We were again lucky enough to again be invited to fly at the RAF’s display at Cosford. The LMA have now flown at this show for a few years. We are first on, before the full-size show begins, and are given an hour to demonstrate a variety of our models. We are then given some of the best seats available to watch the full-size event. We are treated as VIP’s by the show organisers and I must admit that the few of us lucky to attend have an absolutely great day out.
So here I am with my wife, Rose, assembling my Cub when along comes Dave Johnson with that smile on his face which always conveys the meaning: I am going to give you another little job!. Ah he says, I need a favour (conformation that a job is amount to be dished out!) we need a commentator for the model flying and I was wondering if Rose fancied giving it a go. Err, Ok she says so long as I am given some info on the models. Fine, says Dave, we have all brought along a fact sheet. Nothing to worry about, says I, as there is only an estimated 50000 people attending and live radio coverage. Luckily for us she is used to taking to large crowds as part of her job. Dave explained that we were going to run through a quick history of flight starting with his Bleriot and finishing with Chris’ Eurofighter. Hopefully, we will do this twice by having a rolling set of take-offs and landings, he said. I accompanied Rose to the commentary stand which was on a high platform next to the control tower. After chatting to the people there, and with a cheery goodbye, I left her to it she was kitted out with headphones and binoculars and instructed how to use the microphone and console.
I quickly returned to the live side where our models were ready on the main runway, our time to fly neared. The flying conditions were not particularly good for models. It was a cold overcast day with a strong crosswind coming from the crowd line. We were certainly all going to have to take some extra care flying in these conditions. The flying actually went well although the crosswind did take its toll on some undercarriages during landing. However, there was no major damage for anyone and we did fill the hour slot successfully.
Phil Robertshaw at the end of the session bringing back his model.
Part way through our slot we were told to land as a Hercules was about to take off with the RAF Falcons Parachute team on-board. We of-course complied, but whilst waiting we noted that Rose was still commentating. We were unable to hear what was being said, but it was definitely her since after 20 years of marriage I have learnt to recognise her voice. What is she up to, I said, this is clearly not a model! Turns out the people in the commentary stand liked what she was doing as she was told to keep talking and explained the short take-off capability of the Herc. I thought I might have lost her for the day if they were going to let her continue into the main show.
When we all got back together again, Rose said she had quite enjoyed it although it is not quite as easy to see what is going on as you might expect. Oh good says Dave, we might just need you again next year.
After our flying we were asked to make a static display, so here is part of our display line, with the full size behind.
Dave Johnson issues this warning to Colin Hammond: “watch out your replacement could already be in training!”
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