Some time in November 2017 we’d made a decision, let’s go to Mildenhall for a couple of days in January after Christmas, a bit of down time. We planned to stay in the Riverside for the evening, a couple of days at the runway threshold just doing what we enjoy, getting away from it all. We planned this in November 2017 don’t forget……….
The chosen days, 9th and 10th January 2018, weather would be a risk, but we’d already booked the hotel so let’s do it!
John’s field was closed…….. The first failure of the day upon us. We drove around to Willows, pulled in, and went and woke up the owners. Considering we’d woken them up, their allowing us to use the viewing platform for the next two days was outstanding kindness, well worth the bottle we bought them for that evening to say thanks in fact!!
The one thing that could not be controlled, and the biggest risk we’d identified back in November was the weather. Ducks were grounded as the rain came out the sky at a steady state, still seeing me getting out the car for a locally based 135 before getting back in the car as quick as I could.
The weather then became the greatest of allies…………
Over wanders the site owner, opening general discussion about where we were from, our interests, Etc. “oh by the way, did you know, there’s a B-52 inbound to us as it can’t get in at Fairford due to the weather”……………..
I believe I became somewhat excited at that moment, you know, the kind of excited where you try not to look excited, but you clearly are as you speak quicker, and like a five year old.
And up popped Mytee 53 on the scanner on finals, the first BUFF at The Hall since 2001 apparently.
And that was the highlight of the day, and well recieved on social media with over 10000 views of the video Amanda took of the arrival. Don’t forget, we planned to be here for this and the next day in November 2017, luck isn’t the word.
At half 3(!) that afternoon the 67th SOS awoke, and took to the skies ignoring their Night Owls name, as I believe Owls don’t hunt in the rain, not these guys………..
And so we retired to our haunt, listening to the 67th in the circuit, rain, and murk all evening as we ate and drunk away the day, still daring to believe what we had just seen today at The Hall.
And so to the 10th January 2018, Mytee 53 was cleared to depart to Fairford where the weather must have clearly been better than the conditions at The Hall.
Just after lunch was the chosen time, and she rolled out to back track down the runway after a few local movements. The back track was delayed by a 22 with an emergency returning to base, but once complete, Mytee 53 back tracked and was off into the murk.
And to think we planned to be at Mildenhall for these two days in November 2017……………….