2011 Commemorative Flypast
2011 was a significant year for Fairlop:
1. Centenary of the first flight from Fairlop Plain.
2. 70 Years since RAF Station Fairlop became operational.
3. 90th birthday of Harold Bennett – first to fly from RAF Fairlop in 1941.
A year worthy of commemoration.
An event five months in the planning.
Firstly an application was made to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), simultaneous with an application to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). and to the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Vision were approached for permission and to confirm Public Liability Insurance details.
After consultation approval was given for a Spitfire display to be held at Fairlop Waters Country Park on Saturday 11 June 2011 at 1310 hrs. This date coincided with the Trooping of the Colour flypast, overheard at Buckingham Palace at 1300 precisely.
A study of the Aeronautical Chart ICAO for 2010 revealed there was enough room for a display avoiding built up areas, plus the control boundaries of Stapleford airfield and London/City Control Area (CTR).
It is fortunate that the Fairlop Lake is shown making location easy to establish.
The organiser, David Martin had to comply with all requirements of those involved in the display. This was essential because approximately 15 minutes before our display, aircraft taking part in Trooping the Colour Flypast, could be flying overhead.
During one telephone conversation with the BBMF, a request was made by David Martin if all aircraft taking part could fly over Fairlop. Although sympathetic, it was stated it was not possible as the Lancaster and the two WW2 fighter escorts were too slow for the modern jet aircraft following. However this request succeeded for the orders were changed for all aircraft to overfly Fairlop.
All that is except the first element, three helicopters, a Chinook and two Pumas, which would arrive at Buckingham Palace via a different route.
The second element consisted of BBMF Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane provided by RAF Coningsby.
Two hours before the flypast F/Lt Antony Parkinson MBE called David Martin from RAF Coningsby. He asked about the weather conditions and confirmed he would arrive at 1310 hrs.
The designated aircraft was Spitfire AB910 (Mk Vb).Built at Castle Bromwich in 1941, the aircraft had a remarkable front line career spanning almost four years.Initially allocated to 222 (Natal) Squadron at North Weald, was quickly reallocated to 130 Squadron. In 1942 AB910 was delivered to 133 (Eagle) Squadron at Biggin Hill.
On 14 February 1945, AB910 famously flew with an unauthorised passenger, LACW Margaret Horton, a WAAF ground crew fitter. She had been sitting on the tail whilst the aircraft taxied out to the take off point (as was standard practice), without the pilot, F/Lt Neil Cox DFC, realising she was there. The pilot was able to regain control and flew one circuit with a frightened WAAF still wrapped around the tail!
2 July 2016 – Fairlop Fair Commemorative Flypast
Another significant year for Fairlop:
1. Centenary of RFC and RNAS at Fairlop.
2. 75 Years since RAF Station Fairlop became operational.
3. 170 years since the death of PC George Hall on duty at Fairlop Fair.
Because of the consequence of the Shoreham air crash earlier in the year, a 240 metre crowd safety zone was in place. The plan was for an RAF Hurricane from BBMF, RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, to approach from the south, but on the day F/Lt Andy Preece decided to approach from the north.
Aerial photograph with annotations to comply with the safety requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority and the RAF.
(Aerial Photography © David Martin 2010 DSC_0232 NEF)
F/Lt. Andy Preece of BBMF, piloting RAF Hurricane LF363 (Mk IIc)
on his second pass, fast and low over Fairlop Lake.
(Steve Martin © 2016 img 1795.jpg)