SUMMER SUN BEATS THE SHOWERS FOR SHERBURN BRAVES

It seems to have been one of those summers again for the last couple of Young Aviators events! Our event with the Sherburn Aero Club on 11thAugust was no exception for as we drove north on Friday morning for our scheduled mid-day meeting we passed through some very heavy showers, went under some very grey skies and listened to some far from encouraging weather forecasts on the car radio.

However once we arrived at the club the event organising team (Marisha, Brian and Richard) were quite upbeat about the weather and very confident that we were in for good flying conditions the following day. They had done a first class job in preparing everything for our Bader Braves and apart from dealing with a rather annoying nearby wasp nest, they had everything covered. So after a couple of cuppa’s we left for our nearby hotel with big smiles on our faces and full of confidence that we were in for yet another smashing day at Sherburn only to have a few doubts re-sown in the early evening when the skies darkened and we were subjected to a tremendous cloud-burst which turned the road outside to a river and reduced the speed of passing traffic to an absolute snails’ pace! Oh well, no good worrying so off to bed with fingers crossed.

06.30hrs Saturday, alarm clock ringing load, a quick skip out of bed to pull back the curtains; yes, a good looking morning, just a few fluffy clouds and plenty of blue sky. After a quick breakfast it was off to the airfield which was already buzzing with activity. We were met at the door by the ever smiling Brian who pointed to a section of the apron and four aeroplanes that had been designated as the Bader Squadron for today’s event. Apart from getting paperwork ready and organising our little corner of the clubhouse there was little to do other than to await the first of the Braves. So cuppa time and an opportunity to meet and thank the pilots who had volunteered aircraft and time to fly our Young Aviators today.

09.45 – right on schedule the first of the Braves arrived grinning with anticipation. It took just a few minutes to complete the formalities and introductions and then Brian and Richard escorted the group out to the awaiting aeroplane before introducing them to the pilot for their flight. It wasn’t long before passengers were safely strapped into their seats, the doors closed and the engine sparked into life; excited, smiley faces from the cabin window and a quick wave as the aeroplane’s engine roared as the pilot opened the throttle and they moved off along the taxiway to the end of the departure runway; final checks then a turn at the far end as they lined up – the engine roared again as the aircraft accelerated along the runway, lifted off and disappeared into the blue – well blueish – sky.

The first wave of Braves were now arriving in a steady stream and the operation was repeated over and over until around 11.30 all of the Young Aviators in the early group had either had their flight or were airborne. There was a real buzz of excited chatter in the clubhouse from the Braves who had already flown sharing experiences with anyone who would listen. The restaurant, a very busy place quite apart from the added numbers of Bader Braves, was in full swing; it’s quite interesting watching an over excited youngster trying to tell his nan all about the flight whilst trying to demonstrate the movement of the aircraft with one hand, imitate engine noise and eat chips all at the same time but, clearly, Bader Braves have accomplished that skill!!!

There was barely time for pilots to take a short pit-stop before the next wave of youngsters arrived and so it continued throughout the day until at 17.30hrs it was mission completed. What a day it had been!! Everything had run perfectly apart from one small hiccup when one of the aeroplanes hit a technical problem but the fab team-Sherburn quickly and generously overcame the issue and it caused very little, if any, inconvenience.

The Braves had all by now left for home clutching their flight certificates, goody bags and sporting the biggest smiles imaginable. We sat down with our hosts for the day mulling over our successful day whilst taking on yet another cuppa. It had been without question a super event and after the customary back slapping and hand shaking we loaded the car with the paraphernalia of the day.

But Sherburn is a very busy club; although our event was over and the Bader Squadron had been stood-down, the place was still very busy with aeroplanes coming and going. There was to be another big social event at the club the following day and just as we were leaving our friends Brian, Richard and Marisha were off to get ready for that; you really are a great team, Sherburn!! See you next year!!

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