On Wednesday the Bronco was flown over from Newcastle to RN Culdrose with a pass through the Lake District, Lake Windermere and the Mach loop. In the meantime Dan Griffith flew a Skyvan from our home base Wevelgem to RN Culdrose with the rest of the crew, our merchandising stand and some Aviation Photocrew photographers. After a 2,5hrs flight along the beautiful British south coast we reached Cornwall and first had to hold for 10 minutes because the Swiss Air Force F-18 Hornet was flying its display over the airfield, allowing time to enjoy this beautiful part of England from above. After a successful landing we were parked behind the Bronco and close to aircrew reception facilities courtesy 750 SQN. After watching more display aircraft arrive and enjoying some rehearsals, it was BBQ time. After dinner our transport took us to the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, our place to bunk for the next two nights. Later that evening we went to the cosy town of Falmouth to have a beer in one of the many pubs along the harbor quay.

On Thursday morning the merchandising stand was set-up, well in time before the many visitors came on the airfield to enjoy the Air Day. It was nice to see many familiar faces and to meet new friends at our stand. A great flying display program was presented to the 20.000+ strong crowd in perfect summer weather. Around noon Tony flew a great display amazing a lot of people.
Air Day 2015 was a sad occasion as it was to be the last appearance by Sea King HU5s, with 771 Naval Air Squadron handing over Search and Rescue duties in January 2016. As well as a three-ship formation in the Balbo, the squadron also provided a short SAR role demonstration and had their hangar open for visitors to bid farewell to the red and grey helicopters that have proudly served Cornwall for over 40 years. Quality over quantity was certainly the order of the day when it came to international jets in the flying program at Culdrose. The highlight being the Italian Frecce Tricolori making their sole UK appearance of 2015. With the lack of RAF Typhoon (due to the display team's mid-season break), afterburning action came in the shape of the Swiss Hornet and Polish MiG-29. As Culdrose is a Royal Navy base, the main focus obviously lay with naval aviation. Besides the military helicopter demonstrations a nice amount of historic aircraft were shown to the public: RNHF Swordfish, TFC Corsair and Wildcat, Kennet Aviation’s Sea Fire and to close the show: the Sea Vixen. Of course, no Culdrose Air Day would be complete without a station flypast, with this year’s Balbo consisting of a trio of resident 771 NAS Sea Kings, three Merlin HM2s and a sole Sea King ASaC7, as well as a Lynx and Wildcat pair from Yeovilton.

RN Culdrose is also home to the Royal Navy School of Flight Deck Operations. Students are taught the art of aircraft handling on a carrier deck on the station’s dummy deck, utilizing a number of retired Sea Harriers. Three of these were given a public run out, the familiar whine of their Pegasus engines ringing out as the trio taxied up and down the runway, giving onlookers a tantalizing look at these wonderful and jets much missed in the air.

During the afternoon the Bronco was flown back to Belgium by Dan Griffith. In the late afternoon the Skyvan took off and was joined by the Sea Fire and Sea Vixen for a highly successful air-to-air photo mission over delightful Cornwall. After loading the merchandising stand into the Skyvan again, it was time to move to the dining hall for a succulent BBQ with the remaining crews.

Friday morning we took off for another air-to-air photo mission, this time with the lovely Chipmunk and Swordfish from the Royal Navy Historical Flight. After a one hour flight we returned to RN Culdrose for a fuel stop before leaving back to Belgium.

We would like to thank RN Culdrose, 750 SQN and everyone Involved in the organization of Air Day 2015 for their absolutely wonderful hospitality. We had a great time presenting the OV-10 Bronco to the public and are already looking forward to being back next year!

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