Icicle fly-in/camp 2014/5
The Icicle has been running since 2006, and involves the hardiest of souls flying into a different airfield each year.
The procedure of setting up their tent, going to the nearby pub for dinner and a quiz, awards ceremony, then back to the tent, midnight BBQ and fly home the next day, is not so unusual, except the Icicle is held only on weekends when the weather forecast is to be sub-zero temperatures…
The event is well attended each year by LAA and BMAA permit aircraft, starting at just four aircraft in 2006 (Eaglescott), and peaking in 2012 (Wolverhampton) with 42 aircraft. The 2014/5 event held at Long Marston, was originally planned for Jan-Mar 2014, but due to a very wet and warm period, it was not held. So the organisers took the chance to run the event on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 December 2014, because the coldest day of the year was forecast, along with blue skies and light winds.
The weathermen were correct; at 5 a.m on the 29 Dec, temperatures at Long Marston were measured at -7 deg C outside (-5.5 C inside the tent).
Probably due to the event starting Sunday and finishing Monday (holiday period), as opposed to the normal sat and sun, numbers were down a little; seventeen aircraft camped and, bizarrely, three pilots, for various reasons, turned up in their cars and camped anyway. Seventeen aircraft stopping overnight is not bad for a summer fly-in, so the organisers were delighted so many decided to attend. Often the Icicle attracts pilots from far afield, in the past from N Ireland, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Norfolk and Wales, and 2014/5 was no exception.
Aircraft types ranged from flexwing microlights (a 25 year-old Pegasus Q to a 10-hour old P&M explorer). On the fixed wing side, an AX2000 three axis microlight to an Alpi pioneer and Europa, with lots in between.
A total of nine awards, Cups, medals and mars bars were presented, most notably:
- 4 Flight test: Globe Super Swift
- 5 Pilot interview with: Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary
- 6 Flight test: Cessna 182C
- 7 Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation takes to the air
- 8 Ryanair to recruit 2,000 pilots
- 9 Flight test: Sukhoi Su-29
- 10 100 years of Fournier: a history of aviation’s original ‘green’ promoter
? First icicle attendee – Glenn Fish – 100Nm in a two-stroke Quantum flexwing from Scunthorpe
? Longest flight/shortest distance – Dave Hinson – 47nm in two hours in a Pegasus Q flexwing
? Owner who looks most like their aircraft – Dave Nixon – an old, wrinkly owner in an old aircraft
? Furthest travelled – Carl Bayliss and Phil Chapman from Ince, north of Liverpool
The 2015/6 Icicle will be held sometime from Dec 2015 at a venue yet to be decided.