Tuesday 20th August 2013
Jeff Boyling had already been to Duxford on the Monday for a photo shoot with the Daily Mail photographer and an interview with the London Bureau Chief of an Australian newspaper. Prior to those two events, John Beere, a member of the Cat Pack, had applied the decals for Project Hawker 2013 as well as the RAFBF to each side of the Catalina G-PBYA and they looked great. The oil supplied by Shell had also been loaded by Garry Short, the Chief Engineer, as part of the preparation of this historic 70 year old aircraft for this 100th Anniversary Commemorative Flight of the 1913 attempt on the Circuit of Britain by Harry Hawker and Harry Kauper in a Sopwith Waterplane.
Tuesday was a lovely day. Rod Brooking drove in to London and left his car at Jeff’s house. The two then drove to Duxford late morning to start the final preparation. Jeff and Rod reviewed flight plans for the coming days. The weather forecast was looking good for the Wednesday so the Catalina should at least get away. Shaun Jarvis, the Crew Chief for the first couple of sectors, arrived in the afternoon and supervised the final loading of the aircraft. G-PBYA was almost ready. Late afternoon she was towed onto the grass opposite the Duxford Control Tower ready for her important mission. Fuel and oil tanks were dipped and topped up by Shaun. All that was needed now was a comfortable night’s sleep after dinner.
The first day of Project Hawker 2013 will follow tomorrow and the rest of the flight over the coming week.