What are Social Evenings?

Social Evenings are where we invite a guest speaker from the “world of aviation” to  come along to the Runway Visitor Park and deliver a presentation on a specific topic to our Members and Guests. The evenings are traditionally held each fortnight on a Monday night.

An average attendance would be between 70 – 130 people – all ages (all sexes)  who simply have a common interest in Aviation. Throughout the year we will try and vary the topics to ensure we cover all aspects of Civil and Military aviation.

Recent Guest Speakers have included:- Red Arrows Team Manager, Concorde Chief Pilot, Former USAF U2 and SR71 Pilot, Director of Manchester Airport, Director of Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin B747 Pilot, Professional Drone Pilot, Air Accident Investigator, Air Traffic Controller.

The evenings are conducted in a relaxed environment where like minded people are able to meet. Prior to the Guest Speaker commencing their presentation a selection of historical and current photos will be shown on the large screen.

Each evening will normally have a 15 / 20 minute break (half way through) where we usually hold a raffle with a prize associated with the evenings presentation or a gift voucher for the TAS Shop.

Where are they held?

All TAS Social Evenings are held in the Concorde Restaurant at Manchester Airports Runway Visitor Park (RVP). Postcode WA15 8XQ, Tel 0161 489 8300.

The venue has a bar and is located alongside the iconic Concorde G-BOAC.  Entry to the Social Evenings is normally through the TAS Shop and the Concorde Hangar – (Yes, you walk under Concorde).  We guarantee a fantastic evening, where everyone is made very welcome…and great views of the aircraft can be had regardless of the weather!

How much does it cost?

Admission (Pay on the door) to the Social Evenings is just £2.00 for TAS members with guests being admitted for £3.50.

What time and where do I park?

The gates to the Runway Visitor Park open at 19.00hrs for persons attending the meetings and the presentations commence at 20.00hrs and usually end at 22.00hrs.

Entrance and Car parking to the Runway Visitor Park is free after 19.00hrs to all persons attending TAS Social Evenings.  If required the Car Park attendant located at the “gate house” will advise you with respect to the Car Parking arrangements for that evening. Drive through, park the car and make your way to the event in the Concorde Restaurant.

Ideas for “Guest Speakers” at future events are always welcome. Please contact our Social Evening organiser:-  


Monday 25th March

Captain Nick Anderson Virgin Atlantic A330 / 340

My father was a wartime RAAF Sunderland pilot who served at Plymouth and my mother a WRAF telegraphy operator who intercepted German coded WT morse destined for Bletchley Park. Like most of us who had wild dreams of flying, I started off in the Air Training Corps. Unable to get into civil aviation I applied to the RAF aged 20 in 1974 and ended up flying Phantoms for No43(F) Sqn at RAF Leuchars.   From there I was trained as a fast jet A1 QFI and served at RAF Valley for several years. Returning to the Phantom I became a Qualified Weapons Instructor before being sent to Australia on an Exchange tour.

I worked as a pilot with the RAAF on the F/A18 Hornet at RAAF Williamtown, New South Wales for three years before returning to the RAF, becoming an F3 Tornado pilot and Flight Commander with 111(F) Sqn at RAF Leuchars. After 3 years on the Tornado I retired as a Squadron Leader in 1993.

Since then I have been gainfully employed with Virgin Atlantic Airways on the Airbus A340-300, A340-600,  A330-300 and A330-200 since 1994 to date. My retirement from professional flying will be a mere two months after I have the pleasure of talking to you.  At that point I will have been flying for 48 years, professionally for 44 years.

Despite my flying career, I’m still happily married after 42 years with 2 grown up lads.

In recent times I have enjoyed contributing to a long standing Aviation Podcast called the Airline Pilot Guy show and have a particular interest in aviation history, producing a segment within the show called Plane Tales . I spend much of my time promoting aviation and meeting like-minded enthusiasts who love the world of flight.

My talk:

I have been lucky enough to have a career that has spanned many decades and as a keen photographer I usually had my camera with me to record events.  I first soloed on wood and canvas gliders and a venerable C150A G-BACP but my RAF training took me onto the Chipmunk, Jet Provost Mk3 & 5, the Folland Gnat and the Hawker Hunter, before flying fighters on the front line; the Phantom, the Hornet and the Tornado.  My talk will encompass my career in the military with its ups and downs, pun fully intended, when much of my time was spent intercepting Soviet military aircraft during the Cold War.  For the past 25 years I have wandered the globe like a disorientated Albatros, flying from London to all corners in the mighty Airbus A340-600 and its smaller cousins the -300 and the A330.  From New York’s dreaded JFK in the winter, to the old Kia Tak airport in Hong Kong and round the checker board in a typhoon, I have enjoyed a charmed life in aviation that I look forward to sharing with you.


Monday 8th April

TAS Annual General Meeting

Monday 29th April

“Keeping your aerodrome safe” - Aviation Safety Consultant - Debbie Riley

Tonight, Debbie will take a detailed look at two completely different aspects of Airfield Operations which can have serious implications on aerodrome safety:- Managing the Wildlife Hazard and Runway Excursions.

The first half of Debbie’s presentation will take a look at the different species of wildlife (from Birds to Elephants) that can potentially cause a serious accident at an airport. What measures do the airports around the world put in place to mitigate and prevent accidents taking place? The second half of Debbie’s presentation will look at another very serious occurrence at the world Airports known as “Runway Excusions” (An aircraft vacating the Runway,normally at speed,onto the unpaved terrain). Such incidents are on the increase and can have very serious consequences. Why do they happen and what can airports do to prevent them? Debbie will be sharing her extensive experience in both topics,illustrating her presentations with photos from airports around the world and through the use of comprehensive Case Studies including accident investigations.

Monday 13th May

Ken Delve - former RAF Tornado Navigator (Change of Date for Speaker)

Monday 17th June

Future Guest Speakers

With a Social Evening taking place almost every two weeks throughout the year (that’s over 20 Guest Speakers per year!) its quite a challenge to organise an interesting and varied programme.  As such, if you would like to offer your services as a Guest Speaker, know someone or perhaps have seen someone who could be a potential Guest Speaker or have ideas for Guest Speakers – Please drop our Social Evening Organiser (Peter Hampson) an e mail :- peter@airportsol.com  Your help and support would be very much appreciated.