Catton 2011

Catton 2011 Report by Tony Hooper, All Photographs were provided by Neil Hutchinson

“The home of the original WWI Team”

One has to ask why the weather man can accept his salary with a conscience after the forecasts projected for Cosford and this, our last LMA flying event of the season. Once again, right up to the start of the show it was all gloom and doom with driving rain and strong winds forecast for the whole weekend. Yes, the wind was a bit on the breezy side but the weather was beautiful with clear sunny spells and very warm temperatures. A pity that the forecast allowed some fliers to cancel at the last minute and let the LMA down somewhat, but those that did turn up had a great time despite the breezy conditions.

As usual, the Large Midlands Flying Group based at Catton did a fabulous organisational job with an excellently prepared flying site and all the amenities including the famous Catton Ladies hospitality. On Saturday evening they provided an excellent firework display followed by live entertainment in the bar which helped to round off a very busy and tiring show season in a relaxed atmosphere. Some of the many highlights over the weekend included the duo Corsair team of Trevor Wood and Dave Pearson whose radial engine models sounded absolutely superb and the quality of their formation , now having had the opportunity of a full season flying together was quite awe inspiring.

Another formation show stopper were the three jet powered ½ scale BD5’s which kept the crowd really entertained with their low , fast, formation fly by’s and aerobatics. An excellent solo jet display was given by Howard Hewitt with his Hawk trainer – this aircraft is finished in the black RAF training colour scheme and contrasted against the background of the blue skies overhead it’s silhouette was quite stunning.

No Catton show would be the same without the aerobatic displays given by Robbie Skipton who has attended this event for many years – on this occasion he flew his Extra with almost no respect for the extremely difficult flying conditions and his freestyle aerobatics were well appreciated by the crowd. Always willing to fly at any time when the starting box looked a bit thin was Simon Wright who put on some good “prop hanging” displays throughout the whole weekend despite the conditions.

A special mention should be made of Tony Woodhouse the only Yorkshire Old Faxx’s member to venture down from Yorkshire .Tony is over 80 years of age and the organisers of the show paid tribute to the fact that despite his age, the horrible weather forecast for the event, and the distance he had to travel he clearly demonstrated that he is a committed and dedicated LMA show flier – Well done Tony

As the Catton team were the hosts I could not end this report without mentioning the excellent and very brave flying displays that the Catton WW1 team put on throughout the weekend. Despite the almost hopeless flying conditions for ¼ scale aircraft to fly in they performed magnificently and were determined to provide a flying contribution as well as organising the public side of the event.

I know that Neil Hutchinson took some spectacular pictures throughout the weekend and those accompanying this article will give an excellent flavour of this event. Throughout the whole season we have had a dedicated team of LMA stalwarts who have worked long and hard to organise the events and we must pass on our heartfelt thanks to them for the job they do. We must also thank our 2 commentators – Mike Caddock and Dave Walker – who have done an excellent job between them keeping the public informed and interested in the flying .

So that’s the flying season ended – a very difficult year with quite a few of the shows suffering from strong wind conditions which brought out all the flying skills available in coping with the conditions.Hopefully, we will be more fortunate next year.

Please click image to enlarge.

It was sad to here that this would be the last Catton Show; the team put on a fantastic display despite the very windy conditions.

A bit of self indulgent here, my LMA Sky-120 flown by Dave Johnson, along with Mike Eccles modified Sky-120, to resemble the American bird dog.

Not one; not two but three DB5 where at Catton, Dave & Andy Johnson plus Howard Hewitt put on a fine display which was well received by the public.

The Last fight of Roger Bale’s Swordfish, Roger has retired it in order to give it a full revamp.

Dave Johnson’s 60% Bleriot; just seemed to takes the strong winds in its stride. Just look at the trees in the background, it indicates how breezy it was.

One of the highlight of the show was, Dave Pearson’s and Trevor Woods, Corsairs the sound of them radial engines makes them so realistic you have to hear it to believe it.

Wellington flown and owned by Peter Woods

P47 flown and owned by John Webb

Photographing at its best, Neil Hutchinson, show us just how good you can make even a small electric look with a camera, both flown by Andy Johnson.

Fournier flown and owned by Ted Allison

Tony Woodhouse’s Chipmunk and Barry Foster’s Super Chipmunk

Here are a few more, as you can see despite the weather there was plenty of flying done by all.

If you are like me and are sad to here there is no more shows from next year, don’t worry all is not lost, Catton will be doing there Garden Party style fly-in’s in place of the shows.

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