Last year we ran a competition with the fantastic prize of a flight with a Spitfire, which was kindly donated by Go Action Stations. Our lucky winner was Sandra Withenshaw from Cheshire. Sandra tells us more in this blog.
On a rainy day here in Cheshire at the end of September last year I received a phone call from the RAF Benevolent Fund to be informed I had won the 'Fly with a Spitfire' competition!
I couldn't believe it, I cried happy tears as I was shocked, excited and over the moon to say the least at winning this fantastic prize!
The first date I arranged had to be cancelled, as the Spitfire was having a new engine fitted. So I re-booked for July, which turned out to be in my favour since the Hurricane was also on site that day.
The day finally came and as we approached the airfield we could see both planes. My stomach was doing somersaults, I couldn't believe I was about to fly with a Spitfire.
It was a nice sunny day but very windy. We had a ten minute briefing before heading off to the helicopter, I had butterflies! As we were taking off, I was overcome with emotion and had to stop myself from crying. This was it!
Once in the air, it wasn't long before we were joined by the Spitfire. 'WOW' was all I could say as it went in and out of the clouds.
We flew over the White Cliffs of Dover and some beautiful Kent countryside; we had 30 minutes of fantastic viewing. It was a breathtaking and beautiful sight seeing the plane in an amazing flying display and the time went so quick.
On returning to the airfield, we had our ground viewing of the Spitfire. It was amazing being up so close to such a beautiful plane. This was followed by a second flight in the helicopter to the Battle of Britain Memorial.
This again was very emotional. It really brought home what all the men and women who fought in the war did for this country. We were made to feel like VIPs and I cannot put into words how fantastic the day was, it was a life changing experience!
I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to RAF Benevolent Fund and Action Stations for some wonderful memories!
I believe more than ever that supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund is so important. They do so much to support the RAF family and help so many people.
I’m planning to do my bit, so I’m going to get stuck into some fundraising for RAF Benevolent Fund and would like to encourage everybody to help out in any way to this wonderful cause.
By Sandra Withenshaw
Find out more about flying with a Spitfire on the Go Action Stations website.