I am planning a trip from Germany to the west of Ireland for the end of july. Aircaft will be an SR22.
I have read the recent thread about the Aran Islands, as well as a few other ones. I have to admit, some of the stuff does sound a tad scary. On the other hand, as a visitor, I am not all too much interested in the gossip, but mainly the operational facts. These are my questions:
1. Aran: Weather permitting of course, I would like to stay a night at one of the islands, probably Inisheer.
Can I expect PPR to be granted, usually? I have no problem parking on the grass, as long as we get the airplane back onto the apron the next day.
2. Galway: I am shocked to read that the airport might close it's doors very soon. Anybody know if the airport will remain open to GA, and if yes, for how long? I am aware of the steep parking charges (30 per night) but that wouldn't put me off.
3. Boffin. I understand the airport is still officially closed, yet some people just land there (without advising anybody I guess...). I guess I am right in saying that this can still bring you into trouble (even though you don't require a licensed field, it would still be a landing without the consent of the owner. Would be a pity to miss Boffin, it really looks nice.
4. Bantry. This little looks very nice and I would love to get it into my logbook. I know it is very short and I would there only with minimum fuel on board. My question is: There anything to see or do in the vicinity. Anyplace to lunch within walking distance?
4. Any other must-go, if I only have a few at my disposal?
(I will leave my questions regarding immigration and cheap refuelling for a separate thread...)
However the situation in the Aran Islands is well described. But you can go there. Just get permission.
As for Galway airport, somehow or other I think it will still be open after July. There is an element of scaremongering going on. If the flying club is still operating then it's at your own risk. But I have a feeling it won't be officially closed just yet.
As for Boffin, I think you've hit the nail on the head. You won't get into trouble unless you crash there. See Galway above.
Bantry, a great airfield to visit from what I've heard.
I agree with vanman a lot of the 'rules' are not enforced. However to make your trip more enjoyable get a copy of Aviators Guide to Ireland by W Flood & L Parker or the equally excellent VFR Guide to Ireland by K Glynn (this second one is available as an Iphone App).
Flying here is very easy with generally uncongested airspace and lots of private strips available with just a phone call in advance. the west coast is fantastic Bantry to Donegal. the regional airports are a bit fussy on security and procedures but you could have a great time without visiting them at all. Avgas can be a bit of an issue as it can be difficult to source but call in advance and most airfield owners will help you.
Would try and get into Clonakilty (Craanmore) and then Spanish Point too, as these have good night life. The town beside Spanish Point, Lahinch is known as "LA" and some great Irish madness there at weekends. Birr and Kilkenny are nice scenic touristy inland towns, and if you come to Milltownpass I'll bring you to Lock's Distillery. Come to Abbeyshrule and I'll swop you a spin in the S22 for a spin in the Lake LA4.
Enjoy, and keep it safe
Take your chances climbing the fence in Boffin, if your feeling like an adventure.
In the end end, I spent 2 days in scotland and only 1 in ureland, as the weather was just fantastic in scotland on thursday, friday and saturday.
Saturday morning, after leaving oban, we went to enniskillen and fuelled up at £1.44, then flew around the western coast of irleand, crossing sligo overhead, low-approaching belmullet, inishboffin and spanish point and finally landing at inisheer. What a great flight. Originally, I had intended to fly to kilkenny, but the friendly guy from the airfield advised me that unforunarely the airfield was basically closed after they've had terrible amounts of rain in the last few weeks. I also would 've liked to stay at galway for the night, unfortunarely, as you all know, it is "closed" on weekends, which is a terrible pity, because that doesn't allow tourists like us to spend a weekend there, spend loads of money for food, drink and shelter. It is even more annoying as the flying club does fly on weekends, but the friendly guy from the flying club that I spoke to was almost ashamed for the fact that he couldn't allow me to land there...
Overall, a very nice experience. Btw, the experience with air aran was very good too. The guy I spoke to for ppr was very friendly and didn't give me the impression that I was a nuisance for them. It certainly helps to corrdiante your landing and departure times with their schedules, so as to avoid having them to open the airport just for you. Thanks again to air aran.
And thanks again for all your advice.
But you do have wonder if it could be organised better.
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