Sandtoft Aerodrome, North Lincolnshire

ICAO Code – EGCF

Elevation – 13ft amsl

AFIS – 130.425 – Call sign – Sandtoft Radio

Runways – 1 Asphalt

Navigation Aids on aerodrome – None

Fuel – 100LL and Jet A1

Telephone Number (For PPR) – 01427 872034 (e-plane@live.co.uk)

Operating hours, hangarage, parking, landing fees and landing cards – Please see website.

Sandtoft Aerodrome is also known as Sandtoft Airfield and is located in Belton, North Lincolnshire. The aerodrome lies 12 miles northeast of Doncaster and 7 miles southwest of Scunthorpe. Following a recent change in ownership, it is owned and operated by E-Plane Limited.

p_2004_1fRAF Sandtoft opened in February 1944 as a satellite airfield for No 11 Base, RAF Lindholme in 1 Group Bomber Command 1667 HCU. Its Halifax bombers moved in from RAF Faldingworth on 20 February 1944 and they were the only unit based at Sandtoft. 1667 HCU was also flying Avro Lancasters I III from Sandtoft during 1945.

195d3ed0e2c08a3928c2e1dedda48d7bPlaced on Care and Maintenance after the war, RAF Sandtoft was inactive when allocated to the USAF on 1 April 1953. The station was never occupied by American forces and returned to UK control on 8 September 1955 for disposal.

Location and amenities

Located close to both Doncaster and Humberside, the airfield is popular with General Aviation flyers and within easy reach of many of the north-east airfields already reviewed by Get Into Flying.

S22Extensive refurbishment of the former cafe has recently been completed and the airfield is proud to announce that as of Monday 18th July, the modern Happy Cafe is open for business. The Cafe has been purchased and modernised by a former owner of the airfield and is run by Amanda, who has that insider knowledge of what pilots, staff and non-aviators want from an airfield cafe/restaurant. Their website is under construction and opening times are currently 0800-1600. The Happy Cafe can be found on Facebook and any queries can be directed to the extremely helpful Amanda on 01427 875670.

Pilot Information

Sandtoft Aerodrome’s ATZ is partly located within the Doncaster Sheffield CTR and underneath their CTA, so communication with Doncaster is essential. Interestingly, Doncaster Radar are located within the control tower at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, yet regularly visit Sandtoft in person to put faces to names, as they work together closely to ensure an excellent service to visiting pilots. Doncaster Radar are very welcoming towards GA pilots and you will find them helpful and accommodating and early contact is recommended.

PPR is essential before departing for Sandtoft and you will find their radio operators knowledgeable and helpful, providing the weather reports and other useful information for the visiting pilot.

A standard overhead join is normal procedure and is conducted at 1500′ QFE. Circuits are 1000′ QFE and Left Hand on Runway 05, Right Hand on Runway 23.

Transponder equipped aircraft should squawk 7010 in the VFR aerodrome traffic pattern.

Visual Reference Points (VRP’s) are also detailed on the airfield approach plate

Flying in

Sandtoft RunwayHDHaving flown in from City Airport Manchester, Barton, the procedure was simple, obtaining a Basic Service and clearance to enter Doncaster Sheffield airspace overhead Ferry Bridge Power station, then using the Stainforth Services VRP before continuing in towards the aerodrome.

When visiting Sandtoft, you are within 25 miles of Elvington, Full Sutton, Breighton, Sherburn-in-Elmet and Leeds East Airport, if you are feeling adventurous and wish to get some other airfields in your log book. It is well worth making a day of it in this part of the world, as all the airfields are extremely welcoming to GA.

Going forward

With The Happy Cafe newly refurbished and opened, the attraction for both aviators and non-aviators has just become all that much greater. I am informed that a varied menu of home cooked fayre has brought a smile to many faces and I look forward to tasting the menu on a forthcoming trip.

2 hangars have undergone renovation also. One has been subjected to a complete reconstruction and the second has been modified and awaits its new roof.

Work is underway to install pilot controlled lighting at the airfield for night operations and this will be available in the near future.

In the coming weeks a new Helicopter Flying School will be based at Sandtoft Aerodrome and further details will follow.

The energetic Jim Huges has also recently based his Gyrocopter operation at the airfield and details can be found on the website. If you wish to experience a flight in an open cockpit or enclosed cockpit Gyrocopter, or you are beginning on the road to obtaining your PPL (G), then Jim Hughes is the man to speak to and his website is well worth navigating.

In Summary

Inbound to Sandtoft
Inbound to Sandtoft

Sandtoft Aerodrome is GA friendly, with warm and welcoming staff. Interesting types and interesting people fly in and out of Sandtoft and now they have a magnificent Happy Cafe to complement and cater for the visitors, both aviation and non-aviation minded.

 

Work is ongoing and money is being spent on Sandtoft, all pleasant to see as GA continues to feel the pinch in certain areas of the UK.

With a new Gyrocopter flying school now established on site and helicopter training facility in the near future, there has never been a better time to fly, drive or simply visit Sandtoft Aerodrome.

Checklist

Before visiting:

  1. Check the Sandtoft Aerodrome website
  2. Arrange PPR
  3. Plan your flight and enjoy Sandtoft

For videos showing VRP’s, arrivals and departures to and from Sandtoft Aerodrome, a selection are available on the author’s YouTube channel.