By Tony Berryman - FSA Instructor
On the 1 September 2018, Don Berrington became the first Flight Sport Aviation member to complete not one, but two of the Advanced Training Missions in a single day.
Don had chosen the 'Farnborough Crossing to White Waltham' and the 'Circumnavigate London' options which were combined into one. Flown on a stunningly clear day, Don's flight combined airfields with an Aviation History connection.
Initial planning was to route from Deanland Airfield to White Waltham passing overhead Dunsfold Aerodrome and Farnborough Airport whilst flying under the Gatwick controlled airspace.
A few phone calls on the day made a reroute possible from Haywards Heath towards Dorking passing over Gatwick Airport at 1400ft.
Don skilfully flew a couple of orbits over Crawley while waiting for Gatwick Air Traffic Control to permit crossing clearance behind landing A320s! From there, it was onwards to a landing at White Waltham.
After lunch in the 1940s clubhouse at White Waltham, home to the Air Transport Auxiliary WW2, Don then departed on the next leg of his mission. This would taken him to London Colney, home of the Hertfordshire Microlight Club and their 310m runway.
Accurately navigating the 2 mile wide corridor between Wycombe Air Park and Heathrow Controlled Airspace, Don flew north of the busy circuit at Elstree's Aerodrome before joining overhead to land at London Colney.
London Colney is next door to the De Havilland museum at Salisbury Hall. This was a former WW1 Airfield where in 1917 Cecil Lewis and Albert Ball had flown SE5s with 54 Sqn over to France and where Don demonstrated an impressive short landing!
The mission continued on to Stapleford Tawney, where many WW2 pilots were trained, including Johnnie Johnson who became the RAF's top scoring pilot. It was also home to the Lysanders of the Special Operations Executive, a highly secret agency setup during WW2 to conduct clandestine operations on the continent.
After refreshments, Don, Tony and their FSA aircraft G-HEVR (known as Heather), continued steadily southbound. Briefly visiting the Kittyhawk Farmstrip to the south of Deanland Airfield, which provided an opportunity to practice using Safetycom, the final leg of the mission was flown and Don arrived back at Deanland Airfield on Runway 06.
A highly challenging, successful and rewarding flying adventure!
For details of all the available Advanced Training flights, please contact Shellie at firstname.lastname@example.org