Henlow pilots land their plane at silent international airport

TWO pilots of a light aircraft found they had an international airport all to themselves yesterday afternoon, thanks to the volcanic cloud hanging over the UK. Geoff Cleverdon, from Bury Lane, Codicote, who works at Altro in Letchworth GC, and Paul Trib

TWO pilots of a light aircraft found they had an international airport all to themselves yesterday afternoon, thanks to the volcanic cloud hanging over the UK.

Geoff Cleverdon, from Bury Lane, Codicote, who works at Altro in Letchworth GC, and Paul Tribble from Henlow, who are both members of Henlow Flying Club, were out on a flight when they asked air traffic control at London Luton Airport if they could drop in.

Air traffic controllers were only to happy to allow the light aircraft to land and even turned all the runway lights on normally reserved for jet aircraft.

"I think they were bored with the airport closed down due to the volcanic ash hanging over the UK and were only too happy to welcome them," said a colleague of the two pilots.

"For the two pilots their biggest wish came true to land at a major airport."

But their wish came at a price because they were charged �220 in landing fees by the British Airports Authority for their 10 minutes on the ground.

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Geoff's wife Linda said: "Landing at Luton airport was a big thrill for him. He has been grinning like a Cheshire cat ever since.

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