The prospect of 5 ex Saudi ERJ170’s lured us 130 miles east to the great airport of Norwich. Not the busiest of airports, but the offshore helicopter operations keep the interest going. The airport is home to KLM maintenance UK who have recently won a contract for heavy maintenance on the Alliance Air of Australias’ fleet of Fokker 100s. We were aware that VH-XWO had arrived at the end of August and were pleased to glimpse the aircraft in the hanger whilst we sat in the terminal cafe. The short term car park and terminal are located at the southern tip of the airport. A small cafe and bar within the terminal offer a great unobstructed view across most of the airfield. After a spell in the terminal for refreshments, we stood within the nearby private car park adjacent to the fence which is quite low. To get here, exit the terminal and turn right. pass the BAe Hawk on the grass and the memorial and into the long term car park. There is then a gap in the fence which leads into another car park. This is the car park that offers the best photographic opportunity for CHC and NHV helicopters taxying to or from their ramp. The saxonair hanger is also visible from here and if the door is open the inmates can be seen (but not necessarily read). The Bond and Bristow ramps can be seen from here but are too distant for decent photos. By walking through the car park toward the NHV hanger and following the road around to the right (take care as there is no footpath) a good close-up view of the CHC and NHV ramp can be seen. This also brings you closer to the Babcock ramp an reasonable photos can be had with a decent lens.
Map of Norwich airport showing the photo vantage points used in compiling this report.
The general view of the Bristow and Babcock areas that are possible from the car park are shown below
The aircraft storage area is also just about visible from this vantage point.
Strong winds from the west meant that runway 27 was in use. To get shots of aircraft on short final, exit the airport complex and turn left. Take a left turn onto Fifers Lane and follow until you reach a sharp right hand bend and turn left onto St Faiths Road. Follow this narrow lane until the crash gate becomes visible on the left and park considerately (not blocking the gate or the access to the adjacent cemetary).
There is also a museum at the airport (City of Norwich Aviation Museum) although not visited on this trip. The wreck of a Westland WG30 N5880T is also located near the museum on a raised platform, but can be seen from most vantage points around the airport. Security were visible during our visit and occasionally stopped airside to watch us whilst we were in the car park, but we were not approached. It is unclear if loitering within the car park is ‘allowed’ so be polite and courteous – and sensible!
On with the log:
18 Sep 2018 Norwich
2-FINE Embraer EMB-170 LR 17000119 Saudi Arabian Airlines
2-FINF Embraer EMB-170 LR 17000152 Saudi Arabian Airlines
2-FING Embraer EMB-170 LR 17000155 Saudi Arabian Airlines
2-FINI Embraer EMB-170 LR 17000142 Saudi Arabian Airlines
2-FINJ Embraer EMB-170 LR 17000124 Saudi Arabian Airlines
5N-MJA Boeing 737 322 24360 Arik Air WFU
C-GNCH Boeing 737NG 81D/W 39438 TUI Airways
EI-RJD AVRO 146 RJ85 E2334 CityJet
EI-RJF AVRO 146 RJ85 E2337 CityJet WFU
EI-WXA AVRO 146 RJ85 E2310 CityJet??? Needs Confirmation
G-BMSD Piper PA-28 181 Archer II 28-7690070 Raymond Parsons
G-BNNO Piper PA-28 161 Warrior II 28-8116099 Tor Financial Consulting Ltd
G-BYHG Dornier Do 328 110 3098 Loganair
G-CCGS Dornier Do 328 110 3101 Loganair
G-CHBY AgustaWestland AW.139 31310 Bristow Helicopters Ltd
G-CHNS AgustaWestland AW.139 31465 Bristow Helicopters Ltd
G-CIKO AgustaWestland AW.139 41378 Bristow Helicopters Ltd
G-CIPW AgustaWestland AW.139 41344 Bristow Helicopters Ltd
G-EEGU Piper PA-28 161 Warrior II 28-7916457 Tor Financial Consulting Ltd
G-FBEJ Embraer EMB-195 LR 19000155 Flybe
G-HEMN Eurocopter EC135 T2+ 1070 Babcock MCS Onshore
G-KLNH Leonardo AW.109 SP Grand New 22364 Saxonair Charter Ltd
G-KLNP Eurocopter EC120B Colibri 1492 Saxonair Charter Ltd
G-KLNW Cessna Citation Mustang 510-0157 Saxonair Charter Ltd
G-SEJW Piper PA-28 161 Warrior II 28-7816469 Tor Financial Consulting Ltd
G-SNSE AgustaWestland AW.139 31561 CHC Scotia
G-SNSK AgustaWestland AW.139 41354 CHC Scotia
G-VINC AgustaWestland AW.139 31478 Babcock MCS Offshore
G-VINJ AgustaWestland AW.139 41355 Babcock MCS Offshore
N790BH Cirrus Design SR22 2964 Private
OO-NSQ AgustaWestland AW.139 41513 Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen
VH-XWO Fokker F100 11280 Alliance Airlines
XX312 Hawker Siddeley Hawk T.1W 41H-312137 Royal Air Force