|Station crest of RAF Linton-on-Ouse|
|IATA: HRT – ICAO: EGXU
– WMO: 03266
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Commander||Group Captain T Jones MA RAF|
|Elevation AMSL||53 ft / 16 m|
RAF Linton-on-Ouse (IATA: HRT, ICAO: 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
The station motto "A Flumine Impugnamus" translates from the Latin as "From the mighty river we strike".
The station's mission statement is:
Our mission is to train tomorrow's fast-jet aircrew
When the Second World War began, bombers were launched from Linton to drop propaganda leaflets over Germany and the base was eventually used to launch bombing raids on Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. 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. 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.
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.
RAF Church Fenton
RAF Church Fenton was opened in 1937 and served as a fighter base during the Second World War. Since 1973 the main role of Church Fenton has been pilot training and from 1998–2003 the station was the RAF's primary Elementary Flying Training centre.
The base is currently home to the Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron. Although parts of the airfield are now derelict and fenced off, the airside parts of the base are still active. The base has an active runway, used primarily for light aircraft, and a manned Air Traffic Control tower.
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 is 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 University Air Squadron (incorporating No. 9 Air Experience Flight), will relocate to another local RAF airfield, possibly RAF Linton On Ouse or RAF Leeming.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
November 2008 incident
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.
- Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 122
- Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Military Airfields of Yorkshire v. 4 - Page 130
- "Relatives of hero pilot visit building named in his honour". www.raf.mod.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
- Peter Swinger, "Motor Racing Circuits in England : Then & Now" (Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0 7110 3104 5, 2008)
- Wainwwork=The Guardian, Martin (2008-11-08). "Pilot Struck blind in flight shepherded to safe landing by RAF". Retrieved 2008-11-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to RAF Linton-on-Ouse.|
- RAF Linton-on-Ouse
- 642 Volunteer Gliding Squadron
- Airport information for EGXU at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.