Alderney hosts a successful fly-in

The 22nd Alderney Fly-In attracted 38 aircraft, bringing 81 people to the island.

Unfortunately, inclement weather prevented another 23 aeroplanes from getting to Alderney.

Those which did make it to Alderney included the quirky, the homebuilt, the classic and the modern, including a 1946 Luscombe, an autogyro and a Quik GT-450 flexwing microlight.

The participants were welcomed by States Member Neil Harvey at a reception at the Rose and Crown before heading for dinner in town. An excellent BBQ was enjoyed by around fifty of the hungry aviators and Alderney Flying Club members, who were entertained by the Mad Scatters band.

Throughout the weekend Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT) put on a number of walks and boat trips, all of which got rave reviews. Rented bikes proved popular and improved the fitness of quite a number of visitors (especially those staying at the campsite).

“The Gala Dinner at the Island Hall was superbly catered for by the Georgian”, said Alderney Flying Club Chairman David Chiswell, organiser of the Fly-In. “Following the feast, awards were presented to the proud winners in various categories - of aircraft (and pilots) and feats, including the Furthest Travelled (Zurich) and Largest Club Attendance (won by the group from Arclid in Cheshire) and afterwards the Guernsey band ‘The Bandits’ provided great musical entertainment.

“Throughout the weekend the participants had only good things to say about the island and the people they met and they will undoubtedly come back, especially when advised that the glorious on weather Sunday was our normal summer.”

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David added “In case of bed shortage - which would have been the case had all ‘planes been able to make it to Alderney - we had set up a contingency plan for accommodation with private hosts. However, with fewer than expected participants landing on the island, we were able to accommodate all in hotels, guest houses, the campsite and registered self-catering. We would like to thank all private hosts for their kind and generous offer which was greatly appreciated. The ability of the community to pull together like this for those events that may overwhelm the hotels and guesthouses is a real strength of our island community.

“Major events such as the fly-in can only happen with the help and support of many people and we would particularly like to thank Basil Bloomberg and the Rose and Crown staff, Barbara Benfield and Age Concern, AWT, The Alderney Chamber of Commerce, the hangar users who took their planes out of the hangar for the weekend and the airfield firemen and management for their cooperation. Last but not least we thank the AFC members who helped the weekend run relatively smoothly.”

Private aviation represents an important boost to Alderney’s visitor economy and has experienced a steady growth over the past years increasing from 573 private planes landing here in 2011 to 771 in 2012 and to 1,035 last year.

You can find more information on flying to Alderney here.