Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gone Fishin..!

Over at Brands Hatch today for the British Superbike Championships, on what looked very much like a summer's afternoon. One of my 'apprentices' who has just been given a job flying much larger aircraft came along for the ride and to tell me what it's like flying passengers out of Gatwick. He was busy doing training circuits last week and I made a point of telling him to avoid Ramsgate at all costs, as it transpires that the airline he now works for occasionally uses Manston for pilot training.

Rochester airport very kindly let us do a special banner over the hospice, just off the end of their runway this afternoon; a very touching 40th wedding anniversary message from the children of a much-loved father and mother, and from above, I could make out the family group in the sunshine outside the ward waving, with Dad wheeled out specially for the occassion.

This weblog will be going very quiet over the remainder of October, so be warned. I'm in and out and away alot and I've more CAA exams to study for and the "Tackling Organised Crime" conference I have to chair, so I'm going to find it very hard to make regular posts. Normal service should be resumed by month-end though!

From the photo, you'll see that an alternative use has been found for the much-publicised sandbank in Ramsgate harbour!


Anonymous said...

Dear Editor. Are you yet another one of the people who knock and don't wish to see Manston Airport (Kent International Airport) be at least a little successful? I am not an investor of Infratil but believe that there is a future for KIA as a regional airport and contary to the beliefs of possibly some on this site EU jet proved it. Planestations finances were precarious at best whereas Infratil have the financial backing to stay for the long term. Infratil stated their outline budget and from memory it included a loss provision for 2 or 3 years. At lease that is what the said when they became the new owners and due to the spend so far and the efforts from the management team, I have no reason to dis-believe them. Its not correct to say there is not a market for Manston.

As far as Aircraft noise and plane movement noise is concerned. I lived in the village of Manston from 1950-1959 (aged 5-14) when the Americans were based at the airport. The bombers flew in and out from dawn till dusk 22:00 (11pm) and in the Summer months from our windows we could watch the planes circle whilst the men practised parachute jumps and training for take off and landings. I would suggest that the noise was somewhat louder than it is for modern aircraft. What is more annoying to me is the wasps (helicopters) and two seater (lawn mower engined) planes that fly over on a Sunday. If they must practice why not practice in the middle of the channel? like some of the larger planes when they circle Thanet.

This blog site is read around the wourld I assume, regrettably the possible views of the editor/owner of this site do not help to enhance the airport owners or the airport's reputation in trying to encourage more use and thus help to create employment. I would sincerely like to see Manston succeed, and to provide employment and prospects to an economic backwater.

Yours C.S.

Anonymous said...

CS, I think you have missed the point about the flying Doc's position here! He is very much a supporter of a thriving Manston , as are many Thanetlife readers. I suspect he was talking to a mate who flies for Oasis Hong Kong, who for many months now have been slipping between long-haul flights to do circuits and bumps training flights at Manston. He was pointing out perhaps that such flights over the roof-tops of Ramsgate have been exciting comment in Press and on Eastcliff Richards Blog that is not supportive. (Yesterday we had DHL doing circuits) I hope that the training means that Oasis will be considering Manston as its Uk destination for long haul as the clearance time on the ground will be far shorter and will enable passengers to have 'time in hand' to balance the longer time to get to London. TDC is right behind the development of a successful and thriving air-port as are many residents and Thanet businesses!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck with your CAA exams.

Mr Friday said...

EU Jet proved nothing other than that a multi-destination airport at Manston cannot be successful - even with loads of taxpayers money subsidising it.

I have said on here before, bite the bullet and develop it to meet our Housing quota rather than building in absurd places like Westwood Cross.

Failing that, build the college on the site rather than Westwood again.

ZumiWeb said...

And who said irony is dead. Thanet Life accused of being anti-Manston! Hee hee.

We nearly all love the idea of the airport, most of us don't mind the noise and even understand the safety and economic arguments for training flghts. It's just that if you're under the final approach flight path, it is a bit intrusive (that's a polite way of saying the crockery rattles and you can't hear the telly) so now and again is fine, but every few minutes for an hour or two is a little wearying. Otherwise, it's really ok, honest it is. These arguments have gone round and round, and as with everything some are more fierce in their views than others. I'm at the wishy-washy end of the view spectrum...

And does a training flight mean the pilot is specifically practising for future landings here, or is it just general learner driving? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Referring to the silting-up of Ramsgate harbour and Marina, I heard yesterday that the survey vessel, the yellow barge with two telescopic legs could not leave the harbour yesterday at low water until after the tide had started to flood the harbour, as it grounded, this seems to prove a point. Does it not?
On another subject concerning Ramsgate port, I understand two illegal immigrants came into UK and escaped also a further five landed the next day. Where is the security at Ostend, will these events be reported or discretely hidden?

Anonymous said...

Who gives a damn any-more 9.49am? Such has been the illegal and legal immigration flood into this green and once pleasant land that a few extra 'Johny Foreigners' hopping off boats in Ramsgate Harbour are inconsequential.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Just as a point of clarification, I am not against the airport per se. And most training flights are inconsequential. However, a 747 landing or taking off over your roof every nine minutes for hours on end is a real annoyance.

And before anyone comes on with the old 'it's been an airport since 1823', yes, I know that, but times change. Ramsgate's future lies elsewhere, i.e with its port, with its natural and man-made beauty, with its potential to be a centre of research and excellence for the wind generation industry and with its proximity to London come the bullet trains. But people will not come and live by the seaside and contribute to its economy if there's a 400 tonne aluminium lump flying over their heads every weekend. Our beloved TDC is being so shortsighted in not having a proper agreement in place to regulate the airport (sign my petition!).

Anyway, I've generated enouugh wind myself now, so I'm off.