Video: Replica Supermarine Spitfire among dozens of light aircraft at annual Brass Monkey Fly-In
DOZENS of light aircraft touched down in North Cotes as part of the annual Brass Monkey Fly-In.
Organised by North Coates Flying Club, the event saw up to 200 aircraft from across the country swoop down onto the grass runway on Saturday and Sunday.
One of the main attractions for aviation enthusiasts was a rare replica Supermarine Spitfire, which is owned by Aidan Jones, a business owner, from Cabourne, near Caistor.
He explained: "I passed my Private Pilots' Licence last year and wanted to get my own aircraft.
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"I saw this one advertised and just had to have it. It's 80 per cent of the size of a real Spitfire and it was built in Australia in 2005.
"It's very different to flying other light aircraft but I really enjoy the challenge and because it looks and sounds just like a real Spitfire it gets a lot of people interested."
Aidan's interest in aviation was sparked by his father, Barry Jones, from Grimsby, who has owned gyroplanes since the 1980s.
The driving instructor explained: "I knew I wanted to own one of these after I saw Little Nellie, the gyro in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.
"North Coates is a great club with friendly people and it's close to home for us.
"The fly-ins are always interesting because you get to see new and unusual aircraft."
Another local aircraft owner who was enjoying the spectacle was engineer Glen Johnson, from Grimsby, who spent much of his career flying in fast jets in the RAF. Glen, who is the proud owner of a Murphy Maverick, said: "There's nothing like the feeling of freedom you get when you're flying.
"I work away from home a lot so whenever I'm back I like to come down to the airfield and fly."
Jim Rutherford, of Grimsby, said: "I was based at North Cotes with the RAF from 1968 to 1970.
"I worked servicing the Bloodhound Missiles which were based here.
"It was a lovely place to work and the people in the village were always very friendly.
"It's changed a bit since then but I enjoy coming back and keeping my ties with the place."
Club chairman Mike Speakman said the conditions had been perfect for the event.
He added: "It's always risky at this time of year but there was very little wind and relatively clear skies.
"A frost would have been best for us as it would have hardened the grass runway, but you can't have everything.
"We had a lot of people flying from as far afield as Birmingham and Northumbria, although many grass runways across the country are flooded at the moment so some people couldn't take off."
Mr Speakman said the club is currently in the process of extending its runway from 650m to 770m, in the hope of enabling a full-size Spitfire to land there during Cleethorpes Air Show.
Reach for the skies
The next event at North Coates Flying Club is the spring flying meeting on May 11 and 12.
A museum charting the history of the airfield is open to the public most weekends and is free to enter.
For more information, visit www.northcoatesflingclub.co. uk