BBC Children In Need Fundraising Flight

What a day! Buzzing about as many airfields in Yorkshire as possible with Pudsey the bear, what could be better?

An early start at Sherburn Aeroclub in order to prepare G-BIOC for a packed morning of flying. As me and my University friend Matthew were scheduled to fly OC today, it was up to us to fly her around Yorkshire. First stop, Elvington Airfield to meet the BBC and begin to collect some money for BBC’s Children in Need Charity. Matthew did this leg and I had taken it upon myself to fix our new 8.33 kHz radio which needed it’s intercom configuring as we couldn’t hear each other and our own transmissions, only those we were receiving. I thought I had resolved the problem, as I struggled to contact York Radio, only hearing the radio operator at Readability one at best. Matthew got the aircraft down and we taxied across to our marshaller, where the BBC TV crew were already filming! Out we got for a short interview, then we jumped back in, with me flying this leg across to Full Sutton which is only a 5 minute flight from Elvington.

As we tried to make radio contact with Full Sutton Radio, we realised there was a problem. They weren’t replying to us, or at least it seemed that way. I and Matthew decided to try contacting Linton zone and have a radio check. They could hear us, but again we could hear them readability one at best. At this point I had began orbiting over the wolds away from Full Sutton traffic and Pocklington Gliding traffic and I changed our squawk to 7500 to indicate we were having radio troubles. I handed the flying over to Matthew and began to troubleshoot, transmitting blindly to Linton explaining our situation and informing them we were troubleshooting. At this point, I realised my previous amendments to the radio settings had caused this problem, after resetting these settings, I was able to fix the issue so we could hear the station clearly whilst ensuring that the Intercom too worked. Following this, we descended into the circuit following Full Sutton’s procedures and landed to collect some money!

Matthew then flew us across to Beverley and subsequently to Breighton where again, we walked around shaking our bucket for some donations. Following this, I took control for the short flight across to Leeds East (Formerly RAF Church Fenton). I was keen to land OC at Church Fenton as this was the airfield that I had first tasted flight in an aircraft, prior to this I had only experience in a microlight. Leeds East is a fantastic airfield and it’s a crying shame it isn’t utilised to it’s full capacity. I greatly enjoyed bringing the aircraft in to land on a proper runway of great length and width. it was the first time I had landed on such a runway since my time in Dundee and I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to land there free in order to fundraise. I and Matthew looked around, having a chat with the extremely generous staff and asking what was to come of the former RAF base – thankfully exciting things! We were then offered a free cup of tea and a biscuit. Matthew then flew us back to Sherburn, which is literally next to Leeds East!

A huge thanks to all the airfields and their staff which supported the Children in Need cause. A big thanks to Advanced Flight Training for helping us organise the fundraising flight. I am delighted to say that we raised £90 on behalf of the Leeds University Union Aviation Society! That money has gone straight to the BBC Children in Need charity and is hopefully now being used with some of the fantastic brave children that the charity supports!

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