McAully Flying Group

Cessna light aircraft - McAully Flying Group
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McAully Flying Group Hangar

Hangar at McAully Flying Group

McAully Flying Group
North Norfolk wetlands

North Norfolk Wetlands

McAully Flying Group
North Norfolk Coast from the air

Views over the North Norfolk Coast

This week, Lucy joins a pleasure flight with McAully Flying Group in Norfolk. In the process, she discovers that she might have an expensive new hobby

When I was invited to join a pleasure flight over north Norfolk with The Chap’s father, I didn’t think twice about. I’d love to go, I declared. Offers like that don’t come along every day!

But when the day arrived, I was somewhat less confident.

I’d volunteered to go up in a tiny plane. On a windy day. In Norfolk. And I get nervous at the merest hint of turbulence.

But, being the trooper that I am, I went along with it (mainly because my pride wouldn’t let me bail out).

Thankfully, when we arrived at Little Snoring Airfield, the weather was fantastic and I was immediately put at my ease by Carl of the McAully Flying Group.

Read more: 5 awesome things to do in Norfolk

Calm. Measured. Precise. He was everything I could have hoped for. He went through all of the safety procedures with us, explaining what he was doing and why. It was all the reassurance I needed to get into the plane.

He said what we’d be doing during the flight, where we’d be going and what to look out for, before The Chap Snr. and I bundled into the back of the Cessna C172P and strapped ourselves in. The Chap sat up front with Carl, who completed his safety checks, before taxiing onto the runway.

It was at this point that I spotted a flock of crows taking flight from a nearby field and hares darting about near the runway. Steeling myself, I figured that Carl had done this hundreds of times before and decided to trust the situation. And I’m glad I did.

Flight time

When the propellers reached full speed, we zipped along the short runway, before effortlessly gliding into the air.

And oh, the views…

Carl took us up to an altitude of 2,000ft and out to the coast, flying over the Holkham Estate and the beach, before passing Blakeney, Wells and Sheringham. Off in the distance, we could see Cromer pier – a tiny speck from the air – before returning to base.

Read more: Family Days Out in Norfolk

Although the flight only lasted around 50 minutes, it was very special to see north Norfolk from above. Little toy villages appeared scattered across the bright green countryside, while the setting sun reflected off the glassy sea. In case you can’t tell, I can’t recommend the experience highly enough.

Footage of our take off from Little Snoring Airfield

If you ever get the offer of going up on a pleasure flight in Norfolk, please do it. Even if you’re a nervous passenger, you won’t regret it.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if they regularly offer pleasure flights at McAully Flying Group (the trip was arranged by The Chap Snr.), but you can become a member of the Group via the website. I’m certainly looking into it…!


Hi, I'm Lucy. I've lived in Norfolk since 2001 and in that time I've grown to love this fine county. From the city of Norwich, to the countryside villages and sweeping coastline, there's so much to explore and hope to share my experiences with you here.

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