27th September 2021 – a few hours out
Not one of the best days as it was light rain when I caught the first train out towards Cambridge and eventually Kings Lynn where I was to meet Andy. My train I am pleased to say arrived on time at Kings Lynn and the rain had abated, Andy and I set off for RAF Cranwell / FTS in Lincolnshire in search of an elusive Grob 120GT named Prefect by the RAF serial ZM320 training aircraft, this was my last such aircraft of this type before I had fleeted them.
The Grob 120GT in manufactured by Grob Aircraft Germany at their plant “Flughafen Grob Aircraft*” to the north west of Tussenhausen – Mattsies southern Germany. Approximately 75% of the aircrafts Carbon Fibre and Fibre glass are manufactured at the plant.
As we drew nearer to RAF Cranwell it got darker and darker as the low black clouds drew nearer and nearer to the airfield. We reached our viewing vantage point just in time, the first aircraft on the line of five Grobs was ZM320, that made my day. As we were walking back to the car the rain began to fall quite heavily, it was not boding well for a good day out!
Andy still needed a couple of Grobs that were based at RAF Barkston Heath a few miles away along the B6403 towards the general direction of Grantham. We pulled into the car park at Barkston Heath and as I had now fleeted the Grobs I decided to stay in the car, I’m rather pleased that I did as no sooner had Andy set foot outside of the car the rain was torrential so much so that it was difficult to see the hangar only a matter of metres away!!
Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour we decided there and then to call it a day, Andy driving through some really atrocious conditions to get me back to Kings Lynn railway station. He then had another hours drive home from there.
Unfortunately I had missed my train by about five minutes so had to wait another fifty five for the next one. I made use of that time to avail myself of some lunch in the station café which of course included the much needed fluid caffeine intake. As I travelled back to Hertfordshire via Cambridge the weather got better and better, a stark contrast to a couple of hours earlier.
Sqn – Squadron
FTS – Flying Training School
Fleeted – means I have seen all the aircraft of that type or designation
Made – seen for the first time
* – yes I’ve been there