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Report - - RAF Predannack, Cornwall, March 2012 (Busted, kind of..) | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Predannack, Cornwall, March 2012 (Busted, kind of..)



GAJ

Mr Muscle
Regular User
#1
This will be quite a wordy post as I want to report exactly what happened, so apologies in advance, there are pictures too so bear with me.

RAF Predannack, it's been done many times successfully so whilst in the Duchy for a week of chasing swell, I decided to take my girlfriend and dog on a long walk ending here for some exploring. Here's the history of the site from Wikipedia.

Predannack Airfield is situated near Mullion on Cornwall's Lizard Peninsula in the United Kingdom. The runways are operated by the Royal Navy and today it is used as a satellite airfield and relief landing ground for nearby RNAS Culdrose.

World War II


Building work began for an RAF advanced night fighter base to protect the nearby ports of Falmouth and Penzance during 1940 and RAF Predannack Down opened in 1941 as part of Portreath Sector. It later transferred to RAF Coastal Command until it went into care and maintenance on 1 Jun 1946. During the Second World War Coastal Command squadrons flew anti-submarine sorties into the Bay of Biscay as well as convoy support in the western English Channel using aircraft such as Bristol Beaufighters and De Havilland Mosquitoes.

Postwar uses
Royal Navy


After a short period of experimental use by Vickers under the supervision of Barnes Wallis around 1951, the base was taken over by the Royal Navy on 15 Dec 1958.

The airfield was allocated the ICAO code EGDO but this fell out of use as it became a satellite airfield for nearby RNAS Culdrose, to handle intensive helicopter operations and as a relief landing ground. There is also a small arms range on the site and the RN Fire Fighting School moved here in 1971.

Current use

It is also home to RAF 626 Volunteer Gliding Squadron unit and the Royal Naval School of Fire Fighting, which holds a number of dummy aircraft for fire extinguishing practice, together with a number of retired airframes for personnel rescue practice. The runway is also used by "Goonhilly Model Flying Club" (with MOD permission) and hobby model flying has been carried out on the field since the 1950s.

The site is currently in use by international disaster relief agency Shelterbox as part of their Academy for Disaster Relief.

Scientific interest

Situated on the western side of the spectacular Lizard Peninsula, parts of the base away from the operational areas are within a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its combination of botanical (orchids), zoological (butterflies & snakes) and geological (bastite & serpentinite) uniqueness.
So, on to the report. The path we took from Kynance Cove led us to the western end of the runway which had a moveable electric fence across it. My girlfriend wasn't happy about going through this entry point so we carried on walking along the perimiter fence for a while. Next thing we're walking on tarmac and actually on to the airfield. Way too easy, but nevermind let's crack on. Our first target was actually chosen by the dog, as he ran straight to it and we simply wandered around, seemingly unhindered.

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Fire training area, to be explored later, or so I thought.

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This reminded me of a smiley face

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Whilst taking this next shot I heard the chop of rotor blades approaching from the east so I got the dog on his lead and we all headed inside to wait for it to pass.

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As the sound got closer the pitch changed which meant the helicopter was hovering somewhere around the runway area. I still couldn't see it from inside the airframe but knew it was close so we stayed put and I took another couple of shots.

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The pitch changed again and I could just see the Navy Lynx approaching our position from the east. Oh well, sit tight, it's obviously on a training exercise so it should move on soon. The chop was now getting very loud so all 3 of us huddled down at the rear of the aircraft, well out of sight, with me trying to calm my girlfriend and dog. The Lynx was moving slowly and the noise became deafening as it passed directly above us, no more than 50 feet in the air. And then the pitch changed again as it went in to another hover alomost directly above our position. The pressure from the downdraft was playing havoc with my dogs ears, who was now pacing around very agitated and my girlfriend looked close to tears. What the fuck have I dragged them into?! I put my camera away and assured her that we would most definitely be getting the fuck out of there as soon as the chopper moved on. We could probably still get away with the lost dog walker story as long as we weren't caught inside an airframe but at that precise moment, we were most definitely inside one and would be spotted the instant we set foot outside. The pilot held the static position into the wind for a total of 3 minutes and then the rotor pitch changed yet again as it moved off towards the south east.

All good, but wait, there are more engines now audible. Two, both diesel engines under load suggesting they were moving at speed. I checked our exit point and the coast was clear with the helicopter now hovering about a mile to the east facing away from our position and no sign of the vehicles despite the engine noise increasing. Time to make a break for it. Running until we got eyes on the vehicles and then walking as naturally as possible. We got about 50 metres before spotting the first vehicle, a search and rescue fire engine, approaching the fire training area at speed. No worries, it's facing the oppsite direction so keep running across the western service road towards the exit point. Just as we reached the far side of our most exposed location, I spotted a Luton van reaching the end of the runway and turning left towards us. Fuck it, we're nearly out so we slowed to a walk as they definitely had us in sight. Then the van turned away from us and into the airframes. Strange, but nevermind only about 100 metres to go. And then the sound of a small, high revving engine came through the bushes almost directly in front of us. I could see the end of the tarmac so let the dog off and we got to within a few feet of the end as the quad bike came into view complete with a rider sporting a rather pristine Royal Navy all weather jacket. The bike stopped and the dog ran straight up to the rider and sat as he climbed off. He reached down and stroked the dog, good, this should go quite well.

Apparently, we were spotted whilst debating opening the electric fence at the bottom of the runway, and at that point they started to send the vehicles out to search for us as it was obvious we were there to have a look around. They aren't too keen on that whilst RNAS Culdrose are carrying out training exercises in the airfield perimeter and will escort you off site with a bollocking, the severity of which dependent on how you entered the site. Had we opened the barrier, we would have been taken for a serious chat for entering MOD property but as we simply walked in, almost by accident, and very importantly, not passing any signs informing of its military use, we could go on our way. With a cheeky grin, he advised coming on a weekend due to the public use of the site.

As he left, my dog, who never ever barks, started barking at the ditch to the left. I went for a closer look and the Navy guy came back to see this lovely creature resting.

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And finally here's a picture of the dog, looking a bit miffed about the days events. Possibly because we didn't see everything.

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DrGonzo

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
I know this an old report, but that was a cracking write up. Lucky to see that Adder as well, been trying to find one to photography for ages.
 

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