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The day dawned dry but very misty and when we arrived at Sywell the visibility was very poor and the expectation was that a clearance would occur but not until at least 10:30 to 11:00. Now this was not going to be a problem as we had a full days events lined up, but would be a problem for all the pilots who were flying from various locations into Sywell to participate in the flying elements of the day.

The intrepid Young Aviators started to arrive for registration at 9am and after checking of parental consent forms and dishing out of Young Aviator booklets and schedules we watched as the weather slowly improved and visibility increased. The outline of the day’s activities and Safety briefs were carried out at 10:00 and then all the groups went off to do their various activities, with the caveat that due to weather, we may not be able to carry out, any or all, of the flying planned.


The Build-A-Plane RANs being assembled (Richard Lambert)

A total of 72 youngsters were expected and these were split into four groups of 18, and four core activities were undertaken;

(a) Map Reading, b) Navigation Planning, pre-flight, flight and post flight, c) Hangar Tour and d) Quiz/other activities.

The other (non-core) activities included;

an SBS demo, Marshalling demonstration, Radio Telephony Fun, Discovery4, Build-A-Plane project and a superb lunch-time model aircraft flying display.

Si Charlton and his Radio Telephony Fun (Richard Lambert)

A few little wrinkles occurred, but these were dealt with as they happened, and by the time the first pilots started to arrive at 11:00, we were ready to carry out our first flights of the day. These continued apace until all the 53 Young Aviators and 6 adults had flown, with even the Build-A-Plane RANS being drafted in to help with the flying. The weather improved greatly and stayed beautiful for the rest of the day and the Gods smiled upon us, as the airfield had actually been closed earlier that week due to the heavy rainfall experienced the previous week-end.


Alan Jackson with some Young Aviators (Richard Lambert)

All in all it was an action packed day, and very much enjoyed by everyone who took part. The 28 Scouts were able to get some of their aviation badges and a flight to boot, and the remaining 26 youngsters also enjoyed the various activities that were offered on the day.


Some of the superb models in the flying display (Richard Lambert)

I would like to say a BIG “Thank You” to everyone who helped make the 3rd Young Aviators day at Sywell such a great success. We managed to get 53 Young Aviators and 5 adults airborne thanks to the tremendous support of the 13x pilots and their aircraft who took part, and who managed a total of 49 flights to give all the participants, and in a few cases, their very first taste of a flight into the wild blue yonder, in a light aircraft. The post flight smiles were ear-to-ear and spoke volumes, as Young Aviators returned back from their flights.


Young Aviators of tomorrow (Richard Lambert)

I would like to thank all the Ground Crew and Group Leaders and their assistants, who managed to keep the timetable going and made it such a memorable day for all the Young Aviators, their parents and guardians and also for those of us running the event.

Jo Whiley (aka G-SWLL) compliments of Brooklands Flying Club and used for youngsters to climb into and see the controls up close, with a smaller debutant for the mini-Aviators present!!! (Joan Harrington)

Thank you especially to; Sywell Aerodrome for hosting the event, especially Jeff Bell and Kathy Puttam, Ed and Tony in the tower, Julie in The Pilots Mess, Gareth Aggett of The Brooklands Flying Club for the use of one of their aircraft for Young Aviators to sit in, Cathy in Flylight, Stewart Luck and the Youth & Education Support (Y.E.S.) and the Build-a-Plane project, Alan Jackson & the Sywll LAA strut, Penny Sharpe at LAA HQ, the Milton Keynes Aviation Society Committee & its members for their sponsorship of the event, John Norris of Horizon Hobby UK for the excellent model aircraft display at lunchtime, Norm Gillard for the SBS Demo and Angella Kelly of Discovery4, and Martin Collins for bringing along his superb B-17 Flying Fortress model.

The Ground Crew – Eddie Harrington, Joan Harrington, Russell Osborn, Jacob Hinson, Peter Chamberlain, Si Charlton, Dave Irvine, Dave Beetham, Richard Lambert, Fred Thomas, Sue Aherne, Denise Faehndrich, Daniel Faehndrich and James Kent.


The lovely smiles of joy – what Young Aviators is all about (Richard Lambert)

The Group Leaders Frank Leonhardt (Bucks Scouts), Bob Stubbs (Northants Scouts), Ed Maltby (Loughborough Scouts) and Andy Cornwell (I really appreciate you stepping into the breach on Group D Andy).

Handing out Young Aviator certificates and “Goodie” Bags (Richard Lambert)

Finally last but definitely NOT least, a very special thanks must go to all the pilots, whose generosity knows no bounds and who freely gave their time, their fuel and their enthusiasm –

Mark Johnson and his wife Sue (with G-DHZF DH-82A Tiger Moth, Sywell based),

Phil Brigstock (Eurostar G-JEEP from Empingham),

John Palmer (RV9 G-RVJP from Fenwick),

Kevin Brown (Skyranger G-CBIV from Bakersfield),

Alan Jackson (Jodel 1050 G-IOSO from Poddington),

Alan Gray (Auster J2 G-BEAH from Witchford),

Koby Maron (Jodel D117 G-AXCY from Bennington),

Colin Hastings (PA-28R N808VT from Panshanger),

Peter Banks (Skyranger G-SKRA from Finmere),

Stewart Luck (RANS S6-ES G-TSOB Build-A-Plane project),

Edmund Comber (Jabiru 2 seater G-EWBC from Benwick),

John Parker (Eurostar G-VORN from Benwick), and

Richard Pidcock (Pioneer 300 G-PCCC from White Fen Farm).

Thank you all once again so much, as without you all it just would not have been possible.

Here’s to our next event in September 2009.

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