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Pilot reviews of Crail Airfield

5 Aug 14 - Stephen Nuttall - 0.5 NM North of HMS Nightjar

Flew to Crail on Friday 25th July inbound from Perth and outbound to Blackpool. Our phone call beforehand advised us that only the north/south runway was available due to a race meeting being underway on the rest of the runways. Radio was blind calls on Safetycom. As advised when we phoned, we did a low fly-by to ensure that the runway was clear and to check out where the tyre barriers were placed, (which reduced the runway by about 200 metres – no problem at all as we still had about 700 meters available). Interesting weather meant that the seaward end of the runway was in coastal advection fog, (haar), but the north end was in bright and warm sunshine. Luckily, the light wind favoured a northerly approach and all was well. The runway, by the way, was in excellent condition and could put some licenced airfields to shame.

Landing fee was £10 collected by a very nice man who drove over on a quad bike and advised us on walking routes to the coast and the town. Parking was to the side of the runway within the tyre barriers. It was no issue for us, but I doubt that there was space for more than three SEPs without encroaching on the runway. Not sure if the barriers would have been moved if the race meeting wasn’t on. Parking would be worth checking before a visit.

The airfield itself looked amazing. We are told that it is one of the most complete former wartime Royal Naval airfields and it certainly looked it, although due to the race meeting, we weren’t able to explore. (And the fact that the greyhounds insisted on going for a walk on the coastal path!) Access to the coastal path was by walking down to the perimeter track and then down a path to the beach/footpath. The footpath took us (in fog!) through a caravan park and into the very pretty fishing village of Crail itself. A quick look at the map suggests that the views would normally be wonderful across the mouth of the Firth of Forth, but as mentioned, we were in fog, although it was so shallow that we also needed sunglasses! A lovely little spot well worth a visit. The return to the airfield was along the road: only a 10 minute walk back to the airfield.

Take-off was pretty much into the fog bank, but as this was directly over the sea and only extended to about 100 feet, we were IMC for only about 10 seconds. No issue, but care needs to be taken as the fog could just as easily have been over the whole airfield.

This is a very different airfield and one I would love to explore on another date.

  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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12 Aug 14

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Pilot reviews of Crail Airfield

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