One of the UK’s few female aerobatic pilots with a display rating is based at Henstridge airfield, home to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
Pilot Annabelle Burroughes flies Tiger Moths at 1200ft and trains pilots from all over the world.
A chance to see the 1930s planes is part of this year’s Blackmore Vale Revival, a classic vehicle and vintage show at Henstridge Airfield between Shaftesbury and Sherborne on Saturday, July 1.
It is just one of many summer events fundraising for air ambulance crews across Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire.
Wiltshire Air Ambulance is currently raising £1.25million towards a new airbase at Melksham to be a world-class centre for training and provision of critical care.
The £1.25million target is on top of the £3.25million fund needed to keep Wiltshire Air Ambulance flying.
Numerous events are planned to support the appeals.
Annabelle show off the Tiger Moth but is not flying at the Blackmore Vale Revival. She said: “The best thing about the Tigers is their sense of humour! They are old ladies and have a way of going that suits them. If you try to hurry them into the air or onto the ground they don’t go so nicely.”
The Blackmore Vale Revival features vintage clothing, food and craft stalls, and arena entertainment in the style of the Goodwood Revival – raising funds for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Youth Cancer Trust and Clic Sargent.
Henstridge airfield was commissioned as HMS Dipper during World War Two when Seafires, Spitfires and Masters operated there until the end of the war.
At Henstridge, Annabelle works alongside Tiger Moth pilots Clive Davidson and Kevin Crumplin.
Annabelle said: “We have people coming from Canada, Finland, America, Italy, Denmark and Australia wanting to fly Tiger Moths. We are very lucky to have brilliant people.”
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance costs £2million a year to run and each mission costs £2,500. Summer is a key time of year for fundraisers as air ambulances rely on charitable donations to keep flying.
Help keep air ambulances flying
- The White Horse Challenge – a walk taking in seven of Wiltshire’s famous white horses to raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, on July 1 and 2. Routes to suit everyone, range from seven to 52 miles.
Organised by Monahans Chartered Accountants, Rygor Commercials and Rocking Horse Nursery, the walking challenge has raised more than £138,600 since 2005. Details: www.whitehorsechallenge.co.uk
- VW Festival in aid of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Vdub at the Pub, is at Julian’s Bridge, Wimborne, June 23 to 25. Details: www.vdubatthepub.com
- Southampton Airport Runway run – a fun 5K run for all abilities aged 12 and over, on Sunday, June 25 – details on the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance website: www.hiowaa.org
- Family fun day at Thruxton Motorsports Centre Saturday, July 1, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of HIOWAA. Details: www.hiowaa.org
- Fordingbridge Summer Festival, Saturday, July 15, 11am to 5pm, featuring vintage cars including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, heavy horse demo, and more, at the Recreation Ground. Fun family day out raising funds for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA). Details www.fordingbridgesummerfestival.org.uk
- Wiltshire Air Ambulance is raising some dough with a Bake Off for Lift Off cake-themed fundraising event during Air Ambulance Week, September 11 to 17. To get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or phonel 01380 739453. On September 17, Wiltshire Big Wheel event has cyclists taking part in 12, 45 or 100 mile rides through rolling Wiltshire countryside. More details: www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk or call 01380 739453.
And airplane fans can watch an aerobatic competition day at Compton Abbas airfield, July 14 and 15, when some of the most skilled pilots in the UK perform their routines for judges. On August 12, the airfield hosts a Vintage day with interesting aircraft, cars and bikes, and a World War Two menu.
More information about Tiger Moth Training at Henstridge Airfield at: Tigermothtraining