|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
|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
|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