Great website - chanced on it via wikipedia. The Robin, G-FTIL, was a lovely aeroplane. I took her to Sylt with my girlfriend (now wife) for a long weekend and I seem to remember 130kt in the cruise was perfectly feasible. I remember the 97 rally: a filthy friday evening when everybody arrived, we'd hear a drone overhead then minutes later somebody would pop out from about a 300' overcast in the drizzle (I don't think SATCO was impressed). Fortunately the weather improved, but many aircraft spent an extra night in the 18 Sqn hangar after the wind picked up too much on Sun afternoon.
I PVR'd in 99, instructed for a summer then got a job with CityFlyer Express and am now an FO on 747s with BA. Laarbruch was the highlight of my time in the Air Force. I dropped by a year ago: weeds growing in the roads around the married patch, dust gathering in the Officers' Mess, but I couldn't get to the Flying Club building. Good to see flying still at the airfield. Hi to Bob McCloud and all the other members (I was the Sec, 95-97. I don't miss writing the minutes, though!)
Hi to any one with whom I was aquainted around 1973. I would like to say a sincere thankyou to any of my instructors, Frank Mitchell, Ian Thomas, Robin Renton,Brian Willcox, Martin Gabrell and Don Cameron. I am still flying, and have had some wonderful times in the sky. Did a cpl/ me / ir in the 90s and now fly GATVX again. Bought her about 3 years ago, in quite delapidated condition but I am slowly improving her and she is a joy to fly. Safe flying to you all. Alan
Good to hear from you. Unfortunately we have had no contact with Pam or Ron Newall for several years now. However I will pass your e-mail on to one of our members who may have other information.
As to the Geilenkirchen Tiger Moth, your information is quite interesting. The Laarbruch club did inherit an ex-Geilenkirchen Auster 3 G-AREI (which, incidentally, is still flying with a private owner in UK, now resplendent in its original wartime camouflage) but to the best of our knowledge the club never had a Tiger Moth on strength.
However, if you check out the History section on our website, you will find an entry by Keith Duffy about the formation of our Club in 1967 which mentions finding a Percival Prentice and a Tiger Moth languishing in the back of the Gliding Club hangar. According to Keith, the Station Commander at Laarbruch was of the opinion that the Tiger was too old-fashioned to teach people to fly on - so the bloody man had it taken out and burned!
There is no doubt that Laarbruch did inherit a lot of kit, including aircraft, from the Geilenkirchen club. Sorry to have to tell you, therefore, that it seems possible that this was the fate of your G-ASPZ.
I am trying to contact Ron, and in the process stumbled onto your website. Not involved with your Club, but I was at Laarbruch July-November 1962 and active with the gliding club until moving to Geilenkirchen, and there until March 1965. I flew a Geilenkirchen Flying Club Tiger Moth to Biggin Hill for C of A in 1964, G-ASPZ, just wondered if you inherited it from Geilers when they closed.
gentlemen by coincidence i found your website. i flew the ol gatvx bolkow j.,auster gatax, cessna n5644b, graham chilvers, j. bent,phil phillips were my flt instructors.bob swainson tried to put a chute around me, larry browning ..i used to rag down the oil from his cessna.. wulf erhardt was my commander at the gaf goch, his initials were et echo tango... presently am working in flt ops at luebeck airport, EDHL (LBC) anybody that would like to hear more from me pls contact me on my above email address you find my phote on page 1..the people 1968-75 faithfully your rick weigel
Many of you may not Know that the club started when Nick Nichols found the Prentice in the back of the gliding club hanger and asked Ian Smith if he could make it fly. Ian roped me in to sort the engine why he worked on the airframe. The thing looked like something out of a cartoon, a list to port, flat tyres and peeling paint. The scavenge filter was full of piston rings and the airframe was in worse condition.We could not afford to buy proper piston rings with the correct bits of paper and I seem to remember that we used Chevrolet Motorcar rings which fitted give or take an inch and I to remember that among other repairs that Ian fabricated a tail wheel axle from one the hanger door bolts and Nick set of in a cloud of smoke clutching a rubber boat and a parachute trailing a trailing a cloud of smoke that the "Arrows" would have been proud of. He reached the U.K. safely where he sold the Prentice for £100.00,Bought the AUSTER 3 1/2 from Major Sommerton-Rayner (sorry if the spelling is wrong, Sir, it was 40 years ago) who had built it in Malaya and flown it home, and the rest is history. Keith Duffy
I was so glad that this flying club was not forgoten! I joined the club back in 1982 till march 1984 when the buccaneer squadrons where disbanded. i took part in running the bar handing out those bottles of carlsburg and grolz (spelling!) from that very deep cold box behind the bar. My first lessons were with jim babbington followed up by tim stors and robin williams. I loved my time at the club and remember all the members there with affection. A very relaxed atmosphere in which to learn to fly . Hope to make a return to the website soon! Lawrence Baldwin
Many thanks for your very kind comments. Its good to hear from you and very pleasing indeed that you enjoyed the site so much. One of the great pleasures of running this site is the way that every few months another one of the old crowd - Flying Club or Gliding Club - comes out of the woodwork and rejoins our "community"! There's getting to be quite a few of us now!
Keep watching. The site is still being added to whenever we receive new information or additional photos.