Brize Norton Families’ Day

by Jim Trayhurn

The weekend of the 2nd – 4th September was a busy time for the Flight. The Scout joined the rest of the team at the Victory Show, near Cosby on the Friday before then returning down South. Due to ‘Eagle Fest’ being held at Middle Wallop, our aircraft needed somewhere else to operate from. Luckily, Thruxton Airfield proved a great solution and the team there were more than accommodating with our requests.

With some of the Flight still in Cosby, Saturday’s task for the Scout was RAF Brize Norton’s Families’ Day (‘Brize Fest’). As the largest RAF Station, Brize Norton is home to approximately 5,800 service personnel, 1,200 contractors and 300 civilian staff. It accommodates the Squadrons who operate the larger aircraft in the RAF’s fleet; Voyager, A400, C17 and C130. With a ‘foot-print’ of that size, along with the usual flair in which the RAF embrace such events, as you can imagine, they put on quite the weekend of events for those that call the base home, along with their friends and family. 

With such amazing weather dominating the UK over the last few months, the contrast was stark on Saturday with fog halting the departure of the Scout. Mother Nature played fair however, and we managed to depart Thruxton into the better weather that Brize – and the rest of Hampshire and Wiltshire – were experiencing.

On arrival, we were greeted with quite the line-up. A vast variety of aircraft were on display ranging from Vans RV-4s, Yak-52s, Pipers, Cessna’s, a Spitfire PR.XIX owned by Rolls Royce, all the way through to the large military transport aircraft that operate from the airfield like the C17 and A400. Not to be out-done by the fixed-wing, a small contingent of helicopters were situated on the edge of the static park with the Scout being joined by two Gazelles from our friends at the Gazelle Squadron. 

An elevated photograph to show the static park at the event.

The line-up of civilian, military and ex-military aircraft on show was very impressive . . .

Upon landing, the Scout was quickly swarmed by interested attendees to the event who were keen to learn about the HAAF, the aircraft we operate and the history of AAC and the Scout.

Pilot Jim Trayhurn and Mohammed Rizvi from BDUK show attendees around XT626

The Flight has close links to Boeing Defence UK and their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) team who attend a number of events along-side the Flight. Mohammed Rizvi was on hand to help promote the HAAF and encourage the budding engineers amongst the attendees. Thanks must go to him for representing BDUK so well and for giving up his time. 

Overall this was another successful day of engagement with promotion of the HAAF to those who weren’t aware of us, along with catching up with old friends and those who are keen supporters of what we do. 

The return to Thruxton in better weather