Bookmark This WebsiteReturn To Home PageContact Us

Ian Hoolahan, LAC Flying School examiner  rather impolitely .. asked for: ..all of this..

“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”  Mark Twain

Ashcroft [Ian Hoolahan] again

Ian Hoolahan [Barton Flight examiner]

Dear Sir

1. I note you have 'blocked' my emails but are content to send me more of your belligerent emails.

I ask you to .. look in the mirror .. regarding your comments concerning 'courage' ..

3. I have no problem whatsoever putting all the emails between us on a separate page on the website.  

4. Indeed, a letter was sent to you yesterday on all safety issues discussed.  

5. Perhaps Gary Hall will forward this email on to you .. if he so wishes  

6. In the meantime, I will forward the above mentioned letter to the UK CAA

Yours faithfully 

Stephen Billington ... 04 Feb 2022

Ashcroft Airfield Owner

Re: Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT] 3


I have blocked you so no longer getting emails from you, however someone had pointed out that you have put a letter to me on your website, If you are doing this I will challenge you to put the full set of these emails on there so people can judge for themselves if I was trying to help and who is being insulting, I will monitor your site to see this but suspect you will not have the courage to do this!

Re: Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT] 3


If you read what I am going to do it was actually aiming to help you, as it is do not wish any further communication and you are now blocked on my email list

Re: Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT] 3


To: Ian Hoolahan [Barton Flight examiner]


Dear Sir


1. I ask you to look in the mirror regarding your comments about 'belligerence' 

2. You could 'help' me by trying to dissuade Mark Craine from flying too low over my Airfield 

3. It's not rocket science .. you either fly around Ashcroft or fly over it at a higher altitude 

4. You would do better to moderate your communications and adopt a more professional approach 

Yours faithfully

Stephen Billington ... 02 February 2022

Re: Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT] 2

It is a shame when people are trying to help you that you kick them in the balls!

Re: Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT] 2


To: Ian Hoolahan [flight examiner] and Gary Hall [Avionics Live]

Dear Sirs

1. Ian Hoolahan. A formal letter on subjects discussed will be sent to you tomorrow.

2. This letter will remain in the public domain, a deterrent to stop LAC Flying School low overflights.

3. If there's an airprox or accident due to LAC Flying School low overflights it will be up to others to decide who should have taken earlier action

4. Can I suggest, at best it is 'Ungentlemanly' for Craine's Flying School to keep flying low over Ashcroft. At worst it is plain dangerous.

5. Gary Hall. Sir, Your previous clear attempts to dissuade me from further action will be part of any subsequent enquiry.

Yours faithfully

Stephen Billington ... 02 February 2022

Re: Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT]

As I had said I would discuss this with the School and report back
I find your reply offensive and ungentlemanly, if you wish to send me a “formal” letter then please go ahead but remove me from your email list, I will still be discussing this with the School but for training and airmanship reasons rather than any obligation to yourself and no longer feel I wish to pass on any results from my discussion- it is a shame you need to be so belligerent as up to now, while I believe you are in error on many points, especially relying on FR24, I was largely backing you on the main one of avoiding Ashcroft as much as possible.

Re: Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT]

Thanks Gary, 
I am certainly not going to reply to any more though I will discuss it as said and let him have any result.

Mark Craine's low overflights at Ashcroft [URGENT]


To: Ian Hoolahan [CAA Flight Examiner]

RE: LAC Flying School low overflights at Ashcroft

Dear Sir

1. Calibrated altitude or not .. I clearly saw Craine's C152 Reg 'G-AVER' fly directly South to North over our RW27 threshold on 30 Jan 2022

Perhaps that is the best 'calibration' method to use [and] I will stand by my LAC Flying School low flight logs on my website at any enquiry.

2. Re: your comments about not mentioning Oulton Park VRP .. take your pick Ian, Oulton Park or Winsford Flash .. but not over Ashcroft Airfield

3. One of the reasons the CAA granted us an ICAO Code [EGCR] was so pilots could use their Nav equipment to navigate around not fly over Ashcroft
Please don't make the excuse that it's all the students fault .. on 15 Oct 2020 it was Mark Craine himself flying very low over us [witnessed by others]

4. You may not like the content of my website .. but [with an inactive CAA] it is my best insurance policy .. to try to prevent an accident from happening.

Based on your comments, it seems likely that if you were in charge of Ashcroft .. LAC's 2T Focke Wulf would have overrun, and ended up on the road

5. IMHO, it's only because I'm making a fuss about our road users still being 'ransomed' by any type of LAC aircraft .. that [currently] keeps the LAC away.

6. Can I suggest that your previous comments about just 'poor airmanship' is just .. too laid back for a CAA Flight Examiner [study the ANO Sir]

7. Can I also suggest the background map that Mark Craine uses for .. posing for photos .. should be replaced with a large scale MAN LLR map

8. A formal letter on all these subjects will be sent to you tomorrow. A more pro-active attitude and .. a higher 'altitude' .. should be adopted.

9. I repeat: Stop an accident no one notices .. fail and it is likely that the whole Country will pay attention Ian

Yours faithfully

Stephen Billington ... 02 February 2022

Owner Ashcroft Airfield [EGCR]

Re: LAC Flying School's dangerous low overflights at Ashcroft

As said I WILL raise this with the school.
Just to correct a few of your statements
1. The log does not “speak for itself” - for example I have looked at the last (G-AVER) flight and if you follow the flight to the end it shows it joining Barton overhead at approx 1300’ and downwind at 600’ when he would actually have been at 1,700 and 1,000 backing up the point that a number of people have raised about the FR24 altitudes.
2. From the NATS site -“The Manchester Low Level Route is a 4 NM wide corridor.” Yes it widens out but only on the Eastern side and a little late to be comfortable for some pilots.
3.This is a VRP not a required position, I note you do not mention the one at Oulton Park, presumably because you would rather people are not routing as close as that.
4. See 1.
5. As stated, the way you have raised this has resulted in them not being given credibility, I do not think what you have on your website re LAC flying CLUB (not for many years part of the same organisation) has helped.
6. Whilst LAC might be the main offender I am sure there are many other aircraft that do the same, the fact that it is a training organisation in the location it is, thus a high proportion of students/low hour pilots from there are using the corridor.
7. As stated I will raise this with the School but point out that aircraft routing West of Ashcroft and not wanting to risk infringing Liverpool will likely be a mile or less away on the climb out and I am not sure that this is actually more dangerous than going directly overhead where aircraft will generally be on the ground!
Once I have discussed this with the Head of Training I will let you know any developments.

Re: LAC Flying School's dangerous low overflights at Ashcroft

Hello Ian

1. Your comments are noted but the LAC low flying log speaks for itself

2. The MAN LLR is 5nm wide and opens up to 7-8nm at the southern end

3. Furthermore the VRP is Winsford Flash .. not Ashcroft Airfield Ian

4. I have attached this as an image .. so that Craine's Flying School can study it

5. Regarding your later remarks .. I did try to communicate my concerns .. but they were ignored

6. I've operated Ashcroft for nearly 22 years. Why is it that the aircraft that fly low over us belong to Craine?

7. Stop an accident no one notices .. fail and it is likely that the whole Country will pay attention Ian

Stephen Billington ........ 02 Feb 2022

Re: LAC Flying School's dangerous low overflights at Ashcroft

Hello Stephen,
Yes as part of my freelance work I do sometimes instruct and test at LAC amongst other places, I would be very surprised to find any pilot from the School overflying at the heights stated and as others have said you do not seem to be taking into account the high pressure on these days. In discussions at the school there is no one “targeting” Ashcroft it is more the case that the location, being right at the bottom of the LLR, will cause this to be a problem, whilst I agree it is poor airmanship to overfly there is also the problem that the authorities nowadays are particularly hot on infringements of Manchester/Liverpool zones with a number of MORs being raised, which means people are wary of this and anyone following the CAA “take two” guidance is very likely to be very close to Ashcroft and at 1,000’ QNH, add in the fact that these are often students with relatively low hours and there is inevitably going to be some aircraft closer and lower than ideal, add the requirement to monitor Manchesters frequency in the LLR and it means it is difficult for a pilot to call on your frequency.
 Obviously you can’t move the airfield so it is difficult to suggest a solution short of modifying the LLR so it widens out a little earlier (East of Ashcroft is not so bad but anyone not routing  that direction it is more problematic).
 I will again raise this with the School but unfortunately the way you have approached this in the past means that your complaints are rarely given much credibility.
 I would also like you to note that I do not want to end up as someone in the middle of this and would suggest a more moderate cooperative approach might lead to a better result.
Ian Hoolahan

LAC Flying School's dangerous low overflights at Ashcroft

FAO: Ian Hoolahan [Flight Instructor]

 Gary Hall [Avionics Engineer]

Hello Ian and Gary

1. You should both be aware that Mark Craine's LAC Flying School continues to fly at or below 500ft through Ashcroft's circuit pattern.

NB: there have been some occasions [see the log below] where the LAC Flying School overflights have been as low as 350ft AGL

2. Craine may argue that flying at 500 ft over Unlicensed Airfields is legal. I'll argue [in a Court] that this breaks several other aviation laws.

3. Gary Hall. You are on record for chastising me for complaining, that Mark Craine's Flying School is a Quote 'good customer' of yours and Ian Hoolahan. You are Craine's LAC Flying School examiner. You can not expect to sit on the side-lines and ignore these issues

4. I suggest, that's in both your interests to deter Mark Craine from pursuing his LAC Flying School clear campaign to intimidate Ashcroft

5. Claims that Craine's LAC Flying School has 'no connection' with Mort's Lancashire Aero Club is: 'not a dog that's going to hunt here'

6. Gary, you've clearly taken the hump on this issue plus my claim that Mike Dyson acted in an unsociable manner at Ashcroft .. I get it
Some Ashcroft pilots think we just LOL around and cut the grass but when they're challenged they claim their presence is 'untenable'

7. So .. get this, both of you. I have already submitted one Witness Statement to the UK CAA [below] and I will not hesitate to do another

8. As you can see from the log below G-AVER flew at 500ft O'head Ashcroft on 30 Jan [confirmed by my new FR24 App] thanks to Nick B

9. We are £150k poorer and received 1,458 legal LAC documents but our road users are still under LAC ransom with 'any type' of aircraft

Thanks to the LAC, I now have years of litigation experience. If Craine's aircraft crash into our aircraft, you will both not escape scrutiny.

Kind regards

Stephen Billington ... 01 February 2022

Ashcroft Airfield [EGCR] Owner

Craine's LAC Flying School flights logged here
 [legal reasons]

... G-AVER [Cessna 152] ... flew through Ashcroft o'head [500ft AGL] 12:58 on 30 Jan 2022

... G-ISHA [PA-28-161] ... flew through Ashcroft o'head [500ft AGL] 14:20 on 27 Jan 2022
... G-OKED [Cessna 152] ....low level orbit over Ashcroft [500ft AGL] 14:25 on 22 Nov 2021
... G-BONW [Cessna 152] ...low level flight over Ashcroft [400ft AGL]
 12:45 on 21 Oct 2021
... G-BOIL [Cessna 172] ... low level orbit over Ashcroft [500ft AGL]
 10:55 on 17 Jun 2021

... G-BOIL [Cessna 172] ... low level orbit over Alderley [205ft AGL] 12:31 on 06 Mar 2021

... G-ISHA [PA-28-161] ... flew through Ashcroft o'head [550ft AGL] 10:55 on 15 Oct 2020

... G-ISHA [PA-28-161] ... flew through Ashcroft circuit [350ft AGL] 12:49 on 15 Oct 2020

... G-ISHA [PA-28-161] ... flew through Ashcroft circuit [450ft AGL] 12:49 on 11 Oct 2020 Web Site Design Company : eCommerce Software Shopping Cart Solutions