Small, but powerfully entertaining!
The team: ordinary flying folk
According to Tiger Club lore, the tenor of the Turb Team was set way back in
‘61, when a nine strong team displayed on the public days at the
Farnborough Air Show. “Do you come to Farnborough often?” one of the
team members was asked by a show-goer. “Only in the formating
season,” he replied. And, really, that’s all you need to know about
the team: we take our flying and the audience’s entertainment very
seriously, but never ourselves. Instead, the Turb Team prides itself
on being amateurs in the very best traditions of the word:
practiced, enthusiastic, and dedicated to sharing the fun of flying.
Anyway, come on in and say hello; we’ve got the kettle on...
|Alan Garside||Julie Garside||Glyn Richards||Richard Pearson|
|Mike Kemp||Jon Bastin||Colyn Randall||Jonathan Wilkins|
|Alan Fuller||Sam Williams||Mike Le'mmon||Max|
Alan Garside - Team Leader
Alan is responsible for all aspects of team training, the display content, and accidentally-on-purpose setting fire to beer mats at the Smarden Bell. He started flying in 1972, when he joined the Kent Gliding Club, going on to become a gliding instructor, and later the club’s chief flying instructor. Alan now holds the FAI Gliding Gold C badge with three diamonds, and he and Julie (see below) regularly take their glider mountain flying in Spain.
Not content, it seems, with flying gliders, Alan gained a PPL in 1979 and for many years exercised its privileges by towing gliders before forming a group and buying a 1946 Cessna 120. In 2000, he then joined the Tiger Club, which recognised the promise in his incendiarist tendencies, and welcomed him into the Turb Team.
Julie Garside - Team Manager
Julie - who, you won’t be surprised to learn, is married to our Team Leader, Alan and has been rewarded by being made responsible for all the planning and admin’ to which the rest of us are unequal, as well as putting out the frayed bits of Alan’s flying suit when he sets them alight. She started flying in 1981, also with the Kent Gliding Club, became an instructor in 1987, and holds the FAI Gliding Gold C Badge with one diamond. She earned her PPL in 1999 and, like Alan, uses it to fly glider tugs as well as Turbs. One of the Team’s many secret histories is that, in real life, Julie used to be a costume designer in the world of film and theatre. So, if you get a chance, ask her about the bottle of wine, Oliver Reed, and the costume fitting…
Glyn Richards - Display Leader
What can be said about Glyn that hasn’t already been said on the BBC'sThe Antiques Roadshow? He’s an unusual design, a bit cracked, and completely priceless. The story is that he once walked into a flying club, slapped 5000 hours of glider flying on the desk, and announced that he needed a PPL before the week was out; within the week he left with his licence. That was, ooh, ever so many years and flying exploits ago. Between then and now, Glyn has followed roads all around Britain and Ireland in his Nord; had his Turb, G-ARBZ, rebuilt so that it can fly with the team once again; and become the manager of the Tiger Club - which means he’s probably the first person you’ll meet if you come to visit us. But don’t worry - just ask if he enjoyed the film Oh brother where art thou? and you’ll get on like a clubhouse on fire. Mind you, if Alan G’s about, it probably will be!
Richard Pearson - Display Leader
Richard is another team member who started flying on gliders, going solo at 16. He joined the Tiger Club in 1970 according to the initials and date that were carved into the bar of the old Redhill clubhouse - which means he’s been around long enough to have have flown aerobatics in the club’s Stampe before it was replaced by our CAP10C. Richard managed the Turb Team for 10 years, and still found time during the week to be a financial director. Since retiring from high office, he lets his hair down at weekends either by turbulating with the team, or checking out new members on the club’s aeroplanes. In the winter, he’s a keen off-piste skier, and it’s only a matter of time before he puts that together with flying…
Mike Kemp - Display Leader
Mike started out as an aero modeller at the age of 14 before taking to the air himself a few years later. Like Alan and Julie, he learned to glide first, joining Kent Gliding Club in 1975, where he became an instructor, followed by a six-year stint as chief flying instructor. He holds the FAI Gliding Gold C' badge, to which he added his third diamond with a 500km flight. In 1977, Mike gained his PPL through a gliding conversion, and has since logged more than 3500 hours, a good number of them with the Turb Team, with which he‘s been flying since 2002. The Turb displays, says Mike, have given him a whole new flying challenge - one that allows him to practice his precision flying. But once a glider pilot, always a glider pilot, it seems: like Julie and Alan, Mike’s hooked on mountain flying, and regularly takes his glider soaring in the Pyrenees. That said, you‘ll still find him flying models when he gets the chance!
Jon Bastin - Display Pilot
Jon – an oil industry geologist in real life - has been flying since 1976 and has accumulated more than 4000 hours in powered aircraft and gliders.
Flying from Lasham in Hampshire, the world’s largest gliding centre, Jon is an accomplished cross-country and mountain pilot having competed at National level. His longest distance flight to date has been over 500 miles in thermal air currents and he’s clocked over 22,000ft altitude in standing wave on several occasions above the Yorkshire Pennines and the Austrian Alps. In 1997 he was National Glider Aerobatic Champion (Sports Class). As a tow plane pilot at Lasham he has flown around 3500 aerotow launches.
Jon joined the Tiger Club at Redhill in 1988 and then the Turbulent Team in 1998, flying his first display with them the following year. Since then he has enjoyed extending his flying skills as part of the dedicated and friendly team. The Turbulent’s low power makes it a challenge to display in a way that’s both dynamic and exciting but still safe – especially at low level. The Team’s objective is to keep the barn-storming spirit alive and ensure that flying remains fun.
Colyn Randall - Display Pilot
Colyn is as dependable a chap as you could ever hope to meet - which is just as well, because he’s one of the few pilots qualified to display Tiger Moths with someone standing on the top wing! Colyn started flying in 1976, and after many years balancing the demands of work, gained his PPL in 1988. With his licence in his pocket, he took himself directly to Cambridge Flying Group, where in just eight hours he was converted to the delights of vintage biplanes in general, and the DH82a Tiger Moth in particular. The Tiger, Colyn admits, is his favourite aeroplane, but while Cambridge may’ve confirmed him as a tail-dragger enthusiast, it was the Turb Team that introduced him to display flying in 1998. In 2001, he upgraded his display authorisation to include the SOW (Standing on the Wing) qualification for the Tiger. His next goal? An aerobatic DA - in a Tiger Moth, of course.
Jonathan Wilkins - Display Pilot
Jonathan’s introduction to aeroplanes commenced whilst still at school when he became the Tiger Club “Hangar Rat” and could be found most weekends at the airfield with polish and cloth in hand. Like quite a few of the Team, his flying career began at Kent Gliding Club before he went on to gain his PPL at the age of 19. After a spell away from flying, he re-validated his PPL in 2005 and re-joined the Tiger Club. Jonathan is the proud owner of his own Turb, G-BUKH and, like the rest of the Turbs is suitably painted in the colours of the Early Learning Centre so should be a welcome addition to the Fleet. When not flying aeroplanes Jonathan can be found at Headcorn Airfield doing his Day-Job as Grounds Manager, mowing the grass, generally keeping the place tidy and removing the odd Llama off the runway!!
Alan Fuller - Head of Ground Crew
When he’s not modelling daft hats or making use of his own flying licence, Alan is our head of groundcrew. It’s his team that quite literally puts the show on the road: they’re up early to drive to the display site; they hold the limbo poles; they detonate the bangs for the flour bombing; and they release the balloons for the Turbs to burst. At the end of the day, they pack everything up ready for a long drive home knowing that the pilots will down the pub long before they are! Who’d volunteer for this sort of work? Not Alan! Instead, he was hanging around Headcorn’s model flying site one day when someone said, “Just hold up these poles while we fly some ‘planes under the bunting.” Foolishly, he made such a good job of it that he was asked to head up the ground crew, and he hasn’t had a summer’s peace for the last nine years! It has its compensations, though: “At one show, a spectator came up and started shaking hands with the ground crew. ‘That was the best display I’ve seen in years’, he said. When you get a reaction like that, it makes running around all over the country worth while!”
Mike Le’mmon - Ground Crew
Mike, who’s about to start his sixth season with the Turb Team, leads a double life. In one - which is fully furnished with a wife, two kids (one of each model), and a dog, rabbit and goldfish - he works as a driving instructor. In the other, he competes at national level flying radio-controlled helicopters and aerobatic aircraft. “My pride and joy,” he says, “is a 30% scale replica of Nick Onns unique Sukhoi SU26m” - a model that’s as big as one of the Turb’s wings, in fact. Mike’s lifelong interest in aircraft very much took a turn for the full-size, however, when he was invited to join the Turb Team groundcrew. “Now, if there's a spare seat in an aircraft up for grabs, I'm there! Will I go on and obtain my pilots licence? Probably.”
Samantha Williams - Ground Crew
PPL pilot Samantha can be found most weekends waxing lyrical on all things aerobatic, aeroplane or motoring related at the Tiger Club. “Aeroplanes are very much in my blood; both my father and grandfather were aircraft engineers so I grew up discussing the theory of flight over supper!” As a member of the Ground Crew Sam has already learnt how to swage rudder cables and dismantle a Turb engine, as well as negotiate holding up the 20ft limbo poles. Sam also keeps the Turb Team refuelled during the air shows, not just with Avgas, but with her popular homemade lemon squeezy cake. If you’re lucky enough you might just get to try some – if Glyn hasn’t beaten you to it!!
Max - Mascot (chief biscuit scrounger)
Max, our suitably turb-sized mascot joined the team in August 2008, shortly after coming into this world on the 24th of July. He’s still under training with 2 flights so far in the Tiger Club Jodel and 1 flight in the CAP10. When not scrounging for biscuits in the Clubhouse, his hobbies are chasing rabbits and wildlife in general. Sam's lemon squeezy cake has his recommendation.