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Duxford Bonus Day ~ 17th April 2010

Despite UK airspace being closed to heavy aircraft due to volcanic ash drifting in from Iceland, over 120 GA and assorted light aircraft converged on Cambridgeshire for a Safety Bonus Day hosted by the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. Landing and entrance fees to the airfield and museum were waived for the visiting pilots. The Safety Day was a mixture of presentations like Collision Avoidance and Avoiding Controlled Airspace Infringements and table-top sessions where visiting aircrew could ask questions or obtain information or just have an informal chat with representatives from the CAA, NATS and the AOPA to name just a few.

By early afternoon the 100 figure had been passed for aircraft arriving and they were still flying in. Wall to wall sunshine, minimal wind, and lack of competition for airspace from airliners probably making the flying more enjoyable. Aircraft were parked 3 deep on the eastern hard standing down by the M11 and all along the grass by the taxiway virtually from one end of the runway to the other. The DAS volunteers doing an excellent job of slotting aircraft in and out of, which at times, was a very busy environment.

In amongst the arrivals and departures, a Duxford resident in the shape of Plane Sailing’s Catalina took off in the morning for a shake down flight following its winter maintenance. It arrived back about an hour later for some display flying and rollers both on the hard and grass runways. It went up again later in the afternoon for a bit more flying.