In just two weeks’ time the skies above Alderney will be buzzing with private aeroplanes, as this small Channel Island hosts its 24th annual Fly-In weekend
The private aviation sector makes an important contribution to Alderney’s visitor economy, benefitting not just the island’s accommodation and hospitality sector but also the retail businesses, car and cycle hire companies, as well as sports and cultural associations.
As an incentive to encourage aviators to attend the event there will no registration fee and landing fees will include 72 hours of free parking. Guests will also receive free transport to their accommodation. This will be sponsored by the Alderney Chamber of Commerce.
Other attractions that may appeal to pilots are VAT- and Tax-free AvGas, and VAT- and duty-free shopping. Fashion and retail outlets including Shirley’s, Anchors, Reynards and Boardman’s Perfumery will be offering a special Fly-In discount as well as prizes for the raffle which also includes a weekend break for two donated by the Georgian House Hotel and The Adventurer’s Rest.
At the time of going to press, nearly 40 private aircraft have registered to bring over 100 people. However, the organisers are expecting more participants to sign up closer to the date, once precise long-term weather forecasts are available.
“As every year, we look forward to a few unusual or vintage aircraft landing in Alderney. We have already been advised that Richard Leigh of Cheshire Flyers who has found and rebuilt two classic Boeing Stearman biplanes, is planning to bring one to the Fly-In. It is a beautiful plane, so come and see it along with other classics of the air.“
“All interested members of the public will be able to view the visiting planes on Saturday between 3:00pm and 5:00pm, when we will arrange special guided tours across the airfield.”
For the aviators and their guests, a varied programme of social and cultural events has been laid on by the Fly-In organising team David Chiswell, Al Paton and Ilona Soane-Sands in conjunction with the Alderney Wildlife Trust, Visit Alderney and other local organisations.
For those keen to explore the island there will be boat trips to see the spectacular sea birds around Alderney and guided tours exploring Britain’s best preserved small Roman fort, while sports enthusiasts can opt for a round of golf, clay-pigeon shooting, horse-riding, running or kayaking.
The social events programme will kick off with a welcome drinks reception at Bumps Bistro followed by a BBQ (optional). The highlight of the weekend will be Saturday night’s Prize-Giving Dinner at the Georgian House, when a series of much coveted trophies will be presented by Miss Alderney 2016 Roisin Gaudion to the winners of: the Longest Distance Flown, Largest Entry from UK Club, Largest Entry from a non-UK Club, Class Award Vintage (up to 1945), Class Award – Classic (1946-1960), Class Award Modern (1961 to present), Winning Home-Built, Best external Finish/Colour Scheme, The Most Senior Pilot, the Most Junior Pilot and the Spirit of the Fly-In.
All is set for a great weekend and hopefully the weather will play its part too.