Duxford (EGSU N5205.45 E00007.92) is the home of the Imperial War Birds Museum. Every time I fly into Duxford I find that the museum has been updated and is a hive of activity as crews are maintaining aircraft, rebuilding potential flyers and much more - it is heart warming to see how this is a living museum tended with enthusiasm and care are is ever evolving rather than being a place where aircraft gather dust.
After a scorching bout of weather, the day started out with low cloud at 800-1000 ft, mist, drizzle and cold and miserable. As we waited for the promised improvement to the weather at Nottingham the weather seemed to be getting ever worse. A phone call to Cambridge revealed that their weather had been just as bad but was gradually improving - Cambridge were very helpful and offered us a cloud break using the ILS if we needed it.
In the end we decided despite the bad weather to set off for Duxford whilst there was still time to enjoy the museum since conditions there were acceptable and conditions at Nottingham were forecast to improve later in the day.
With conditions so bad at Nottingham - nobody else seemed to be flying at all - we phoned East Midlands Approach and asked them for a pre-allocated squawk so that we could take off straight into IMC and they could pick us up and give us a Radar Information Service. This they did and gave us immediate transit clearance at 3000ft. As we flew blind across the country they handed us over to Cottesmore where we climbed to 3500ft still in cloud and remained in that state until we were approaching Bourn when some visibility appeared below us and we descended to 1500ft to become VFR once again.
Tracking into Duxford onto runway 06 grass was then no problem at all and we were able to enjoy the visit as planned.
At 5pm we phoned Nottingham to be told the the weather had cleared and we flew back at 3500ft all the way with East Midlands Approach clearing us straight through to Nottingham.
The main hangar at Duxford is being converted into a new AirSpace museum opening in 2007 and many of the normal inhabitants had been evicted to make space for the works being done. We literally found Concorde put out onto the front lawn and were able to get some great pictures.
See the slides.
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