RAF Linton-on-Ouse

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RAF Linton-on-Ouse

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg

Near Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire in England
Linton-On-Ouse.jpg
EGXU is located in North Yorkshire
EGXU
EGXU
Shown within North Yorkshire
Coordinates 54°02′56″N 001°15′10″W / 54.04889°N 1.25278°W / 54.04889; -1.25278Coordinates: 54°02′56″N 001°15′10″W / 54.04889°N 1.25278°W / 54.04889; -1.25278
Type Royal Air Force station
Site information
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Royal Air Force
Website RAF Linton-on-Ouse
Site history
Built 1936 (1936)/7
In use 1937-Present
Garrison information
Current
commander
Group Captain T Jones MA RAF
Airfield information
Identifiers IATA: HRT, ICAO: EGXU, WMO: 03266
Elevation: 16 metres (52 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
03/21 1,834 metres (6,017 ft) Asphalt
10/28 1,338 metres (4,390 ft) Asphalt

RAF Linton-on-Ouse (IATA: HRTICAO: EGXU) is a Royal Air Force station at Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, England, 10 miles north-east of York. It is currently a major flying training centre, one of the RAF's busiest airfields. It has satellite stations at RAF Topcliffe, RAF Church Fenton and RAF Dishforth.

Motto and mission statement[edit]

Motto[edit]

The station motto "A Flumine Impugnamus" translates from the Latin as "From the mighty river we strike".

Mission statement[edit]

The station's mission statement is:

Our mission is to train tomorrow's fast-jet aircrew

History[edit]

RAF Linton-on-Ouse opened on 13 May 1937 as a bomber airfield and was the home of No. 4 Group RAF until 1940.[1] The base's first commander was Wing Commander A D Pryor (1938 Air Force Lists).

When the Second World War began, bombers were launched from Linton to drop propaganda leaflets over Germany[1] and the base was eventually used to launch bombing raids on Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.[1] Linton was one of 11 stations allocated to No. 6 Group, Royal Canadian Air Force during the war.

At the end of the war the station was involved with transporting passengers and freight back to the UK.[2] After which it became a Fighter Command station operating the Gloster Meteor, Canadair Sabre and Hawker Hunter until it was closed for maintenance in 1957.[2]

On 9 September 1957,[2] the base was reopened as the home of No. 1 Flying Training School (FTS) and was responsible for training pilots for both the RAF and the Navy.[2]

In 1985, engineering and supply services were contracted out to private firms. The contract for this is currently held by Babcock International.[3][4]

Today, Linton-on-Ouse is used to provide fast jet pilot training before they move onto the BAE Hawk T.1 aircraft at No 4 FTS, RAF Valley in Wales. Weapon Systems Operators receive part of their training here also. In addition, the base is used by 642 VGS (Volunteer Gliding Squadron) to teach Air Cadets how to fly the Grob Vigilant aircraft. The station houses a memorial room which recounts the history of the base and the units which have been associated with it.

In 1999 the entire NCO married quarter site at Linton Woods were purchased by The Welbeck Estate Group and underwent a major upgrade.

[5]

Satellite stations[edit]

Linton is responsible for three satellite stations; RAF Church Fenton, RAF Topcliffe and RAF Dishforth.

RAF Church Fenton[edit]

RAF Church Fenton opened in 1937 and served as a fighter base during the Second World War. Beyond 1973 the main role of Church Fenton was pilot training and from 1998–2003 the station was the RAF's primary Elementary Flying Training centre. The base was home to the Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron until its closure.

Following the reduction of flying squadrons as a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence Spending Revue (SDSR), pilot training has been reduced accordingly, and it was announced in March 2013 that RAF Church Fenton was no longer required to host training operations and will close by the end of the year. The units based at Church Fenton, including the Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron (incorporating No. 9 Air Experience Flight) relocated to RAF Linton-On-Ouse. Flying operations for the squadron began in January 2014.[6]

RAF Topcliffe[edit]

RAF Topcliffe was opened in 1940 as a bomber station under the control of RAF Bomber Command. In recent years the base has been primarily used for pilot training. It has been used by parachute display teams. The base is currently used by 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron to training members of the Air Training Corps to fly self-launching gliders.

RAF Dishforth[edit]

RAF Dishforth opened in 1936 as a bomber airfield. After the war it began work as a training airfield and was used to convert pilots to the Douglas Dakota transport aircraft. The base is called Dishforth Airfield and currently used as an Army Air Corps helicopter base and as a relief landing ground for Linton on Ouse.

Resident squadrons[edit]

The only basic fast-jet training squadron based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse is now 72 Squadron. The squadron holds Reserve status and is designated as 72(R). The squadron operates the Tucano T.1 and include both RAF and RN Fleet Air Arm personnel. Alongside this, Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron relocated to RAF Linton-on-Ouse in 2014, operating the Grob Tutor T1 aircraft.

Also flying at Linton is No 642 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, part of the Air Cadet Organisation.

No 5 Squadron Royal Air Force Police, who form part of 1 Police Wing, RAF Police. Their responsibility is for the policing and security of RAF Linton on Ouse and it's satellite stations. RAF Police personnel also deploy on operations throughout the world from this role.

Until January 2012, a second training squadron, 207 Squadron was also resident, but was disbanded as a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review on 13 January 2012, 6 months short of the 10th anniversary or the Squadrons' reformation. Some of 207 Squadrons aircraft have been distributed to other units or bases for use or placed in withdrawn storage, but some remain in store on site to be used as reserve aircraft allowing rotation of aircraft to balance out the airframe life and to act as spares sources.

Motor Sport[edit]

Linton-on-Ouse
Location Yorkshire, England
Opened 1960
Closed 1961

In the summer of 1960 and 1961, the perimeter track and parts of two runways were used to form the 1.7 mile, Linton-on-Ouse circuit, on what was still an operational RAF base, with the racing organised by the Northern of the British Racing and Sports Car Club. It would appear that only two meetings were held; 10 July 1960 and 9 July 1961.

The 1960 meeting was held in torrential rain and Tony Hodgetts recalls blue sparks coming off his fingers as he cranked the field telephone which was used by the marshals to communicate with race control. The meeting was dominated by Jimmy Blumer in his Cooper Monaco.

The final meeting in 1961 was marred by a fatal accident to a flag marshal. The driver of the Formula Junior car involved was a serving RAF officer and, following the inquest into the death of the marshal, the venue was no longer available. After this sad incident and a near fatality to another flag marshal at Full Sutton Circuit, Tony Hodgetts and Garth Nicholls started a campaign which resulted in flag marshals working face to face instead of back to back, a system which is still in use and is considerably safer.[7]

November 2008 incident[edit]

In early November 2008 Wing Commander Paul Gerrard, who is based at the station, was involved in an unusual mid-air rescue. Sixty-five-year-old Jim O'Neill was flying a four seater Cessna 182 from Scotland to Essex after a family holiday, when he had a stroke which caused temporary blindness. Gerrard was on a training flight, and after being alerted to the situation, located O'Neill's aircraft and over a 45 minute period, guided O'Neill to a safe landing at Linton.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 122
  2. ^ a b c d Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 130
  3. ^ http://www.raf.mod.uk/raflintononouse/aboutus/babcock.cfm
  4. ^ http://www.babcockinternational.com/markets/defence/air/
  5. ^ "Relatives of hero pilot visit building named in his honour". www.raf.mod.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  6. ^ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130325/wmstext/130325m0001.htm
  7. ^ Peter Swinger, "Motor Racing Circuits in England : Then & Now" (Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0 7110 3104 5, 2008)
  8. ^ Wainwwork=The Guardian, Martin (2008-11-08). "Pilot Struck blind in flight shepherded to safe landing by RAF". Retrieved 2008-11-10. 

External links[edit]