With the UEFA Champions League final to be played in Cardiff on June 3rd, thousands of Juventus and Real Madrid fans flocked to the South West of the UK. Hundreds of charter flights were assigned to Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Kemble and Gloucestershire, my home airport! Despite the fact that Bristol received a lot more rare traffic, I was unable to get transport and instead planned on visiting EGBJ in the afternoon.
However, this all changed when a friend of mine notified me that a Sprint Air ATR had just landed. I hopped in the car and sped to the airport at the speed of sound, just making it in time to see the departure. After this, loads of interesting business jets arrived to deliver their wealthy cargo, making yesterday one of Gloucestershire Airport’s busiest days ever!
Enjoy this selection of photos, all taken with a Canon EOS 700D & 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Zoom lens!
An ATR may not be a big deal at most airports. But at a GA airport where the main runway is less than 5,000ft, this was a big event! This was only the second visit of an ATR to the airport in it’s history! Definitely the best catch of the day!
Sprint Air ATR 72-202 SP-SPE (MSN 441) operated a charter for Juventus fans, flying in from Turin as SRN250A. She departed EGBJ under the same callsign to Liverpool.
Dynamic Aviation Services Dassault Falcon 900DX N232SF (MSN 615) was easily the second largest aircraft present on the day
Next up, the beautiful Little Jet Company Cessna 550 Citation Bravo G-IPLY (MSN 550-0927), one of many Citations based at the airport.
A second Cessna 550 Citation Bravo then arrived, this time G-CGEI (MSN 550-0951) of Executive Aviation Services Ltd
A Swiss visitor was next, in the shape of Air Corviglia Pilatus PC-12/47E HB-FVD (MSN 1072), pictured in a striking black livery.
Then came the first of the Serbian contingent, Cessna 550 Citation Bravo (again) YU-BZZ (MSN 550-0924) of Airpink. Many Serbians came to watch Juve striker Mario Mandžukić, the scorer of the team’s only goal last night.
Not long after her arrival, G-IPLY departed again on another European charter.
Finally, we were greeted with a different variant of the Citation, Austrian registered OE-FHA (MSN 510-0081), a Cessna 510 Citation Mustang of Globe Air
This was arguably the coolest moment of the day. Fashion Designer and Retailer George Davies pulled up in his beautiful Cessna 750 Citation X, N750GF (MSN 750-0244) before hopping out and getting into a very fancy Ferrari F12. The rest of his group got into the BMW X6 and the Audi.
Quick side note: Look at the size of those engines, they are massive!!
YU-BZZ was soon on her way as well, presumably heading back to base in Serbia.
Immediately after, another Serbian aircraft (and another version of the Citation) arrived. This time it was Cessna 560XL Citation XLS YU-PZM (MSN 560-6226), also owned by Pink Air.
Eventually NetJets Europe showed up, with Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 CS-PHC (cn 50500214)
After being at the airport for a good few hours, I was preparing to head back home. F-HBFP (MSN 258689), a Raytheon Hawker 800XP of Leadair/Unijet was the last aircraft I caught departing, pictured here backtracking.
The last catch of the day was another new type, Raytheon Hawker 400XP N497XP (MSN RK-497). Love the look of the cockpit windows!
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