It was clear on Friday evening that Saturday 25th June may be, in the words of Paul Asbridge, CEO of The Eagles Wings Trust & CFI at Caernarfon Airport, “a bit dodgy”. Sure enough, Saturday morning was, indeed, “a bit dodgy” but at 10.00, not a total loss. After a quick recce flight and consultation with the met boys, a delayed start was the order of the day and 11.30 became the target kick off time.
Most of the Braves scheduled for morning flights had arrived and there was much milling around, coffee swilling and sighing as everyone was really excited at the prospect of taking a flight. Fortunately, there is a very nice and interesting aviation museum on the airport site and a very generous deal was struck allowing those from our group to have a look around some great exhibits. 11.30 came but brought little improvement to the weather; further delay; some of the Braves were becoming restless so early lunch was the order of the day. Escorted visits to view the HeliMed Emergency Helicopter were arranged and Bob “Biggles” Rance seconded to shepherd those who wanted a look around and get an insight into the operation of the aircraft and the service provided, across the apron to its stand by position. This was a most interesting opportunity, much enjoyed by everyone… particularly the Dads!!
Then a glimmer of hope; a thumbs up from the control tower, smiles from the pilots and yes flying could start. Two aircraft were quickly loaded, taxied out and off up into, sadly, very grey skies. Conditions were far from ideal and didn’t allow Paul and his team to give the flights they intended but at least a short flight was better than no flight at all. The first group returned and our next Brave quickly boarded and began to taxi out when, quite suddenly, about turn and back to base; cloud base had come down to around 200 feet and everything was grounded again. From here on it was just a case of hanging around to see if things would improve but, with Paul checking the weather forecast every 20 minutes or so, things were looking more and more gloomy and flights looking less and less likely until the decision had to be taken to abandon the day.
Sadly only two smiling faces, lots and lots of disappointment and just a few tears but all is not lost for Bader Braves return to Caernarfon on 3rd September and, weather permitting, everyone will be able to fly. I can only thank everyone at Caernarfon Airport and The Eagles Wings Trust for once again making us so welcome and doing their utmost to make things interesting under very testing circumstance. Lets just hope that come September the sun is shining down on us and all the Bader Braves can take to the air.
Finally, apologies for lack of pictures; there was very little to photograph I am afraid – next time though!!