Hen­stridge hap­pen­ings

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS - Re­port: Peter R March

There were two sig­nif­i­cant ‘gath­er­ings’ at Hen­stridge Air­field, Som­er­set at the end of April. The first, on 20 April, saw the six Tiger Moths re­stored by Kevin Crum­plin be­tween 2006 and 2018 brought to­gether for a photo ses­sion. Three of these DH82AS (BB803/G-ADWJ, NM138/G-ANEW and T8191/G-BWMK) are op­er­ated by Tiger Moth Train­ing (TMT), a com­pany set up by Kevin, Clive David­son and Annabelle Bur­roughes at Hen­stridge in 2013. The fourth air­craft, N9328/G-ALWS was sold in Novem­ber 2014 to Jim Norris who keeps it with TMT. The first Tiger Moth restora­tion G-AMIV/ R5246, which Kevin ac­quired in mid-2006 and com­pleted in 2010, was sold to the Air Fighter Academy (Hangar 10) two years later, while N9503/G-ANFP, fin­ished in May 2016, was sold abroad to Richard San­tus at Pod­ho­rany Air­field, Czech Repub­lic. Richard set up TMT Czech along sim­i­lar lines to the UK com­pany and went on to pur­chase Tiger Moth G-AMIV/R5246 from Ger­many in 2018. Both air­craft came back to the UK for their an­nual ser­vice and NARC re­newal at Hen­stridge.

With Tiger Moth N6466/G-ANKZ from Compton Ab­bas lead­ing, the six ‘Crum­plin’ Tigers were set to fol­low the camera ship into the air. Five made it but un­for­tu­nately R5246 didn’t de­velop enough power and strug­gled over the air­field bound­ary to force-land in an ad­ja­cent field. So, the for­ma­tion led by sil­ver ‘BRNC’ Tiger Moth T8191 had a ‘miss­ing man’. For­tu­nately, R5246 was not dam­aged and, with its en­gine prob­lem rec­ti­fied, left the field later that day. Richard San­tus flew N9503 back to the Czech Repub­lic on 25 April and Annabelle Bur­roughes fol­lowed in R5246 a week or so later.

The an­nual LAA Wes­sex Strut Fly-in on 28 April at­tracted an in­ter­est­ing range of types. The old­est of the home­builts to ar­rive was Ed­die Clapham’s 1967-built Tur­bu­lent G-ASFX, while in con­trast Peter Borchert’s big, Ve­deneyev M-14P ra­di­alengined Pitts Model 12 G-MXII (fea­tured in Pilot, April & May) is just a cou­ple of years old. Peter Watts, founder of prom­i­nent UK vin­tage en­gine com­pany Retro Track & Air, made a rare out­ing from Bad­minton in his beau­ti­fully fin­ished Sirocco G-CEAO. Al­though yet to fly, Ken and Caroline Rhodes’ Just Su­per­stol G-RHOD looked im­pres­sive on the flight line along with a pair of Bris­tell Speed Wings, a Sonex, Twister and var­i­ous RVS.

ABOVE: T8191, in which Kevin Crum­plin learned to fly, leads the Tiger Moth for­ma­tion

PHOTO: PETER R MARCH

LEFT: Peter Watts' im­mac­u­late Jurca MJ-5 Sirocco on a rare out­ing from Bad­minton

Los­ing power on take-off, R5246 scraped over the Hen­stridge bound­ary to land safely in an ad­ja­cent field

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