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Guest Adverse Yawn

VFR Flight - Where's Didcot Power Station ?

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

The one thing you notice flying around Wiltshire / Oxfordshire IRL, is Didcot Power Station which can be seen for miles and is a terrific VFR landmark. Trouble is I can't find it in FS9 even with UK Photoreal Scenery loaded and maxed up. Yet the cooling towers next to East Midlands Airport stand out really well. Is Didcot there somewhere please ?

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

MThankyou Mr Nameless (you'll fall foul of the moderator if you don't give your real name !!But anyway - many thanks Wow ! looks useful ?I have to say that I'm always impressed with the free help on these forums and hope some day I'll be knowledgeable enough to reciprocate.

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Guest Adverse Yawn

No problem! What you fly he who is called Dave?Egbert.

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

Egbert,When I get the chance - a friends Tomahawk PA 38. It's a bit lively and with the high tail, is a bit unforgiving at low speeds, but good fun just the same.

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Guest Adverse Yawn

Ah, yes, I guess if I bothered registering your handle it would have saved question :) Also called the infamous Traumahawk (or Terrorhawk) :D I can't talk as I haven't had a go in one yet.

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

I understand - though never experienced it (yet !) that they are well deserved nicknames.I've done all the locals (Popham, Old sarum, Compton Abbus etc) but my mate who owns the plane is out of the country until mid year - so stuck with computer flying for now unless I pay a lot of dosh.

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Hehe I Did the first 15 hours of my PPL in a PA-38. They`re not that bad. The wingdrop is pronounced, and I was flying one with the flowstrips installed. They must have been interesting indeed before the flowstrips. I never spun one, apparently the important thing is not to look over your shoulder if you do - the empennage apparently shakes and bends. The example I flew (ZK-EQG) was the oldest one in NZ, with 10781 hours on the airframe. Unlike the C152, which has no limit on the airframe, the Tomahawk becomes scrap metal at 11,000 hours. Perhaps this explains my instructor`s reluctance to spin it!CheersJames

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Guest IanP

My first flying instructor and her student were nearly killed when the club PA-38 (which was still cleared to spin at that point) refused to recover. They did get out, but had to report a Rule 5 bust (closer to 500' from any person, vessel or structure), giving you an idea what altitude she managed to recover *at*!She refused to train students in it again. The aircraft was gone, replaced by another C152, before she got an airline job a few months later. None of the instructors said they missed it at all. "Too much glass, too expensive to maintain and too d*** scary" was a later instructor's description of the type. ;-)It was banned from intentional spinning in a lot of countries not long after that incident. I'm not sure the UK was one of them, though?For anyone who doesn't know the type, the PA-38 Tomahawk has a "T-tail" empennage, where the elevators are at the top of the vertical stabiliser. Unfortunately, in low speed, high pitch flight and spins, this puts the empennage in the highly disturbed air flow from the main wings. The usual and least worrying effect of this is that they become slow to react, or less effective and require more movement to get them to do what you want. The far less common but very dangerous effect can be a total loss of stable air flow across the empennage, resulting in a total loss of elevator (and apparently rudder!) control.On topic, it's definately worth checking around the 3d add-ons for the VFR photoscenery, because there are a lot out there that are worth the effort of installing.Cheers,Ian P.

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Guest Adverse Yawn

Chilling! I think she deserved her airline job, FI's don't get the pay to justify that level of risk!Back to topic to: I am using some of those VFR addons with FScene and FSGlobal. Looks very nice.

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I generally find that if I can't see Didcot power station (I live in Didcot, btw), it's not a good day for flying! Dave, I see that your list of airfields doesn't include my home base of Enstone. Why not pop in for a visit when your mate gets back? (there's a free landing voucher in one of the rags most months too!!!) :-) Oh, and in true Blue Peter tradition, here's one I made earlier... LOLhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/139255.jpg(just look at those rivets: you'd almost believe it was FSX!

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

Great picture and obviously a nice day for flying. Haven't had chance to download the power station yet (weekend probably). Good idea to try Enstone -especialy if it's free - decent cup of tea available ?

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Guest IanP

My two homefields until I lost my medical were Halfpenny Green (now Wolverhampton Bu*****t Airport - EGBO) and Sleap (EGCV), approximately the same distance in different directions from Ironbridge power station in Shropshire.Do you get the same effect with Didcot that Ironbridge produces, where the power station has its own little micro-climate? It was a common phonomenon around us for there to be no clouds in the sky at all, but a string of little cumuli wandering off downwind from the power station! :-hahIan P.

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Guest Adverse Yawn

I'm mainly a Pophamite but also venture out of Blackbushe every now and then. If you haven't visited Popham do so. Some fantastic resident aircraft.Anybody is thinking of a visit drop me a PM/email and I'll get the teas in :)Not been to Enstone yet, so that looks and smells like a plan!http://www.popham-airfield.co.uk/Photographs.htm

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Sleap was my second landaway (Shobdon was the first); nice little airfield. Never been to Wolverhampton Spaceport, but they do say it's become a lot more friendly since the change in management.It's quite common to see gliders circling above the stacks, using them for lift. As for micro climate... it does seem to be a degree or two colder within a mile or so radius, as evidenced by the car thermometer, and it does seem to draw the clag to itself at this time of year!There are actually two distinct FBOs at Enstone - Oxford Sport Flying (OSF), who are on the North side, about halfway down the runway (a whole mile of usable tarmac LOL). They have the tower (a/g). And Enstone Flying Club (EFC) on the South side beyond the 26 hold. They have the fuel. There is a certain amount of friendly rivalry ;-) However a warm welcome is to be had from either, and both have ample parking, tea, coffee, cakes etc, although no hot food. You can pay your landing fee/free voucher at either. At some time in the near-ish future, the peritrack is supposedly going to be used by the BBC for filming Top Gear.

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

Didcot has a weather system all of it's own as well. I always give the cooling towers a wide berth when airborne - suspect it could be a bit bumpy ! I was travelling on the train a few months ago on a beautiful clear sunny day, little boy of 4 ish travelling with his mum - the conversation went like this:-Boy: What's that there mum (Didcot Power Station which is right next to the railway) ?Mum: I think it's a factory of some sort.Boy: Is it a cloud factory !!A very accurate observation in my opinion.PS Why the aterisks in the name - has it got a rude nickname then ?

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

Back again,Can't find Didcot from those sites. I downloaded Satanic Mills and UK ANO but the latter says that it doesn't include Didcot because that's available from somewhere else (reated by Greg Jones). Done a few searches but nothings come up. Any ideas please ?ta

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

I'm at work as well (Swindon town centre) but not at home on this rather nice flying day. I'll download the mass grab stuff as well and have a look over the weekend. I tried searching Flightsim.com but your link doesn't work and the seacrh couldn't find 'didcotps.zip' either.Are you fairly 'local' then ?

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Guest Adverse Yawn

Try this as an alternative: Just type "Didcot" into the Avsim or FlightSim.com library search. FWIW, Avsim seems to have more.I live near Farnborough. Which has its compensations once every two years. My house seems to be the point where the warbirds hold waiting for their display slot :)

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

I di try the obvious searches before but will have another go tomorrow thanks.Farnborough eh ? A proper aviation town - like Gloucester from where I originate !! but I'm forgetting of course that Swindon once was - home to Vickers but not sure what they built here

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Guest IanP

Hi Dave...I used to travel once a week between Reading and Wolverhampton on the train (and back), so I saw quite a lot of Didcot either from the Parkway station or bypass loop that appeared to get used randomly. I don't remember seeing the same effect that Ironbridge gave, but the position of Ironbridge at the end of the gorge apparently provides some interesting air movements anyway. Like you and Didcot, it was somewhere I always gave a wide berth. You also used to get a lot of idiots playing chicken with The Wrekin (a large and very obvious lump of rock with a BBC TV antenna on top) which is nearby.>PS Why the aterisks in the name - has it got a rude nickname>then ?Very much so. Although apparently from the comment above, it might have changed.Put very simply, the guy who owned it didn't like GA. He owned one of the busiest GA airfields in the country and was only interested in either a) selling it off for housing or :( making it a fully licensed, full sized, commercial airport to challenge Birmingham International. He didn't get either, and the fact seemed to annoy him no end, which he took out on the people who operated or landed there. Fees were increased several times without warning or explanation, the FISOs used to act like a tower (it was actually a tower for a short period of time, but this was before then) and if you complained, you were treated even more like scum and basically told to never come back.Both the flying club I learned with and the company that took over when it went were put out of business by price increases. People stopped going there because it was cheaper to land and pay parking/handling charges at Birmingham or Coventry! The longest runway was regularly closed at weekends for car boot sales.Even now, on perfect flying days, you are unlikely to see more than one or two aircraft in the circuit. Go out to Shobdon or Sleap and there are aircraft going everywhere!I'd like to hope it has changed, but unfortunately as I'm unlikely ever to get my medical revalidated, I won't be flying there again anyway. :-(At least I can still do it in FS! :-hahCheers,Ian P.

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Guest Adverse Yawn

Sounds like the grief a number of people and organisations went through at Sywell a year or two ago.

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