Leeming Features


Tornado GR4 "Pinky" ends its flying days at Leeming's RTP Facility 

Photographs courtesy of Sgt Simon Devine and Leeming Photographic Section

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The "Ton" celebrates 100 glorious years

100 Squadron celebebrated its centenary year with a special day event at RAF Leeming followed by a hanger party in the evening. FLAG members were privileged to be invited to this non public event which was a great success and a fitting way to celebrate the Squadron centenary. A short video of this event can be viewed by following this     link


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The afternoon event featured an airfield attack demo and a static display of home and visiting aircraft, images of which can be seen on Colin Fawcett's Flickr site (Info Zone weblink). The 100 Squadron colour was paraded and the salute taken by the Stn Cdr in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall who is an Honorary Commodore to RAF Leeming. 

Photos are by Leeming Aviation, Colin Fawcett and Peter Forbes.



For a look at Hawks in their natural environment view this video of a low level sortie over Windermere 

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Practice makes perfect during Exercise Agile Eagle 16 - 4 at RAF Leeming

An area of RAF Leeming was transformed into a remote Detached Operating Base (DOB) of 135 EAW, as they trained under the expert tutoring of Leeming's Operational Training Centre (OTC).


The Exercise aims to enhance learning through the establishment of a simulated DOB supporting the UK Air Component in the projection of airpower and informs Air Command of EAW readiness for contingency operations.


OTC Chief of Staff, Squadron Leader Charlie Lynn said "Exercise Agile Eagle is a fantastic opportunity for EAW personnel to train in preparation for potential deployment on expeditionary air operations, anywhere in the world. The Exercise superbly demonstrates the 'Whole Force' concept, with both Regular and Reserves working closely together to deliver a complex exercise scenario".


135 EAW Headquarters is supported by a range of Air Combat Support and Air Combat Service Support Units.


The Regular and Reserve subject matter experts are drawn from across the RAF and provide mentoring and guidance through-out the exercise.

Wing Commander Stu Clarke, CO 135 EAW said "The Exercise has afforded 135 EAW a fabulous opportunity to learn, test and evaluate its' operational procedures against a very realistic and complex scenario. After facing many training challenges delivered from the very experienced Exercise Control staff, I now know that 135 EAW is better prepared to deploy worldwide to meet any contingent operations".


Wing Commander Chris Thorpe, OTC SO1 said "We aim to provide participating Expeditionary Air Wings with a realistic, dynamic and challenging scenario, within which they develop and display their ability. It is rewarding to see an EAW grow in confidence during their time on Exercise Agile Eagle".

Photos by Sqn Ldr Wayne Palmer

December 2016


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100 Sqn provides air combat training in Slovakia

100 Sqn pilots have been training NATO partners in UK air combat techniques as part of a two week exercise in Slovakia. The exercise, SLOVAK HAWK III, involved air combat instructors from the squadron providing training to an experienced instructor pilot from the Slovak Air Force.

Operating out of Sliač Air Base, central Slovakia, instructors conducted air combat training scenarios using three Hawk TMK1 aircraft of 100 Squadron, which usually provide support as simulated adversaries for the Typhoon Squadrons and Joint Helicopter Command in the UK. The scenarios involved two pilots fighting against a single enemy pilot using UK tactics and techniques.  RAF pilots were in all three Hawk aircraft and the Slovakian pilot, Maj Ján ‘Conan’ Kurtík, was primarily instructed from the number two aircraft position by a 100 Squadron air combat instructor. He was eventually given exposure in all three fighting positions, again with an air combat instructor.

Air Combat Instructor, Squadron Leader Phil Stewart, 100 Squadron, said: “The Hawk is a basic aircraft, but it is manoeuvrable just like a frontline fast jet. The two seats that it has enables us to train other pilots, give them the experience in the back of the aircraft and take away some new tactics and procedures for their own air force.”

It is the third time the exercise has taken place since 2007 and builds on training from previous years. MIG-29 pilot, Maj Kurtík, was taking part in the exercise for the second time. He said: “Our friends from 100 Squadron came here to teach us about air combat manoeuvres. We started last year with one on one and this is the next level with two against one air combat training.

“They have given me great knowledge about air combat training and we are definitely going to use it in our procedures to teach our guys to do it in the same way.”

On the final day of Ex Slovak Hawk, one of the hawk jet pilots had the opportunity to carry out a one on one air combat scenario against the MIG-29 flown by Maj Jan Kurtik.

Wing Commander Andy Wright, Officer Commanding 100 Squadron said: “The idea of the exercise is that we train the trainers. We teach their top level instructors, who will hopefully then take on their experiences here and develop their own air combat training.

 “They have done an excellent job of preparing themselves for the exercise so we have got as much as we can out of each sortie. It’s been very rewarding and challenging for us all and overall has been a great experience. We are always made to feel very welcome and that was no exception this time.”

One of the three Hawks remained in Slovakia as a static display at the Slovak International Air Fest 2016.


Photos by Cpl Paul Oldfield - Lee Photographic Section

Sept 2016

 

 

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Leeming prepares for Exercise Jaded Thunder

Details posted on Fighter Control indicate that RAF participants include Hawks, Tornado, Typhoon, Shadow, Airseeker and E3D. Operating in the field or staging through Leeming are Chinook, Apache, Gazelle and Puma. US participants include A-10s, and AH6 Little Birds based at Leeming. Operating from Mildenhall will be a JSTARS (13th-15th only), MC-130s and F-15s from Lakenheath. CV22s will operate from Mildenhall but may land away on occasion. Exercise flying days are 13th -15th and 18th - 20th inclusive 10-00 - 16-00 UTC. Three areas will operate simultaneously - Spadeadam, Otterburn and Catterick with assets rotating between each during the exercise. Little Birds should arrive at Leeming in C-17s with the A-10s flying into Leeming Sunday/Monday/Tuesday. Personnel will arrive in a mixture of C-17s and civil aircraft. As always this is unconfirmed intel and plans can change. 

Post via Colin Fawcett 8.7.16

Photos via Melissa Peakman - see more arrival photos in Members Zone

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34 Squadron prepare for future role on Exercise Lions Dawn

34 Squadron has been putting its airfield protection skills to the test in preparation for future operational commitments on Exercise Lions Dawn.

They took part in the intensive five day exercise at West Freugh Airfield, Scotland, to conclude preparations for their new role in the Joint Expeditionary Force where it will take up a position of Very High Readiness from April 2016.

During the exercise, the Squadron, who provided airfield protection in Afghanistan, were required to seize and take control of an airfield to allow future aircraft operations to take place safely.

The Squadron was transported by a C-130 Hercules aircraft, where upon arrival at the airfield they were faced with a variety of challenging tasks. After initially clearing and taking control of the airfield, they had to deal with multiple scenarios including public order incidents, insider threats, an attack against a known enemy stronghold and an enemy assault against the airfield.  The exercise was supported throughout by Typhoons and Hawks from 100 Squadron.

Flight Lieutenant Nathan Foster, the Squadron Operations Officer and Planning Officer for the exercise said: “The Squadron will soon be at high readiness for deployment on complex or simple intervention operations, and Ex Lions Dawn provided the Squadron with the opportunity to challenge ourselves within the complexities that it may bring. The Exercise not only demonstrated the capability and preparedness of the Squadron, but also the broad skill set that a RAF Regiment Gunner must possess, and be capable of executing within a complex air ground environment.”

 

Squadron Leader Dan Roberts, Officer Commanding 34 Squadron, said: “Preparing for contingency means going back to basics and I was impressed with the Squadrons attitude, determination and attention to detail. The officers and airmen performed superbly in the face of the varied and unpredictable scenario threats and hazards. We are now looking forward to adopting High Readiness and supporting global air operations wherever and whenever called upon.”

Over the past year, 34 Squadron has been hard at work preparing for a role in the Joint Expeditionary Force. The Joint Expeditionary Force is a pool of high readiness, adaptable forces that is designed to enhance the UK’s ability to respond rapidly, anywhere in the world, with like-minded allies, or on behalf of international organisations such as the UN or NATO.  

April 2016


 

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Red and Black at Leeming

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A photo taken by SAC Philip Dye showing a Red Arrows Hawk on a visit to Leeming's own 100 Squadron

90 Signals Unit takes on Defensive Cyber Squadron 

No. 591 Signals Unit, which has responsibility for defensive cyber operations, has started its 61st year by moving to 90 S.U. at Leeming. With its motto "Vigilanter" the modern role of 591 is more relevant in today's IT environment of cyber threats than at any time in its long operational history. O.C. of No 591 S.U., Sqn Ldr Jim Doyle emphasised the challenges facing of the unit in countering the growing cyber threats to the military. Recently having celebrated its Diamond Anniversary, the unit stands as the independant unit with the longest period of uninterupted service in the RAF. 

The change of command ceremony at RAF Digby was attended by Air Commodore Alastair Seymour, Commandant of the Air Warfare Centre and Air Commodore Chris Moore, the A6 Force Commander.


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                Air Commodore Alastair Seymour and Air Commodore Chris Moore mark the handover of Command to the A6 Force.                              Air Commodore Chris Moore cuts the Kingfisher cake held by LAC Greg Wass. Left of Air Commodore Moore is Sqn Ldr Jim Doyle.

March 2016

90 Signals Unit trains army reservists on FALCON comms system 


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Eight Reservists from the Royal Signals attended a bespoke training course aimed at improving their skills on the FALCON communications system used by Regular RAF and Army personnel. The aim of the course was to improve the reservists’ operational effectiveness when augmenting Regulars deployed on operations and exercises. Corporal Aitken (27), a student, said: “The 8 day course was extremely interesting, the FALCON system is fairly complex but the elements we covered have given us the ability to operate as an augmentee.”

The course is instructed by a team of Regular RAF ICT Technicians and contractors from Babcock, a truly ‘Whole Force’ effort. The FALCON equipment, brought into service by BAE Systems, is essential in providing secure communication links for all UK operations across the globe. 

The Reservists that attended are from varied backgrounds (from Students to Quantity Surveyors) and have differing levels of experience. They engaged well with instructors and expanded their knowledge and capability as a result.

Warrant Officer Inglis (44), Operations Supervisor, 32 Signals Regiment commented, “We will continue to work closely with 90 Signals Unit, Babcock and BAE Systems to ensure our ability to support regular counterparts on current in-service equipments whether it is on exercise or deployed operations”. 

Corporal Michael Thomas (30), an RAF instructor at 90 Signals Unit said, “As instructors we have to tailor our training methods to ensure that each different learning style is catered for and they are getting the most out of the Reservists being taught in custom built FALCON training facility, 90 Signals Unit, RAF Leemingcourse….having the varied experience and knowledge [Reservists] bring to the course from their civilian careers, changes the learning dynamic that as RAF instructors we seldom see in ordinary military life for the better.”

After the success of the initial courses 90 Signals Unit, BAE Systems and Babcock aim to continue their good relationship and deliver training to Army Reserves well into the future.

Photographs:

Reservists being taught in custom built FALCON training facility, 90 Signals Unit, RAF Leeming.

 

Reservists being taught to erect the FALCON mast and aerial in winter conditions at 90 Signals Unit, RAF Leeming.

February 2016




 

 

Air cadet Anna takes to the skies

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Cadet Sergeant Anna Culshaw took to the skies at RAF Leeming in a Hawk Jet with 100 Sqn in recognition of winning the Northern Region Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) 2014 Young Person of the Year.

 

Anna from the 1918 (Ruthin) Squadron, Air Training Corps based in North Wales was nominated for the award by her Squadron Commander and was shocked to be picked as the winner. Anna overcame a rare cancer in childhood and spent a year in isolation recovering. At the age of 12 she joined the Air Cadets which gave her the chance to be with other youngsters which is something she missed whilst recuperating.

 

Anna is considered a true role model for others for her positive determination to get on with life in a happy and enthusiastic way. She has supported many other children over the years by sending gifts and letters. Her commitment to Squadron duties and support for others is why she was chosen to receive such a prestigious award. 


Squadron Leader James Errington, Officer Commanding Operations Squadron and RAFA Liaison Officer at RAF Leeming attended the RAFA Northern Area Conference when the award was presented. He said: “At the formal dinner on the Saturday night I was sat with Anna and her parents. As the citation was read out, every man and woman in the audience remained absolutely silent. They listened to what Anna and her family had been through at a young age and what this extremely brave young lady has achieved since her illness. What struck me most was her determination and courage coupled with a natural modesty that was humbling from someone so young.” 


On returning to unit, Squadron Leader Errington put forward a case to give Anna the opportunity to have a flight in a Hawk Jet. He said: “It is rare in this job to be able to give something back to someone so deserving, but on this occasion I wrote to OC 100 Sqn and included the citation. We sought the appropriate authority and fortunately it was granted. I was lucky enough on the day to stand next to a very proud if a little anxious family as we all watched Anna get airborne in the Hawk. “

 

Anna and her family spent the day at RAF Leeming and were surprised to see how much planning went in to enabling her flight. With a mixture of nerves and excitement and fully kitted up Anna took to the skies as part of a routine training sortie. On landing, a totally exhilarated Anna said: “It was so amazing, words cannot describe it. I can’t believe pilots do this everyday as a job – I feel so honoured that this was arranged for me.”

Photos - Anna with 100 Sqn pilot Flt Lt Nicky Moore and with RAF Leeming and RAFA representatives

 


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Blood, Sweat and Blisters on Hadrian's Wall

 

Personnel from RAF Leeming endured heat, cold, blisters and aching backs to race the length of Hadrian’s Wall in just four days.

 

Exercise Centurion Shadow has become an annual competition for members of 90 Signals Unit. Setting off first thing in the morning for four days, teams of six laden with backpacks ran, jogged or walked up to 24 miles each day to cover the route from Wallsend to Bowness.

 

A team from 34 Squadron RAF Regiment also joined the race which is aimed at boosting fitness as well as core team building skills. During training and en route, the team also raised approximately £20,000 which will be divided between Butterwick House Children’s Hospice at Bishop Auckland, and The Royal Air Forces Association.

 

Leading the team from 90 Signal Unit’s Force Generation Wing was Corporal Micky Wilson. He said: “This is the first time I’ve done this, and we didn’t get much chance to train as a team because of operational commitments. It’s been a lot harder than I expected and my feet are taped up constantly. I’ve kept going because I don’t want to let people down and the medics have been doing a good job with our feet in the evening.”

 

Senior Aircraftman Sebastian Hague from 25 Squadron Tactical Comms Wing added “It’s been tough to be honest, there has been a couple of injuries in the group but everyone came together to support each other. It would have been so much harder to do on your own, being part of a team is definitely what kept me going.”

 

Centurion Shadow was a baptism of fire for Group Captain David Rowland, who took over as Commanding Officer of 90 Signals Unit just a couple of weeks before the event. He joined one of the teams on day three of the race: “It’s been really good. The guys have worked really well as a team and displayed a range of skills to make this happen. The teams are pulling together to get each other through, and members of the public have been very supportive.”

6.10.14

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Members of the 90 S.U. team including the C.O. Group Captain David Rowland (beret) pound the cobbles during exercise Centurion Shadow.

A group photo including 34 Sqn outside Carlisle Castle.

Leeming Bake Off takes off for Wings Week

 

Delicious cakes were entered and judged ‘Bake Off’ style at RAF Leeming to raise money for the RAF Association’s Wings Week appeal.

 

Bakers from across the Station were invited to enter cakes in to the professional or novice categories. A judging panel lead by Station Commander, Group Captain Steve Reeves, enjoyed sampling all of the cakes. Unanimously they agreed to award Royal Air Force Chef Donna Cairns winner in the professional category and Debbie Archer winner in the novice category.

 

Both entrants made chocolate cakes intricately decorated.  Debbie’s chess board design had taken her a number of hours to make. Debbie said: “It is lovely to win. I really enjoy baking, I have won other competitions in the past and enjoy entering for fun.” Debbie’s prize was a hamper donated by Betty’s Café and Tea Room.

 

The RAF Association’s well known fundraising campaign Wings Week coincides with the anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  Money raised by volunteers and serving RAF personnel allows the RAF Association to support members of the RAF family.

 

Corporal Jennifer Elliot organised the ‘Bake Off’ and an early morning doughnut sale during Wings Week to raise £257.53. “The money raised will be used for welfare and support. It will also help to maintain the Contact Houses on Station which can be used by personnel and families in times of need,” she said.

29.09.2014

 

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Leeming team participate in Total Warrior Challenge raising money for a hospice.

 

A team of personnel from Leeming battled against the elements to complete the Lake District Total Warrior challenge to help raise money for a local hospice.

 

The team of eight  from RAF Leeming took part in the gruelling obstacle race raising over £500 for local baby hospice, Zoë’s Place.  As a team they managed to complete the challenge with an impressive time of two hours and five minutes, coming third out of 111 teams.

 

The Total Warrior challenge is a test of strength, stamina, mental determination and teamwork! Participant’s battled their way round the 10 mile course facing more than 35 punishing obstacles including the human BBQ, peaks of pain, hang tough and the ball breaker, not to mention the Great British weather!

 

Corporal James Jordan of General Engineering Flight, RAF Leeming said: “It’s a long course, and the weather played a major part in making it a difficult challenge! It was a new experience for most of us and we didn’t really know what to expect, but we trained regularly to prepare for the event. After crossing the finishing line, the adrenalin was pumping as we took on Kendal mint cake, protein bars and of course the victory beer!”

Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice in Normanby, Middlesbrough provides palliative, respite and end-of-life care to babies and infants aged from birth to five years old suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Although they receive a modest amount of Government funding they still rely heavily on the generosity of the public to help raise the £1.2 million a year that is required to keep the doors open for the many families that need their expert care.

 

Cpl Jordan added: “This particular charity is close to hearts of several who participated as they are from the area and have seen the results of this well worthy cause.”


The participants were Cpl Jim Jordan. Cpl Daz Wass, Cpl Steve Fraser, Cpl Si Willington, Cpl Nick Munro, SAC Ross Hood, SAC Nick Corker and SAC Baz Midgly.

19.8.14



Photo - Some of the team following the gruelling 10 mile challenge - Cpl Jim Jordan, Cpl Daz Wass, Cpl Nick Munro, SAC Ross Hood and SAC Nick Corker.

 

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Leeming's Big Push for Charities


Sean Allerton, 48, was left a tetraplegic when he broke his neck in a motorcycle accident, which happened when he was serving with the 34 Squadron RAF Regiment (currently based at RAF Leeming), in Cyprus almost twenty-one years ago.

Despite the tragic consequences of the accident, Sean has been able to build a new life in his own home thanks to his personal determination and the support of various charities such as the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Forces Association. He is a keen fencer, is currently studying for an Open University degree and, in 2011, learned to fly thanks to a Flying Scholarships for Disabled People scholarship.

Sean wanted to give a little back by raising awareness and to raise money for the charities that have aided him over the past 21 years to rebuild his life, specifically The Royal Air Force Association, The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and The Flying Scholarships for Disabled People.


Inspired by The Proclaimers song ‘500 miles’ Sean initially decided to push 500 miles unaided in one of his everyday wheelchairs - a task he achieved in sessions at various RAF bases across the UK in ten months. Spurred on by his success, Sean pushed ‘500 more’ in just five months.

Not content to leave it there, Sean immediately embarked on yet another challenge – this time aiming to top 1,000 miles. He said: "At one point I managed to do 112 miles over 4 nights at RAF Church Fenton. It’s all about setting the rhythm and you just keep going. I don't get bored because I usually see lots of wildlife."

"There are 8,000 miles in The Proclaimers' song and while I can’t promise to do all 8,000, I will keep going while the charities need money and I have got my health. The charities have been life changing – help from them has really facilitated my life."

Sean has been undertaking a number of pushes at differing airfields across the country. On August 28th 2013 Sean visited RAF Leeming, this date and the location has special significance for Sean as 29 years earlier on this day in 1984 Sean signed up to the RAF Regiment. Sean served with 58 Sqn RAF Regiment, 3 Sqn RAF Regiment back to 58 Sqn RAF Regiment for a second tour, and finally with 34 Squadron RAF Regiment - currently based at RAF Leeming. There was no debate as to where Sean wanted to complete his second 500mile push and commence his next challenge of a 1000mile push.

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Sean Allerton with RAF Leeming Station Commander, Group Captain Steve Reeves on August 28th 2013 at RAF Leeming.                                     

 

November 2013 saw a return visit by Sean to RAF Leeming. This time as a recce as he had planned to undertake a 24hr push around the base later in the year. During Sean’s recce, he was joined for stretches of his journey by personnel from across Station, including members of his old Squadron – 34 Squadron RAF Regiment, 609(WR) Auxiliary Squadron, RAF Leeming Station Commander, Group Captain Steve Reeves, and 100 Sqn Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Tony Cann, who got to know Sean through his assessor role with Flying Scholarships for Disabled People. Some of the guys even covered the ground using Sean’s spare wheelchair, so that they could really understand his experience.

Sqn Ldr Jeff Metcalfe, Officer Commanding 609(WR) Aux Sqn said: "It was fantastic to get Sean here to cover a few miles. I pushed alongside him for a while and just couldn’t keep up! It was incredibly difficult to even stay in a straight line. Some of the ground may look flat when you walk, but isn’t when you’re trying to push a wheelchair!"

With months of further planning RAF Leeming welcomed Sean back most recently on 16th June 2014. This time Sean was looking to complete a ‘Push 500 Charity Endurance Challenge’ in the form of a 24-hour push, starting and finishing at the RAF Leeming Primary School. Children from the school waved and cheered as Sean and the rest of the team set off and also when they returned.

Sean was hoping to cover a minimum of 50 miles during the 24 hour period, but managed to do 62.5 miles in total. He said: “This is the longest I’ve ever done in 24 hours. I’m totally aching and I’m sure the other guys are too. The best and hardest part for me was the last stretch heading back to the finishing line at the school.”

Wing Commander Tony Cann and Flight Sergeant Dean Bradley along with several other personnel from across the Station joined Sean in spare wheelchairs with the intention of covering as many miles as they could. 

Wg Cdr Tony Cann Officer Commanding 100 Sqn said: “It was a privilege to join Sean. The man is a machine. I only managed 20 miles, and seeing the children cheering us to the finish line this morning made me feel pretty emotional”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sean and RAF personnel on their final stretch at RAF Leeming being cheered by pupils from RAF Leeming Primary School.             

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 Sean Allerton and Wg Cdr Tony Cann Officer Commanding 100 Sqn flanked by other RAF Leeming personnel in front of 100 Sqn Hawks.     

Photos 1-3 Crown Copyright 2014


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Sean Allerton, Wg Cdr Tony Cann, Flt Lt Tim Clement and Flight Sergeant Dean Bradley set off for the evening stint of the 24-hour push. 

 

Copyright - P. Dixon

Sean’s 1000 mile challenge continues, most recently he completed another 24 hour endurance challenge at RAF Cranwell on 26th July 2014,completing 48.12miles in blistering heat, bringing the total miles completed of Push 1000 to 374.89 miles. Plans are being prepared for another 24-hour push this time at RAF Linton in August.

FLAG member Peter Dixon met with both Sean and Wg Cdr Tony Cann whilst undertaking the 24-hour push on the 16th June 2014. Although Peter was unable to participate in the push that day, Peter was very inspired by Sean’s cause. A number of limited edition 100 Sqn prints were presented to Peter and he was tasked to raise money for Sean’s cause from the sale of the prints. Peter, an avid aviation enthusiast, got in contact with FRIAT (Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo) knowing that Wg Cdr Tony Cann was bringing a 100 Sqn hawk for static display to RIAT and that Sean would be attending The Flying Scholarships for Disabled People enclosure; he thought it was a great opportunity to invite them both to the FRIAT enclosure during the weekend of RIAT 2014 to meet many of the FRIAT members. 

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100 Sqn Hawk XX184 piloted by Wg Cdr Tony Cann with F. O. Liam Green landing at RIAT on Friday 11 July 2014.

Copyright- Hugo De Groote

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Wg Cdr Tony Cann carrying out a number of ‘dirty’ flybys within the FRIAT enclosure at RIAT 2014. 

 

Copyright P. Dixon

 

Saturday 12th July saw Sean Allerton, Wg Cdr Tony Cann accompanied by Flying Officer Liam Green spending over an hour signing the limited edition prints and chatting to many of the enthusiasts within FRIAT and a lucky few got a personalized tour of the 100 Sqn Hawk on static display. The sales produced a £310 donation to Push500. 

In addition, the FRIAT members were given an exclusive and impromptu flying display by Wg Cdr Tony Cann; himself an ex-display pilot from 2002, he was able to perform a number of ‘dirty passes’ for the crowd in a privately owned, customized jet supporting the colour scheme of the Red Arrows – the display received a rapturous applause from the FRIAT grandstand and, ironically and rather embarrassingly for Wg Cdr Tony Cann, from the REDS themselves in the adjoining enclosure.

On the Sunday of RIAT during annual presentation ceremony for Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (FSDP), in which 20 scholars were presented with their wings, certificates and flying jackets, a new award, the Douglas Bader Trophy, was jointly awarded to two scholars who it was felt had contributed most to FSDP. The inaugural award was presented to Sean Allerton and Pauline Gallagher, both of whom have made outstanding contributions to the charity through fund raising, mentoring and support. Sean commented on the day ‘This was very much a surprise, I don’t do things for recognition, but to win the award is really nice and very touching.’ For Wg Cdr Tony Cann, also present at the ceremony in his capacity as an assessor for FSDP, it was a touching ceremony: ‘ I met Sean through FSDP and we have formed a great friendship over the years. Knowing Sean he will be very humble about receiving this award but it is in recognition of his determination and effort that this award is a fitting tribute for him’. A full story can be found at http://www.airtattoo.com/news/2014/jul/17/twenty-scholars-fly-high-at-air-tattoo

 

Push 1000 continues and come September 2014 one of Sean’s greatest challenges awaits him. Accompanied by Wg Cdr Tony Cann they will be competing in wheelchairs in the Great North Run or should we aptly name it The Great North ‘Push. All previous endurance challenges have been undertaken on relatively flat terrain and have seen many more miles completed than the 13.1 miles of a half marathon; however on 7th September 2014 The Great North Run will prove to be a lot more challenging around the roads and hills of the North East. FLAG wishes the best of luck and supports Sean and Tony in the Great North ’Push’

To follow Sean and Wg Cdr Tony Cann's progress and to support them in raising funds for Sean’s chosen charities go to:


www.push500.com


Or to donate directly go to


http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com//500


Links     Flying Scholarships for Disabled People website     Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund     Royal Air Force Charitable Trust                

              

              The Royal Air Force Association


 

 

 

 

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100 Sqn Hawk T.1 XX184 departing RIAT 2014. Wg Cdr Tony Cann and Flying Officer Liam Green giving the FRIAT Grandstand a wave goodbye. Myriam Serreyn Copyright 2014

 

Article - Peter Dixon 30th July 2014 with special thanks to Sean Allerton, Wg Cdr Tony Cann, Gary Morris, Hugo De Groote and his wife Myriam Serreyn