I’d heard a few things about Peterborough, mostly from my officemate who hails from there originally. She seems inordinately proud of the Lift Locks, even going as far to sport a calendar featuring the aquatic landmark one year. Anyway she’d mentioned that Peterborough Airport had undergone a lot of development recently, bringing much needed investment and jobs into the local economy.
And sure enough Peterborough Airport was a delightful place to visit, a well maintained runway , clearly marked taxiways, roomy aprons and a delightful little FBO, who came out to meet us and offer us a ride to the FBO building in their little golf cart*.
Once there they were quick to make us feel at home, providing me with a much needed ice cold bottle of water from their fridge.
Despite all this, Peterborough airport has one flaw. Not a teeny tiny one either. A honking big flaw.
It’s totally and utterly fricken invisible from the bloody air.
Seriously people this is not a good selling feature for an airport. Generally pilots don’t ask for much in an airport. Some pilots don’t even insist on a paved runway. But pretty much all of us like to be able to see where it is you want us to land.
I was three miles out and making faltering radio calls, claiming to be joining a circuit that I hadn’t a clue where it was.
Stressful. Especially with the copious traffic in the vicinity. I could barely get a word in edgeways on the traffic frequency.
Even when I did spot the runway, I got completely disoriented trying to join the mid left down. Eventually I managed to find some other traffic to follow down to the runway and capped off a really quite appalling approach and set up, by landing on the displaced threshold.
Not exactly my finest hour for sure.
2 down 1 to go.
*As a general rule I tend to dislike golf carts, the worst motoring accident I was ever in, involved a golf cart.