I had heard that Warton are offering free circuits so I recently decided to give it a try.
I phoned Warton ATC on 01772 852374 being their published phone number and spoke to a very helpful chap. I asked whether we could do an ILS followed by some circuits. He explained that as the runway in use was 07 and the ILS was on 25 he would need to speak to the radar controller. He put me on hold and on returning to me he said the radar controller would do his best to accommodate us and that after the approach we would need to position for visual circuits on 07. I asked him whether there would be any charge and he replied “no charge, it’s our pleasure!”
After leaving Liverpool zone at Kirkby we free called Waton Radar on 129.525. The radar controller gave us a Warton squawk and ask us to climb to 2,300 feet on the Warton QNH. After confirming radar identification he then vectored us firstly downwind for 25 and then on to the ILS. After reporting established on the localiser we were then transferred to Warton Tower on 130.800.
After completing the ILS approach we repositioned for a landing on 05. We asked the Tower controller if we could change crew on the ground and he gave permission for this provided we were happy to make the crew change on runway!
On departing the circuit we were transferred back to Warton Radar. On leaving the Warton area we thanked the controller for the service to which he replied that they were always happy to help training. All in all it was a delightful experience with very helpful and professional controllers and what’s more totally free.
If anyone is considering doing any instrument training or circuits I would recommend Warton as an option.