Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Saturday: Tiger Moth Charity event at Halton (actually it was both Saturday and Sunday, but seeing as we no longer live opposite the hangars we only went for Saturday afternoon).

A truly glorious afternoon of free flying fun. Firstly, we had the Queen’s Birthday flypast to look forward to – I’m not sure who it is that manages to get them to fly over us but whoever it is deserves a pint! Not only did we get the full flypast of jets (Typhoons, Tornados (all variants), VC-10 re-fueller – trailing its drogues, Nimrod, and a few others), but the Red Arrows actually dropped smoke for us! (see pic)

DSCF2929The BBMF contingent of the Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane in formation was too slow to reach us still in its allocated slot, so they came afterwards and did three circuits for us! Awesome.

Next we were treated to some truly stomach churning aerobatics by one of Britain’s best aerobatic pilots in a 40 year old (and absolutely gorgeous) Pitts Special, then an aerobatics display in one of the Tiger Moths (like, wow).

Amongst it all we also watched the ‘Flying Circus’ doing its thing – limbo, balloon popping etc – this is always a stunning event to witness, seeing an assortment of vintage aeroplanes flying under what are essentially washing lines being held by some seriously brave marshallers, then watching them try to pop helium balloons with their propellers (which, incidentally is no-where near as easy as it sounds).

Then the stars of the show – the ‘Cricket Team’ – a formation of eleven, yes eleven, tiger moths doing their display formation. At least we thought these were to be the stars of the show until they all stopped on the runway threshold while our ‘special guest’ came over from Brize Norton to do a flypast for us…

Now, a few of us had been speculating over what the ‘special guest’ was going to be – none of us really believed what we were about to witness…

The Vulcan. Piloted by none other than Falklands hero Martin Withers.

Oh. My. God.

I have been wanting to see this aeroplane fly ever since Paul took me to sit in one up near Coventry somewhere, and what a machine she is. Low level. Fast. Incredibly loud (she set off quite a few car alarms). Stunning.

Made my day that did. I just wish I’d been able to take some better pictures – when he turned her on her tail at the end of the runway and showed off the whole of that beautiful delta…wow.


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