Since Thursday 6 June, Sywell Aerodrome in Northants has played host to a rather special visitor in the shape of UTair EU’s Mil Mi-8T Hip OM-AVS. I was lucky enough to catch it this lunchtime.
The aircraft arrived at Sywell late in the afternoon, and, thanks to a post on the Sywell Aerodrome Facebook Page, a few sketchy details of the plan for the days ahead became clear; the main one being that it would depart on Sunday 9 June at 0600.
Now, my free time this weekend is really limited, so it was something of a result when my good friend Steve Coe got to fly with them yesterday and was able to inform me that they would be flying during the lunch break at today’s British Helicopter Games that were staged at Sywell.
Other commitments meant that my visit could only be a flying one, but I did get to see the Mi-8 in the air on no less two occasions, taking a few people for experience rides. I was joined by fellow GAR team members Elliott Marsh, Geoff Hibbert, Greg Marsh & Huw Hopkins.
I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve seen a Hip move since visiting Hungary back in 2007 and it was certainly the first UTair EU example I’d photographed, in its unmistakable yellow, black and red colour scheme.
For those still hoping to see it, the plan, so far as I’m aware, still involves that 0600 departure tomorrow, and I believe it staged through London-Stansted Airport on its way here, so may well return via the same route.