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Articles: The New European Luscombe Rally 2005 - Its First Year

Having owned and operated Luscombe 8E G-BRUG for 16 years and enjoyed numerous Rallys in this time. I felt I wanted to create a specific annual Luscombe Rally. The majority of Luscombes have passed or fast approaching 60 years old and their numbers in Europe are slowly decreasing; What better way of rewarding 'Don Luscombe', a man with considerable forward thinking on design and construction {much to Cessnas' envy!} back in the late 30's!

So, to make this happen, I needed an airfield, preferably grass and quiet. Brian Austen, owner of Oaksey Park, and a Luscombe owner! Kindly offered his airfield and facilities for the weekend. We set up a dedicated website, mail-dropped owners, gathered a small team of volunteers and I pestered magazine editors all year, to find the European Luscombe Rally ready to go on the 6&7 August. I was hoping to attract at least half the number of 'flying' Luscombes in Europe (which is hovering in the 50s'); hoping to break the previous record gathering of 22 Luscombes at Popham a few years previously. By 4 pm on Saturday, 24 Luscombes had arrived, a new British record, and on the first day! Brian Austen owner of Oaksey Park generously flew his ex military scout helicopter for the aerial shots.

Most models attended, 8As',8C,8Es' and Fs. Winning shields, sponsored by flyer, were; 

Best & Furthest Flown (Kinloss) G-AGME (8E) flown by Peter Bush

Luscombe G-KENMLuscombe presentation

 

Most Original N9945C (8F- Holland) flown by Adriaan Brower

Luscombe 8FLuscombe award

Oldest G-AZFN (8A) flown by John Truscott

Luscombe 8A G-AZFN

and

Spot Landing G-KENM flown by Mike Keep

Luscombe awards Luscombe G-KENM

Flyers Technical Editor, Miles McCallum, commented on the high standard of many Luscombes over the weekend. The spot landing, in brilliant sunshine, produced laughter all round; I had an even bigger smile as I proudly took in my surroundings!

G-NIGEG-BVGWG-BRUG & G-KENM

Yours truly provided a "spirited" luscombe demonstration and a formation flypast with G-KENM. Having stopped giggling over the "high" standard of the spot landing competition, the afternoon BBQ moved smoothly into the evening curry, supported by a large keg of ale! Various games took place out on the grass, including Sally (my girlfriend) performing low-level aerobatics on a mini motorbike in front of us!

Many tents popped up during the evening, with aviation stories becoming funnier as the beer flowed. The next morning more than 26 English breakfasts were much appreciated.

Luscombe G-BTIJG-BTCHLuscombes

Visiting aircraft over the weekend included Tiger Moths, Miles Aircraft, Taylorcraft, a Cri Cri, Aeronca, and a good selection of PFA aircraft. I'd love to see more visiting aircraft next year.

Sunday was also a glorious day, taking the total tally of Luscombes to 28; Over 50% of flying luscombes in Europe! The weekend enabled us to donate £502 to Oaksey Village Church Roof Fund. Next Years European Luscombe Rally will be bigger and better, taking place on the 5 th & 6 th August at Oaksey Park. Having been such a success, I've received increased interest from more owners of Luscombes in Europe that were unable to attend this year. Next Year we will add Flour Bomb Dropping to the weekend, and live music for the evening is already booked!

For more information on next years plans click here.

Finally thanks to all the pilots, Brian Austen, and the team who made this happen. Look forward to seeing more Luscombes and visitors kissing the grass at Oaksey in 2006... Who knows we might make it 40!

Nige 'Bertie' Barratt

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