In May Dan Gay, founder of the United Kingdom EZ Group hosted the first annual canard fly-in at Seething airfield.
In England the planning of a barbecue almost guarantees rain, so what would happen if you scheduled a Canard fly-in? asks reporter David Poston. At 9.30am on 14 May it was raining, good weather for conventional ducks. Weather conditions meant several cancellations from distant parts had already been received so in spite of sixteen pre-booked canards the prospect was discouraging. It was small compensation that fifteen optimistic plane spotters already made the car park look busy.
At least there were already two canards on the ground. G-MUSO lives at Seething and G-BLMN had flown in from Norway the previous day. The rain stopped and they started coming: LongEzes, VariEzes and Bill Allen’s four-seater CoZe G-BYLZ, which was immediately a focus of interest. As well as the flock of Rutan Canards further visitors arrived by car and other aircraft including people who were in the process of building or renovating Canards, had previously built and/or owned Canards and others hoping to buy and join the UK-based tribe.
Though the aircraft couldn’t make it the assembled ‘Canardiens’ were very pleased that Giotto Castelli, the designer of the e-Go which is the first aeroplane for decades to be designed and built in the UK could be there. Ivan Shaw, designer of the Europa and himself an erstwhile canard pilot added further to the interesting company.
By lunch time the morning earlier weather anxieties had all been forgotten. The Best Canard prize was awarded to Bill Allen’s G-COZY. Predictably G-BLMN’s ‘Oslo safari’ won the Longest Distance Travelled prize. With their special camaraderie the Canardiens were appreciated guests who expressed real pleasure at this first UK canard fly-in and the welcome they received from Seething. The club was declared an excellent venue and Dan has been warned that he now has it all to do again next year, though perhaps he should try harder with the weather to encourage more arrivals.