Yes, this is Aviation related! Meet Steve Ford, our new flying instructor who discusses his experiences flying out of Goodwood Aerodrome.
First and foremost I must stress that I am referring to the Aerodrome! I was recently asked if I would write a few words on my experiences at the airfield over the last 40 years and dig out any old pictures I may have. Suddenly I felt old!
My first ever logbook entry was on 9th February 1980 in G-BGIB a Cessna 152 and reads “Exercises 1-4” Goodwood to Goodwood.”
Those of you that are astute (or old enough to remember), will recall this was one of Toon Goose`s aircraft from Shoreham and I had actually started my PPL with Toon Goose Aviation (Toon sadly passed away earlier this year).
The aircraft had been positioned to Goodwood from Shoreham and was operating here as Shoreham was waterlogged! Shoreham in those days was all grass with no paved runway. Toon had an arrangement with Doug Adams who operated Vectair from the brick building that sits in-between the old and new Goodwood Aerodrome clubhouse to use his facilities.
At the time I was serving an apprenticeship (Airframe/Engine) with British Caledonian Airways (BCAL) at Gatwick having joined them in 1978. Shoreham and Goodwood became my stomping grounds but as soon as I had my PPL, Goodwood became a second home.
Doug Adams had been a Mosquito pilot in World War ll and following a crash in which he was hospitalised he met Scottie who had been his nurse. Doug and Scottie were “old school” and I have fond memories of those years when they operated Vectair.
Vectair had Cessna 150`s and the vast majority of the airfield was still “post-war” and you have to remember this was all pre Revival so a lot of the modern buildings you see today were not there.
At the end of the day, we would taxi the aircraft around to the East side of the building to protect them from the prevailing South Westerly’s and tie them down on the grass.
I had a share in a Jodel DR100A at Redhill and I have a log book entry that reads Redhill, Headcorn, Goodwood, Popham, Redhill. Reading on, the vast majority of entries are to Goodwood through 1984.
I went on to fly commercially from 1985 onwards and recently retired having spent the last 23 years with Virgin Atlantic.
GA flying and Goodwood, in particular, have featured heavily over the years in my life and for a very good reason. It is a pleasant place to fly from with stunning scenery. Whatever the season, the South Downs and coastal strip provides a rich tapestry of colour and interest to anyone who is fortunate enough to fly.
But as we all know that on its own, it is not enough to satisfy our needs as aviators without people. That Goodwood has in spades, with a vast eclectic mix of people that not only brings it alive but more importantly, keeps it alive for the next generation.
Young or old, enjoy it!
Goodwood Aero Club
If flying is your passion, the Goodwood Aero Club is packed with people who feel the same way.