September 29/30

 

 

On April 1st, ex Spitfire pilot and club member, Allan Scott, met up with surviving 'ATA girl' Mary Ellis for an ITV interview at Biggin Hill. Allan has already booked another spitfire flight to celebrate his 100th birthday in four years time. 

https://www.facebook.com/itvnews/videos/10155760240502672/

 Extract from the Shropshire Star, October 3rd 2015

Allan was posted to the Battle of Britain airfield of Biggin Hill in 1941 with 124 Squadron before being posted abroad.

Sixty five years after his last Spitfire flight, he said he felt immediately at home."It's just like riding a bicycle," he joked. "I fly it by instinct. I get the feel of the aircraft. You fly a Spitfire, as they say, by the seat of your pants.In wartime combat I did three tours and I was a test pilot afterwards and flew a few Spitfires then as well."

The emotional flight was arranged at his old air base and in an extra thrill for the Squadron Leader, he was given control of the two-seater aircraft and had the chance once more to enjoy putting it through its paces."The pilot was great. He did the take off and landing for insurance purposes, but once it was in the air he handed the aircraft over to me and I flung it about a bit with steep turns, a roll, and so on. I thoroughly enjoyed myself," said Allan, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his wartime exploits. However he did not give it the full works as he once might have done.

"I'm getting old now, and may have forgotten anyway. I did what I could, and enjoyed it.I was flying over old country, bringing back old memories, having been stationed at Biggin Hill in 1941. When we got airborne I said to the pilot that I wanted to go to that straight railway line from Ashford in Kent to Redhill that used to be our navigational aid getting back. We did – it's still there. When we were coming back from the English Channel and had the sun in our back and past the white cliffs we would use this railway line, which runs dead straight, for navigation. When we came back to the aerodrome the pilot did a low pass for the photographers. I've never seen so many photographers in all my life. Everybody wanted a photograph".

 

 

The new Hangar:

Dismantled at Rednal airfield (below)

Framework erected at Sleap (below right)

Cladding on after a snow delay (right)

There will be room for several aircraft and interest in spaces is keen as this will be the closest hangar to the clubhouse and fuel pumps. A phase 2 extension is already under consideration.

  
December 9th and 10th. A heavy fall of snow closed the airfield, but those prepared to brave the thaw were rewarded with spectacular views of the landscape

Thursday November 2nd: A fine evening for the first night flying of the season. Several visitors flew in and some of our own pilots took to the circuits with or without instructors, to polish up those skills. As always, there was a brisk trade in curries as the cafe stayed open to satisfy big apetites.


Sunday 29h October: Blue skies and a light but chilly wind brought the visitors into Sleap

A crowded apron round about lunch-time!

The Anson drops in.

 

Josie prepares the Lock cafe for Halloween

 

And introduces the new Bomber breakfast!


 Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, visited the airfield in August and showed a keen interest in all aspects of the operation. He Tweeted

Really interesting visit to @SleapEGCV. Congrats Shrops Aero Club. 130 planes busy 7 days/week

and asked to be kept informed of future developments.

 

Bader Braves Young Aviators Day: extract from report;

We had a wonderful group of pilots with an interesting mix of aeroplanes from the familiar Cessna and PA28’s to a Bonanza. Rallye 880B, Robin DA40D and a few more throughout the day. Everything was breezing alongbeautifully and it seemed an amazingly short morning to me. By 11.15 the whole morning group had arrived and checkedin and Bader Squadron Sleap were coping really well with their workload to the point that by about 12.30 pilots were able to grab a cuppa and a sandwich or two.

But there wasn’t much rest time for them as another 20 youngsters from the afternoon session were lined up in the check in queue; it really was pretty constant. Some of the pilots had already completed quite a number of flights and it was quite obvious judging from their shirts and streams of perspiration that the temperature had really climbed; it was bad enough in mission control and out on the airfield and in the cockpit of an aeroplane on the ground it was really stifling. But no complaints from either Braves or pilots and the whole exercise continued throughout the afternoon just as efficiently as it had in the morning. ...................

.............At the end of the day nearly 45 flights had been completed and 85 people flown. Tony was locking up and all ready for home, just time for a big thank you to him and a hearty pat on the back for a job well done; fantastically well done too!! Everyone at Sleap, far too many to mention individually, had given Bader Braves a superb day and, hopefully, one that our Young Aviators will forever remember so to each and everyone of them that so freely gave of their time it is an ENORMOUS thank you.