The Skipper Speaks
I can well remember being asked at age 8 what I wanted to be when I grew up? A pilot of course!
I was not unusual being an Army brat to have all kinds of military pictures on my walls but my most favourite picture was of RAF Phantom's flying in close formation. That’s what I wanted to do. So I strapped on my cardboard wings and plummeted off our brick outhouse roof. I learned well that day that gravity does indeed suck!
I was told that 16 years old and I was too stupid to be a pilot, so I took up parachuting instead, at least I was close to an aeroplane if only briefly! I then went on to fly hang gliders, microlights, paragliders, paramotors I even had a go at hot air ballooning and gliding, finally gaining my private pilot's licence something I should have done years before.
Why I got involved
I came to own Enstone Flying Club by accident, but have loved every day I have been here...well almost!. A bit of a change for me after 28 years in the entertainment industry, mainly on the technical side and ending up in sales and marketing. We have created a truly great flying club which I am very proud of. The team over the years has changed but has always made everyone feel welcome, thank goodness that the cliques and "in crowd groups" so common in flying clubs is not something we have here. We have fun and make it fun for everyone who is part of the flying club whether they are here for just one flying experience or working towards gaining a Pilots licence and beyond.
The Spitfire project came about after discussions on how to get more people to come to Enstone. From those humble beginnings it has grown into a fabulous and enormous project .
What I am looking forward to the most.
For me seeing people having a great time when they are at the club and hearing the banter that only comes from people who are enjoying what they do. Its great to see students become pilots and the change that occurs during the journey, its truly magic and it is an privilege to be part of it.
The Spitfire project
This project has become an integral part of life at the flying club. It's been a long haul and very tough at times but the results speak for them selves. Groups of people joined by a common interest in the Spitfire have come together to create something truly remarkable. The ultimate vision for me, has to be seeing the whole squadron on a bright summer’s day, one of those great days where the skylarks fly high into the blue until disturbed by the roar of the squadron as it arrives back from a display, each aircraft taxiing back to the East lawn at Enstone. Every aircraft is greeted by its expectant ground crew, fussing over each Spit like mother hens. Pilots being welcomed home by their loved ones, kids getting their first chance to sit in a Spitfire that their Dad/Mum built. Stories in the bar with the listening audience held spell bound by the account of the days sorties Magic!