All registrant pilots – irrespective of whether currently assigned a veteran or not – should now have my first “Air Ops” e-mail in their inboxes. I have reproduced that e-mail below, in case pilots want to commence a dialogue here. I will endeavour to answer any questions arising:
I had a most constructive meeting with the Royal Air Force on 25th February.
This e-mail relates to purely airside operational matters. I will issue further communication about the events on the day once the RAF has confirmed final details. I am sending this e-mail to all pilots who have volunteered for the day, irrespective of whether they have currently been assigned a veteran or not.
Landing at RAF Scampton
Scampton is still an active military base, and as such, all inbound aircraft must be pre-authorised. This will entail completion of a booking-in sheet (to follow) and provision of a copy of your Insurance Policy, which must have Crown Indemnity Insurace of £7.5m.
I will act as co-ordinator for the provision of insurance documents, so if you could please e-mail a PDF of your cover note to me, I can begin the process of assembling this data for onward submission to the RAF. The e-mail to use is graham[AT]projectpropeller.co.uk
Capacity at RAF Scampton
There is a hard limit of 144 aircraft inbound to Scampton. I am expecting there to be circa 180 active aircraft, assuming good weather and no change to veteran numbers.
As such, we need to use a second airfield, which will be at Wickenby, and arrange for a short transfer (11 miles) by shuttle bus to the event at Scampton.
In the first instance, I am asking for volunteers who would be willing to fly into Wickenby. This might be particularly suitable for (a) tail draggers wishing to use a grass runway (grass will not be available at Scampton)(b) pilots with a definite fuelling requirement (see further notes below) and (c) low hours pilots who might prefer to use a less crowded airspace.
If I don’t receive sufficient volunteers, I will be bound to select aircraft myself; in doing so, I will have regard to the following factors:
• Veterans requiring wheelchairs, or with short mobility tolerances
• Veterans who served at Scampton during their service days
• Aircraft that have undertaken significant repositions to pick up veterans
• Aircraft that have travelled the furthest distances
If you are in one of the categories above, you’re less likely to be asked to fly into Wickenby (in descending order). I appreciate that most pilots will want to fly into Scampton, but I would ask for your good grace and tolerance if I ask you to land at Wickenby.
There will be a support network in place at Wickenby, which will include Air Cadets to help with disembarkation/re-embarkation, and a shuttle bus system will run between Wickenby and Scampton; details will be fully communicated later.
Fuel at Scampton
Fuel will be available at Scampton and can be requested on the booking-in sheet. However, it would be appreciated if fuel is not uplifted at Scampton unless absolutely necessary, as this will entail additional aircraft movements and place extra strain on the marshalling / ATC teams.
I will speak to various en-route airfields to establish whether they’d be willing to waive landing fees for pilots requiring a fuel uplift. Fuel will be available at Wickenby for aircraft landing there.
I will do my utmost to avoid the queueing problems encountered last year. This will be addressed as follows:
• Pilots will be allocated a departure slot; whilst this will not be rigid (some veterans will want to leave earlier, some will want to stay longer), it will provide a loose structure to assist in regulating departures. The system will work on the basis of “early in = early out”
• It is likely that veterans who are capable of walking back to the flight line will be permitted to do so, which will ease the pressure on transport.
• There will be a nominated Project Propeller volunteer (Sqdn Ldr (ret’d) Harry Burgoyne) acting as departure co-ordinator, who will communicate with veterans and pilots throughout the day.
• I have asked for seats to be provided at the departure muster point, so that veterans are comfortable if any delay should develop.
• A means of calling forward guests for departure will be devised, most likely by way of PA announcement.
Instructions to pilots
The joining & landing instructions for pilots are currently being drafted, and we have set a soft deadline of the end of March for release. As soon as these are finalised, I will release them to pilots so that you can begin to familiarise yourself with them. It is essential that every pilot reads these instructions, bearing in mind the volume of aircraft inbound.
As ever, if you have any questions about the day, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Regarding the Scampton/Wickenby airfield allocations, I should also have mentioned that I will have regard to runway length in deciding allocation, so “heavies” will be landing at Scampton to ensure safety. Hard standing parking will also be available for larger aircraft.
Evening everybody, I thought it was time to give a general update on the current position, and also ask for your support with something .
I am principally delighted,but somewhat daunted, by our current number of veterans due to attend. The current number stands at 255, of which all but 8 are safely rostered. I am awaiting the availability of a couple of pilots, which will bring that number down to virtually zero.
I do have a known gap at Crossland Moor, where a Stirling/Lancaster Wireless Operator plus companion are awaiting a volunteer pilot. He is flexible, so could get in a low wing or high wing aircraft.
If you have not yet made contact with you assigned veteran yet, please can you now do so. I only note rosterings as “confirmed” once I have this confirmation, and hearing from you saves me the task of prompting!
Volunteer pilots should all have received an e-mail from me, highlighting that we are having to operate out of 2 airfields, owing to the number of aircraft due to be involved (circa 185). I am extremely grateful to pilots who have accepted a request to land at Wickenby with good grace. I am trying to do this as fairly as I can, bearing in mind safety considerations, but also veteran welfare.
I have a meeting scheduled for 6th April to discuss the logistics for aircraft inbound to Wickenby, and will do my absolute utmost to ensure everybody landing there is properly looked after.
If you have not yet sent me your Crown Indemnity Cover for Scampton, please do so. If your cover note runs out before 4th June, please wait before sending me a new one.
Project Propeller Raffle
I’d be hugely grateful if pilots could support the Raffle I am running; all funds raised will be donated to the upkeep of the Bomber Command Memorial at Green Park. You can find full details on Project Propeller’s Facebook page, but if you are not a Facebook User, I summarise the details below:
1st Prize is the print I had signed by 160+ veterans at Cosford last year, of a Lancaster at Sunset
2nd Prize is a print of 2 Spitfires, signed by Johnny Johnson and Douglas Bader
3rd Prize is a Pencil sketch by “We made it back”, featuring the Pilot and Flight Engineer of a Royal Air Force “heavy”. Currently signed by 2 pilots and 3 flight engineers
4th Prize – is an Oil painting, “Lancasters over Lincoln” by Reg Payne. Reg is a 93 year old veteran, who flew a full tour with 50 Squadron, including 10 Berlin operations and the Nuremberg raid.
5th Prize is a Photograph of assembled Bomber Command veterans during the visit of the Canadian Lancaster
Tickets are £5 each, and all tickets will be issued via e-mail.
You can enter the raffle by one of the following routes:
• Send a cheque made payable to “Bomber Command Association” to Graham Cowie, Heygates Lodge, Elkington, Northamptonshire NN6 6NH, specifying an e-mail address for acknowledgement.
• For those wishing to enter electronically, please make a transfer to the following account: Mr G.T.Cowie, Sort Code 11-05-24, Account number 00326736. This account will be used for the purposes of this raffle ONLY. Entrants should then send an e-mail to graham[AT]projectpropeller.co.uk, in order to receive their e-ticket.
The raffle has been licensed as a Small Society Lottery by Daventry District Council under reference 15/03419/GALOTT. The closing date is 31st March, so prompt action is necessary. I have assembled all the prizes at my own expense, and all ticket sales will go directly to the upkeep of the Memorial.
To Moderators: I hope I haven’t breached any rules by advertising the Raffle – if so, please remove from the posting, and accept my apologies in advance
Of course, no problem; this is a very good cause
Bumping this thread as the closing date for the raffle is tomorrow and it is for a thoroughly worthy cause.
@Grim_Reaper – I have just purchased some e-tickets using the electronic payment method and will email you separately.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the raffle, the draw will be taking place this coming Sunday.
I have a new rostering gap at Goodwood if anybody can oblige – a Wellington pilot plus his wife. Shot up over Europe, he crash landed in Kent in 1942. Thereafter, he was given the job of air-testing aircraft that had been repaired before their release back to operations.
So which contributors are going?
I am picking up in Exeter.
I’m going again this year! Picking up at Dunkeswell I think, so we can race to Scampton ;-)
I have a very short pickup just about 40 miles from home and then 25 to Scampton. Is anyone being re-directed to Wickenby (the place I did my PPL oh so many decades ago!). For my part Scampton is where i shall be parked.