Here is Keith Delderfield’s report of the great Young Aviators Day enjoyed by our BADER BRAVES and their families at the RAF Waddington Flying Club, Lincoln, on Saturday 7th September.
Sadly Keith forgot to take his camera with him(!) so we’d be very grateful to receive any pictures taken of the day by our Braves. As also, we’d be delighted to receive any of your own reports of your experiences on Saturday. We hope they will encourage other Braves to come along and enjoy one of our events and join the BADER BRAVES Tribe!
Waddington Braves Great Success.
Once again the weather forecast wasn’t too promising for our Braves Young Aviators Day scheduled for the RAF Waddington Flying Club on Saturday 14th September but the met department at the station obviously new far more about the local climatic conditions than did our chums at the BBC or, indeed, my seaweed!! Once again as I pulled back the curtains in my Lincoln Hotel Saturday welcomed me with grey skies and appeared to be rather blustery but a quick call from Gary Mennell at the airfield eased my concerns; he assured me that it was going to brighten up around mid-morning and it would be a great day for flying. I was still a bit doubtful as we drove the short distance to the rendezvous point but, just as our guests for the day started to arrive, the clouds began to break and by the time everyone had been escorted to our base for the day and received a briefing, the sun broke through and, sure enough, the day was transformed just as those in the know had predicted!!
The club made three of their aeroplanes available to us for the day, two Cessna 172’s and a P28 Warrior. As the first wave of flights disappeared into the distance towards Lincoln, excitement on the ground grew as group number two readied themselves for their turn. The circuit took in much of the local countryside and afforded some superb views of the City of Lincoln, particularly the Cathedral, Castle and soccer stadium. When the first flight returned it was reported that visibility was excellent and that the wind speed had really dropped. The ground support team had everything brilliantly organised and everyone was put completely at ease by Club Chairman Chris Hives, who had assumed the mantel of chief steward at “Air Waddington” for the day, as he prepared the Braves for their first flight in a light aircraft. Before we knew where we were it was time for our lunch break and we welcomed our afternoon aviators before the morning group could eat all of the sandwiches and smashing cakes cooked by the wives of some of the members, and leave for home. Whilst the two groups were together the Station Fire & Rescue Team paid us a visit and everyone was given the opportunity to have a look at the very specialised equipment that is always “at readiness” on station.
The weather held fair throughout the afternoon, indeed, it probably improved a bit as time went on. Looking across the vast expanses of the station everything was so peaceful; there was no other flying activity apart from the Bader Braves and it was difficult to imagine just how different the station must be on a normal working day. The Cessna’s looked rather insignificant trundling along the ten thousand foot long runway designed to handle the very biggest of our military aircraft but to all those who took a flight, the Cessna became Bader’s Spitfire!!
By 16.00 everyone had been treated to a flight and our wonderful day drew to a close. The aircraft were returned to their home at the Flying Club HQ, 54 Squadron HQ which had been our home for the day, was cleared and locked up, the safety barriers dismantled and stored and, by the time I left the station, it was a picture of perfect peace and quietness as the early autumn sunshine began to drop towards the horizon. I bet it was a different story on Monday morning though!!!
As always we are indebted to all of our friends at Waddington, particularly everyone at the Flying Club all of whom had worked so hard to make sure that our Waddington Bader Braves had an absolutely fantastic and unforgettable day. Thanks guys, it was brilliant.
* Thanks to some of our Braves and their families, we can now bring you a Gallery of photographs to go with the News Post! We are very grateful to all who have sent in their pictures and allowed us to share them on this page. It’s not too late to add more, so please keep them coming….*54 Squadron, Bader Braves, Bader's Spitfire, Cessna 172, City of Lincoln, P28 Warrior, RAF Waddington, RAF Waddington Flying Club, Waddington Braves, Waddington Flying Club, Young Aviators Day