Sights never to be seen again.

An early start was in order on Sunday morning, I wanted to get to R.A.F Fairford as close to 09.00 as I could so as to avoid the mass of traffic that would descend on the place. It should ensure that I could park close to the entrance gate as I would be in my manual chair and also would give me good time to look around some of the static displays before the flying started. My Dad was unable to accompany me this year and so I had asked someone who I don’t get to spend much time with but always makes an effort to see me and chat, it is also a two way street where when possible my Wife and I will try to catch up with them too. I called round to collect him on the way, it would be another day where I would have to have someone with me in case my wrists gave out which is happening more and more of late and also because my whole body is going in to spasm more frequently than ever before meaning I require a push in my chair while I stay in a locked state looking completely ridiculous (and in much pain)!

The weather was overcast and windy when we arrived but the cloud base was such that all displays should go ahead. To be fair the weather was good because it meant that we would not cook during the day. We looked around the aircraft that were on static display and some of the stalls stopping to watch various aircraft put on displays of how capable they were by the pilots throwing the aircraft around. The Royal International Air Tattoo is known for being the largest display of military aircraft in the world which obviously means that they come from all over the world to take part. It is a great place to see aircraft that you would not normally see.

During life there will be things that make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up and one of those events happened at the air show. As a tribute of remembrance to the brave pilots of World War 2, a formation of 16 aircraft comprising of Spitfires and Hurricanes flew over. The sound of those engines did indeed make those hairs stand to attention. All eyes were to the sky while a speech from what was probably the greatest Prime Minister the UK has ever had, Winston Churchill, played out of the many speakers around the airfield. I don’t think that I will ever see such a sight again but doubt it will be one I forget in a hurry. Talking of sights never to be repeated, this year is the final flying year for another flying legend of the UK, XH558, Her Majesty of the skies….the mighty Vulcan. Whilst I did not see the flying display of this jaw dropping aircraft, I did watch her flypast. But what could compliment the Lady of the skies for a crowd pleasing farewell flypast? Who are worthy enough to share the airspace with this British icon? Well, there really was only one choice, the worlds best aerobatic display team…the Red Arrows. I could not see one person looking anywhere but skywards as the formation appeared in the distance to the right of the airfield and as it reached the end of the runway to the far left, Her Majesty of the skies pulled up and right as she broke formation to fly circuit and land. A sad day, whilst she has more displays to fly before her season ends, unless I can get to Bournemouth in August where I would imagine she will fly for the last time in those skies, I shall never see her grace the skies with her presence again. A real shame.

So if I thought so much of the Vulcan and knew that she would not be flying again after this season, then why did I not make sure I saw her fly? The reason was simple. I had been invited to the R.I.A.T by Flying Scholarships for Disabled People as the candidates who had been chosen to do scholarships from the intake on which I had not been granted one (too much of a positive attitude), were being awarded their wings. I had been invited to see those scholars be presented with their wings and as it turned out, the presentation was when the Red Arrows and the Vulcan did their individual displays and so I missed them. I did not however miss two people who I got on with and had a good laugh with at the venue where the interviews were held, be presented with their wings. If any disabled people are reading this, look in to  Flying Scholarships for Disabled People. Look it up on line or go to my links page and click on the icon which will take you right to it. Applications need to be in by December so if you thought that flying a aeroplane was impossible look them up. Many people struggle to find any purpose after becoming disabled, feel useless or stay locked away so as not to have to have to see people. They lack confidence or fail to believe that they can do things that are more challenging. If you think that this may be you, or that you may know someone who you think may benefit, look them up and apply. If you are not fortunate enough to get a scholarship, you will meet other disabled people and come away with friends!

Good evening all.


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