We are planning 10 days vacation in Scotland starting around July 24th.
We have been reading the forums and there is a lot of (mostly ground-travel) guidance at Holidays in Scotland
We have also looked at interesting advice about some of the airfields in Scotland as well as following ASW22’s trip around Great Britain
We are flying SEP from Mallorca, dropping the kids near Perth at a certain date for their week’s worth of summer camp, then have booked one weeks’ stay at Glencoe for mum&dad.
We will be flying IFR but nonetheless are planning to fly out a few days early for some wx flexibility. We are thinking of Dundee EGPN as the default destination place. Perth-Scone EGPT is closer to our kids-dropoff destination but rental cars are difficult and only VFR so it looks like Dundee is the way to go, having read the trick on grass parking (I cant seem to find it now, I will also post for EGPN).
We could pick another airport in Scotland (would like Oban EGEO, close to our hotel @ Glencoe) but we need an IFR-airport (do we really?), rental cars and reasonable fees, and only the latter are available at Oban.
Perhaps if wx is fine we could move bases from EGPN to EGEO after dropping the kids, but reading the forums, this is a very unreliable plan due to wx. I dont mind doing IMC down to 1000ft over the sea OCAS west of Oban, which is reportedly legal in the UK, but I still need reasonable wx to land VFR there. The advantage (vs Dundee) is we would be close by at Glencoe and perhaps could pick a nice wx day to fly to Glenforsa and/or elsewehere on the Isles…
Customs as well as biological and technical range dictate an enroute stopover in N France but I will post that elsewhere for forum tidyness. This however means we would be only two hours away from destination when departing France for our last leg hence we should have a pretty good idea of wx by then.
but we need an IFR-airport (do we really?)
No. At this time of year it is rarely necessary to fly an instrument approach to any Scottish coastal aerodrome.
Most north western aerodromes have more deluxe facilities than this one (Sollas), but the weather is seldom any worse:
and it is often quite good at Glenforsa (near Oban) and at Perth:
Well folks, it’s humble pie time, or perhaps the exception which proves the rule…
This morning down here on the Costa del Solway we had this:
0420Z AUTO 30002KT 4900 BR OVC004 12/12 Q1018=
And at the top end of the country they had:
EGPC 160750Z 14004KT 110V180 0200 FG OVC001 12/12 Q1016
But by that time we had sunshine and breakfast on the patio…
Dundee very easy and friendly for GA traffic, park at Tayside. Lots of rental car options.
Oban again easy and friendly for GA traffic, but don’t count on VFR. I have been grounded for days at a time. You dont want to scud run into Oban, hills to the east are covered in wind turbines. Easier to get out when IFR.
If you get really stuck, Prestwick reasonable for GA, and every type of instrument approach you can imagine.
Drive time to Glencoe similar if you are at Dundee or Prestwick.
Thank you Jacko for giving us hope!
As usual the issue is trying to coordinate ground activities (rental cars, hotels and the like, in high season) with the variability of planning a VFR flight in this wx…
So for us it is :
a) Improvise and a1-if wx fine then fly to Oban then improvise a rental car and some stay for the family until our camp+Glencoe reservation kicks in a couple of days later, then having our plane accessible for touring or a2-if wx not fine then go elsewhen or elsewhere, or..
b) plan on Dundee IFR with rental car and reasonable chances of arriving then drive on to to Perth, Oban, Glencoe, the isles etc as required…
Oban is looking marginal with about BKN010
Glenforsa seems workable as of now…
Prestwick reasonable for GA
Thank you hammer! I had not though of Prestwick, but they do have rental cars at the terminal…that gives us a good IFR alternative to Dundee…
And being (aircraft-) based there puts us closer to the west coast for touring and an easy way out/back IFR into Prestwick if things get nasty…makes sense! We’ll check options in the area…
A couple of approaches into Oban. This is one direction
and this is the other
I certainly plan to go back there this summer – if anyone else here is interested in doing a meet-up.
Thx Peter, I had indeed watched those videos and hence had an idea on terrain…I had figured I wanted the full 1500ft ceiling to manoeuvre in the area of Oban. Nothing like a good video to get an idea of what to expect!
I’m sure we’ll be taking a trip to Oban (and hopefully Glenforsa too) this summer. Oban’s a good airfield – it’s just unfortunate their opening hours are so tragically short.
If the weather plays ball we might stop at Oban or Mull the weekend after next on our way to/from the annual aeroplane shindig on North Uist.
One can get a short duration out of hours permit for Oban for a few quid and a bit of form-filling. Otherwise there’s Mull, which is more welcoming and Plockton which is prettier.