1st-2nd August 2009 – The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, home to WW2 Lancaster bomber ‘Just Jane’ hosted their first RAF Benevolent Fund Air Show on Saturday.
An active cold front threatened to disrupt flying by Lunchtime, but expecting the worst, Display Director Mike Wood brought the show forwards. We watched a seemingly impenetrable wall of rain and cloud advance towards us, but incredibly it held a few miles from East Kirkby and only a few spots of rain fell on the airfield.
The event brought in over 3,000 spectators, the biggest ever turn out to the Aviation Centre and they enjoyed 20 aircraft displaying during the afternoon. The only act to cancel on the day was the Rolls Royce Spitfire, grounded on the wrong side of the weather system.
Guy Westgate and Peter Wells ferried both of Peter’s Twisters to Lincolnshire, and were escorted by Adrian Hatton and his fixed gear Twister G-TWSS. Despite the struts and wheels, the cruise performance matches the retractable versions due to weight savings and effective fairings.
Paul Moslin was tug pilot for the weekend in an RAFGSA Chipmunk, and carried Paul Johnson for some valuable air-2-air photos. Last but not least Mike Newman ferried the Swift from its RAF Halton base.
The team were unanimous in declaring ‘Display of the day’ to Russ Norman in the Chinook, for his last public display in the enormous helicopter and to Gerald Cooper who flew an astounding display in his CAP232 from take off to landing – his display showing all the skill that won him Bronze medal in the recent World Air Games in Turin.
Thanks must go to Andrew Panton and the RAFBF staff for the invite and help with accommodation.
We departed for Bruntingthorpe in much better weather on Sunday, and had a perfect day in the company of four of the best display pilots in World – namely the Paul Bonhomme and Steve Jones of the Red Bull Matadors and Nigel Lamb and Al Kay flying the Spitfire and Mustang of the Duxford Duo.
Thanks must go to John Forde for the invite to this exclusive event for ASDA staff.