Dave Calderwood


With Dave Calderwood


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As Easter approaches we have some cracking reads just for you. From warbird flying, to pimping your life-jacket and plenty more

There’s a lot to read in FLYER this month, from the latest news to a review of the latest Bose A30 headset (backed up a video on our YouTube channel), plus some top in-depth reads.

Take Megan Bowden’s account of learning to fly the Wacky Wabbit Harvard. It’s a joyous account from Megan, full of enthusiasm and detail – you end up with a real feel for what it’s like to take the controls of the big beast.

That’s not the only learning to fly article this month. Our roving reporter Yayeri has compiled the second episode of a four-part on the cost of gaining a PPL – this time looking at helicopters.

Defying Dawn to Dusk by Adam Jackson and Martina Petkov is their account of competing in the annual Pooleys Dawn to Dusk Challenge last summer and, I have to say, what a trip! Up to North Cape i9n Norway to fly in the land of the midnight sun!

The photos are amazing… and will undoubtedly leave many of us yearning for a trip to Norway after reading the article. In summer, that is. I went once with the Royal Navy in February when it’s a tad colder… but that’s a whole other story.

And if that wasn’t enough, Rachel Ramsey flew over to the Isle of Wight to a landing spot that’s really only available to helicopters, but sounds well worth the trip.

With all this flying over water, you’ll also want to read Dave White’s article, Pimp My Life-jacket, which has some simple tweaks that could make all the difference should the worst happen and you have to ditch.

Over last weekend, I was invited to an event at Duxford Airfield where the Aircraft Restoration Company (better known as ARCo) is based. Its facilities are stunning – as are the aircraft it has in its hangars. It was the perfect place for the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group to relaunch its efforts to bring a WWII Typhoon back into flying condition – and if it succeeds it will be the only airworthy Hawker Typhoon in the world.

As our news story says, the Typhoon has its place in aviation history, and there deserves to be at least one flying aircraft. Apparently, it was fitted with rockets that came into play for ground attack sorties – the exact type of ‘close air support’ tactics that are in use these days. 

One thing is certain, the Typhoon pilots, like others in WWII, were immensely brave, with 56% of them being shot down. One of them was at the event, Bernard Gardiner, who will be 101 years old this month. As well as talking about flying the Typhoon, Bernard related another tale when he was sent on a low level training flight and told ‘not below 200ft’. 

But as a young pilot, when Bernard saw some land girls working in the fields waving at him, he couldn’t resist making a low pass. He waved back at the girls and when he looked forwards again, realised he was heading straight for a thorn bush!

After landing safely, he then had to lie on his back under the aircraft pulling the thorns out of the aircraft belly before his CO spotted them…

Have a great month of flying as the weather improves, and remember there are FIVE FREE landing vouchers waiting for FLYER Club members in the club area.


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