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Pilot reviews of Scilly Isles Airfield

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Pilot reviews of Scilly Isles Airfield

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23 Aug 15 - keith stoten - cliffe

Nice place to visit. Up hill landing could catch you out, ATC very good. Quite busy. £15 landing fee.

  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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7 Apr 15 - P. Evans

My first visit to the islands since the extensive upgrade to facilities (C172). Runway 09/27 is now all tarmac and this together with the new tarmac apron and taxiways gives the airfield a very new feel. The uphill slope at the thresholds can be a bit of a shock if you haven't been there before but are perfectly ok with a little adjustment to your approach technique. ATC are very helpful and will usually let you do a practice fly through if you ask and traffic permits. The Terminal is now very new and modern with good café and facilities. Taxis are available at the terminal for the trip to the town or if you prefer their is a nice walk down a footpath to the old town and beach with nice café and restaurant.

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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4 May 14 - James Le Grys - Bristol

Visited on 3rd May from Bristol. The landing is a bit tricky but ATC was friendly and happy for us to have a fly around the islands on departure before we headed back to the mainland. This is an attractive place, both from the air and if you walk into town. The only shame was the fees - £33.12 for a PA28 and around 5 hours parking is a lot, especially when you consider that for most people it would have already been an expensive flight just to get there. Still, this is a fantastic place to visit and definitely one I will return to.

  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 1
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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29 Mar 12 - Keith Mitchell - Shrewsbury
Flew in on Mon 26 March 12 for an overnight stay in my SR20. Lands' End corridor all straight forward and staff at St Mary's very helpful. Runway in use was 09 - half asphalt half grass .. with a hump. It was also very hazy. The runway lights were on which was vital even though it was 1100hrs! I only have 140 hrs under my belt and found the humped runway difficult but got in OK. I think the relatively high approach speed of an SR20 does not help. On departure I asked the Twr for 14 rather that 09, the former being all asphalt and less of a hump - I was happier with the stiff x-wind rather than the crazy golf runway! They were very obliging and I departed smoothly on 14. As already said the staff in the Twr were great and the airport is well kitted out. The Islands are spectacular - if over nighting go for the Star Castle Hotel - truly fantastic food and they will pick up / drop you off. Will return later this summer but will probably ask for an alternative to 09 if possible!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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10 Mar 12 - Nigel Reilly - Merley

I flew in on 5th March 2012 in a PIPER PA28 at F.L.060 on Culdrose LARS who passed me to Lands End tower for clearance along the Transit Corridor,(see separate plate for this), and made a gradual descent to the airfield. The runway in use was 32 with a surface wind of 300 15knots. Owing to turbulence below 1500 feet I added 5 knots to my approach speed. I rounded out over the numbers but floated somewhat being shielded from the wind by the "hump" in the runway. On touchdown I applied moderate braking and then passed over the hump in the runway to see precious little asphalt left, but did stop in good time to turn off left onto the grass parking area as instructed by the tower.

CAUTION, try to land on or close to the numbers and apply moderate braking immediately! This also applies to runway 27 which I used for take off three days later (when the wind was more westerly). When lined up on the threshold of runway 27 you can only see about 200 metres ahead owing to the "hump" in the airfield, and the surface becomes grass after crossing runway 32. Braking action on this grass section may be poor especially when wet, and because there are sections of fibre matting to bind the surface.

Landing fee was £18.10 and parking £8.15 per night all plus VAT. There is no avgas available here! They provide concrete blocks with tie down ropes. There is a very nice airport cafe serving cornish pasties etc and all of the airport staff were very friendly.

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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17 Sep 09 - Roy C - Bolton (fly From Blackpool)
Just back from a few days in Tresco. Arrived at St Mary's to a great service from ATCwho gave every assistance as it was R09 on a very strong crosswind. The short grass section up hill and then over the hill onto the hard runway. Short and not an easy field but a super place to visit. Used the cafe on the return journey and watched the Twins and Helicopters. All in all, a fantastic destination but not for the fainthearted on a bad weather day.
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3 Jul 09 - Stephen Nuttall - 0.5 NM North of HMS Nightjar
Flew into the Scilly Isles on Saturday 28 June from Perranporth.

This was my second visit, but the first time my wife and our greyhounds had been and we were all totally smitten by this charming island and its wonderful airfield.

The flight from Perranporth is easy - follow the Land's End, LND VOR to St Martin's lighthouse VRP and then to the airfield. You will get a service from Culdrose, Lands End and Isles of Scilly for the whole crossing.

Whichever runway you land on, expect to land uphill at about 1 in 13, and go over the top to a similar downhill! The airfield is on top of the main hill and is actually easier than it sounds - most "tricky" airfields are because you concentrate that much harder.

Grass parking adjacent to the terminal and a charge of about £22 for landing/parking is very reasonable, but don't forget, there is no Avgas available at the airfield. Lots of commercial flights (S61 helicopters, Twin Otters and Islanders - about 18 movements/hour whilst we were there) so you can be entertained whilst eating at the outdoor tables of the super cafe with magnificent views over the island. Good food at a very reasonable cost.

A short walk takes you into town and you can feel the relaxation as you seem to go back in time.

Definitely one of my favourite UK airfields - just wish it was closer to our base in Blackpool....!

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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20 Sep 08 - Bob Chapman - North Weald
Flew into St Marys on 18th Sept, it is a challenging airfield, we were offered either 15 or 09, we choose the 15 tarmac option and were stopped pretty much before the hump in the middle, the grass parking area had obviously just been cut from being quite long and wet I suspect as lots of grass laying around. We stayed overnight and had a thouroughly good time. We had a free landing voucher so cannot comment on the landing fee, but all in all very well worth a visit.
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 3
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28 Aug 07 - Leia Fee - Swansea
The Isles of Scilly are utterly gorgeous and that alone would make this airfield worth a visit. We went on a bank holiday Monday and it was teeming, but air traffic control were astonishingly calm and cheerful in the midst of it (if a bit sardonic!), and the coordination with Land's End was superb. There's several runways but they're all distinctly humpbacked and the one we used was half grass and half hard surfaced and as a quite low hours PPL a bit of a challenge! Worth it though. Landing fee well towards the pricey end of the scale, especially once you added parking on top, but worth splashing out for such a nice destination. The main town is walking distance from the airfield (unusual enough!) and along a very scenic route. Would make a cracking holiday trip!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 2
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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8 Jun 07 - Crimson King - Lewes, East Sussex
Visited in May 07 Brilliant destination ! Easy to walk into the main town, with plenty to see and do. Low amounts of vehicles and traffic makes walking a pleasure.......Trips by boat to any of the islands is a "must do " (recommend St Agnes with a meal at the "Turks Head " ! ) Very friendly ATC who got us the latest weather on the mainland via landlines just prior to departure
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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6 Jul 06 - Kevin Stewart - NPPL flying a Eurostar out of Plymouth
Scilly Isles - visited on 8 June 2006.

Superb destination in good weather. Helpful ATC who were most accommodating. Landing fee on the PA38 was steep at £18 and more than 2 hours parking was another £8. There is no fuel at St. Mary's so take plenty with you. We took too much and struggled to get airborne on departure!

The runways are short and humped in the middle making both landing and take off interesting.

ATC kindly allowed us to make a wide circuit of the islands on departure to take in all the views.

It only takes 10 minutes to walk from the airport down to the town centre where there are plenty of eateries.

The coast path makes a pleasant way of enjoying the views on the main island.

A grand day out, definitely looking forward to going again!

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4 Jun 06 - Mike Mold - Dunkeswell (but based at Watchford)
Sat. 3rd June 2006

This was a brilliant venue for the PFA Devon Strut's fly-out. 15 a/c made the trip, for which a group discount on landing fees was arranged. Some visitors from East Devon staged through Lands End for fuel; others went direct from Bodmin. It was very busy with commercial holiday traffic - twin Otters, Islanders and Sea Kings transiting at low level (ca 1,000 or 1,500ft) and GA being routed at 2,500ft or above (so plenty of opportunities for being spotted & picked up if anyone ditched. No-one did!). Scilly ATC were very helpful, offering inbound & outbound site-seeing routings round the islands. Other than Nayland, St Marys' runways must be the closest we have in the UK to altiports. Be ready to open the throttle over the thresholds to avoid the "clutching hand"!

A single day doesn't do justice to the islands, that offer restaurants, pubs, walks, bird-watching, boat trips to view seals, basking sharks, turtles etc and sub-tropical plant life. No a/c movements on Sundays (other than with additional insurance excemption) so plan for long weekends...

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1 May 06 - Nick .
Went to St Mary's today - very nice place to go to, would recomend. Bit of a walk to the town but blue water and the island looked wonderful. You must go! ATC friendly and helpful.
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12 Aug 03 - Ian Leader - Bristol
St Mary's Airfield is very GA friendly and we can recommend visiting the islands. ATC ask if you to have GPS or DME and are with you from 20 miles out. Tie downs available, and necessary. Lots of help offered about weather conditions. Accommodation reservations essential in Summer. We stayed on St Agnes at Troy Town campsite, right next to the beach - 15 minute ferry from St Mary's. Lots of info on website: www.scillyonline.co.uk
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Pilot reviews of Scilly Isles Airfield

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