A former Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm pilot flew an urgent mission in his Van’s RV-7 aircraft earlier this week to support the national battle against Coronavirus.
Paul Stone, 53, and now a civilian pilot, recently joined the Sky Watch Civil Air Patrol, a national charity that comprises pilots, observers and supporters who provide air support to UK agencies.
Responding to a short notice tasking, Paul flew his RV-7 from Blackpool Airport, close to his home in Lytham, to Oxford Airport and then on to Beverly Airfield, near Hull. The flight was to provide urgent logistic assistance to a ventilator manufacturer.
From phone call to completion of delivery, the task was completed in 3 hours 30 minutes.
“It was an incredible piece of teamwork,” said Paul, a test pilot and former Director of Flight Operations at BAE Systems.
“Today would not have been possible without the exceptional support from Eddie Clare at High-G, Blackpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Doncaster Air Traffic Services, Oxford Airport and Colin Hazel who opened his grass runway at Beverley Airfield at short notice.”
With the minimum number of people required to prepare and fly the planes, the Skywatch Civil Air Patrol fleet of aircraft is a cost-efficient and effective way of supporting the Covid-19 emergency effort.
Paul added, “I think this provides the government with another solution on how to transport smaller loads around the country at pace.”