Vintage flying day brings colour and excitement to Fenland skies

Pilots aboard a De Havilland Tiger Moth at the Holbeach St Johns airfield event.

Pilots aboard a De Havilland Tiger Moth at the Holbeach St Johns airfield event.

With the number of landings and take-offs to rival a major airport, colour and aerial excitement were brought to Holbeach St Johns airfield by a feast of vintage aircraft.

This year Fenland Aero Club’s annual Daffodil Fly-In was held in conjunction with a rally by the Vintage Aircraft Club (VAC) of Great Britain and stars of the event were undoubtedly the bright red Percival Mew Gull and the Percival Vega Gull tourer.

Despite it being a cloudy day with a cool breeze, the whole event was enough to warm the cockles of everyone’s heart.
No fewer than 90 visiting aircraft filled the parking area and overflowed along the length of the unused main runway. The shorter east/west runway was being used, since the direction of the cool breeze favoured it.

The car park was also full to capacity, while inside the clubhouse and the viewing area it was a hive of activity.
However, it was the range of brilliantly coloured vintage aircraft of all shapes and sizes that was the main attraction and the hundreds of visitors and aircraft spotters were not disappointed.
De Havilland Tiger Moths; Puss Moths; Leopard Moths; Hornet Moth; Percival Vega Gull and Mew Gull; Austers, Piper Cubs, vintage Cessnas, DH Chipmunks and home-built, scale-size fighters, plus many more modern types flew in from all parts of the UK.

Every visiting pilot received a bunch of locally-grown daffodils as they signed in.
Led by club stalwart Ray Nicholson, the air traffic team in the control tower had one of their busiest days of the year, handling aircraft arrivals and departures.
Guided tours of the hangars were popular with the sightseers, giving them a chance to get close up to the aircraft, photograph them and chat to pilots of these wonderful, immaculate, old aircraft.

The catering, organised by Katie Booth of OK Catering, was excellent both in the clubhouse and at the grand barbecue in the viewing area.

A spokesman said: “It was indeed a vintage show – put it in your diary for next year!”

Next event at the airfield is the Fenland Aero Club Events Day on Saturday, May 17.

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