|Yesterday, the Rotary Club of Market Drayton along with the Market Drayton Probus club met together at Welshpool airport (EGCW) located 2nm south west of the Welshpool town. We were warmly welcomed by the airfield owner along with the three flying schools there, Dragon Wings Microlight Flying School, Welshpool Flying School and Wizard Helicopters as well as the Mid Wales Air Ambulance.After a quick bite to eat in their cafe with a varied menu option, we were kindly shown around the airfield, shown the operations room, the control tower which is mainly used for the airshow held annually in June. From the control tower there are fantistic views of the airfield and its extended tarmac runway. We were also shown their new aquisition of a replacement fire support vehicle to replace their previous aging tender.
Our very own keen aviator, Paul Quinlan, decided to have a go with Welshpool Flying School, and took to the air for a flight around the local area, down as far a Montgomery, and back. With nil significant wind, and a very very clear day, it was exceptional flying weather. After returning, Paul commented how he enjoyed the flight and how exhilarating it was.
We were escorted to see the Mid Wales Air Ambulance, which is stationed at the airfield. We were lucky that the aircraft was not out on a rescue mission, and glad that no one was currently in distress during the time of our visit. It was explained that the air ambulance, whilst associated with the normal ambulance service, sadly recieves no Government funding and so is set up as a charity requiring donation funding from the local population. The caption down the side of the helicopter reads “Funded by the People of Wales”. We understand that the operation costs £6m annually, and our Rotary Club helps to fund the service.
Would we go again? You bet! It was a fantistic afternoon out, and well worth a visit, especially if you are lucky with the weather and you can try your hand at the controls.