Local residents in Penarth probably can’t help but notice that an increasing number of large transport aircraft are now directly overflying St Augustine’s Church at altitudes of 2,000 feet – and sometimes below.
The aircraft – a mix of elderly civilian airliners and military freighters – are usually on their way to the increasingly-busy aviation maintenance facility at the former RAF base at St Athan.
Lining up on the steeple of St Augustine’s Church – the highest landmark in the Vale of Glamorgan – gives the big planes an almost straight-in approach to St Athan’s Runway 26.
Slowly overflying the church yesterday at only 124 knots in low cloud at 1,950 feet was a 20-year-old Airbus A330-322 – registration CS-TRI – which had taken off from Brussels and was on its way for maintenance at St Athan.
The big 347-passenger airliner – which is operated for an airline called Hi Fly – touched down at St Athan at 14:30.
St Augustine’s Church was always a traditional landmark for mariners . Now it seems pilots too, find it a useful point of reference