Shobdon Aerodrome, Herefordshire

ICAO Code – EGBS

Elevation – 317 ft AMSL

AFIS – 123.500 – Call sign –  Shobdon Information

Runways – 3 (One Asphalt, One Grass and One 308m Microlight Grass Strip)

Navigation Aids on aerodrome – NDB on A/D “SH” – 426.0

Fuel – 100LL, UL91, JetA1/F35

Telephone Number (For PPR) – 01568 708369

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

History

Shobdon Aerodrome began life as a British Army camp. It acted as a reception point for casualties that were being received from Southampton. Those casualties were then distributed to local hospitals. With a depot railway station developed on the Leominster and Kington Railway, its first casualties arrived after the Battle of Dunkirk.

The camp was developed further by the United States Army from 1943, to act as a distribution point for two locally developed general hospitals. They also added a runway in co-operation with the Royal Air Force, but due to the marshy land only one runway was ever developed.

Hotspur Troop Carrying Glider

In 1943, RAF No. 1 Glider Training School moved from RAF Thame to Shobdon, enabling an increase in training of Hotspur glider pilots in preparation for Normandy and Arnhem landings.

The RAF Gliding School closed in 1953, when the site was handed to Herefordshire County Council.

 

Location and amenities

Shobdon Aerodrome is located in the simply stunning border between England and Wales, known as the Marches. It is the only licensed airfield in Herefordshire and has been the home of the Herefordshire Aero Club for over 50 years.

A diverse and interesting wartime history precedes the airfield’s current use and the website contains its history in well written detail.

Located in Class G airspace and with friendly staff and FISO’s, Shobdon is a superb destination to fly to, or to simply visit with the family and enjoy a wide selection of home cooked foods at the appropriately named Hotspur Cafe, a popular local attraction that is open 7 days a week, with a varied menu and outside seating area in the warmer months.

Shobdon boasts a caravan park and campsite on the airfield, so why not make your fly in an overnight stay? Static caravans are available for hire, or you can pitch your tent and enjoy the facilities. This is a huge draw for aviation enthusiasts wanting to make more than just a “day of it”! Whilst you are there, there is ample opportunity to book yourself a trial lesson online and really make your trip.

A wide variety of flight training packages are offered, from Introductory Flights, to more intensive courses with the option of on site accommodation. This is rather unique in the UK, offering students the opportunity to stay on site whilst training and balancing that home life / work commitments with their training needs. Full details can be found on the website.

Current training offered ranges from PPL, LAPL, Ground school, IR(R), Commercial, Night Rating, FI, NPPL via Swiflightflight, PPL(h) via Tiger Helicopters and a glider pilot training programme via Herefordshire Gliding Club.

With three Cessna 152 aircraft and a PA28 Archer II, there is plenty of opportunity for training and self hire. All aircraft are owned and maintained by their own maintenance facility.

Pilot Information

Shobdon Aerodrome maintains a comprehensive website, that contains all of the information that the visiting pilot will require. Active social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook and Google+) also provide a host of information for any visitor.

Intense activity can reasonably be expected on the weekend and due to high volumes of traffic at times, PPR is required for all visiting pilots, along with high visibility clothing airside.

An out of hours procedure and indemnity form is also published within the website and the circuit procedure is covered within your airfield guide.

Flying in

Shobdon Aerodrome is located 6nm west of Leominster and is within Class G airspace and affords stunning views, whichever direction you approach.

There are additional remarks regarding night flying which are detailed on the Airfield Guide and website, to assist the visiting pilot.

Grass taxiway A and B can become waterlogged after heavy rain, however your PPR brief will provide you with all of the relevant details. Noise abatement and soft field procedures are also published.

Standard overhead join, not below 1500ft QFE dead side due gliding.
Descend to circuit height south of runway. Powered aircraft conduct wide circuits
09 Right Hand 1000ft QFE, 27 Left Hand 1000ft QFE, Helicopters 700ft QFE and micro lights 500ft QFE.

Going forward

This thriving rural UK airfield is proud to host many activities and events throughout the year. A busy social calendar and active airfield community ensure like-minded individuals are always around should you want to venture further afield to explore the UK and neighbouring countries – in the company of other club members.

With advance planning, you can book the Club aircraft and take part in these trips and tours and the 2017-2018 flying season promises to be a busy one. Please check the website for forthcoming events.

In Summary

Fun, informal, and friendly and a great way to learn from others’ experience.

Shobdon Aerodrome offers very high standards of safety and tuition, and because they own their own aircraft and operate their our own airfield, flying remains affordable.

A friendly club atmosphere with lots of support around for student pilots, the experienced and the enthusiast alike, whatever your age or ultimate goal.

Checklist

Before visiting:

  1. Check the website and flying guide.
  2. Careful consideration to NOTAM
  3. Arrange PPR
  4. Check the tent for holes and make a weekend of it.

For videos showing  arrival and departure to and from Shobdon Aerodrome, a selection are available on the author’s YouTube channel.