Airfield Official Operating Procedures
- Noise !!!
Our neighbours are
noise sensitive so all pilots are requested to be
considerate. There is habitation very close to each end of all the runways and
also some farms in the middle of the circuit. Even to the north in the relatively free airspace there
are more stud farms and the like, so care is required. Do not fly
over the villages of Micheldever, Micheldever Station (SW), Popham
(SE), Overton (N), or North Waltham (E).
Firstly, remember Popham radio frequency 129.80 is just that…an Air-to-Ground radio with a volunteer manning it! Radio operating
hours are from 08:00 until 17:00 in the summer and 08:30 until 16:30 in
the winter (1st October - 1st April). Flying is allowed (with prior permission) in the
summer up until 20:00 (n.b. this is a planning deadline!) or sunset in
the winter. After 17:00
other traffic may often pass you advisory arrival information. If
you intend to arrive when we are closed, we request that you advise us
at a suitable earlier time and leave a
landing fee (with your registration) in an envelope which can be posted
through the Clubhouse door opposite the toilet block.
Remember there is a signals square
just next to the club house but this may not have been changed if we
have gone home so check the windsocks as well!
Runway 08/26 is the usual choice. Runway 03/21 is on farm land, is strictly
NOT part of Popham,
and therefore subject to the 28-day "change of use" planning rule (n.b. ONE movement = 1 of
the 28 days!)
all to the
north at 800ft QFE, with 08/26 having offset approaches (see later).
can be extensive microlight traffic which tends to fly a tight inner circuit
as well as the usual mixture of other flying machines flying the
published circuit to stay north of a couple of noise sensitive farms.
Overhead joins should
generally be used though it is common practice to use a dead side join
over the woods when using 08/26 and approaching from the south.
fly-in days we get VERY BUSY. If the wind is favourable you can expect
be given an overhead join only and to find both
runways in use at the same time, one for landing and one for departure
to ease ground congestion. On these occasions the signal square "T" will always display the landing
runway and there will be a white ball above the "T" if
both runways are in use.
R26 hold intersection departure is used)
Approx 150 - 200m
unusable due to the offset approach to the numbers
Runway 03 slopes
down all the way
picture for more views of Popham
- Runway 26
(right hand circuit 800ft QFE)
The approach is offset to
avoid the filling station east of the threshold. Do not under any
circumstances over fly it. There is an arrow in the woods on
final approach to the runway to assist; if you miss it a track which
bisects an imaginary “straight in” and RW21 won’t be far off the mark.
Remember, the idea is to avoid the station and the trees around it; if
you do this, the exact track is not critical. You will come in to
the side of runway and NEVER arrive over the takeoff threshold. A "normal" touchdown will be
approximately abeam the windsock on the south side. Runway 26 has
a slight down slope at its threshold…aiming to touch down in this
area for non-microlight aircraft risks frightening the locals by the
need to fly a skidding turn at low level and simply paralleling the
ground as you flare. Aiming for “the numbers” makes the latter stages of
the approach less dramatic and ensures a touchdown where the up slope
begins, giving ample landing run for most light aircraft. With a strong
south to south westerly breeze there is a significant roll over effect
from the trees to the south of the A303 which can add to the fun, but
one is then usually shielded by the trees for the latter stages of
approach and touchdown. With a strong north westerly wind there can also
be roll over effect and possible wind shear as you make the final turn into the runway.
Departing Runway 26 involves taxiing up to the threshold on either the north
or south side of the runway where the view of the final approach path
can be impaired. For this reason the hold point and run up area on the
north side is not at the threshold but at the bottom of the slope. Only ONE aircraft is allowed on the runway at any time.
pass the holding point if there is an aircraft waiting for takeoff or on
final approach unless directed by ATC. You may use the
intersection entry at the holding point for Runway 26 if you are ready for IMMEDIATE DEPARTURE
and will not interfere with anyone on finals.
There is 780m available from this entry point. Look out, listen out, ask
ATC for assistance if in doubt, but remember the final responsibility
for separation is YOURS! After departure, when at the end of the runway
a gentle right turn onto about 285° (not before the water tower) to go
straight to the silos to ensure some houses on BOTH SIDES of the
departure path will not be over flown.
- Runway 08
(left hand circuit 800ft QFE
Once again an offset
approach, this time
to ensure some
houses on BOTH SIDES of the arrival path will not be over flown.
There are some grain
silos which mark the recommended final approach track, and pilots will
be told to report “final over the silos” and maintain the offset
approach all the way to the runway. The offset is more gentle than
Runway 26, just avoid the temptation of crossing the silos then
immediately sidestepping to a “straight” final and still going over the
houses. The access road to the airfield passes under you as you “cross
the hedge” and you are then left with a gentle but lengthy down slope to
land on. Departing causes no real problems, just ensure that the hedge
by the access road does not block your view of traffic on final; using
the southern taxiway can give a better view. A gentle left turn after
departure to avoid the garage and then backtrack the approach arrow for
Runway 26 is recommended.
- Runway 21
(right hand circuit 800ft QFE)
Long, narrow, and a
slope, sometimes boggy at the threshold end in winter but altogether
smoother than 08/26. You are far enough away from the trees that the
roll over effect mentioned for Runway 26 is rarely a problem except on
the windiest of days. If in doubt about clearing the woods, after
departure turn right to follow the track of Runway 26 then right again
out over the silos. This keeps a few more EFATO options available!
- Runway 03
(left hand circuit 800ft QFE)
Long, narrow, and a
down slope all the way! Microlights tend to fly a final approach
course along Runway 08 then turn on a VERY short final so a good look out on final is required
if you are a big boy coming
over the trees. Turbulence may be encountered due to the fact the wind
is going “up hill” and then hitting the trees. Departure is absolutely
For special events
such as the
Microlight Trade Fair and the Aero Auto Jumble additional holding points
will be established at the Runway 03 departure point. "Hold A"
will be on the East side (close to the ATC Caravan) as you leave the
east side aircraft park just before lining up. "Hold B"
will be on the West (Clubhouse) side just before lining up.
Runway 08/26 has a taxiway both to the north and south whereas 03/21
only has one, which is on its north western side. The general
aircraft manoeuvring area
is very poor in parts, especially in front of the Clubhouse to the north
of 08/26 between the clubhouse and the fuel truck.
AVGAS and most standard grades of oil are
Visiting aircraft are invited to park just to the east
of the holding point sign for RW26, though on fly-in days these
procedures are varied as the entire airfield tends to become one large
If you are non-radio
then please also ask when you get PPR where you will probably park
before putting your prize possession in someone else's spot!
traffic, Airfields, and Airspace
To the north of Popham there
is fairly free airspace. Out to the west there is the Boscombe
Down / Middle Wallop CMATZ; the LARS frequency for Boscombe is 126.70.
To the south is the Solent CTA and Solent Approach are on 120.225 but the
zone is avoided by traffic from the southeast by routing via New Alresford. To the East is the Odiham MATZ controlled by Farnborough on
125.250 with the MATZ stub almost north of the field. Please note
that Solent do have a "Listening Squawk" of 0011 but get very busy and with the extension of the Farnborough LARS
it can be easier to avoid any contact with Solent and get a Farnborough squawk
when passing down the East side of the Southampton Zone. Solent
will report ALL airspace busts!
Middle Wallop are very active military helicopter bases. Chinook
and Gazelle helicopters will regularly be seen conducting training, often at very low
level. Helicopter training from Middle Wallop is a regular
feature of "our" airspace, again often at low level. This military traffic
RARELY speaks to Popham ATC but if they do then pay particular attention
to call signs such as "Vortex NNN" (usually a Chinook or a
Merlin), "Army Air NNN" (usually a
Gazelle or a twin Squirrel) etc.