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Pilot reviews of Barra Airfield

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Pilot reviews of Barra Airfield

20 Sep 09 - James Neil - Dumfries
It is worth looking up the tide times to get an idea of when you can arrive and depart. The NDB is useful but as you have no 'strip' to look for spotting the airport is not easy. There are orange markers at either end of the extended centreline of the 'runways' but you may only see one. The sand is smooth and unless you go through some puddles much smoother than grass and is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable landings you will make. There is a board on the beach that marks the extended 25 threshold line. There is no hard standing for overnight parking which is a shame when there is plenty of car parking. The options are to park up the beach above the high tide line or it is possible to go further up onto the grass at one point. There are some, not very substantial, portable tie downs (car wheels with concrete). They recommended the corkscrew type of tie down anchors for sand. There is a minibus (bus) to Castlebay that meets the Flybe scheduled flight. Car hire is £35 per day. The bicycle hire in Castlebay apeared to have reasonable quality bikes. There are many more tourists than most of the other islands and there is a reasonable selection of hotels and restaurants. The whole island is stunning but if you cannot stay it would be criminal not to walk at least 100 yards away from the terminal. Cross the road and go over a style, follow the sandy path through the dunes to what must be one of the best beaches in the world. ATC could not have been more helpful at Barra but the (HIAL rate) £16 seemed excessive when there is no runway and especially when there is nowhere substantial to park overnight. Oban have AVGAS and very helpful firemen who are used to requests for hosing down aircraft. It was included in the Oban £15 landing fee.
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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12 Sep 09 - James Neil - Dumfries
It is worth looking up the tide times to get an idea of when you can arrive and depart. The NDB is useful but as you have no 'strip' to look for spotting the airport is not easy. There are orange markers at either end of the extended centreline of the 'runways' but you may only see one. The sand is smooth and unless you go through some puddles much smoother than grass and is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable landings you will make. There is a board on the beach that marks the extended 25 threshold line.

There is no hard standing for overnight parking which is a shame when there is plenty of car parking. The options are to park up the beach above the high tide line or it is possible to go further up onto the grass at one point. There are some, not very substantial, portable tie downs (car wheels with concrete). They recommended the corkscrew type of tie down anchors for sand.

There is a minibus (bus) to Castlebay that meets the Flybe scheduled flight. Car hire is £35 per day. The bicycle hire in Castlebay apeared to have reasonable quality bikes. There are many more tourists than most of the other islands and there is a reasonable selection of hotels and restaurants.

The whole island is stunning but if you cannot stay it would be criminal not to walk at least 100 yards away from the terminal. Cross the road and go over a style, follow the sandy path through the dunes to what must be one of the best beaches in the world.

ATC could not have been more helpful at Barra but the (HIAL rate) £16 seemed excessive when there is no runway and especially when there is nowhere substantial to park overnight.

Oban have AVGAS and very helpful firemen who are used to requests for hosing down aircraft. It was included in the Oban £15 landing fee.

  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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13 Jul 09 - Andy Reid - Edinburgh - now flying out of Kirknewton
Visted Barra yesterday. Glorious day and quite spectacular. PPR essential and minimum of 4 hours required. Due to variable opening times it's perhaps best to call the day before. Excellent briefing from FISO/Fireman who advised beach is suitable for use 4 hours either side of low tide. Arrived 3 hours before low tide. Still quite a bit of standing water. Touched down with lots of spay but no problems. Departed about 1 hour before low tide and beach was draining nicely. Good cafe in terminal building. All day Scottish breakfast highly recommended.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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16 Mar 08 - david brook - ingatestone
To land on the beach on a beautiful day is something special.

PPR is essential as the airfield is only open at low tide.

ATC are very friendly & helpful, happy to accomadate a go round if you can't make yourself touch down in water (which is what it looks like from 500 ft).

Sand is firm, one or two very shallow pools, but no problem at all.

Cafe is fine, as good as the majority of flying clubs.

All in all a great experience.

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 1
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Pilot reviews of Barra Airfield

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