The 2013 Youth in Aviation Flying Day – hosted by Windrushers Gliding Club and masterminded by The Air League – proved to be the most successful Flying Day in recent years. Over 100 young people from a range of organisations attended and it was fantastic to see old faces and meet a lot of new people keen to become more involved in aviation. Contributing to the success of the day was the new format in which the day was run. Instead of attendees being spread out over the airfield, all present were either at the launch point waiting to fly or congregated at the ‘Flying Hub’ – an area where all of the organisations involved in the day set up stands to promote their work. The Flying Hub was also where visiting aircraft parked up, allowing all present to have a good look around some of the interesting types that flew in.
It was fantastic to see all of our close partners exhibiting: The British Gliding Association had the gliding sim set up, the Light Aircraft Association were on hand to discuss their various youth programmes, the RAeS were present to discuss their offering to young people, Air Scouts were buzzing around in their Venture and the RAF and Air Cadets were keen to talk to all present about the fantastic opportunities they offer. In addition, both CTC and CAE Oxford were present with cadets to talk about becoming a professional pilot and we were thrilled that a few Air League members took some time out to talk about their experiences as Cadets with some of the larger flying schools. Also present were Aerobility, the Guild’s Young Members and we also were delighted to welcome Jon Duke from new website getintoflying.co.uk and Gareth Stringer, editor of Global Aviation Resource. Like last year, Chiltern Classic Flight – care of David Spicer – arranged a number of interesting engineering tours. Having such a diverse range of organisations in attendance was fantastic – a great opportunity for networking, sharing information and above all, to learn about new ways to get airborne, whether for a career or simply for fun! We’re enormously grateful to all of the above organisations without whom the day would not have been as successful as it was.
Even if the day had been blighted with cloud on the deck and hammering rain, thanks to the above organisations, all present would have had a good day; catching up and exchanging stories. Alas, it wasn’t a bad day at all and after a few showers passed through in the morning, the remainder of the day saw some top quality flying take place. As always, the Windrushers Gliding Club instructors were keen to share their enthusiasm and over 100 winch launches took place allowing some of the more inexperienced present to have a go at gliding, some for the very first time. The powered line up was even more impressive than previous years and it was fantastic to see Bulldogs, Tiger Moths, RV8s, Piper Cubs, a CAP10, a Chipmunk, Pitts Special and one of the SWIP team’s Twisters. Throughout the day we were treated to Air League friends and members performing in these impressive aircraft and the photo above is proof of some of the fantastic displays that took place. Lauren Richardson’s display in her Pitts Special was utterly superb; the Air League’s Will Hilton put the Twister through its paces and the RV8s performed what can only be described as – and perhaps what the CAA might call – a ‘non standard departure’.
Key to the day was getting everyone involved and everybody managed to make the most of the day, whether that meant experiencing the thrill of a winch launch for the first time, enjoying some aerobatics, learning about the specifications of one of the interesting aircraft present via the day’s ‘engineering tours’ or simply catching up with friends and making new friends. The strong social element of the day continued well into the night and after the traditional BBQ, we were treated to the gliderFX display team’s outstanding Fox glider display, arguably the culmination of the day. Complete with stunning wingtip pyrotechnics, Guy Westgate put the Fox through its paces leaving the crowd in awe. The photo sums it all up.
The day would simply not have been a success without the hard work and dedication of numerous individuals, all of whom deserve a mention. Overseeing the involvement of all involved was Andy Perkins, in his role as Chair of the Youth in Aviation initiative. The Air League’s Luke Roberts cemented his role as ‘command and control’, never seen without his trusty Icom in one hand (and as the night progressed, a beer in the other). Windrushers deserve a special shout out, together with new airfield owners, Bicester Heritage Limited who, along with long-term Leading Edge supporters Boeing, part sponsored the day. The Air Cadets – as always – did an excellent job overseeing the logistics of the day. All of the aircraft owners who took time out to talk to people about their aircraft deserve huge praise. So many people contributed in ways, big and small, to make the day a success. For my part, it was fantastic to see so many Air League Leading Edge members present and I’m enormously grateful to all of them for being so open and approachable, ensuring that all present felt welcomed.
The May/June edition of The Air League Newsletter is now online and can be downloaded by clicking here. The Newsletter features our usual topical commentary on aerospace and defence and member news can be found at the end of the Newsletter.
BGA, Aerobility, Gliding Simulator, RAF Careers, Air Cadets, Scouts, Engineering with Chiltern Classic Flight, Flying opportunities*, CTC Aviation, AFE, CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, Glider Racing*, Trial Lessons for only £15*, Glider Aerobatic Flights for £55*.
Through the generous support of Bicester Heritage Ltd we are able to offer 20 young people from Bicester to partake in a glider flight for just £5 each **
Interested in an aviation career: Whether you are interested in becoming an engineer, a pilot, cabin crew or just want to get into flying for fun you can talk face to face with people in the know.
Seminars from: CAE Oxford Aviation Academy. CTC Aviation. Ruth and Genevieve. RAF Careers.
The event will be an outdoor event. Please bring suitable clothing for a windy and cold or sunny and hot day!
*For eligible parties only or subject to availability and temporary membership of windrushers GC which requires parental permission for those under 18 yrs old.
**Bicester Heritage Ltd are the owners of Bicester airfield and to be eligible the young person has to live in Bicester, Launton, Caversfield or Chesterton and be aged between 14 and 26 years of age on 4th May 2013. Those under 18 will require parental consent.
This is not a “Fly In” Event. Arrival by Air by strict invitation only. Click here for PPR
Further Info: A limited number of glider flights will be available at £15 for a winch launch in a 2 seat glider with an instructor for young people aged under 26. All Air League Leading Edge members under the age of 35 will be eligible for a flight for £15. Please note there is a minimum age to fly of 14 for this event and that signed parental consent is required for all under 18′s.
Private Evening Event
If you are already a member of one of the Youth in Aviation Organisations listed below and are over the age of 18 then you are invited to attend to stay on for the private element of the day which starts at 16:00. (Younger members welcome if accompanied by appropriate representative of YIA organisation. i.e. Scout leader, ATC Sqn OC)
RAeS, RAeC, BGA, GAPAN, Air League, Girls Venture Corp, Scouts, Air Cadets, Aerobility, LAA, Brooklands Museum, DCAE, IMECHe, RAF Museum.
Flying Displays, Model aircraft, BBQ and 2 Bands will see the night away.
Camping is available free of charge in the designated area.
BBQ Tickets £5 (cash only) and must be purchased by 12:30 from the “FLYING HUB”
Find more info here (Link to facebook)
Donation to ALT of £15 for each flight will be requested to cover the cost of providing these experiences.
In our latest issue we analyse the NAO report on the 2012-22 Equipment Plan of the MOD, discuss the Air League’s submission to the Transport Committee’s inquiry into aviation strategy and discuss the state of the Royal Air Force in 2013.
The Newsletter also features our usual topical commentary on aerospace and defence and member news can be found at the end of the Newsletter.
Click here to access the newsletter.