The Cambridgeshire Microlight Club is a social club of pilots and enthusiasts, based at Sutton Meadows airfield (which is just a short distance from Ely, Chatteris, and Cambridge itself). The club generally has around forty active members at any one time, most of whom are active pilots and base their aircraft at the airfield.
The term microlighting in the UK covers a wide spectrum of light recreational flying activities, from lightweight foot-launched powered parachutes, through to advanced composite aircraft capable of flying extensive distances into Europe in a single day. The two main types are as follows;
Sometimes called weightshift (due to the control system employed) or simply trikes (due to the undercarriage layout), flexwing microlights are normally open cockpit, with a passenger (if it is a two-seater) sat directly behind the pilot. He or she controls the aircraft by moving a bar, which is directly connected to the wing, with foot controls providing steering on the ground and throttle control for the engine. Flexwings are perhaps the simplest of the two main types to fly, and all can fold down into relatively small spaces for transport or if hangarage is a problem.
Flexwing training at Sutton Meadows is provided by Airplay Aviation, who's CFI David Broom is a former British Microlight Champion, World Speed Record holder (with our club treasurer John Lawrance as a passenger), and has won numerous medals representing Britain at various European and World Microlight Championships.
Unlike flexwings, fixed-wing microlights use a 3-axis control scheme, with stick & rudder controlling moveable aerodynamic surfaces, just like in a conventional light aircraft. In fact, many modern fixed-wing microlights will outperform traditional light aircraft in almost every way, and at a fraction of the running costs associated with the heavier aircraft. Fixed wings can sometimes be flown in stronger winds than flexwing microlights (although a large part of that is still down to the confidence of the pilot), and some are more tolerant of being left outside for extended periods if hangarage is unavailable.
We are lucky to have one of the UK's most experienced instructors offering fixed-wing training at Sutton Meadows: Dave Garrison of Pegasus Flight Training. Dave has been flying microlights almost since their inception, and in fact was instrumental in importing one of the very first designs (the Pterodactyl) into the UK. Dave works on the examiner panel of the BMAA, and during his long career also has the honour of being one of the select few to have flown a microlight from an aircraft carrier!
As well as powered microlighting, Sutton Meadows also hosts the Cambridge Aerotow Club, who fly unpowered hang-gliders from the site (usually on suitable summer weekends). Due to the lack of hills to jump off in Cambridgeshire, the hang-glider is towed up behind a flexwing microlight to a height of a few thousand feet, before being cut loose to extend their flight using thermal up-currents. Some very long cross-country flights have been launched from Sutton, due to it being surrounded by ideal farmland for this type of flying.
Sutton Meadows Airfield
Sutton Meadows is in our opinion, one of the very finest microlight fields in the United Kingdom. With three runways (all over 450 metres in length) and open approaches in all directions, Sutton Meadows has an excellent safety record. Although primarily a microlight field, we welcome visitors and residents with light aircraft, as well as powered hang-gliders and even glider pilots often use the field as a welcoming landing site.
Also, we are proud of our friendly club atmosphere. Cambridgeshire Microlight Club hosts regular fly-outs and extended trips, for those who are looking to fly further afield. Refreshments are almost always available in the club caravan, and overnight camping is welcome. We are lucky to have two of the UK's best instructors permanently on-site to help out with license revalidations, type conversions and refresher training. Finally, hangarage is available for both fixed and flexwing microlights, hang-gliders and even gyrocopters!
View Larger Map & Get Directions
Upon entering Sutton village from the West, take the left turn to Sutton Gault. After crossing the bridge take the left turn (signposted Cambs Microlight Club), and follow the road to Sutton Meadows airfield.
Please take it slowly, some parts of the road have seen better days!
IMPORTANT: After periods of heavy rainfall, the Gault road linking Sutton village to the airfield is designed to flood. Before you set off it is advisable to check the environment agency flood warnings. If the road is flooded, it's a good idea to allow an extra 20-30minutes for your journey and approach the airfield via Chatteris.
We have three grass runways 10(LH) / 28(RH) -490m + 06(LH) / 24(RH) - 480m + 01(RH) / 19(LH) -480m so you can usually land into wind.
If you would like to fly in our co-ordinates are N52°23'10" E000°03'40"
If you have radio please use it, Microlight frequency 129.825 - call sign "Sutton Traffic"
Peter Robinson - Airfield operator - 01353 778446 / 07799 545705
Pegasus Flight Training - 07711 669325 Dave Garrison
Airplay Aviation - 07773 253454 David Broom
Note: Circuit heights 700' Standard overhead join @ 1200' - Powered aircraft must always give way to hang gliders.
PLEASE AVOID NO GO AREAS MARKED ON AIRFIELD LAYOUT - MAKES FOR HAPPY NEIGHBOURS...
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