26th-27th June 2009 – Saturday started misty across the Southern counties and the Swift team were delayed with morning fog in the lea of the Chilterns. Saturday’s Biggin Hill Air Fair was uneventful and by the time we had displayed and departed in the early afternoon, the mist had risen to fair weather cumulous clouds over Sussex.
Next stop was Parham Airfield, home of Southdown Gliding Club and the 100yr anniversary celebration of soaring flight. Southdown Gliding Club’s celebrations centred on a scale model of the original Weiss glider, that was launched at the end of the day. More than 200 people watched our display in the late afternoon, both Twister and Swift performing Limbo passes.
Sunday started hot, with the clouds building from the moment we left Parham for our flight back to Biggin. The Sunday show was beset with technical problems. The RAF Hawk burst a tyre on landing and caused a delay to our display. After we departed to Norfolk, a total of 5 other aircraft failed to display, most notably the Vulcan and BBMF Lancaster. The highlight of the day was the Virgin 747-400 flypast, in formation with the Red Arrows.
Next stop for us was the Wings, Wheels & Steam event at Rougham, with lots of tractors and traction engines and a busy fly-in with 50 aircraft and crowds of 5,000 to watch the displays.
Last show of the day was the 10th Old Buckenham Airshow as the thermometer hit 28C, the building storm clouds could hold on no longer and the rain started falling. We lucked in with a small clear gap to close the show, but the heavens opened as the 6,000 strong crowd dispersed and we got very wet on the flight back home.