Between Wednesday 9th July and Monday 14th July 2014, members of 621VGS attended The Royal International Air Tatoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford to display two Viking gliders in the static display. The Sqn was located in the Technical Arena along with the other Air Cadet assets.
The aircraft and all the kit from Hullavington was transported to Fairford on the Wednesday and the display setup. On the Thursday, final alterations were made and the aircraft polished ready for the first inspection by competition officials for the Concours d’Elegance competition.
On the Friday a team of four people captained by Fg Off Kitcher participated in the Aircrew Challenge, this consisted of several activities for which there were trophies up for grabs. The activities were aircraft recognition, clay shooting, buggy driving, an assault course, sumo wrestling and aircrew survival. The team did really well in all activities but were outstanding in aircraft recognition.
Whilst they participated in the Aircrew Challenge, the remaining staff manned the display. Friday is VIP day, so they spent the day busy showing the VIP guests around the aircraft, as well as keeping it looking their best for the final inspection by the officials for the Concours d’Elegance. Our aircraft made it into the top 20 aircraft for the show.
The Friday evening saw Sqn Ldr Woolcock, Flt Lt Webb, Flt Lt Blake, Fg off Kitcher, CI Patel and CI Bartlett attend the Sunset ceremony and Gala Dinner. This was an amazing experience which was attended by the Chief of the Air Staff topped off with a flypast by a spitfire and the Red Arrows on their 50th Display Season.
At the Gala Dinner, awards were presented, and 621 VGS collected the Trophy for winning the Aircraft Recognition section of the Aircrew Challenge. The Trophy was collected by Flt Lt Webb and Fg Off Kitcher.
The Saturday and Sunday were the main public show days. Visitors were shown around the aircraft and were able to sit in and see what it would be like to glide with the Air Cadets. The glider was very popular and provided a big draw to the other Air Cadet displays.
The weekend attracted International and Royal guests, 48 Air Chiefs and MoD personnel from all levels, 6000+ corporate guests, 1400 international military personnel, 224 aircraft from 32 air arms and a massive 140,000 public visitors.
A big thank you to all that made it so successful and we are looking forward to doing it all again next year.