A chattering of Chipmunks
More than seven decades since it first flew, de Havilland Canada Chipmunks are still held in great affection by many RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps pilots who trained on them, and by Air Cadets who had their first flying experiences in ‘Chippies’. Thus, after making their one-off public debut at the Duxford Air Festival this past summer, members of the Four Chip Formation Team are looking ahead to the 2019 season and will fly at a few selected shows.
Team leader ‘Four Chip 1’, Howard Cook, who has flown a range of vintage types from Tiger Moth to P-51 Mustang and has displayed the Historic Aircraft Collection’s Hurricane, Storch and Hawker Nimrod II and Vintage Wings of Canada’s Harvard, flies Chipmunk G-BWMX based at Fen End Farm, Cambridge. “The display is like the professional jet teams – only slower and with little power to help us,” he says. “If you get out of position in a Chipmunk you can never get back, that is why it is such a good trainer and trains you to keep in position. If you can keep in tight in a Box Four in a Chipmunk, you can keep in tight in anything!
Four Chip 2, Jon Higgins was granted his initial Display Authorisation at nineteen years of age, and was the UK’S youngest display pilot. He flies with the team and also performs solo aerobatic displays in Rectory Farm-based G-BYHL. Four Chip 3 is David Petters, who gained his PPL at seventeen and is now a Ryanair Captain with 10,000 hours logged. His Fenland-based G-CGAO wears Portuguese Air Force markings. And Paul Green, Four Chip 4, instructs at White Waltham in his Chipmunk G-BCPU and often donates his time and aircraft to displays to support charitable causes. Although has been flying for eighteen years, 2018 is Paul’s first year on the display circuit.
Whilst they prefer to fly as a ‘four-ship’ at large events and venues, the team can also fly as a three-ship or the two-ship Vintage Pair.
For more details or bookings contact Howard Cook at: peta[email protected]
The Four Chip Formation Team will fly their Chipmunks at selected airshows in 2019