Women In Aviation International at the Shoreham Air Show
Not private jets…but I’ll indulge myself with this one, since I’ve a special interest in women in aviation.
So I hit Shoreham on August 21st to a sadly wet and windy airshow day – one of the worst in the airshow’s 20 year history. A crowd of just under 30,000 turned up to witness flights from the Harrier, Twister Duo, Strikemaster, P-51 Mustang Duo, PBY Catalina and Tucano, which managed to get airborne. Visitors were also treated to the German airfield attack and scramble, complete with pyrotechnics, Hurricanes, Spitfires and defence from Dad’s Army. War was never such fun.
Expert glider pilot Guy Westgate also braved the elements in the Polish built Swift S-1, with his team Swift Aerobatic, which also includes a Piper PA-25 and a Silence Twister. Sadly the jets, the Red Arrows, the Red Gnats, Vulcan, Blades and Brietling Wing Walkers were unable to participate because of adverse weather conditions elsewhere. I was also glad to have been there on Saturday, so missed the accident on Sunday (from which the pilot walked away unhurt).
The flying washout was disappointing, but not so bad given my main reason for attending was to meet with Dorothy Pooley and several other members of the European arm of Women in Aviation International (WAI). Pooley is arranging a weekend in November where WAI gather to learn what they have in common that spurs them on into challenging aviation careers and aspirations or just allows us to enjoy all aspects of aviation.
Friday’s Opening Reception includes the Brooklands Concorde Experience. Attendees can relive the excitement of the supersonic age with a 30-minute visit on board Concorde G-BBDG. The virtual flight will be flown by Concorde pilot Captain Mike Bannister. The Museum will offer special “at the controls of Concorde” packages on Friday and Saturday.
Saturday’s event includes speeches from Captain Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, a record-setting 777 pilot with Boeing and Lt. Col Jennifer Crossman, a USAF KC-135 pilot . The gathering takes place on Friday and Saturday 5 and 6 November at Brooklands Aviation Museum. Register at www.wai.org. Also check out the podcast above this post (in red) with Dorothy Pooley.