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28 May 2006 - Great Vintage Weekend Flyin - Keevil
The weather has been so appalling recently we were beginning to despair of ever flying again.  The tenth anniversary weekend flyin G-VFWE was due to commence on Saturday and go through to Monday, and the weather forecast for Sunday looked just flyable.  We had not managed to get to the flyin last year due to bad weather so we were even more keen to attend this year.
Arriving early at our airfield we assisted others to push their plane into the field, but the recent rains had created large puddles, one of which was to provide Jan's resting place.  Good job there was a supply of water that she could use to hose herself down.
With a rather rather soggy Jan, Martin took off to find good visibility and we flew the prepared route to Keevil.  We listened to the radio instructions on how to join the circuit and what runway was being used.  Changing frequency to the Tower radio we discovered that "everyone" had similar views to us and had decided to attend that day.  The radio was so busy we were requested to call up only at finals giving call sign, plane type and the runway request either hard or grass.  This worked well, although the grass runway was very much reduced as the initial part was waterlogged.  Those landing on the hard were requested to taxi right to the end of the runway before vacating left to allow others behind to land.  With sensible landing practices, some landing well down the runway when safe to do so made approximately 250 planes land safely in a very short space of time.  Three aeroplanes had apparently landed on Friday and a further brave three arrived in the rain on Saturday, so it was lovely for so many to make it on Sunday.

The area on the field was reduced for parking as there were deep ruts in some parts where vehicles had presumably got stuck over the previous days, so we followed the instructions given by the batmen and parked. 

Jan was a little dryer now and was not going to miss out, so braved the still rather dirty trousers and odd looking cardigan to see the sights.
We signed in and received our badges and a free copy of the new book Tails of the Forties compiled and edited by John Havers and Peter Campbell. It contains true aviation stories from the immediate postwar period. We headed for a coffee and met several friends.
Apart from the aeroplanes that had landed there were huge crowds of people who had arrived by car.  Many stalls selling all sorts of goods were doing a roaring trade together with the three food outlets and the inevitable ice-cream van.  Jan was tempted to purchase a Shuttleworth teeshirt or sweatshirt but decided against the investment in the end.  A Spitfire also landed and gave the crowds a treat

After lunch Jan stayed with the plane when the airfield was opened to the public, while Martin went plane spotting!
Keevil airfield is now extensively used for military training predominantly by C-130 Hercules aircraft from RAF Lyneham.  Dropzone practicing takes place together with tactical landing and airfield assault techniques.
We were delighted to see the Dakota of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight take several flights over the airfield.  A truly wonderful sight. 
Once the airfield closed to the public there was a hasty retreat and queues to take off soon appeared, we waited for the initial rush to pass before we too taxied to the hold on the hard runway and took off in turn.  The airfield then opened again to inbound aeroplanes. 
A good day was had by all if more eventful for some!
The next G-VFWE is scheduled for 18-20 May 2007 at Hullavington