Final flight departs Huntingdonshire airbase after almost century of flying

The last training plane Grob 115E taking off from RAF Wyton.

The last training plane Grob 115E taking off from RAF Wyton. - Credit: Archant

A regular feature in the skies over Huntingdonshire is disappearing after almost a century.

The last planes of the Cambridge and London University Air Squadrons and the No.5 Air Experience Flight to fly from RAF Wyton took off last Wednesday (February 4) to head to their new base at RAF Wittering as part of plans to shut the airfield at the Huntingdonshire base.

It was announced in 2013 that flying would end following a Strategic Defence and Security Review and the land sold off for development of 5,000 homes.

RAF Wyton has been a military airfield since 1916, when the Royal Flying Corps, which would later become the RAF, used it for training.

The move will see the 50 Babcock International Group employees, who provide aircraft engineering and air traffic support at RAF Wyton, offered roles at RAF Wittering and the Elementary Flying Training, which was also at Wyton, will be conducted at RAF Cranwell.

Wing Commander Ola Fashade, commanding officer at RAF Wyton and former member of the University of London Air Squadron, said: “The station will undoubtedly look back on its rich aviation history with pride over the coming months, and I look forward to celebrating its past and evolving future with the people of Huntingdon when we exercise our right of Freedom to the Town later this year.

“Despite the end of military flying at Wyton, we are fully focused on the task at hand, to enable all the units now at Wyton to deliver their operational outputs.”

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Squadron Leader Rich Kellett, officer commanding Cambridge University Air Squadron, added: “We have very fond memories of our relationship with the local community, and it is with a true sense of honour and pride that we remember our experiences of representing the RAF at events in and around Huntingdon.”

n One of RAF Wyton’s training aircraft reported a near miss with a model plane north of Peterborough last February, it has been revealed.

The two aircraft were flying head on at 600ft above Northborough before the RAF plane took a hard turn to avoid the model, just 40ft from collision.

A UK Airprox report into the incident rated it as “high severity”.