Attendees to the 2018 HAA Symposium have expressed many favourable comments on how much they enjoyed the event. A bright and cold morning saw attendees gather for tea, coffees and cakes before the Symposium kicked off with an initial welcome and update from HAA Chairman Wally Epton.

Flt Lt Russell “Rusty” Waughman DFC AFC L’dH got proceedings underway with a captivating talk on the Special Operations of 101 Sqdn flying Lancasters. Delivered with modesty and humour, Rusty provided the perfect start to the event. Rusty’s talk amply illustrated the strong bond forged amongst the crew, many of whom were only 19 years old. In the busiest Lancaster squadron, due to their Special Operations status, Rusty remarkably managed to complete his tour of duty despite a midair collision and many close calls but paid tribute to all bomber crews.

Ian Black then gave a comprehensive talk on Lightnings in the Cold War, which is entwined in the family history flying . Sadly, Ian’s father AVM George Black was too unwell  on the day to provide a unique father and son presentation but Ian covered both their time, at the beginning and end of the Lightning era, with great knowledge and superb images, one of Ian’s many talents. George’s leadership role in a number of squadrons, with strong preference to utilise formation flying to hone skills, was admirably illustrated. Ian experienced a wide variety of aircraft in the RAF but it was highly appropriate that he flew Lightings which coincided with the end of their operations career.

Film producer Steve Milne delivered a passion filled presentation on his early interests in aviation and his father’s RAF career, which led to learning to fly and a burgeoning career in the film industry. With many successes along the way such as The King’s Speech, 2018 saw the release of film documentary Spitfire to wide critical acclaim. The drive and determination to ensure the film did justice to the iconic aircraft, and most importantly, the veterans was very clear and is leading to further aviation projects. The audience sat enchanted during the clips shown from the film.

The early exploits of his grandfather, Alliott Verdon-Roe, and the beginnings of AVRO were the subject of Eric Verdon-Roe’s talk. The early pioneering resulting in the first flight of a British pilot in a British aircraft and the foundations of the AVRO company were delivered with insights into the character and personalities of those who saw the most rapid evolution of aviation during their time. An inveterate inventor, AV Roe was still creating inventions into his 80s as well performing his party trick of riding is bicycle facing backwards!

During the Symposium the Darroll Stinton Trophy was presented, the winner being warmly welcomed. Please click here for more information.

The event closed with a final address and thanks from HAA President Rick Peacock-Edwards.

Our thanks to go all ours speakers, our sponsors Flight Safety International, Haywards Aviation Limited, Pooleys Flight Equipment and WJE, and in particular those who supported the event by attending the Symposium.