This is the story of owning and operating a 1993 Beech Bonanza A36 in the UK and some of its adventures and flights. I have owned this plane for over six years now.
The trials and tribulations of getting my Beech Bonanza A-36 back in the air are hopefully nearing an end now because the new cylinders have I understand arrived in the UK and are as of yesterday in customs and hopefully should be with us by the end of the week. Then we need to get them fitted and then get the export CofA from the FAA followed by a UK CofA. Once all this is done we should be able to go flying again.
Today I went to a meeting in the hired TB10. The meeting was at Farnborough and I had to go there for 9am so rather than set off too early today from Blackpool I went to stay with friends in Milton Keynes last night with meant a landing at Cranfield where I learned to fly (well at least where I took the lessons :)).
I have to say that while everything in aviation is expensive it still bothers me when I have to pay expensive landing fees. At Cranfield I had to pay £37 for the landing and one nights parking. Way too expensive in my opinion and it would have been more in the Bonanza I think and also more if I had used the ILS. I really think that airfields have got their pricing structures wrong and I will give an example of that that proves it in a minute.
After leaving Cranfield this morning I made the short hop to my pre-booked destination which was Farnborough. A very smart high class airfield and I was aware of the price for landing. In fact I had a meeting just around the corner from the airfield so despite the high price it was worth it as from landing I was at the meeting in 10 minutes. The sixty pounds had to pay was expensive but I was expecting it and paid up. The service there was very good needless to say but the TB10 looked way out of place lined up with all the massive biz jets.
Now for my example of where high landing fees doesnt pay. On my way back from Farnborough I decided I would pay a visit to Gloucester to visit the Transair shop and so I looked it up in my AFE guide and worked out that the landing fee would be £17 for a lowly TB10. I decided against going as £17 was too much just to look around a shop. I would have actually bought something as well so Transair lost out. I just dont get why these small airfields (I dont mean small in a derogatory way) dont just charge something like £8 which is a price I suspect that most people
would pay to drop in and see them. I just dont feel the same about £17. One time I went to Carlisle and they charged me £24 in a 182 and I also bought loads of fuel from them. I have never been back since. Today Gloucester lost my business because in my opinion they are greedy with the landing fees.
Back in Blackpool I saw my newly numbered A-36 Bonanza with its new identity. Oh please hurry up and get yourself fit to fly Mr G-Fozz because it is driving me mad seeing you sat there!