I was inspired to fly as a 21 year old living in scruffy digs next to an even scruffier runway having just landed my first job as an exploration geophysicist in sunny Johannesburg. A short while later an irresistible offer from a UK energy company to sponsor my PhD at Imperial College, cut short my flying adventure just shy of going solo. One Dutch wife, 2 English kids, and a 40-strong geophysical contracting firm later, having seen my younger brother clock up 12,000 hours as a commercial pilot and B767 captain, the time to complete unfinished business finally arrived. Getting a PPL at Enstone Flying Club ranks as one of my most rewarding experiences. The pleasure of cloud contouring on a summer's day takes some beating, and flying a TB200 to a business meeting on an RAF base in Cornwall and doing aerobatics in a Chipmunk, I thought was as cool as it gets. That was before Paul Fowler announced his intention to start a Spitfire squadron.
That first sight of a Spitfire Mk26b in the hangar in August 2011 was a revelation. The easiest decision to invest in Kit73 followed minutes later and the subsequent build experience with fellow syndicate members has been truly pleasurable. I look forward to the privilege of many future shared experiences flying an iconic aeroplane.