Do you have your head in the clouds wondering if you too can be up there with the birds?
Why not come along to Rochester Airport one weekend or Sunny Afternoon after work and see the Airport in Action. We have a small Cafe and Public Viewing area and welcome anyone in to see what goes on - sometimes busy sometimes quite.
There are three established flying schools on the airport all of which will take time out to explain aviation and show you around their aircraft.
At Rochester there are over 60 private or company owned aeroplanes. Most of the faces at Rochester love aviation whether it is their career or pastime.
We have a full event calendar so why not pick up a leaflet for the dates to come along to one of the events for this year.
Frequently asked questions.
Why do those little planes seem to fly round and round in circles?
A large number of the flights from Rochester are for training new pilots. These circles are known as Circuits and are a way for pilots to practice their take off and landing skills (the most difficult part of learning to fly).
What do all those phrases mean on the radio?
You may hear the phrases "Overhead", "Downwind", "Final", "Touch & Go". These are calls made to the Flight information radio operator to indicate what the aircraft is doing or about to do. Overhead means just that, Downwind means that the aircraft is flying parallel to the direction of the runway in the same direction as the wind is blowing but some 1-2 miles away from the runway. Final is the last part of an approach to land. The aircraft is normally around 1-2 miles in a straight line from the runway threshold.
Why do those planes land and take off again are they crashing?
Since one of the most complex parts to flying an aircraft is the landing and takeoff phase, pilots practice this repeatedly. One way to speed up the process is to land and then take straight off again - a "Touch & Go".
Why do the engines go quieter soon after take off?
Because we like to live in peace with our neighbours many aircraft, once through the most critical part of a take off, will reduce the revs of the engine to keep the noise level down.
Can I help to retain Rochester Airport?
Of Course. We always welcome support from the community and we always try and support community projects and ideas. We currently have an initiative to work with several local scouting groups, introducing them to flying and allowing them to earn flying related badges. During the summer months we encourage other youngsters to take a first flying experience as a "Young Eagle". We have recently been fortunate enough for the locally based Rochester Historic Society come along and give us a talk on the History of Rochester Airport.
We have an active "Friends" group PAFRA. (Pilots and Friends of Rochester Airport). We produce a quarterly newsletter and run a calendar of events. We offer free entry to all our events to members who may join for a fee of £16 for the whole year. Details may be found at PAFRA Membership
Local Children enjoy a day at Rochester.