Pilot reviews of Little Rissington Airfield
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RAF Little Rissington EGVL is no longer available to GA. The Operator left the airfield in 2013. It appears the only way to visit the airfield is by contacting HQ Air Cadets who only alow aircraft to visit when the VGS is operating. All their aircraft are grounded and have not flown for several months. Beware; military activity still takes place regularly on this airfield.
|“||Little Rissington EGVL
It would appear that Devonair have closed down their operation. The grass taxiway to their hangars is no longer visible. Did land on 9th Aug - main runway has new tarmac. If you do use the airfield, be aware of large flocks of crows & some buzzards. Seeing one take-off alongside us was a little unsettling! Some RAF activity on ground. Not sure whether we (GA/Micro) are welcome or not? Although saying that, I at least didn't get the negative welcome that I got at Enstone later that day! |
Flew into Little Rissington today (15th), from Halfpenny Green. PPR by mobile text message/web site. As its a week day, no A/G service but gyrocopter on ground did reply. Easy to spot coming from the north, and no other airfields to negotiate - keeping away from Gloucester & gliding sites. Runways are a little rough but I could have landed and taken off, in the length of 14. Followed grass taxi-way to Devonair hangars but nobody about. Gyrocopter landed (not sure of type but side by side seating) - based at the airfield - and we discussed airfield usage. OK at week-end for GA aircraft. All in all, an OK place to land out - if you have someone to visit in the area.
We visited this military airfield today (ga friendly)after calling in at Hinton in the hedges.
24 hour ppr required. Impossible to miss those runways,standard overhead joins and then directed to the Devonair hangars by traffic control.After parking up a short distance from the hangars,to our surprise Colin the manager drew up in his car and offered us a lift(how often does that happen).He then gave us a guided tour of one of the hangars describing the various aircraft there and lastly invited us inside the owners Dove which has been refitted,true to its origins.Landing fee £7 well worth every penny,but no cafe unfortunately,hardly surprising though as this is Military.
|“||Flew into Little Rissington on 18 Feb; very friendly PPR over the day before, with all required info - most of which can also be found on the Devonair website (see link). Flying in from White Waltham, we called Brize Zone (124.275 MHz) and were provided with FIS and cleared through the CTR; right on top on Brize's massive runway with plenty of Tristars and VC-10Ks on the apron! Nice...
Little Rissington stand out due to its characteristic RAF-base shape with 3 runways. Wind was north-easterly so we did a RH circuit for runway 04 (the long one). No answer on Safety com (135.475 MHz) so we did blind calls in the circuit. The airfield is routinely used by RAF cadets gliding at the week-ends but movements are rare on weekdays. Runway surface is very good - 04/22 even looks like it was resurfaced not too long ago!
After landing we were motioned towards the Devonair hangars (to the South of the airfield) by two gentlemen working on the airfield. The airfield is quite vast. As advised during PPR, use the grass taxiway (taxying between rows of orange cones) rather than the (dilapidated) hard ones.
We parked in front of one of the Devonair hangars. Very friendly welcome, the cup of coffee was "on the house" and we were treated to a visit of the hangars and the based aircraft. I remember at least two Chipmunks (one fully restored in RAF colours), a Stearman, plus no less than four DH Doves! At least two of these were intact but sadly haven't been flying for a while. Their return to a flying status (mostly hampered by paperwork) is obviously a labour of love for Devonair! But seeing the considerable stock of spare parts at their disposal, there is good hope that one Dove at least will return to the air soon.
On leaving, an intersection take-off still provided the Robin with plenty of runway (04/22 is about 1,400 m long) and tracking straight to DTY VOR/DME. |
|“||Flew into Rissy yesterday from Swansea in a C172. It is the old home of The RAF Central flying school and past home to most of the past RAF Aerobatics teams. It is now being used by Devonair who are restoring a number of De -havilland Doves. It is strickly PPR and this is needed because the military still use it for para drops. When this is taking place the ground controller uses safety comms frequency 135.475. At the weekends the Air cadets use it for powered gliders etc so I would imagine it could get reasonably busy then as there are a number of Private users also storing their aircraft in the two large hangers used by Devonair. I had previously spoken to Martin on the telephone and when I arrived there were no radio comms so I over flew the airport and landed on 22/04. This runway is long and in excellent condition and used by Herculese aircraft when doing para drops. It is also wide and would be good in tricky cross wind landings. There are two other runways which are shorter but looked okay. The main 22/04 stands out well as it appears to recently have been re surfaced and is much darker than the other two runways. The field itself stands out from long distance with the two main hangers (used by Devonair) coloured white. I used a left hand circuit on 22 / 04 at 800ft. The airfield is the second highest point in the Cotswold ( some 800 ft ) which is at variance to what is shown on the 1.5 maps so be prepared to work out your own QFE if there is no radio contact. I used a service from Brize Radar ( 12 miles away ) prior to reaching the airport. When you land it is easy to get lost as with most old previously disused airfields the taxi signs have long since disappeared and the taxiways in places are in poor condition. Do not head towards the old control tower and buildings as this is totally the wrong direction, instead head for the two light coloured hangers previously described which you will have seen in the overhead. I was met by Colin in his 4 X 4 and I followed him to the Hangers. The airfield has only recently opened up to GA so don't expect all day breakfasts and flashy toilets! What you will get is a very warm welcome and the offer to take you to The Lamb Public House at Great Rissinton which is approx 2 miles away which serves excellent meals and old world cotswold stone hotel accomodation. ( the village is approx 5 miles from Bourton on the Water which is well worth a visit if staying over - there used to be a bus service but there is a local taxi service). The landing fee is £7 and AV Gas at £1.40 something a litre served from a bowser! There are a number of interesting aircraft in the Hangers to view. When you depart follow the Windrush Valley towards Burford ( following the River Windrush which is the source of the Thames) and view the villages! also have a look at the old disused Windrush Airfield alongside the A40 which was disguised in the war so that the Germans bombed it instead of RAF Little Rissington. Before you go there do a google search as there is lots of interesting stuff about RAF Little Rissington and Windrush Airfields in the war years! When you are at Windrush Area get a clearance from Brize as they get a bit nervous because of the high volume of military aircraft around. Whilst I was at Rissy 4 Eurofighters over flew plus an F15 and the usual array of VC10 Tanker aircraft going into Brize. This visit was the high lite of my flying career as I originate from Sherborne which is the next village to the Airfield and as a child watching all the practice displays etc I never ever thought that one day I would fly an aircraft in and out of there! The last Pilot from the village was a squadron leader in the RAF who flew a Vulcan down through the Windrush Valley at low level 40 years ago and rattled all the doors and windows and the villagers still talk about it to this day! I don't think I made quite the same impact when I over flew but several turned out to meet me! If I can help further ring me - Bob Preston tel 0791-9661200. Enjoy the visit, I am sure you will. |
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