Saturday morning was dull, with huge banks of grey cumulus cloud cutting off the sun. But in the afternoon it cleared, and the evening turned to perfect summer weather, only with some isolated showers.
I ate my breakfast in silence, and not much of it. Toast with jam doesn’t sit too well on excited stomach. Worrying about the weather I packed my luggage in case we won’t return back today. That meant standing hopeless in front of the library and worrying about the choice of book.
There is a Flying Legends Air Show at Duxford in a few weeks time so I’ve been looking for something to get me into the mood for that. Also the purpose of the fly-in was to form the biggest the formation of the of Czechoslovakian aircrafts (as every year).
I chose the memoirs of Brian “Sandy” Lane a Battle of Britain fighter pilot from the No. 19 RAF Squadron. Opening at the random page I realised, that’s the sort of mood I’m in today…
“We set course for Calais and climbed away south towards the thickening clouds over the French coast. Our instructions were to patrol Calais – Dunkirk at 17,000 feet …
This is going to be big, I’m thinking when I’m starting up the engines of L-200. My father with Aero is already warming up. All ready and set. After take-off I’m leading our group through the Pardubice CTR across the Chrudim to Vysoke Myto. It’s been jolly good few minute sweep.
When we arrived to briefing, 56 aircrafts were count down in total. All mostly Zlins, also 7 L-200s Moravas and 3 Aeros. It was great to see the third Aero joining us from Nitra in Slovakia.
After the lunch It was a lovely afternoon. Several broken layers of cloud hung across the sky, quite low actually, but no frightening showers were approaching our airport.
At 2 pm, 29 aircrafts lined up runway 30L. It’s been a long waiting full of excitement before everybody was ready.
The squadron led by 3 Aeros and 7 L-200s took-off. Me as a number five with OK-NXX on the left wing.
We continued in the right circle, avoided the town of Vysoke Myto and turned to Chocen. Even though it was a brave feeling of responsibility, I was surprised that our formation wasn’t as tight as I expected.
As we passed Chocen we began to finish the circle, turning right back to the airport. Lining up with the runway, going a bit lower and tightening up the formation. I was sure all the cameras where ready on the ground.
That afternoon, I finished Brian Lane’s book. It contrasted strongly with action we took that day. By his own words; “Once having tasted action, all other flying rather loses its meaning and tends to appear rather pointless … “
But what are we? We are not putting our lives at stake against Huns. We are just some enthusiasts. But the love for the flying connects us all, as it did in a past and as it will continue to connect us in the future.
This Czechoslovakian fly-in was dedicated to the memory of Ondrej Rycl who tragically died during an acrobatic competition in Kromeriz last year.