Super Crane Lifts Manchester’s New Tower

It took one of the tallest cranes in Europe to put the finishing touches to the structure of Manchester Airport’s newly constructed £16m air traffic control tower. The crane was needed to lift the 168 tonne sub-cab section 60 metres in the air, before guiding it to its finished position on the top of the tower shaft, to give the tower its finished effect on the Manchester skyline. The sub-cab is the size of a four-storey detached house and was built on the ground before being hoisted on top of the newly built tower shaft. Six smaller cranes assembled the 90-metre tall crane to enable it to carry out the works. The crane was brought in to the site on 25 articulated lorries. The crane lifted the sub-cab onto the column, with two ‘banksmen’ sitting on top with radios, charged with guiding the two 10mm guide rods into place. When the fitting out of the tower is complete the sub-cab will be home to several departments within the airport including fire watch and apron control, which guides aircraft to gates. Now the sub-cab is in place the exterior works, such as cladding and getting the windows in place will, begin. Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airport’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “After all the hard work and planning everyone is very excited that the final piece of the puzzle has been put in place. There is still plenty to do until the tower is ready for use and operational but the installation of the sub-cab is putting the finishing touches to an iconic element of our airport that will take pride of place on the Manchester skyline.” Due to be completed and operational in Spring 2013, Manchester Airport’s new ATC tower is pre-let to NATS, the UK’s leading air traffic control company, which will relocate its existing Manchester air traffic control operation from its current location on top of the Tower Block building in between Terminals One and Three at the airport. Paul Jones, NATS General Manager Manchester, said: “We have had the best view of the new tower construction and have watched with interest while the cab has been built alongside it. We are keen now to get inside the building and start fitting it out with all the latest air traffic control equipment to ensure that Manchester has a tower it can be rightly proud of.” The control tower shaft...
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13 Year Old Wins Aerobatic Prize

Over the weekend 25-27 May 2012, the UK National Glider Aerobatic Contest was held at Buckminster Gliding Club where there were many fine displays by some of the best aerobatic pilots in the UK. However, the most notable achievement was that Robbie Rizk, aged just 13, won the beginners class with a score of 82.6%. He also gained the highest score in the competition for his positioning, finesse and accurately flown manoeuvres in an ASK-21 glider. He is the youngest person in the world ever to take part in a national aerobatics contest and had to fly with a safety pilot because he is not yet old enough to fly solo (the legal minimum age being 16)! Robbie’s father, George, is a pilot and instructor with Buckminster Gliding Club and first introduced his son to gliding at the age of 11. One of his instructors commented “Robbie is a natural pilot and shows the flair and skill that is normally seen in much more experienced pilots. He is destined to go far and could well be future ‘Red Arrows’ potential.” Source: Buckminster Gliding...
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Dunsfold Park Extended Hours

Dunsfold Aerodrome has been successful in their application to extend opening times during the 2012 Olympic games. From the 21 July through to 15 August 2012, flying operations will be permitted between 07:00 Local and 21:00 Local each day, including weekends. “We are delighted that the inspector recognised the important contribution to business aviation small airports like Dunsfold Aerodrome can offer and is enabling us to make the best use of our airport facilities in time for the Games,” said a spokesman for Dunsfold. “The London Olympic Games 2012 is a world event of exceptional national sporting and economic importance, strongly supported by the government, and we are very pleased that we will now have the opportunity to be able to fully engage in this momentous occasion.” Source: BBC News...
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Weather Getting Worse?

Just occasionally, the forecast, or the pilot’s interpretation of it, proves optimistic. We may then be presented with a dilemma when in-flight weather deterioration approaches safe limits. Of course, turning along a clearer route is the preferred option, and we should have turned back into the better weather behind us as soon as we noticed the deterioration starting. However, distractions and terrain may mean we notice the deterioration late, and the weather may be closing in behind us as well. Rather than continue into worsening weather, we need to make a positive decision to make a landing in a field before that becomes impossible. Aeroplane pilots need to make that decision early enough to select and check a suitable field then fly a circuit and land; helicopter pilots are in the fortunate situation of being able to land almost anywhere with the minimum of preparation, although we do still need to be able to control the aircraft visually. Unfortunately, human beings are not perfect. Despite all good advice, we might have been pushing our luck by flying over terrain which does not provide a safe landing area. Even over terrain which is suitable for landing, a little hesitation may take the safe areas out of our reach. Having flown ourselves into an extremely hazardous situation, and with no safe options remaining, we have little time to make a risk assessment and judge which of the available unsafe options is the least dangerous. Rather than hit the ground, a climb under control through a gap may be the relatively safer option if it can bring us into clear air above cloud. It is not unknown for pilots to climb above some low cloud in the belief that was just a patch and in the expectation that a clear area is in front of them. Once, hopefully, above cloud we are faced with the problem of returning to the surface again safely. While PPL holders are expected to be able to use radio-navigation aids, the stress of recent events is almost certainly going to affect our flying. Rather than run out of fuel searching in vain for a hole through which to descend, if you have not already done so, call for help on 121.5 MHz as soon as you have the spare capacity. Source: GASIL...
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