Devon Air Ambulance Charity Event 2009

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Dear all

I wanted to take this opportunity to express my heartful thanks to everyone who took part in yesterday's charity event from all the people who helped run the event and to the pilots that took part. You are all a credit to your club, a bunch of diamonds.

I'm sure that you will all agree with me when I say that the day was a tremendous success and this would not of course have been possible without you all playing your part. Even the rain held off for us!!

Regards

Neil.

Eddystone Model Flying Club have done it again !

 


Last year members of the Eddystone Model Flying Club undertook the mammoth challenge of keeping 2 model aircraft flying at all times for six hours. The event was in aid of the charity St.Lukes Hospice who cares for people with terminal illnesses. The event rose a staggering £1500 for the charity despite flying conditions being appalling with wind and rain.

From that success the club has just done the challenge again this year in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance.

In 1986 18 year old Ceri Thomas was involved in a fatal collisionwhilst out on his push bike. A road ambulance took him to hospitalbut sadly he died later of his injuries. Ceri’s mother Ann asked the doctors at hospital if there was anything that might have been done to save her son. She was told the quicker a patient receives emergency medical treatmentthe better chance there is of survival.

On 27th August 1992 the air ambulance service went into operation. At 11am on Thursday 30th July 1992 the Air Ambulance landed at Exeter’s Cathedral Green for an official launch and blessing of the helicopter and crew by the Bishop of Exeter.

The members of Eddystone Model Flying Club chose to support the Devon Air Ambulance this year due to its invaluable service in saving lives in Devon and the shared value of flight that comes not only from saving livesbut the enjoyment and fun that flying can give. This years nomination for the beneficiary was put forward by Neil Hunter who also undertook the organising and planning of the event.

There was a great deal of anxiety leading up to the planned day due to poor weather forecasts that posed a real threat of the challenge being cancelled. But despite heavy rain the day beforepilots awoke to a sunny settled climate on the Sundayand steadily they arrived at the field and got ready for their flying slots.

One of the keenest pilots to get set up was none other than Cainat 11 years old he was the youngest pilot to fly solo in this eventonly beginning his flying carer six months earlier.

At 10.00 am sharp the first two planes took to the skiesfollowed by another two ten minutes later as the first two landed. Mike Eastelow and Alan Prout kept all the pilots in order and made sure flights were dispatched and landed in a well-planned and controlled manner.

As mid-day approachedthings had gone like clockworkplanes taking off and landing without the slightest problems and controlled carefully by the crew on the flight line and also Saraj and Naomi in transmitter controlpreventing potential frequency conflicts with transmitters.

But as we all knowon occasionsyou can run into difficultiesWe were suddenly presented with a couple of planes that would not start. Despite having some ‘stand-by’ aircraft for such occasionsdue to frequency conflictswe couldn’t use them.

Frantically looking through flying slots to try and fill the gaps it looked like the challenge may not be completed. Howeverthat young enthusiastic Cain noticed he could fly on a frequency that would not interfere with other planesand like a true EMFC memberhe stepped forward and offered to fill the slots.

Between Cain and a few other members of the club all the flying slots were covered and the challenge moved on smoothly.

At 4.00pm the last few planes were lining up for their finals and again the Eddystone Model Flying Club had achieved a spectacular challenge.

One of the things that really stood out for me this year was the joint commitment from members of the club from all ages. We were cherished this year from the support from veterans of our club right down to the youth members as young as 11 years old flying solo.

And we shouldn’t forget the support staff and families that made this challenge possible. Our thanks go out to Jenny for keeping us all going with hotdogs and burgers and also to all of our partners that have endured us spending time collecting sponsors and flying for the day.

A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible again this year.

Regards, Greg

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