13/03/2014 Back to News
Our social event for March was a visit to RAF Linton-on-Ouse...
We were treated to a behind the scenes look at the Met Office operation and also the new Air Traffic Control tower.

Date: Thursday, March 13th, 11am ~ 4pm

Cost: Free of charge.
We all arrived in good time despite a big hold up for some on the A64 in York, and our first task was to check in at the guardroom for ID cards to be issued, we were 'threatened' with searches too, but I don't think anyone had to succomb to the rubber gloves technique!

Then on to the Met Office where we split into two groups; one to visit the ATC tower and the other to stay in the Met Office for the morning.

Following the morning tour we adjourned for lunch in the onsite cafe, the food was delicious and at a really good price (even for Terry 'how much?' Chamberlain!). We reconvened after lunch and swapped tours.

Both elements of the tour were extremely interesting with both of our 'tour guides' being very knowledgeable (of course).

The radar systems used by the ATC were amazing, even picking up a couple of meat bombs (parachutes!) jumping out of perfectly serviceable aircraft. The radar shows the speed and direction of practically all the aircraft in the whole of the north of England - we were advised to wrap our baskets in foil to assist visibility, it could be a new trend!

The forecasting and reporting of the weather relies on a variety of intricate computer software and also on the 'no batteries included' rain gauges, thermometers and other basic equipment. We were shown the modelling and recording of the weather with explanations of the graphs and charts.

The only downside was that the runway was closed for repairs so the only aircraft we saw were displayed on plinths.

Thanks must go to Mike Rudkin, senior Met Officer, for facilitating the tour, and also to our two 'tour guides'. If you missed the trip, you missed a treat!
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