|by Bill Bawden, PRO|
18 January 2006
BEHIND THE SCENES AT AIR DISPLAYS
The January meeting of the Woking Branch of The Aircrew Association, which draws members from all over North and West Surrey, North-East Hampshire and beyond, welcomed Group Captain Roger Beazley, CBE, AFC, FRAeS, a former RAF test pilot to give an illustrated talk on his second career as an organiser and Director of Flying Display at Farnborough and many other major flying events. Gp Capt Beazley, whose expertise in this field is still in great demand both at home and overseas, gave the members a fascinating insight into the immense amount of work required to organise and co-ordinate the spectacular displays we see and to ensure the safety of the participants and the public. Instumental in achieving this at Farnborough is the highly sophisticated optical tracking and filming system to follow aircraft in every dimension and so help the pilots to keep accurately to their display profiles.
At the next meeting at Fairoaks Airport Flight Centre at 7pm on Tuesday, February 21st, the speaker will be "Jimmy" James, AFC, DFM, a veteran of the Desert Air Force, and the members and guests will hear of his recent meeting in Germany with the Messerschmitt pilot who shot down Jimmy's transport aircraft in 1942, killing most of his passengers including the commander-designate of the Eighth Army who was en route to Cairo to meet Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The information Jimmy has uncovered could well alter the previously accepted history of this pivotal event of the North African campaign. All past and present aircrew of any of the services are welcome to attend.
NEW PRO TAKES THE REINS
This is the first report by our new PRO, Bill Bawden
Bill Bawden joined the Royal Air Force in 1950 as a National Serviceman.
He was commissioned as a navigator in 1952, served in Bomber Command flying Canberras with 617, 109 and 139 Squadrons and took part in operations in Malaya and the Near East.
He served also as a missile site commander and as a staff officer at Headquarters No 1 Group.
Bill left the RAF in 1964 to join the Ministry of Aviation (now National Air Traffic Services) as an air traffic control officer.
He has been a member of the Woking Branch of the Aircrew Association for twelve years.
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