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First-Timers' Delight At The Air Tattoo

Published: 17 Aug 2015


Hampshire firm Airbourne Aviation was delighted with the results of its first visit as an exhibitor to the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. 

Not only did the firm enjoy talking aviation with visitors, fellow exhibitors and aviators at the event, it also helped promote the show's parent charity, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, by holding a prize draw with proceeds going to the Trust.

The family firm, based at Popham Airfield near Micheldever, is run by father and son Mac and Greg Smith. Greg said: "RIAT was been an excellent showcase for us.  We had so much interest, particularly from people with lapsed Private Pilot's Licences, but our focus, which ties in with the Trust's aims, is to educate youngsters and hope our passion rubs off on them."

Two one-hour flying sessions were the prizes, one for a member of the public and one for an Air Cadet, and Trustee Martin Hine drew the winning tickets. The public session went to Alan Coates from Humberside, and the Air Cadet prize to Cadet Cpl Rhiannon Owen, from 2397 (Devizes) Sqn, who enjoyed her prize at the end of July.

Greg reports: "Rhiannon turned up with her dad, Michael, who's an ATC officer and who I took on a tour of the flying school while she enjoyed her flight with Mac. She came back with a big grin on her face, and really enjoyed it."

Director of the RAF Charitable Trust Amanda Butcher said: "We were thrilled that Airbourne Aviation chose to support the Charitable Trust, especially as this was their first time at the show, and we were delighted to receive £373, the proceeds from the raffle."

Greg added: "It all came about through Glenn 'Windy' Gale, a member of our team who volunteers at RIAT on the Rangers team. Once we started talking about it, coming to RIAT became our number one priority, and we're so glad we have done it, and are already looking to rebook our space for 2016. We're very grateful to Glenn for getting the ball rolling, putting us in touch with the Charitable Trust and keeping a watchful eye on us during the show."  

CAPTION: Trustee Martin Hine draws one of the winning tickets from the Airbourne Aviation raffle drum, in the capable hands of the firm's Greg Smith. 

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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