Huw Hopkins' 2012 blogGAR Entries

JUN 21 2012
blogGAR: North Weald's Air Britain Fly-in

Arriving just after 10:30am, I was greeted by a handful of jets out on the apron and a smattering of light vintage and general aviation types across the airfield. Most notably Hangar 11's Hawker Hurricane IIB 'Pegs' was on the taxiway and, as Peter Teichman had been flying her the previous day, it looked hopeful for a repeat performance and shortly afterwards he took the Hurricane aloft.

There was a decent little set up with a small number of stalls; I hadn’t expected any. In one of the hangars was Percival Proctor 3 G-AKEX, which has just arrived in the country from Sweden, and is currently being restored to fly.

Both a Folland Gnat and Kennet Aviation’s Douglas AD-4N Skyraider were towed out of their hangars, with the ‘Raider doing a quick engine run before being towed round to the tie down area for some higher power tests which are always an awesome spectacle. After a burger from the Squardon’s BBQ, we headed over to watch it run up.

There were some fairly interesting visitors throughout the day including a couple of Piper L-4 Grasshoppers, Peter Holloway’s Miles M.14a Hawk Trainer 6 and Fieseler Fi-156A-1 Storch from Old Warden, Auster A.61 G-ARUI, de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth G-ACEJ and the rather lovely Curtiss-Wright Travel Air 12Q G-AAOK. The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance also came and went throughout the day on its duties.

The sun had shone earlier in the day but by about 1pm the cloud began to build up and it became rather dull, making photography tricky. Alas, with a lull in activity we grabbed some dinky doughnuts and headed for the bar!

A little later on the Gnat finally went flying, performing a fly through and missed approach upon arrival back at ‘Weald. I rarely get to see a Gnat fly nowadays so it was a very welcome sight. There was a great walkway out onto the grass parallel with the runway which afforded much better views of aircraft landing and departing than normal.

It was somewhat disappointing that there had been information about this fly-in incorporating a meeting of Jet Provosts and Strikemasters, with invitations being sent to every owner in the country. There were but five examples on static and none of the massed flypasts ever materialised; not even one went up!

We were hanging on in the hope of seeing Peter Teichman arrive back with the Hurricane and luckily just as we were thinking about leaving we spotted Pegs out on the horizon. With a nice and close topside flypast from Peter followed by landing on, we called it a day!

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