Saturday, 24 January 2009

Yellow Aeroplanes

When I first told Flylight I wanted a Dragonfly, I said it had to be yellow. And G-AEFT is the reason why. I first fell in love with her - an Aeronca C3 - watching a short film, way back in 1987, called Flying for Fun, which was about the development of aerial gunnery by Jack Parham, who until then flew purely for fun. The film was really superb...and having recently got back in touch with a friend I lent it to, can't wait to watch it again. It portrayed the 1930s as the ideal time to fly: quiet skies, flying picnics, lazy hot summers and people experimenting with all sorts of new types.....less obsession with speed, than the philosophy Neill and I share, that it is about the joy of flight, rather than getting somewhere quickly.

Subsequently, in 1992, my belief that all aeroplanes should be yellow was reinforced by seeing a yellow Thruster on the grass below me as I flew a Pegasus Flash 2 over Belle Vue. It had been landed by Diddie Sims, who was being taught to fly by Ian Stokes at Davidstow, when I had just graduated and was working there for flying lessons. Diddie, now an experienced pilot, was then on one of her qualifying cross-country flights. Me? I only got in a few hours that summer.

I mention both the above because I have just found G-AEFT on G-INFO and written to her owner Nick Chittenden; and I found Diddie's name by accident in an old copy of MF, and got in touch with her at the Devon Strut of the PFA. I feel like circles are being completed. G-AEFT was the start of my love affair with small aeroplanes and Diddie was there when I first flew one.

(one day I will have a yellow aeroplane)

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