"Every pilot should fly a Spitfire at least once."
Those are the words of BFC member Bob Steenson, who shared this photo in the club WhatsApp chat today. Bob says that flying the Spitfire has been a dream of his since the age of 12 when he first saw one fly about 100' AGL, inverted, the length of the runway at Barton Aerodrome in England. Inspired to fly, Bob got his PPL at CYOO under the instruction of George Nelson, and later earned his seaplane rating.
In January 2019 Bob learned of an opportunity to fly Spitfires out of Biggin Hill, on the outskirts of London, and made inquiries. On 11 June 2019 he completed a one-hour light in Spitfire MJ772. In his words: "My younger brother flew in a 'chase plane' during the first 10 minutes and snapped the photo just before the pilot flying did a steep breakaway and we headed to the coast, to Beachy Head. After about 5 minutes flying up and down the white cliffs we headed out over the English Channel, completed a 180 degree turn back toward base, and just before crossing the White Cliffs completed a 360 degree roll in under 2 seconds. Absolutely one of the greatest experiences of my life...worth every penny. To those elder pilots out there I say NOW is the time to live your dreams."