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Pilot reviews of Great Massingham Airfield

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Pilot reviews of Great Massingham Airfield

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8 Apr 17 - Steve Woolmington - Earls Colne

If you are looking for somewhere to go to combine a flight with a nice lunch, Great Massingham is a splendid place. WW2 runways still in remarkable condition, and a reasonable £8 landing fee. Flew in today having obtained PPR and a straightforward brief from the owner. No radio and few movements even on this sunny weekend, plenty of parking and the fee is paid in an honesty box. Thank goodness for people like the owner who is happy to see it in use as an airfield rather than putting buildings, containers, farm machinery or chicken houses on the runway - a fate which has befallen many of the airfields in this part of the world. Weekdays you'd be advised to talk to Marham, but today there were only gliders to worry about, but still better to broadcast your intentions to 'Marham Traffiic' . Park up near the large hangar, walk 300 metres along a well-worn path towards the village church, cut through the churchyard and you emerge in the centre of the village. The Dabbling Duck is oposite the church - very expensive beer (not that I had any), but food prices reasonable considering the quality and the setting is perfect. Well worth a visit and you'll earn lots of brownie points from your partner. On departure, if using 22, turn left as soon as you are able to avoid the village.

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
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5 Mar 15 - David Russell - EGSF

Popped over today from Conington for a first time visit. Obtained PPR yesterday very friendly and helpful on the phone and supplied all relevant information. Excellent service from the RAF at Marham, always give them a call as there were several Tornado's about and an Osprey! Airfield easy to find and the green hangar in the SW corner really stands out. Main runway is in exvellent condition considering it's age and as others have mentioned it's like being on the film set for twelve o'clock high. Landing fee still £8 for a single and payable in the green chicken hut on wheels.

  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
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27 Sep 12 - Stephen Nuttall - 0.5 NM North of HMS Nightjar
Flew into Great Massingham on 9 September from Little Snoring, an 8 minute flight, and out to Weybourne - a 12 minute flight! (Interestingly enough, in the 8 minute flight there, we flew past two other wartime airfields - Sculthorpe & West Raynham - how did they find the right ones at night in wartime....?) It is a lovely airfield and one we have visited several times before. It has a runway which would put many licensed airfields to shame in both length and surface. Beware of walkers, cyclists and horse-riders who all use the airfield too and remember that the village is noise sensitive, so be thoughtful. The greyhounds decided they would like to take us walking on Pedder's Way, an old Roman road. (Though some say it is even earlier). It's only ion the other side of the village and is a 15 minute walk away. Our evening meal was at the Dabbling Duck which wins my vote for charm and good food.
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
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19 Jun 12 - Chris Scholfield - Ashwell
As all the others have said, this is a step back in time. It rather reminded me of the opening sequence of the Jimmy Stewart film where he returns to his wartime base and leans over the fence and the soundtrack merges in to the sound of B-17s taking off. 12 o clock High? Anyway it's well worth a visit but do contact Marham on a weekday as the grey pointy things were whizzing about. Tornados I think. The Dabbling Duck is charming and has a nice garden if the weather is good. Definitely worth another visit.
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 3
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2 Jul 11 - Mark Welch - Bradford
The lovely peaceful place to visit. We were the only people at the airfield. A short walk into the village
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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2 Jul 11 - Mark Welch - Bradford

Visited Great Massingham on one of the best flying days so far of 2011 the visibilty was excellent. I telephomed Great Massingham for PPR and they provided a very thorough briefing. They also asked me to Phone Marham ATC to inform them of our arrival and ETA which was straightforward enough. Approaching from Kings Lynn we nearly misidentified the airfield with West Raynham (disused) which is only about 2 miles away but the SAT NAV promptly informed us where we needed to be. Made blind calls on Safetycom, did an inspection run of the runway and came back round to land. Parked outside the big hanger next to the hut with a C on it. I was the only person there. The airfield is situated in beautiful surroundings and is so peaceful and quiet. A short walk to the village.

  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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28 Jun 10 - Mark Bellamy - Sherburn
After phoning for PPR, we visited Great Massingham on a gloriously sunny Sunday, approaching from the North across the Wash - service from Norwich Radar. They advised we try a courtesy call to Marham, who were closed. The approach to 22 has a row of trees and a building at the threshold, so we landed at the intersection; as there is a total of 900m, this is not a problem. Overall, the field has a glorious WW2 feel. The old concrete surface is slightly pitted but perfectly serviceable. Congratulations to the owners for keeping it open. We booked in, and left our landing fees, in the smallest Charlie hut I have ever seen - looks like a bathing machine. After that a short walk along the footpath to the church yard, and lunch (table pre-booked) at the Dabbling Duck, well-known locally as a gastro-pub. Then airborne again to Fenland (20 minutes) for some self service fuel before setting a course for home.
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
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3 Sep 09 - Colin Baxter - Wearing me 'at in Ilkley.......
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….!

  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 2
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1 Sep 09 - Stephen Nuttall - 0.5 NM North of HMS Nightjar
Flew into Great Massingham on Sunday 31 August to take our greyhounds for a walk and check-out the possibility of bringing one of Westair’s 2010 fly-outs here. First: the PPR to the owners who really should be commended for making such a lovely airfield available to us. The briefing was very good (avoid flying over habitation – I HOPE I managed to do that!) and the details of where to park, book-in and pay landing fees (£8.00) was very clear. The airfield itself was easy to find, although without GPS, it would have been very easy to fly to West Raynham first which is less than 2 miles away: that’s Norfolk for you! The main runway, 22/04 was plenty long enough, although caution the trees just before the 22 threshold (next to the part of the runway no longer in use: this can cause some turbulence on late final. Considering that the runway looked to be the original WW2 concrete surface, it was in very good condition and better than some licensed airfields. No radio, so we used Safety-Comm and made plenty of calls and a very good look-out. Parking was next to the hangar and there was plenty of room to park. Booking in a wooden hut which was very well laid out with local information, especially Marham (which was “notamed” closed on our visit – we worked Waddington from the north). The walk into the village (three routes – all of 10 minutes or less) was easy and the village itself (with three duck-ponds!) is so charming that it hurts. The duck-ponds, the wonderful church and the village pub were out of a story-book. Even better for us, the pub allows dogs into most of the rooms, does B&B (dogs too), had five real ales, (and Euro-fizz lager for people with no taste) and excellent food. Just to top it all, there was a jazz band playing in the back-garden. I like private airfields like Great Massingham – there is no one there and you feel like you have the place to yourselves. It reminds me of what a privilege it is to be able to fly around our lovely country (despite what we sometimes think). Well worth a visit, I will be back soon, hopefully to stay over and sample the beer!
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 3
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15 Jun 09 - Denman Rooke
This is a rare example of an almost intact WW2 airfield in good repair but completely undeveloped - fantastic that the farm's owners have kept it open (PPR). Landing fee is £8 in the honesty box for charity. We landed our Tiger on about a third of R22, which is 900m even after the displaced threshold of about 200m. A pleasant 10 minute stroll across the fields took us through the churchyard, across the green and into the Dabbling Duck pub for a great lunch, sitting watching the eponymous ducks dabbling in the village pond. What could be nicer?
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
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Pilot reviews of Great Massingham Airfield

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