Air-Britain Classic Fly-In
2008 – North Weald (EGSX)
21-22 June 2008
by Robert Rombouts, Belgium
After the 2nd Fly-In
at Antwerp from 3 till 4 May, I expected a wonderful meeting of Ercoupes
during the Air Britain Classic Fly-In 2008 from 21-22 June in North-Weald.
Mike Willis did a lot of advertising in his “Newsletter” and
Tony Smith contacted the UK Coupers to come to the historical airfield of
Because I didn’t wanted to miss this event I went off
with the OO-PUS on 20th Friday. Two days before, I did a short trip to Calais
(LFAC) to be sure I was ready for the trip. Big surprise, the brake was
weak when I was taxiing in Calais and flew back to Ostend. An urgent call
to my mechanic, who promised me to check the brake on Friday morning.
After the repair I took off from Ostend (EBOS) at about 12:25 local with
good breaks, full of fuel and luggage.
The weather was not as perfect as the meteo told me. The conditions over
the Channel were misty and my intention was to fly as direct as possible
from the VOR of KOK (Koksijde Belgium) to DVR (Dover UK) via the waypoint
KONAN in the middle of the Channel.
The route was 270° to Dover at 2.500ft and 48 minutes over the water.
Head winds of 20kts over the Channel give me a 56mph ground speed, which
was quite slow over the water but smooth as in an airliner at FL 300. I
must admit that the shortest way to cross the Channel is straight from Folkestone
to Calais with only 23 minutes over the water. But why not trying a better
Arrived in the UK the weather was fair with a good visibility.
Only 41 minutes later I arrived at North-Weald, runway 20 in use with a
right hand circuit to land. Total flying time was 1hr47 from Ostend to EGSX.
On our arrival Philip Kemp welcome us with his fantastic smile, Tony Smith
and his wife Anne where already on the airfield, we felt from the first
moment surrounded with good friends.
The same day two Belgian SV4 arrived from Antwerp and Wevelgem, with the
president of the Antwerp Stampe Vertongen Museum, Danny Cabooter. I was
glad to meet him again the next day. Also we had the visit of Bob Rongé
and his son Willem who had his birthday the 21st, congratulations.
Next day, Saturday 21st we had a real bad weather, low clouds
(700ft), rain till 3pm not an ideal situation for a Fly-In. Luckily in the
afternoon we had the visit of Mike Willis and Andrew Gardner who came by
car, it was impossible to attend by plane in such a lousy meteo.
With a nice beer and we chat a lot, I try for the first time a Spitfire
beer from Kent - thanks Mike it was delicious. When the rain stopped we
went to the OO-PUS and compare the differences of our Coupes. Because no
other Ercoupes came that day, I returned to the hotel for a good meal and
On Sunday the 22nd when I looked out the window of the hotel
it was beautiful blue sky, some white clouds, but the wind was excessive.
A crosswind of 40° with speeds up to 25-38 kts predict a bad Fly-In
day. Only two planes came in during the whole day, I was so sorry for the
organizers who worked so hard all year to make this event possible. I could
not fly back to Belgium in such a wild weather, I still fly for fun.
On Monday the 23rd it was a perfect Ercoupe weather,
wind 230° / 5-8 kts, 30km visibility, CAVOK.
At 10hr46 loc I left North-Weald straight to Dover, the Channel at 2.500ft,
shortest and direct route to Ostend with a wonderful visibility. I could
see Dunkirk from Dover.
After 1hr28 I landed in EBOS Ostend on runway 26.
Thank you Air Britain and Philip Kemp – North-Weald 2008 was because
of the bad weather not a good year,
But we have to accept the weather we receive.
I had a very good trip and enjoy always flying in the UK.
Dear European Ercoupers the honour of our Coupe
family was safe during the Fly-In even though I was the only one present
in North-Weald, the OO-PUS was alone and missed the others.
Next year, I hope to see and meet more Erco’s.