The Navy Wings Wasp made a guest appearance at the Fleet Air Arm Officers’ Association Phyllis Court Lunch in Henley last week, landing on the lawn in front of the prestigious Private Members Club on the banks of the River Thames.
“We received a very warm welcome from both the FAAOA members and guests at the Club” said pilot Simon Thomas. “The CEO of Phyllis Court, Chris Hogan, ex- Army Air Corps, was very welcoming and Fleet Air Arm guests and friends enjoyed looking around the aircraft and sitting in the cockpit! It was good to see Paddy Clarke, who was CO of 703 NAS when I did my Wasp training as well.”
The annual lunch has always been a great reunion of Fleet Air Arm friends and this year was also attended by VIP guests, Rear Admiral John Roberts CB, a former Flag Officer Naval Air Command and Air Commodore Richard Peacock-Edwards CBE AFC, Past Master of the Hon Company of Air Pilots.
Speaking at the lunch, Simon gave a short history of the Wasp and his experience flying the aircraft and highlighted the number of air shows and events around the country where Navy Wings aircraft have had a presence this season. A retiring collection raised over £1,000 for Navy Wings, for which a huge thank you to the FAAOA for their great generosity.
Captain Michael Rawlinson OBE, former CO of RNAS Yeovilton and Captain of HMS AJAX was delighted to see the Wasp. “Flying the aircraft into Phyllis Court was a brilliant idea,” said Michael. “It gave us all a great boost. Keeping our heritage alive and raising awareness of Naval flying is what it is all about! The bold Royal Navy along the tail was splendid!”