Highclere Revisited

by Paul Stanton, Scout Pilot

We were fortunate to be invited to the Highclere Festival again this year, held over the weekend of Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th October. As for last year, we had planned to deploy both the Sioux and the Scout.  However, events beyond our control forced us to move the scheduled Sioux maintenance forward, so only the Scout attended.

Due to a fairly active weather front crossing the area precisely when we had planned to arrive on the Friday, the Scout lifted earlier than planned for the short hop over to Highclere.  The hills and high tension cables in the area meant that a transit into rising ground and descending cloud would not have been an ideal plan.

The Scout arrived at 1615 local; this link allows you to view its arrival on Instagram – not sure why, but Highclere’s cover image is of the Sioux from last year, but never mind. The Flight’s video will be found here on our YouTube channel.

We landed in front of the caste, sorted the aircraft for the night, and then all went home (or to the local hotel, in Danny and Diane’s case).

Saturday dawned a beautiful clear sunny day, and we set up our stall just in time for the first visitors to the castle. 

As part of the Festival, the Castle Tutankhamun exhibition was open and queues soon formed with the Scout and Gazebo at a site on the front lawn.  We were also parked next to a couple of camels which was ‘interesting’ … 

There was a high percentage of overseas visitors to the weekend, presumably attracted by the Tutankhamun Exhibition or the ‘Downton factor’ – it was hard to tell which. 

We had a steady stream of visitors to the aircraft and stand, and an encouraging amount of genuine interest from a number of folk for flying with us on one of the museum days.  Some of our visitors were more extravagently dressed than others!

It had been a busy day and thanks to Brian, Danny and Diane for supporting the event.

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One of the really interesting side tents displayed a range of aviation activity that has occurred at Highclere over the years, from early flights (and heavy landings!) to a surprising number of mainly WW2 aircraft incidents around the estate.  A lot of history to be discovered and researched by those interested …

Sunday had proved to be another successful and another good weather day. We had the assistance of George and Mel, Danny and Diane (again) and Bob, who flew the Scout home at the end of the day.  

Our thanks to Highclere for inviting us, and we look forward to seeing you there again …