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10

L o o k !   W e   C a n   

L a n d   O n   A   C u r v e  !

Keith Sissons is my late uncle who has had an illustrious career flying for a living and for pleasure. His incredible experiences could fill many canvases. He has flown giants like the Short Belfast, which was a heavy lift turboprop freighter built by Short Brothers at Belfast. Only 10 were built for the British Royal Air Force. When they were retired by the RAF, five went into civilian service with the cargo airline, Heavy Lift Cargo Airlines.

     Another famous aircraft he has flown for pleasure as chief captain, is Sally 'B', the second world war B-17, which was used in the film Memphis Belle. His real flying pleasure, I'm sure, came from flying G-AIVW which was a De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth. I say was because another pilot managed to stall it over the coast and it became a right-off. That was a very, very sad end to G-AIVW, since it was a very beautiful aircraft. Thankfully, the pilot was OK.

 

Keith brought the Sea Tiger to Hull for an Amy Johnson celebration – Hull being her birth place.

     He had to stop at a variety of reservoirs on the way up, and back home again to The Tiger Club at the Headcorn Aerodrome, Ashford in Kent; it was an epic journey for such an old plane, but she performed faultlessly for the whole flight. During his stay in Hull, Keith invited me for a flight over Hull and the Humber Bridge. Oh boy, what a wonderful experience to take off from water! It was superb and unforgettable. I said to Keith that I had to get one of these – the plane was wonderful. As we approached the landing reservoir, Keith said, ‘I'll show you something we can do that a conventional aircraft can't do!’ I wondered what he was planning, and then as we touched down with a gentle swoosh of water under the floats, Keith came over the radio and said, ‘Look, we can land on a curve!’ And he did, in a wide arc across the reservoir!

     Yep, I wouldn't want to do that with wheels! It was absolute magic! Thanks, G-AIVW.

s i s s o n s  f i n e  a r t  © 2 0 1 8

  s i t e  by  s i s s o n s  d e s i g n 

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