Lee Flying Association and the Solent Airport D-Day 75 Event

Lee Flying Association and the Solent Airport D-Day 75 Event

Join the Lee Flying Association: http://www.eghf.co.uk

Lee Flying Association and the Solent Airport D-Day 75 Event

In this video I explain the role played by the Lee Flying Association in the D-Day 75 celebrations held at Solent Airport on the weekend of June 8th and 9th 2019.

From the outset the Lee Flying Association members were keen to participate in the organisation of this special event.

The LFA had been instrumental in the success of the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014, so they offered their services to Fareham Borough Council, the organisers of the 2019 event.

Solent Airport, formerly HMS Daedalus, was a hive of activity during the preparations for Operation Overlord.

It was the most active airfield on the south coast with well over 400 aircraft movements on D-Day itself.

With 10 Squadrons based at the airfield its runways launched Spitfires, Seafires, Mustangs, and Typhoons, flown by pilots from the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the US Navy.

On June 3rd, 2019, three directors from the Lee Flying Association, Terry Combes, David Pinhorne, and Jock Thompson, met veteran and current paratroopers who arrived on a Brittany Ferry at Portsmouth ferry terminal en route to Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire.

At Duxford the Paras boarded Dakota aircraft which transported them over the Channel to take part in the Daks Over Normandy event.

Meanwhile, on the following weekend, the LFA ran a stall at the Solent Airport event.

The LFA stall proved very popular, and many people were informed of the LFA and the work it has done and continues to do for the airfield.

Just as in 1944, weather played a crucial part in the proceedings.

The strong winds of Saturday 8th June meant that many of the planned air displays had to be cancelled.

However, a flying display by a gyrocopter pilot demonstrated the resilience and maneuverability of these aircraft.

Spectators were also treated to an air display by a Griffon engined Mk XIV Spitfire, registration G-SPIT.

And later on the Saturday there were further displays by two vintage Army helicopters.

Earlier, the Red Arrows took time out of their busy schedule to fly past the airfield, leaving red, white, and blue trails.

On the Sunday the weather was much better so the entire schedule of flying displays was completed, which included the Great War Display Team.

So all in all it was another successful commemoration of the events of early June 1944 and the Lee Flying Association members were very glad to have taken part.

Lee Flying Association (LFA) is a not-for-profit members organisation that works to ensure the retention of Solent Airport for public aviation and community uses.

And you can be part of this association and enjoy the many benefits of membership.

Whether you’re a pilot, aircraft owner, or someone who is just interested in aviation or even just the history of the airfield you are welcome to join the LFA.

You can find out more and apply for your membership at the LFA website:

Or simply email the Chairman at membership@eghf.co.uk

Join the LFA and be part of the ongoing aviation success story at Solent Airport.


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British Airways vs Virgin Atlantic – Which is the better airline?

British Airways vs Virgin Atlantic – Which is the better airline?

British Airways vs Virgin Atlantic - Which is the better airline?

British Airways vs Virgin Atlantic – Which is the better airline?

In this post/video (scroll down for the video) I compare British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

I’ll take a quick look at the routes, cabins, service, food, loyalty benefits, customer service, and brand.

These opinions are my own based on flying with both airlines over the past twenty years.  I’ve flown British Airways on long haul and short haul, for both business and pleasure. I’ve also flown Virgin Atlantic for holiday flights to the Caribbean.

In the case of BA I’ve flown in World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, and Club seats.  In the case of Virgin I’ve flown in Premium Economy.

The Routes

BA have a much bigger fleet and fly to many destinations in Europe, as well as long haul flights to most continents.  So in terms of reach Virgin can’t compete, and that does have a bearing on the loyalty program since you can’t use Virgin for short breaks in Europe.

That means you can neither earn any rewards nor spend any on short haul flights with Virgin.

Cabins and Seating

As you’re probably aware Virgin have just three cabin types; Economy, Premium Economy, and Upper Class.  Although recently they introduced a tiered Economy class.

BA on the other hand have four; Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First.  These are known within the airline as World or Euro Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World or Europe, and First.

So Virgin’s Upper Class is on a par with BA’s Club Class.

I’m not going to into the details of seat and pitch measurements as there are many websites that do just that far better than I can.  What I would say is that Club Class on BA is a bit strange.

They have seats side by side in opposite directions and this causes a number of complaints from both passengers and cabin crew.  If you’re traveling alone and allocated a window seat in Club you can find yourself facing the tail of the aircraft.

You’ll be separated from the person in the adjacent seat (facing forward) by a screen that has to be down for take-off and landing.  If that person decides to stretch out and sleep on the flight you’ll have to step over their legs to reach the aisle.  Likewise, the cabin crew have to lean over them to pass any food or drink to you.

Premium on both airlines is fine for long haul, except perhaps when it comes to food.  BA’s food in Premium is inferior that of Virgin. I don’t understand how they can get something like that wrong after all this time.

Cabin Crew

Service from the cabin crews on both airlines is mixed.

It can’t be easy being a flight attendant, especially when you see the way some passengers behave and their standards of hygiene.  They also have to work long hours on low pay, cope with jet lag, and the incessant demands of some very discourteous and ungrateful people.

On the other hand, it seems both airlines employ crew who can be both curt and unhelpful at times.

Food on both is, well, airline food. You have to fly Club or First before you’ll get anything of restaurant quality.

Airline Loyalty Benefits

In terms of loyalty benefits BA wins because you can earn air miles using an Amex card and then spend them on any flight, short or long haul.

On Virgin you can only earn on those occasional long haul flights, and then spend them on long haul flights.

As for customer service, have you ever tried contacting an airline and speaking to a human being?  It’s not easy it, is it?

I have had reason to complain to both airlines over the years and both have dealt with the complaints but in terms of compensation it was Virgin who were more generous.

The Brand

Finally, there’s the brand itself. BA flies the UK flag and Virgin is more of the maverick airline.

Perhaps you’re old enough to remember Virgin Record stores and you’re loyal to the Virgin brand because you admire Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin group of companies, or you just prefer the adverts and the uniforms of the cabin crew.

Or perhaps you’ve bought into the idea that BA represent Great Britain and all that is great about it.

Let me know your thoughts on either airline. Post a comment below with any feedback or anecdotes of your own.