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Submitted by: Colin Baxter
Great Massingham is an ex Bomber Command airfield, with Blenheims, Mosquitos, Bostons and for a short time B17s operating from it. It is now privately owned, and has been kept open.

Myself & Bill Horton visited Great Massingham on Bank Holiday Monday in a Sherburn Warrior DE. We approached from Kings Lynn, and as Marham were closed, radio traffic was non existent (though that had been the case all the way down). Had a little trouble finding the airfield due to an idiot in the RHS, but once Bill ignored me he found it quite easily. Bill had received an excellent telephone briefing from the owners before setting off, but we still decided it prudent to make a precautionary low pass to inspect the runway first. On GoggleErf it looks like the surface is marginal, but it isn’t so bad in real life, though it would appear to be the original WWII surface. SafetyCom calls were made at all relevant points before landing on the usable part of 22 past the displaced threshold (after the intersection – the part before is unusable, partly due to having a barn built on it).

The runway is smooth and c900m long; however some of the taxiways are much narrower and have the occasional lump, bump and hole. Taxiing for the Control hut took us down a 15ft wide taxiway between grass so long that both wings were swishing through it! Arriving at the big green hangar and shutting down, the only sound is the wind in the grass – the airfield was totally deserted, even on bank Holiday Monday! The Control hut is literally that – a 6x4 shed where the suggested £8 landing fee is placed in an honesty box, and the booking in sheet filled out. 10 mins walk in the direction of the church down country footpaths takes you to the village, which is a typical Norfolk rural setting. The Dabbling Duck is directly opposite, which seems a nice pub doing food (though they know how to charge – 2 bottles of alcohol free, 2 cheese & chutney sarnies & 2 bags of nuts came to £16 – a bit of a shock to a Yorkshire wallet!!). Our visit was curtailed by the need to leave due to forecast weather back at base, so we returned to DE to find Stephen Nuttall’s C172 ZS parked next to DE, though at the time did not realise it was another UKGA user. No evidence of dog hairs…..

Taxiing back out, a cyclist considerately departed the taxiway to let us pass – even giving a cheery wave as we went by (so much nicer than the norm!). Visitors should be aware that designated public footpaths cross the airfield. Lining up for departure, the runway rises slightly before levelling out, restricting vision down the full length. As I began my takeoff roll, I did hope that there were no walkers with iPods in just over the brow…..

All in all, an interesting place to visit with a huuuge runway for even the most nervous of us (ie me), but don’t expect to find many people to talk to or much in the way of facilities. As mentioned by Stephen, thanks must go to the owners for keeping it open for visitors.

Definitely a place to return to, especially if you are taken by the history. Currently trying to work out whether we could fit two bicycles in the luggage compartment of a Warrior….!

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Flight planning

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