Gareth Stringer's 2010 blogGAR Entries

AUG 12 2010
Midsummer Musings.

The nights are already drawing in, the weather has been poor to say the least and the football season is already underway Ė it could only be the UK in August!

Having said that, the past couple of weeks have been hugely productive ones for me, despite the fact that I have spent much of that time in front of my laptop or in my office on the PC Ė itís always good to vary the scenery thus I switch between the two!

By and large itís been writing, writing and more writing basically and, as predicted, a great opportunity to catch up on a few pieces which just hadnít been finished or, in one or two cases, even started! Iíve also continued to plug away on a significant project which isnít directly related to GAR and thatís been fairly time consuming as well.

After the now traditional mid-season break we move in to a busy second half of the airshow season in the UK. There are plenty of events to look forward to in August and September with Duxfordís Autumn show wrapping things up in October. This is a spell which of course sees us mark the end of the Battle of Britain and there is much to look forward to in this regard with a number of shows such as those at Duxford and the Cotswold Airport paying particular attention to the 70th anniversary. September also sees the final RAF event of the season at Leuchars, and everyone will be keeping their fingers crossed that they are given a proper chance to say goodbye to the Tornado F.3 after 20+ years of defending the UK.

For me this period will be a little disjointed, if youíll excuse the pun, as Iíll be getting my ankle sorted on the 10th September which means a spell on the sidelines; no trip to Leuchars and more than likely that Iíll also have to forego joining the commentary team at the Kemble Battle of Britain airshow as well. Itís bitterly disappointing but I knew that the op would probably disrupt something whenever it happened and well, it really needs doing so I can enjoy a pain free 2011 season!

I am making a return to commentary duties in a couple of weeks however at RAF Bensonís Families Day which Iím very much looking forward to and I was honoured when Gareth Attridge from Team Merlin asked me if I would like to do it. Almost immediately after that Karl and I will be making our first trip to Dunsfoldís Wings and Wheels and will be attending that one for the whole weekend.

Prior to all that, next Thursday actually, is the Dawlish Airshow. As you probably know weíve been quite heavily involved one way or another for the past few months and, looking at the display programme, itís an incredible turn around for a show which looked like it might not even go ahead. Hopefully this yearís will be a great success and, if everyone who attends donates just a couple of pounds then the 2011 eventís future will be secured. Itís a three hour drive to Dawlish for me and Iím just not sure my ankle is up to that at the moment but Iíve decided to make a late call next week before deciding whether to attend.

A three hour drive however is nothing in comparison to a 1,000 mile endurance flight, visiting nearly 20 airfields around the UK in a single day! Thatís what GARís good friend Steve Bridgewater, the Commercial Manager of Air Atlantiqueís Classic Flight, and Guy Stockley (Best Man at Steveís forthcoming wedding and whose day job is flying UAVs) will be doing next Monday (August 16) to highlight the plight of some of Britainís rarest historic aeroplanes.

At 05.05hrs, Steve and Guy will be setting off from the AIRBASE visitor centre at Coventry Airport in an attempt to win the prestigious Dawn to Dusk flying competition where competitors must choose a theme for their entry and then complete as much flying as possible between dawn and dusk on a single day.

When I spoke to Steve earlier this week he explained their plans in a little more detail:

ďThe Classic Flight aeroplanes served at a variety of RAF airfields during their history. We are aiming to land at as many of those airfields as possible in a single day. If everything goes to plan we will land at almost 20 airfields and cover more than 1,000 miles.Ē

Steve incidentally has already achieved great things taking part in the competition before (heís ranked 4th in the world!) and is hoping this might be the year he wins it outright. Classic Flightís AIRBASE visitorís centre has already proved to be a great success so hopefully this attempt will take things on to a new level for Steve and everyone else who has worked so hard on the UKís newest aviation attraction. You can follow their progress on www.classicflightclub.com/dawntodusk and we wish them the very best of luck

Finally, I mentioned the football season back at the beginning of this blog and GAR has, like many others, set up a Fantasy Football League as the Premiership gets underway this coming weekend. Weíve done ours through the Premier League website and, if youíd like the code to enter your team in our league please email editor@globalaviationresource.com. Itís free to enter and thereíll be something aviation related for the winner, so what have you got to lose Ė other than your pride as Iíll probably walk away with the title!

With no real photographic theme to this blogGAR I decided to include a fairly random selection shots from the first half of the year, none of which I hope have already been aired Ė hope you like them and thanks to Karl for the F.3 images! Let's hope she goes loud at Leuchars next month, not with a whimper.

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2010-08-13 - Gareth Attridge
Nice update Gareth. We are looking forward to hearing you wax lyrical at the Benson Families Day this year. Fingers crossed for sunshine!!

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