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LFC Newsletter
The Newsletter of the Limerick Flying Club
January 2015
generation aircraft transformed the club and the clubs
fortunes. That transformation did not happen by accident
and I would like to thank some of our previous
committee and club members who were instrumental in
making that happen. In October of 2014 the committee
resolved to replace the current aircraft fleet in an orderly
manner, over the next two years starting straight away.
Very nice aerial shot of EI-LFC in the skies over
Limerick(City of Limerick Photos).
From the Chair
First and foremost in this issue let me say that it is with
great regret that we note the passing of Dan
Lehane, owner of Coonagh Airfield. On behalf of the
committee and the club membership past and present I
extend our deepest sympathies to Dan’s wife and to all
the Lehane family, especially Dan Junior who was an
active member of the club for many years. As many of
you know Dan was always a great supporter of Limerick
Flying Club and took a great interest in the club’s well
being. During any and all interactions I had with Dan
through the years at Coonagh he proved to be a man of
his word, fair-minded and an extremely decent
individual. I also know that some of our long term
members such as Tony Doyle, John Keane and Brendan
Beegan who knew him better than me had great respect
and time for Dan, and would agree whole heartily with
my previous comments. As we look forward into the
New Year let us take a moment to look back and
remember a great man and friend to Limerick Flying
Club, Dan Lehane RIP.
The two Tecnams have served us extremely well over the
years. Anyone who can remember running Rallyes at
Coonagh will agree that the arrival of these new
The finances were looked at by Finian and we went
ahead and spoke to one or two individuals who helped us
through the process of choosing aircraft the last time.
Since then, Trevor Young has agreed to take on the chair
of a subcommittee whose role will be to advise the club
on the options available to us and all the relative merits of
each aircraft. Trevor has asked a number of people to
help out on this subcommittee including myself, Dave
Fielding and one or two more. The process that worked
so well for us before is as follows. The subcommittee
assessed the suitability of all offerings, making a short
list of suitable aircraft. We then attempted to bring to
Coonagh to fly, or otherwise review the aircraft on the
short list, with a view to bringing recommendation to the
general membership. On approval of the general
membership we will go ahead and place orders for one or
two aircraft to be delivered over two years. We then
dispose of the older ships as the new ones come on
stream. For now can I ask the membership if you have
any suggestions for aircraft types that you think might be
suitable can you communicate this to Trevor. Remember
any aircraft must be certified, as it will need to go on the
RTF for training purposes, parts must be readily available
and the type must be supportable by an Irish maintenance
organization. Crosswind is a consideration, as is safety in
a club environment as well as suitability for training
(often conflicting goals). Running cost in terms of
components life and fuel burn are also considerations as
are full dual controls, break configuration, castoring nose
wheel and so on. It is, as you can see a complex and
critical task so any suggestions are most welcome.
Finally can I wish you all a very happy new year and best
wishes for the coming flying season.
Joe Sullivan-Chairman.
Limerick Flying Club (Coonagh) Ltd.
Coonagh, Limerick, Ireland.
Clubhouse: (061) 326600
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LFC Newsletter
The Newsletter of the Limerick Flying Club
Happy New Year to all members! Welcome to the
January 2015 edition of the Limerick Flying Club
newsletter. It is issued quarterly. Articles are always
welcome on aviation related matters for the interest and
knowledge of the members. Please keep your
contribution reasonably short and do enclose photos if
you wish. The editor reserves the right to edit articles
Submissions to the newsletter are always [email protected]
Membership 2015-If you have not paid your
membership fee for the new year please do so
without delay as only those who have fully paid up
are entitled to fly club aircraft. The club depends on
the membership for its survival and we need your
loyal support on this. Various options now exist to
make payment easier, e.g. direct debit, monthly
instalments and if you wish to avail of this facility
please contact Harry McNamara who will sort this
out for you
Booklet-All new members receive a booklet on club
information and facilities plus a membership badge
and a club crest sticker.
January 2015
I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Johnson,
Command Pilot of Shuttle Flight STS-134 recently
at Clane School, Co. Kildare where he gave a very
interesting and fascinating lecture on his flight into
space aboard the shuttle and showed some excellent
slides and film of the crew at work. His flight on
‘Endeavour’ lasted sixteen days. Greg is a retired US
Air Force Colonel. He is a regular visitor to Ireland
and a very nice guy indeed. Who’s the ‘ould fella
with Greg?
More duty pilots are needed urgently- contact Rob
Benson 087-2432464/[email protected]
We need many more members to fill thir slots for
duty on weekends. Some are not turning up at all.
Please help out by doing your duty on your
appointed day.If you are not on the roster contact
Robert Benson on numbers above.
Airfield and Facilities
A new fire engine now exists at the club and is a
welcome sight! It is easy to drive and has been very well
decorated in proper markings, including the club logo.
Limerick Flying Club (Coonagh) Ltd.
Coonagh, Limerick, Ireland.
Clubhouse: (061) 326600
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LFC Newsletter
The Newsletter of the Limerick Flying Club
January 2015
head—first and last time we should have known better!
The plan was to visit the Airbus factory at Toulouse in
France but add a little spice to the trip by visiting
Gibraltar and Tangier in Morocco depending on time and
weather. The participants sharing the trip would be me in
John's RV7a that’s the nose wheel job and Mark in
Martin's RV7 with as some would say, the one wheel in
the right place.
Next days weather a bit iffy before the Spanish border
but good after that on the way to Burgos in North Spain.
There are a number of danger areas along this French
coast usually cold at weekends but check. Flying on the
continent is easier than in the UK bit like in Ireland.
Bordeaux control gave directions to steer to avoid
incoming commercial traffic. As we approached the
Spanish border Martin decided to divert into Biarritz,
John and I with forecast of better weather before the high
ground in Spain and by now over the sea decided to carry
on and turn back if necessary. Weather was as forecast
and we had almost clear blue sky by the time we could
see Burgos airport at about eight miles. John landed on
the numbers of the 3K long runway and so starts another
little story.
So, maps acquired, there is a handy one mil map of the
whole of France plus a couple of Spain and Portugal and
one of North Africa or at least the bit that covers
Morocco. Dates decided (a bit of wiggle room needed
here) and a word with him upstairs for reasonable
weather (would like good weather but beggars have to
take what they can get).
Lines drawn, all entered into Mr. Magic (Sky Demon)
and plog produced. Flight plan filed to La Rochelle
which if you do not know is well down the west coast of
France, been there before so know the craic. Hotel
booked, one of those you can cancel up to 4pm-6pm on
the proposed day of arrival. So all set to go, Euros bought
and credit card ready for a hammering. For those who
have not as yet made a trip to the continent you need a
flight plan to cross any international boundary except
once into a country that subscribes to the Schengen
agreement, on this trip France, Spain and Portugal do but
Gibraltar, Morocco and UK do not. This fact will cost us
close on £250.00.
To put things in context all four of us have made
continental trips before, to Rome, Slovakia, Czech
Republic and as far north as Finland. John and I have
both done some flying in New Zealand and I in South
Africa, USA including the Bahamas and Chile of all
places so we are not an inexperienced bunch with some
of it before the advent of GPS.
So the day arrives, we set off mid morning to the English
coast just west of Bournemouth on through Jersey
airspace then Alpha airspace now Delta airspace so
permission needed, not a problem, coast in on the
Brittany coast of France and head south to La Rochelle.
France is crisscrossed with military transit routes usually
800ft AGL to around 3400 ft. AGL so go under or over
unless cold ref Notams. La Rochelle friendly airfield used
to foreign arrivals, go to fuel station for customs
clearance and if needed, fuel. We stayed the night and
made our first mistake, we went to the nearest restaurant
to the hotel without checking the price of the drinks and
Martin can handle his alcohol—about a hundred pounds a
We had to taxi best part of the 3k to park in front of the
tower, request fuel-ah—please taxi back down most of
the runway then take the taxiway to the end of the old
1500M runway, taxi to the end where the pumps are, we
refuel and start taxi back to stay overnight. Get to near
the end of the old runway and puncture-great-called the
tower who dispatched the fire engine. Now John has no
Spanish and mine would get us some food and a beer but
no more. The firemen wanted to push out aircraft onto the
grass, I refused point blank because it would then be our
problem not theirs. A couple of radio calls brought out
the engineer who inspected the tyre found a nail decided
to use his portable compressor to inflate the tyre and with
me on the wing tip John taxied back to the hangar by the
fuel pump.
Next morning we were picked up as promised but then
problem No2, we now had brake fluid leaking from the
starboard brake-engineer again-taxi back to hangar again
with me on the wing to help steering-more bad news no
spares but a couple of phone calls to other airfields
sourced suitable spares. John accompanied the engineer
whilst I whistled away the time in the airport lounge
about 6 hours.
Upwards and onwards across Spain and Portugal to a
small seaside airport of Santa Cruz for a night stop and
meet up with a fellow RV builder. Portugal turned out to
be surprisingly hilly. Bit foggy leaving Santa Cruz but
out over the sea this soon cleared to bright blue and onto
Faro to clear customs to Gibraltar,
Limerick Flying Club (Coonagh) Ltd.
Coonagh, Limerick, Ireland.
Clubhouse: (061) 326600
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LFC Newsletter
The Newsletter of the Limerick Flying Club
January 2015
coast as far as Alicante and then strike out over the sea to
Majorca. Not for the faint hearted I think some 420 NM
over the water. The weather got slowly better as we went
along and Alicante insisted we come inland and over
their tower not above 1000ft then out over the city and
back out to sea to clear their flight path-nothing seen or
heard, now we were seriously over the sea en-route to
Son Bonet the GA airfield of Majorca. Stayed the night in
a local hotel, been here before.
Next day head out across the water south of Barcelona to
pick up the motorway through the mountains into France
and then west to a GA airfield near Toulouse and a taxi to
our visit to the Airbus factory. The tour consists of some
video then up in a lift to a balcony that overlooks on this
day three A320/321 being fitted out. From the 20/30 feet
above and with no reference these aircraft look quite
Could have used a Spanish airport but relations between
Spain and Gibraltar are dodgy at the best of times.
Landed at Faro around lunchtime on a Sunday, Faro
being the holiday airport for the south of Portugal, it was
busy, ATC struggled to find a suitable place to park. We
got priority treatment, picked up from the aircraft straight
to the front of the many queues at immigration, tea and
bickies while they processed our paperwork, filed our
flight plans and drove us back to our aircraft for
departure to Majorca all for the princely sum of just shy
of £130.00 each aircraft. We had been given a slot time
for landing at Gib plus a quote of £55 landing fees, the
journey across Portugal and Spain was pretty mundane,
radio work is fairly simple on the continent arrived some
two minutes late and as the main road crosses the middle
of the runway it gets closed off to land and naturally also
to depart. Parked up, taxi to hotel wandered around had a
look at the monkeys on the rock had couple of beers and
a good evening meal. I had been here before so acted as
guide. Since we had lost a couple of days and had an
appointment at the Airbus factory we would have to
forego the short trip to Morocco, sad but there it is.
Flight plan filed and a bill of £36 ah well some you loose
and some you win. The short trip to Malaga to get us
back into the Schengen countries was with one exception
uneventful, the controller got the spacing wrong for
Martin’s landing and had to send a Boeing 737 on a go
around, again formalities completed and a landing fee of
17 Euros can't be bad. The next leg was mine to fly from
the right hand seat, direct track would take us over the
high Sierras but with a cloud base of less than a 1000 ft.
and viz. around 5k at best that was not on so follow the
What did I learn from this trip?
a) Some can take their drink others cant.
b) No real problems in flying in Europe as long as you do
a little pre-planning
c) Pick the brains of anyone who has done it before the
more often the better
Hope you enjoyed reading at least some of the above
sorry its a little long winded but then at about a £1000 a
head I think one is entitled to prattle on a bit. Happy New
Year to you all and safe flying
-Malcolm Evans (G-LAZZ)/Pembroke shire Flying Club.
-thanks Malcolm! Ed.
Limerick Flying Club (Coonagh) Ltd.
Coonagh, Limerick, Ireland.
Clubhouse: (061) 326600
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LFC Newsletter
The Newsletter of the Limerick Flying Club
January 2015
News Galway Airport-The future of this airport still
has not been decided, meanwhile a
subsidiary of Weston Airport operates the
airport in a general aviation capacity, without
Tower facilities.
 Inishbofin Airstrip-no progress has been
made here and it is unlikely to open.It has
been intended to dispose of this strip and
Clifden but the only hope for Inishbofin is the
possibility of Irish Coast Guard emergency
operations operating here occasionally.
EI-BCJ This beautiful Falco F8L is based at Kilrush
airfield,Co.Kildare where I saw it recently in
immaculate condition. Designed by Italian, Stela
Frati it can be built in kit form. Owned by Mike
McLoughlin it was constructed in 1959. Wish I could
have one of these!
CLUB CREST STICKERS- on sale in portakabin at
50c, especially to the public.
The Newsletter depends on articles/contributions/photos
and can only continue if they are received. So, please put
pen to paper or contact the editor if you have something,
anything to contribute.
PPL will travel-member Harry McNamara flew
this Piper Archer while on holidays on the east
coast of Sweden. Like their clubhouse!
The LFC Newsletter is published monthly, in the first week of the month. All articles, letters, etc. must reach the Editor
at least two days before distribution. All club members, and non-members who are interested in our club, or flying, are
invited to publish articles. Please submit your article by email to [email protected] or in person or by
post. They may on any subject you wish, information, gossip, fun, logistics, or anything else.
The articles, opinions and ideas published in the LFC Newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Limerick Flying Club
(Coonagh) Limited Committee or its officers, who accept no liability for the articles or for any statements made.
Limerick Flying Club (Coonagh) Ltd.
Coonagh, Limerick, Ireland.
Clubhouse: (061) 326600
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