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Formations and Balbos

The Tiger Club has always been famous for its formation displays of Tigers, Stampes or Turbulents and also for the many Balbos of Club aircraft and Club Members aircraft. There have been many Balbos of fifteen to twenty aircraft and the biggest is believed to be twenty three on the VE Day celebration in 1995 from Headcorn to West Malling and back!

Two Club Tigers being led by the Super Tiger MZ inverted. The pilots always enjoyed a new challenge.
Photo courtesy of John Blake

A close-up of inverted Super Tiger MZ, with the camera aircraft moving into its position as number four.

Since moving to Headcorn in 1990 the Club has continued to practice formation flying and encourage new members to learn the skills. All formation flying is done using hand signals, radios are still not used, on summer evening’s formations of 3 to 15 aircraft can be seen flying over the airfield.

Photo courtesy of John Blackman

A Balbo from the 1960s being led by the Arrow Active.
Some times the formations became rather exotic at the air displays around the country, Turb pilots believed they could formate with any aircraft, given the opportunity! At the Halfpenny Green display they persuaded the Sea Fury pilot, Pete Shepherd, to give it a go with four Turbs and a Chipmunk as camera aircraft, with these spectacular results.
A close up showing the flaps fully down on the Sea Fury and nose high in the air with PNZ flying flat out alongside.
This photograph shows a Balbo at Redhill from 1983, it looks as though there are five aircraft types, how many can you identify?

With the Icelandic volcano spreading ash over England and shutting the airspace down to all jet aircraft in May 2010, the Tiger Club took the opportunity to fly a Balbo over Gatwick while it was closed. Thanks to everyone who gave permission for this.
Photo courtesy of Richard Foord

Late in the evening is always a good time to collect the pilots together and taxi out for one last flight before closing the hangar doors and heading to the pub for evening of flying tales.
Photo courtesy of Richard Foord

The Tiger Club 1990 Ltd
Damyns Hall Aerodrome
Aveley Road,
Essex RM14 2TN

Tel: 01708 524633

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