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RNAS Yeovilton - 2015

RNAS Yeovilton - 2015

Phoenix Helicopters last hour building trip of the year saw a pair of Robinson Helicopters fly from Goodwood Aerodrome to the Royal Navy Air Station at Yeovilton.

On the 4th of December, after days and days of rain, we were blessed with clear skies for our trip to Royal Navy Air Station Yeovilton. The day started at the Goodwood base with all the usual pre-flight planning and aircraft checks. After all the preparations were complete, it was time to get in the air!

Two of the Phoenix fleet took off from Goodwood and headed west! Tom Joyce Captained the R44 with Instructor Max Tebbitt as co-pilot and Philippe Perreaux as rear seat photographer. Leah Tavener piloted the R22 with instructor Toby Chamberlain.

The routing took the aircraft directly overhead Southampton Airport. The two Heli’s then continued West over head the beautiful Compton Abbas airfield before contacting Yeovilton LARS for arrival instructions. RNAS Yeovilton is a very busy military airfield which has multiple frequencies for traffic, similar to busy international airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick. Yeovilton LARS handed us over to Yeovilton Director who passed us onto Yeovilton Tower who finally passed us over to Yeovilton Ground. The radio work was great exposure for both pilots and allowed them to build their radio experience and confidence.

The R44 arrived first, leaving the runway threshold and taxing through a small fleet of parked Navy Hawk Jets before parking South of the tower. Not too long after the R44’s arrival, Leah and Toby made their approach to airfield, having battled a seriously strong headwind en-route in the slower R22. After a quick tour around the radar facilities in the tower building the Navy staff were kind enough to drive us all round to the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Museum is a fantastic static display with some of the most incredible classic Navy aircraft. Due to the lack of daylight hours this time of the year, the Museum tour was brief but our favourites included the Westland Dragon Fly Helicopter, the WW2 Seafire (Naval Spitfire) and of course the incredible Concorde.

At 14:30 it was time to head back. The Navy staff again were very helpful and drove us from the museum side right to our parked helicopters. On the flight back the R44 chose a slightly different routing, this time over head Bournemouth Airport before following the beautiful coastline East.

The fleet was back on the ground at Goodwood with a good 45 minutes to spare before sunset. Thanks to all the students that flew and came along and a big thank you to the Navy Airfield staff, who were all incredibly helpful. In particular, Mr B for making our visit run so smoothly.