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MH434 at the Malta International Airshow 2012

October 5, 2012 0 Comments

Paul Bonhomme returned ‘434 to Duxford on Tuesday 2nd October, after an epic journey to Malta for the 70th anniversary of the Island being awarded the George Cross.

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The trip had involved an enormous amount of planning, but once all of the technical aspects had been taken care of, the main intention was to enjoy the experience from beginning to end.. The aeroplane was flown down via Valence, Figari and Palermo, arriving 2 days after it left it’s home, straight into a press conference for the Airshow. Thursday was spent going over the aircraft – OFMC chief engineer TIm Fane had flown out to be ‘support’ for the duration.

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On Friday, Paul was allowed to display over the Grand Harbour. Standing on the Saluting Battery, watching him sweep in to the historic arena, then display 434 so beautifully for a mesmerising few minutes, was an experience of a life time. Luckily for us all, Paul Johnson was on hand to take some amazing pictures.

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The air display over the weekend looked as though it might be pressured by the Red Arrows being unable to attend at the last moment, but happily, the crowd was larger than last year’s and the general consensus was that the Spitfire being there, particularly when it flew with the Air Malta airbus, was a triumph.

A fairly full social agenda was involved too – including the British High Commission for drinks, a reception given by the Head of the Armed Forces, Malta, and various other ‘must attend’ functions connected to the air show. Everywhere we went the warmth we were greeted with was wonderful, although we would probably single out the Malta Aviation Museum for their immense generosity and thoughtfulness.

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A big thanks to Ian Sheeley at TSA for putting us forward for the opportunity, and to Joe Ciliberti, President of the Malta Aviation Society, along with his team, for the hospitality, help and support we were given. A big thanks too for the Armed forces of Malta for hangaring the aeroplane so beautifully and helping out with the requisite manpower where needed.

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All of us at OFMC are hugely proud of the success of the trip, and being allowed to participate in such a wonderful occasion.

Filed in: OFMC News

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