The End of Coonagh.

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Xacto
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The End of Coonagh.

Post by Xacto » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:25 pm

Looks like the end of Coonagh, lost to 'development'. See here.

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Post by DonalMW » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:29 pm

It'll truely be a sad loss, like Castelbar once upon a time. Castelbar should've been saved....... But Coonagh are looking for a new location?? Hopefully they find new accomodation,

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Post by Hayden Lawford » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:35 pm

The possible closure of Coonagh would be a huge blow to GA in the Limerick area, but realistically Coonagh been under threat since the death of it's founder, Arthur Toppin in 1970. It was only the goodwill of later landowners and the enthusiasm of the Limerick Flying Club members that ensured it's survival to date.

It is entirely understandable that the present landowners wish to realise their assets, but what is inconprehensible is that the local authority should consider sacrificing a valuable recreational facility for "development" on a known flood plain, even if flood defences have been improved - remember Coonagh and surrounding areas suffered severe flooding in 1961 when the Shannon broke it's banks. With the probability of rising sea levels due to global warming, the flood risk can only increase.

Coonagh could be developed as a valuable recreational area adjacent to Limerick City - playing fields and other facilities already exist in the area. Perhaps the local planners should consider this before they allow short term profiteering to ruin the area.

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Post by buzz » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:02 pm

Good point Hayden, but I doubt if that will be considered until the new residents of Coonagh Avenue or Shannon view avenue have the river lapping at their doorsteps.

This is very unfortunate as airfields are rarely replaced. I wonder what will happen to the Limerick flying club. A move to Shannon perhaps? It's not as if it's busy. Erinagh maybe, it's close to Limerick, although rumour has it the even that airfield has had the nimbys raise their voices already.

BTW Hayden, I think I know the reason for the triple post. Do you have the 'debug mode' message as below:

Ran into problems sending Mail. Response: 550 No such user here

DEBUG MODE

Line : 165
File : smtp.php

Not sure what's going on but the message is posted anyway. Maybe Mark can look at it and fix it?

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Post by alphaLaura » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:55 pm

Quite shocked about Coonagh. Didn't know it was on the cards.

Erinagh maybe, it's close to Limerick, although rumour has it the even that airfield has had the nimbys raise their voices already.

:roll: Didn't think Erinagh had many neighbours.

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Post by Golf Lima Romeo » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:06 pm

I have no doubt that when the committee in Coonagh organise themselves that a replacement will be developed. However this will not happen easily ? look at the experience in Castlebar. It will also be expensive to resolve the problem and a real test for the enthusiasm of all those at Limerick Flying Club.

As supporters of General Aviation we must not be found wanting when called upon to support LFC with various fund raising efforts that might include fees for landing cards and other ideas you may care to add to this thread.

Best of Luck to everyone at Limerick Flying Club.

Tony
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Post by Hayden Lawford » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:06 pm

Yes buzz, I got the DEBUG message, hence triple post, also difficulty logging-in to site.

I agree with your views re-a future Coonagh Avenue etc, something similar happened here recently due to the rapid development of Oranmore village. I know that those involved with steering the LFC will find a solution if the worst scenario occurs, and would also like to wish everyone concerned the best of luck.

Of course we havn't heard from the conservationists yet, I remember that the preferred site for an airport at Clifden on the Derrygimla bog where Alcock & Brown landed had to be dropped as it was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Maybe something similar could prevent unwelcome development at Coonagh - I seem to remember hearing the now endangered Corncrake there in the 60's.........................Anythings worth trying!

Hayden

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Post by Warthog » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:07 pm

Possible relocation to EINN?

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Post by OnTheNumbers » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:41 pm

I'm dumbstruck and gutted. I have fond memories from college of being an airport bum. Now that I finally have my license I was looking forward to being a regular visitor.

I hope - against all hope - that this doesn't come to pass but if I does I hope that the always welcoming club can find a convenient new home soon.

It's news like this that makes me wonder where private flying's future lies in this country. Ah well, no point in getting down.

Best of luck to all there - you're a resourceful and vital bunch I'm sure you'll find home.

David
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Post by stovepipe » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:46 am

Hi there
With regard to Ernagh, some of the locals are browned off with the noise of the drop aircraft, so liaison with said locals is underway, as well as noise-abatement procedures on the part of the pilots.The locals, so I'm told, are quite happy to have an active airfield there.
I'd be gutted if Coonagh is lost but I did hear that a search for a new home, further inland, has been ongoing.
regards
Stovepipe

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Post by buzz » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:50 pm

I seem to remember hearing the now endangered Corncrake there in the 60's.........................Anythings worth trying!


If there's one there now, the developer will be out with his shotgun! Corncrake, what Corncrake?

As for the sea level rise, well Salthill might be just that bit closer to the sea soon and Oranmore. Makes me glad, I live on the other side of town!

Does anyone know what the situation with Clifden is? Is the airfield being built? Galway will be very healthy when it comes to airfields soon. Three, or six even if you cound the Aran islands. Galway is also the only county with it's own airline, Aer Arann, two if you want to be pedantic. Quite healthy.

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Post by Hayden Lawford » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:47 pm

As far as I know work is proceeding at Clifden, also Inishbofin. The fact that Galway has so many airfields is down to the original Aer Arann, which, co-incidentally was conceived at Coonagh in 1969. The death of the owner of Coonagh and major shareholder of the resident operator, Shannon Flying Services, Arthur Toppin, meant that SFS had to pull out of the plan to operate an air service to Inishmore. Luckily, the project was taken over by a group of Galway businessmen and Aer Arann was formed in 1970. I had already surveyed Inishmore for a suitable airfield site and became AA's first Ops Manager and one of the 2 pilots when services commenced in August 1970. So Aer Arann's roots lie in Coonagh.

Hayden

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Post by buzz » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:01 pm

Interesting, so that would make six airfields in total. Quite a total for one county. In large part due to Aer Arann which is really one of the quiet success stories of Irish aviation having now spawned an international airline from a simple island hopping service.

For those of you who don't know, Hayden Lawford has written a book called 'In Galway Skies' which is an excellent read.

Coonagh will be missed though, even if it wasn't that practical for some aircraft. I last flew into it in a Cessna 172. I felt like I was landing in someone's back garden with a miniature runway. The narrowness of the runway reinforces that. Must try and drop in before it goes.

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Post by OnTheNumbers » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:31 pm

Stovepipe, do you know if there has any progress in their search.

When you say inland, do you know if that's inland in County Limerick?

David
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Post by Hayden Lawford » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:16 pm

On the plus side the narrow runway at Coonagh helped to produce a goodly number of short-field experts, especially during the taildragger era of the 50's & 60's - from an instructor's point of view it could be quite interesting teaching a student how to keep straight on the then 25 ft. wide strip, and by first solo a Coonagh student had to demonstrate a much higher standard of handling than would be required to solo from a large runway. This gave rise to the saying that "If you can land at Coonagh you can land anywhere!"
The biggest change since then has been the gradual encroachment of obstructions, trees etc. on the 10 approach, in the 60's it was quite clear. I was lucky enough to be asked up for a couple of circuits in a Rallye from 28 last Sept. and found the obstructions unpleasantly close on the climbout. An EFATO after take-off could result in a serious tragedy.

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