Sun Adds Shine To 2017 LAA Rally
CAA publishes criteria for 8.33 radio funding

Bright sunshine for the opening days of the 2017 LAA Rally at Sywell in Northamptonshire allowed Britain’s annual showcase for sport and homebuilt aircraft to welcome over 4,000 visitors by road and air, to enjoy the Association’s key message of ‘flying for fun’.

In total, 833 aircraft flew in to the Rally between Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon, and while numbers were reduced slightly by morning fog on Saturday and incoming poor weather on Sunday, at one point on Saturday afternoon the volunteer marshalling team had successfully parked over 500 aircraft on Sywell’s turf. The ATC team in the tower too set a new record, safely despatching 106 aircraft in the hour between four and five on Saturday afternoon, an average of one every 34 seconds!

Among the visiting aircraft, Peter Borchert’s stunning radial-engined Pitts Model 12 aerobatic biplane won the Prince Michael of Kent trophy for the ‘Best In Show’, while Andy McKee’s diminutive single-seat Silence Twister aircraft was awarded Best Kit-Built award. The award was all the more noteworthy as Andy had returned only the previous week from Canada, having completed both a dual transatlantic crossing in the space of two months and a coast-to-coast flight across Canada.

Over 50 exhibitors displayed everything from vintage aircraft to the latest state-of-the-art electronic systems. Meanwhile a Youth in Aviation marquee offered younger visitors the chance to view three Schools’ Build-A-Planes which had been built by secondary school students, build and fly model their own gliders and take part in the global FAI Young Aviation Artists contest.

A number of notable announcements were made at the Rally. The LAA announced that its Armstrong-Isaacs Trust will award three bursaries of up to ¬£1,500 to support crash-strapped young pilots in completing their pilot training. LAA member club, the Vintage Aircraft Club, announced that 25 year-old Benjamin Pilgrim from Liverpool is the recipient of the 2017 Liz Inwood ‘Tailgragger’ Scholarship to allow a young pilot to train to fly vintage tailwheel aircraft, the UK CAA announced a new ‘Share the Sky Safely’ programme to run joint events between the sport flying community and drone users, and the aviation charity “Aerobility” announced an exciting new initiative where, supported by the LAA, people with a wide range of disabilities will work together in the coming year both to build a Zenair kit plane, then learn to fly in it!

5th September 2017