Full Size Aircraft Visits Sligo MFC

Landing Approach

Aviators Guide to Ireland

In the first week in March 2011 our chairman received a call from a Mullingar based pilot William Flood. He was looking for permission to land his Cessna 180 aircraft on our club flying site at Annaghmore, Co. Sligo.

William and his friend Joe McDermott, who is the General Aviation editor of Flying in Ireland magazine, are writing a book detailing small flying sites around Ireland. They are including airfield co-ordinates, site history, local amenities, shops, petrol stations etc, in their flight guide.

William was given contact details for the landowner and, at the end of his phone call, he hinted that a couple of flights might be possible if he could land there.


Out of the Blue

Sunday 27th of March was a beautiful day; clear blue sky, light wind. Some of our club members were enjoying an afternoon's flying, when the landowner arrived.

"Do you know that a plane is landing here shortly?!" he said.
"No" we said, quickly grabbing the camera.

The time was about 16.30 and to the right hand side of our flying site, over the trees a Cessna 180 appeared. The aeroplane circled in the distance, it then lined up its approach, landing lights came on, flaps down. Shortly after, William Flood and party had touched down at Annaghmore Airfield, home of Sligo Model Flying Club.


Welcome to Annaghmore Airfield

The aircraft went down the field a small bit, turned and taxied back, stopping at the end of our runway.

The pilot and passengers got out and we all introduced ourselves. The next few words spoken by William made our hearts skip a beat.
"I'll take some of you up for a spin."

No hesitation, the landowners wife and two of us boarded the aircraft and put our seat belts on. Strandhill Airport tower was advised of our flight. William applied full throttle and we were up and away.

In Flight

Bird's Eye View

After a fairly short take-off we climbed, banked right and flew a large circle with Ballisodare bay on our left, with Collooney in the distance. Great views all round.

We then flew back over Annaghmore estate. William reduced power with the runway in the distance and lowered the flaps. We gently touched down, rolling along the grass strip. Brilliant! That made our year for us, great flight.

After a few minutes talking, the landowner and two more club members boarded the aircraft. They took off and flew a similar circuit, landing back ten minutes later.


Safe Travels

It was then time for William and friends to leave, but not before taking some photographs for the occasion. We all shook hands again and said our goodbye's. The Cessna 180 took off, banked right and did a flypast for the camera. A great days flying all round.

We at the Sligo Model Flying Club wish to thank William, Joe and the guys for visiting us at Annaghmore Airfield and for taking us up in the aircraft, it was great flying experience. We hope we might see them back again some day.

More pictures of the day can be found in the gallery. For more details about William & Co's book, the "Aviators Guide to Ireland" visit their website www.flightguide.me

More details of Flying in Ireland magazine can be found at their website www.flyinginireland.com and it is available in many good bookstores.

Published Apr 2011

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