GB2STA Airfields on the Air 2/3 April 2022

By | 2 May 2022

Friday 1st April 2022

LEFARS participated in this year’s Airfields on the Air event, using Special Event call GB2STA, over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd April at a new location in Abridge and within the ATZ of Stapleford Aerodrome (ICAO: EGSC). This is the largest commercial flying school in the UK, complete with an advanced Flight Simulator. Operating as RAF Stapleford Tawney during WWII, the grass runways were used by several squadrons during the summer months and from March 1940 as a satellite station to North Weald.  Stapleford’s wartime role ended in 1945, with the last personnel leaving before VE Day. Further details here.

Setting up started at 14:40 to collect the equipment from the LEFARS store, not helped by occasional light snow and hail showers. Myself, John G0VEH and David M0VID  arrived on site at 16:15 with the fully-loaded trailer and trailer mast.  Kerry M6WHT was onsite at 16:45, he was camping over the whole weekend.  The shelter was up by 17:00 and the trailer mast an hour later.  We left at 18:45 with Kerry in charge of site security, the antennas to be erected next morning.

Saturday 2nd April 2022

I arrived on site at 09:15. Kerry M6WHT had braved the -3C  overnight temperature in his snug tent and thermal sleeping bag. The 40m/80m dipole aerial was set up when John G0VEH arrived later and the X300 VHF antenna on the trailer mast. David M0VID assembled his 10m/15m/20m Cushcraft A3S atop a Racal 12m mast. The club Icom IC-7300 was used for HF, the IC-7000 for 2m FM.

The Shelter was big enough to contain the 2m and HF stations as well as the catering table and club canteen, with two burner hobs to self-cater but mostly used for tea. George M1GEO did bring his coffee machine – see photo powered by Dave M0TAZ’s EV vehicle!  Plenty of room also for chairs and visitors (list below!).  Fred G3SVK made over 70 QSOs on 20m and 40m, mostly CW and a few on SSB.  The other HF operator was John G0VEH, he was busy on 40m SSB with several club members worked.

Several members visited including :   Brian M0OAB, Boo M6OAB, Dave M0TAZ, Kevin M7MJW, Chris G8OCV, George M1GEO and Alan G4GQL. Also Dave M0MBD.

By 6pm it was getting cold, most of the visitors had departed for the evening.  John G0VEH and I decided to QSY to The Bull, Theydon for a hot meal. We left Kerry M6WHT in charge again 🙂

Sunday 3rd April 2022

I arrived at 09:10, Kerry had made a coffee following a brief mobile QSO en route. A few 2m stations were worked including a report to  GB2RS news.  John G0VEH continued to work several stations on 40m SSB during the day. After a DMR QSO on TG 23511 (via GB7HH), John G0VEH had a sked with Wayne G4YOH on 40m SSB.

Visitors on Sunday included :   Kevin M7MJW, Ron G6LTT and Karen, James 2E0JBU, Brian M0OAB and Boo M6OAB.

We started to pack up at 14:20, leaving Abridge at 16:30.

Summary
LEFARS operated on 2m, 20m and 40m using a X300 colinear for VHF, a 40m / 80m trapped dipole and a Cushcraft A3S three element beam for 20m. Fred G3SVK used mainly CW on 20m and 40m whilst John G8DZH, John G0VEH were the main operators on 2m and 40m SSB.

One RAFARS station was worked Heysam RAFARS 2138. Fred G3SVK worked several US stations on 20m CW . Ended with 163 stations worked :

27 on 2m
80 on 40m
56 on 20m

[More details to follow from the GB2STA logbook/ADIF file, countries worked etc…]

Although this picture looks a spring day, we had temperatures down to -3C overnight and not much higher during the day with flurries of snow !

John G0VEH on 40m SSB

Fred G3SVK on 20m SSB

2M station, IC7000 and station details.  DMR radio also used via GB7HH.

Dave M0TAZ showing that the Ioniq 5 is ideal for a quick brew of coffee!

More traditional catering for the  frequent brews. 7UP and the beers provided by Fred G3SVK.

Brian M0OAB brought his field kitchen….

Kevin M7MJW operating his newly acquired FT817ND into the  Cushcraft A3S 3 element HF beam

 

Acknowledgements

A big thanks to  Amanda and Liza for making the field available to LEFARS  and to David M0VID for cutting the grass/clearing the brambles. Also to those members who supported the event, especially Kerry M6WHT, our site security manager.

73

John Ray G8DZH

 

Links

RAFARS Airfields on the Air
https://www.rafars.org/rafaota/
https://www.qsl.net/g4dqp/Activations.html

RAF Stapleford Tawney
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapleford_Aerodrome

QRZ.com (GB2STA – more details and photos]
https://www.qrz.com/lookup   [enter ‘GB2STA]’