All for charity, folks
Andrew Bates reviews Northolt's recent photocall. Pictures by the author and Garry Lakin
Conveniently arranged to coincide with a very warm and sunny June afternoon, RAF Northolt held a charity photocall on Saturday 10 June to help raise money for some of the charities supported by the station.
This marked a very welcome change of venue for many camera-toting enthusiasts and granted an all-too rare opportunity to visit this famous airfield. The event effectively coincided with the Northolt Families' Day held the day before, but with all barriers and other such obstacles removed, thus ensuring an abundance of prime photographic angles to choose from.
With Northolt being home to 32(The Royal) Squadron, naturally a couple of their aircraft were on show; a BAe 125 CC3 along with one of the very newly delivered Agusta A109Es. There were a number of other RAF aircraft present, such as Tornado GR4, Tornado F3, Hawk T1, Tucano T1 and even a Viking T1. Possibly of most interest was the Puma HC1 from 33 Squadron - not only was this example sporting some interesting anniversary artwork, but one glance of the serial number (ZJ954) quickly confirms that the first of the ex-SAAF machines has now entered service with the RAF after recent refurbishment. UK military types in attendance were not just confined to the RAF - representing the AAC was an Islander AL1 from 1 Flight, from the ETPS at Boscombe Down came the Basset CC1 and from Martin Baker at Chalgrove, their beautiful black Meteor T7.
There was also some foreign participation from two of our European neighbours. Firstly, from Germany, a Luftwaffe UH-1D from LTG-61 and a trio of Heer Bo105Ps from KHR-36. Then from Eire, the newly delivered Irish AC Learjet 45 from 1 Wing at Baldonnel.
Overall, this was a fairly small event but it was clear that it was a thoroughly enjoyable affair for those in attendance and has hopefully raised a nice amount of money for some worthwhile causes. Congratulations should be bestowed upon the organising committee for their time and trouble in arranging a superb event specially for the enthusiasts and of course a special thank you to the Station Commander, Group Captain John Maas, for granting permission to proceed. A similar event is being considered for next year, so if you missed out this time, a further opportunity may arise in 2007. Looking forward to it already!