Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Aviation 'Bug'

At last got this blog going the purpose of which is to recount my aviation 'adventures' past and present and all things aeronautical that catch my imagination!

My family has always been interested in flying, my mother was in the Junior Womens Air Corps for a few years, 1949 onwards and flew with the great Dame Bonarto Walker as her instructor at one stage in a Fairchild Argus out of Elstree aerodrome. Dad has always been keen on flying, not able to do national service he cut the grass on airfields for a few years travelling around some of the most famous Battle of Britain airfields and remembers the old dispersal areas with mission boards in place etc, also when a teenager in about 1944 he crept on board a Lancaster displayed on Webridge Green to support the war effort, he also Taxied in a Gloster Javalin in the 1950's (I must record his memories soon).

I grew up with dad making Airfix, Frog & Revell aircraft models a feature of wet days when holidaying in Somerset! I read every book I could get hold of on flying and WW1 & WW2 flying stories in the 1970's and there were loads of new books of this type in Walton Library on a regular basis. Both me and my friend John Schofield at primary school wanted to join the RAF when old enough....but we both had bad eyesight so it was never to be. John became a very succesful Television and radio news reporter covering the first Gulf war, but was tragically killed in Bosnia working for the BBC.

I travelled around museums, airshows with friends and bought more aircraft kits than I could build for a number of years! then went to University and on completing my degree followed by a years Countryside Management Volunteering Joined the Kent Rural Community Council in Folkestone. A year later in 1996 a new conservation officer joined BTCV who were then based in the basement office. Chris was another aviation 'nutter' and had just completed his pilots licence at Lydd. We got on well and soon I went flying as his first passenger since qualifying (after Nessy his girlfriend & now Wife)this was a local 'sortie' from Lydd on a clear day on December 14th 1996 in PA28 G-BSCY duration 40 Minutes.

Since then I have had the regular good fortune to go flying on average 5-6 times a year and in addition to your usual Cessna's have flown in 4 Different Tiger Moths including ACDC the oldest flying 'Tiger' in the world (built 1933), Piper Super Cub, and Auster AOP6. In addition to flying with Chris I have flown with the Coastguard on one sortie and in a Dragon Rapide. (I don't count airliners as flying!)

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