As we headed North on the M1 en-route to our Young Aviators Day near Beverley spirits couldn’t have been much lower. The weather was far from promising for our event and every weather bulletin on the radio only served to deepen the gloom as every indication was that the weather for the following day was going to be misty and windy, just what’s not needed for flying!! When we eventually pulled into the airfield car park there was no indication of any improvement; it was really murky and you could hardly see the other side of the airfield, no sign of any flying activity although there was definitely movement in the clubhouse.
Once inside there were the customary greetings, smiles and questions associated with renewing acquaintances after twelve months. Mugs of tea appeared as if by magic but the prognosis for flying the following day was far from encouraging, quite the reverse in fact. There had been no flying here for the past two days and those members hovering around with hope of improvement in their hearts were seemingly hovering in vain as the weather forecast on the big screen offered no hope of improvement. After much discussion as to the best course of action it was decided that Peter would take a short flight later if he could get off just as a recce but all agreed that the best action right now was to caution all of the Braves and advise them not to set off from home the following day until I called them with the “all clear”. Frankly I suspected that I would be calling with a “stay in bed” message.
A lot of work goes into our Young Aviators events especially by the host clubs so it wasn’t surprising that everyone was feeling and looking a little crestfallen by late afternoon. What was surprising however, was the telephone call first thing the next morning. A much more upbeat Peter from the club called to say that weather was good at the airfield and we had a “go” situation! What a relief to in a position to inform everyone that the event was going ahead and on schedule. It took about an hour to let everyone know and then get to the airfield in time to lay stuff out and put up banners and, of course, to have a couple of mugs of airfield tea …. a great way to start the day.
The two aircraft that had been made available to us for the day, a Cessna C172 and a Piper PA28 Arrow, were all ready and right on time at 09.45 the first of our Braves started arriving. Just time for introductions, completion of formalities and then straight into the flying. In the excitement of getting things going we had all forgotten about the terrible weather worries of the previous day for as the first flight of the day took off and disappeared in the direction of the coast, the clouds had cleared, the sky was blue and the sun was glorious … what a difference a day makes!!
As flight number two took to the air the Braves for the next flight were being prepared so as to minimise the turn-round time. Some thirty minutes later the first flight came into sight as it returned towards base, circling the airfield before making its final approach and landing. Once the C172 had come to a stop and the engine was turned off the pilot, Peter, debriefed his passengers before they disembarked and were presented with their flight certificates along with the obligatory photographs. In no time at all Peter was gathering his next Brave and repeating the exercise of his previous flight and as he taxied out the PA28 returned with passengers aboard to go through a similar procedure.
For excited Braves and their families and carers Simon had been busy in the kitchen cooking up plentiful supplies of burgers and chips, ideal grub for intrepid aviators (& mighty fine chips too!!). By mid-day the weather was really doing its bit to make this a perfect day; by now it was really warm, approaching hot even and there wasn’t a hint of cloud overhead. The second wave of Braves had arrived and were well through their session, the pilots treating them to flightsover Hornsea, Skipsea and up to Bridlington or to see the Humber Bridge; those that lived relatively nearby were even treated to an aerial view of their home or school. And so the day continued, lots of excitement, lots of smiles and perfect weather. The final flight landed and disembarked its passengers around 16.30; just right for that last cuppa and farewells.
As always, once everyone has left for home and the aeroplanes have been put away at the end of their days work a strange eeriness descends across an airfield. Hull is no exception but as we sat around with yet another cuppa that eeriness was broken by the laughter of all involved at the club as they discussed the day and some of the questions that the Braves had put to them; there is always one question at least to make you laugh!!! When one of the Braves had completed his flight and excitedly got out of the aircraft claiming the “its been the best day ever, better than our holiday” the pilot was somewhat taken aback when he asked “that’s great, so do you want to be a pilot now?” only to be met with a stark “No”; “an astronaut?” he further quizzed – “No not really”, then the young lad, gazing at one of the members cutting the grass with great precision, chirped up with “I want to be a tractor driver!!”
So the end of a splendid event at this super friendly venue. Thanks are due, as always, to the whole Hull team for making it such a memorable day and for getting the weather sorted just in time – hope to be back in 2019!!
If you’d like a copy of this report to print and keep, please click on the link to download a pdf file, which will open in a new tab:
Hull Flying Day 2018. Hull Aero Club Brings Sunshine to Braves! KD Report
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