EGAD Spotting

General notes

AIRCRAFT IN FLIGHT

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Runways 03 / 21

This is the predominant axis, being used for more than 80% of movements. Of the two runways 21 is in turn the most common due to the prevailing NW wind.

The fields to the south-west of the airfield are private agricultural land and are not accessible except with permission.

Recommended locations

Site 1, approximately 800 metres westwards along the tide bank path and close to the threshold of the 33 runway. The path is compressed grit and stone suitable for walking and off-road bicycle tyres. As you proceed to this location you will pass the tail-boom of a Miles Aerovan planted on top of a WW2-era concrete pillbox.

Site 2, in the grounds of the public Londonderry Park. Grit and tarmac paths with extensive grass areas, well drained. This area is just below sea level and requires looking-up. For privacy reasons it is recommended that photography be restricted to the southern and western areas, away from the play-park.

Site 2B is a small area of wasteground across the Portaferry Road from the park, beside an open-air car washing / valeting area.

Site 3, a layby on the south side of the main road opposite the Tesco Extra store. A field lies between this location and the airfield boundary fence and but is private land and is occupied by horses at several times of the year, which is unfortunate as it possesses a mound which would provide excellent elevation. I am still trying to contact the land-owner about possible access.

Runways 15 / 33

Less commonly-used but provides stunning views from locations Site 1 and Site 4. Heliwest is a helicopter landing area cut in the grass just north of Site 1 and often used for hovering practice.

Site 1, as for 03 / 21 but aircraft pass directly overhead, per the cautionary signs emplaced here by the Flying Club.

Site 4 Footpath near the Castlebawn Roundabout. Right on the threshold of runway 15, separated only by the airfield fence and identified by the red-and-white striped streetlamp poles with red beacons on their tops. Tail-on touch-down or head-on lift-off shots possible southwards through fence, or northwards for aircraft on approach to runway 15.

Site 5, entrace to the Woodgate site from the Comber Road. Might be suitable for aircraft departing from runway 33 but I don't personally use this site since the main road is narrow and busy and not friendly to cyclists.

Helicopter landing areas

Helieast is north of the main fuel bowsers at the apron, views from the Clubhouse are obstructed by the bowsers and the best views are through the fence on the entrance road to the Clubhouse site, requiring lens ~ 300mm.

Heliwest is cut into the grass just north of Site 1 and is frequently used for hovering practice. Excellent views from Site 1 with lenses > 300mm.