Old Buckenham Airport

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Old Buckenham Airfield
453rd Shield carved during WWII and used as the Airfield's logo since 2013
IATA: noneICAO: EGSV
Summary
Airport type Private
Owner Geoffrey Lynch O.B.E.
Operator Buckenham Aviation Centre Limited
Serves Old Buckenham
Location South Norfolk
Elevation AMSL 194 ft / 59 m
Coordinates 52°29′51″N 001°03′07″E / 52.49750°N 1.05194°E / 52.49750; 1.05194Coordinates: 52°29′51″N 001°03′07″E / 52.49750°N 1.05194°E / 52.49750; 1.05194
Website www.oldbuck.com
Map
EGSV is located in Norfolk
EGSV
EGSV
Location in Norfolk
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 639 2,096 Asphalt
07L/25R 407 1,335 Grass
02/20 428 1,404 Grass
Sources: NATS[1]

Old Buckenham Airfield (ICAO: EGSV), formerly RAF Old Buckenham, is located 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) southwest of Norwich,[1] East Anglia, England.

Old Buckenham Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P907) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Buckenham Aviation Centre Limited). The aerodrome is not licensed for night use.[2]

History[edit]

The airfield was under Air Ministry control as a satellite for maintenance units until it was closed on 20 June 1960

After a period of uncertainty about the airfield's future, it was announced on 23 August 2011 by the Eastern Daily Press that the airfield was under new management.[3] In previous years the then operating company had reported a consistent loss-making position, caused by the economic downturn.[4] At this time the airfield manager changed to Matt Wilkins, a property consultant retained by the owners.

It was announced on 2 July 2013 that the airfield had been sold to a company belonging to local aviation enthusiast, Geoffrey Lynch,[5] by Morgan Stanley for an undisclosed price. Morgan Stanley had become the owners when they purchased the portfolio of loans which owned the airfield from the Irish National Asset Management Agency.[6] Wilkins was retained by Lynch following the purchase and continues to manage the airfield. Lynch has stated that he intends for the airfield to continue in use and plans expansions.

Old Buckenham Airshow[edit]

In December 2011 it was announced that the Old Buckenham Airshow would return in 2012.[7] The show had not gone ahead in 2011 due to the financial climate and management issues. It was later confirmed that the headline act would be the Old Flying Machine Company Spitfire and Mustang Duo of MH434 and Mustang "Ferocious Frankie" both of which belonged to the late Ray Hanna.[8]

The airfield management declared the 2012 Airshow a success and announced that the Airshow would once again become an annual event. On 25 October 2012, it was announced that the 2013 Airshow would be a two day event.[9] Subsequent announcements from the airfield indicated that the main acts would be the return of the Spitfire and Mustang Duo, together with a World Record attempt by Brendan O'Brien. O'Brien was attempting a new world record; the shortest distance truck top landing recorded. Wind conditions on the day meant that O'Briens chances of success were slim and he came within inches of achieving his goal on the 5th attempt.[10] On landing, it was agreed that the record would be attempted again in 2014.

The 2014 Airshow took place on 26 and 27 July 2014.[11][12] The Airshow was the lead item on the second bulletin of Mustard TV, a recently launched terrestrial TV channel for the greater Norwich area.[13] The 2014 show was declared a success and described as the "Biggest yet" [14]

The 2015 Airshow was announced in the press on 17 September 2014.[15] For the first time the show will have a theme "America" and a new website was launched at the same time as the announcement.

War memorial[edit]

The memorial consists of a large stone of black granite, carved into the form of a tailplane from the Consolidated B-24 Liberators which were based at the airfield and was installed[citation needed] on 29 July 1990.[16]

In October 2012 work started to relocate the memorial stone commemorating the 366 USAAF personnel who died serving from RAF Old Buckenham.[17][18] The new garden was officially opened by Pat Ramm who officiated at the Remembrance Sunday service attended by over 400 people.

The memorial garden features flagpoles which usually fly two American Flags. During large events and Remembrance Sunday the poles fly a large American Flag and Union Jack. The memorial stone is at the end of a path cut in the form of a figure 8 to symbolise the Eighth Air Force. The figure 8 path is made from large blue slate chippings. A commemorative plaque at its base reads "This Memorial Garden was opened on the 11th November 2012 by Pat Ramm. It was created by Shaun Hindle, Steve Garrett, Scott Cooper, Lee Belcher & Matt Wilkins"

In 2013 the airfield changed its logo to a shield, originally carved by a serving USAAF officer during World War Two. The shield appears on the War Memorial and is now used by the airfield in all its activities. The memorial is described by the airfield[19] as being the main focal point of the airfield. The airfield management have said that they are fostering links with Memorial Groups in the USA.

453rd Bomb Group Museum[edit]

In February 2015, it was announced that the airfield has applied for permission to erect a museum at the site. The plans are for the erection of two Nissen Huts, one of which will house a items described as having the potential to be the largest collection of 453rd Bomb Group memorabilia in existence.[20]

Military & Vintage Revival & Battlefront Military Museum[edit]

In June 2012 Battlefront, The East England Military Museum, moved to hangars at Old Buckenham Airfield. Their base at the airfield contains over 5,000 exhibits, currently not on display to the public.[21] In October 2012 it was announced that the airfield and museum would collaborate on a new show called Military Revival [22] Promotional videos were released, showing a Citroen Van being destroyed by a FV180 Combat Engineer Tractor [23] and a lawn mower being flattened by an unexploded World War II German bomb.[24]

The first Military Revival took place on 5 and 6 October[25] it was announced that the show would be run again in 2014.[26][27] Following Military Revival, it was announced that several of the main exhibits would be placed on permanent public display at the airfield by Battlefront.[28][29] Machines on display include a Russian T-55 tank which was used in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, a Multiple Launch Rocket System and a MGM-52 Lance nuclear missile.

The 2014 Military Revival event was deemed a success, and it was confirmed that the show would run again in 2015, with a joint military and vintage theme.[30]

In January 2015, the airfield confirmed the inclusion of a Vintage theme by announcing an new name for the show, including a new website.[31]

A Celebration of the Life of Wing Commander Ken Wallis[edit]

On 4 September the airfield announced that it had been asked by the Wallis family to host a day of celebration for Ken Wallis.[32] Wallis had been had been a regular visitor to the airfield for thirty years, last attending during the 2013 Airshow and had been given lifetime membership as member number 007, celebrating his contribution to the airfield, aviation and marking his appearance as James Bond in You Only Live Twice with the autogyro Little Nellie which Wallis had designed and built.

The airfield's Blister Hangar was cleared and Little Nellie was put on display on a stage in the centre. The rear wall of the hangar featured a 40' banner showing pictures from Wallis' life. Local planning regulations were lifted to allow autogyros to fly in. It was anticipated that 500 people would attend but actual attendance was estimated as 3-4,000.[33]

Aero Engineering Centre[edit]

In March 2014 the airfield announced the opening of a new Engineering Centre.[34] The new centre incorporates a CAA Part M Engineering service by The Light Aircraft Company, Avionics maintenance by Avitronics and Custom Air will offer Aircraft Painting and Interiors.[35]

Tenants and non aviation activities[edit]

Aircraft engineers, classic car restorers, a race team, aircraft broker and TV company are based at the airfield. There are also areas for TV filming and buildings and land occupied by Battlefront. The airfield is also the headquarters of Captain Thomas P. Hughston, the Federal Aviation Authority's Designated Pilot Examiner covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.[36]

In late 2013 it was announced that the airfield was building new hangars.[37]

Accidents and Incidents[edit]

14 July 1991 - Piper PA-23 G-BCBM landed with its undercarriage retracted and was damaged beyond economic repair.[38]

1 August 2004 - Stearman biplane, G-BAVO, known as "Two-Six" belonging to TV star Martin Shaw crashed on take off.[39] Shaw who was not at the controls bought the salvage and rebuilt the aircraft as documented by the TV series Martin Shaw: Aviators.

29 April 2006 - David Crowcroft, suffering from an obsessive condition, committed suicide by cutting his parachute cords during a training jump.[40]

25 March 2007 - Whilst conducting parachute dropping Piper PA-32 G-BAXJ suffered an engine failure and landed short of the airfield.[41] There were no reported injuries.

9 May 2010 - Mooney M20 G-JDIX crashed while making an approach to the airfield, the pilot was killed.[42]

On 22nd April 2015 a fatal accident occurred involving a light aircraft being flown as part of an Aerobatic display, in which the pilot David Jenkins a skilled and respected pilot lost his life.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "EGSV - Old Buckenham" (PDF), www.ead.eurocontrol.int (Civil Aviation Authority), 6 Mar 2014 
  2. ^ Civil Aviation Authority Aerodrome Ordinary Licences (PDF), CAA [dead link]
  3. ^ "Article Future for Old Buckenham Airfield Looks Bright" Eastern Daily Press
  4. ^ "Touchdown Aero Centre Limited" companiesintheuk.co.uk
  5. ^ "Old Buckenham Airfield sold to Geoffrey Lynch OBE" Eastern Daily Press, 2 July 2013
  6. ^ Simon Packard "Morgan Stanley buys UK real estate loans from Ireland's NAMA", Bloomberg 23 March 2012
  7. ^ "Old Buckenham Airshow to Return in 2012" Eastern Daily Press 28 December 2011
  8. ^ "Old Buckenham Airfield set for Spectacular 2012 Airshow" Eastern Daily Press , 15 June 2012
  9. ^ Old Buckenham Airshow to be extended in 2013 Eastern Daily Press, 25 October 2013
  10. ^ "Daredevil pilot so close to world record at Old Buckenham Airshow", Diss Express 3 July 2013
  11. ^ Listing for 2014 Airshow Old Buckenham Website
  12. ^ "Staggering sights on offer at this year's Old Buckenham Airshow", Eastern Daily Press 25 March 2014
  13. ^ "Flying high: Organisers set for 2014 Old Buckenham Airshow" Mustard TV 25 March 2014
  14. ^ "Organisers believe attendance at Old Buckenham Airshow 'the biggest yet'" Eastern Daily Press 28 July 2014
  15. ^ "Old Buckenham Airshow to return in 2015 - with a focus on all things American" Eastern Daily Press
  16. ^ Old Buckenham Airfield - Memorial
  17. ^ Adam Gretton "Work Started on New Memorial Garden at Norfolk Airfield", Eastern Daily Press 17 October 2012
  18. ^ Old Buckenham Blog, 8 November 2012
  19. ^ [Od Buckenham Airshow Programmes 2012, 2013 Military Revival Programme 2013
  20. ^ "Old Buckenham Airfield submits plans to house collection of 453rd bomb group memorabilia" Eastern Daily Press, 4th February 2015
  21. ^ Battlefront Website
  22. ^ Military Revival Website
  23. ^ Military Revival YouTube Video, 4 January 2013
  24. ^ "Military Revival at Old Buckenham Airfield" Eastern Daily Press, 23 May 2013
  25. ^ "Airfield becomes battle zone for military revival event" Eastern Daily Press , 6 October 2013
  26. ^ Old Buckenham Airfield Listing for Military Revival 2014
  27. ^ "Old Buckenham Military Revival" Thetford and Brandon Times, 6 October 2013]
  28. ^ "Old Buckenham Airfield expands its offerings" Diss Express , 20 October 2013
  29. ^ "Military might is given a new home at airfield", Eastern Daily Press 21 October 2013
  30. ^ "History Buffs descend on Old Buckenham Airfield for Military Revival - with parties, a nuclear missile and SAS legend on the bill" Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury 6 October 2014
  31. ^ [1] Diss Express 8 January 2015
  32. ^ "Airfield to celebrate the life of Wing Commander Ken Wallis", Eastern Daily Press 4 September 2013
  33. ^ "Thousands turn out to pay tribute to Wing Commander Ken Wallis at Old Buckenham Airfield" Eastern Daily Press, 30 September 2013
  34. ^ "New Engineering Centre at Old Buckenham Airfield" Eastern Daily Press 25 March 2014
  35. ^ "Old Buckenham Airfield Web Page for Aero Engineering Centre"
  36. ^ Thomas. P. Hughston's website
  37. ^ "Old Buckenham Airfield expands hangars" BBC
  38. ^ http://www.aaib.gov.uk/publications/bulletins/september_1991_/piper_pa_23_250_aztec__g_bcbm.cfm
  39. ^ [2]
  40. ^ [3]
  41. ^ [4]
  42. ^ http://www.aaib.gov.uk/publications/bulletins/february_2011/mooney_m20b__g_jdix.cfm

External links[edit]