. After successfully finding his strip, we turned back on a course to home. Mike was at his strip having just landed and called us on the radio and invited us back for a visit, but as we only have 15 litres of fuel left in the tanks we decided that the pleasure of Mike's company would wait for another day when we could make a day of it and spend some decent time chatting rather than just a quick visit.

We turned down to Hardy's monument and flew back along the coast, ending the day with a superb landing from Colin.


Devon & Somerset Microlight Club
Dunkeswell Airfield, Dunkeswell, Nr. Honiton, Devon EX14 4LJ