John Trotman's 99th Birthday Flight
On the 10th of September , Club member John Trotman celebrated his birthday by taking a flight in G-SHSP, our C172.
While he now has our Head of Training and friend, Keith Walker, sitting beside him for insurance purposes, Keith admits it often feels like it is John who is the instructor.
John is the holder of two Distinguished Flying Crosses from the Second World War, one for his tour of operations as a Wellington bomber pilot, the other for operations in the elite Pathfinder Force. Flight Lieutenant Trotman defied the odds of surviving as an RAF pilot in the war and was to clock up over 2,000 flying hours, mostly in Mosquitoes. He walked away from three crashes.
When not on operations over Germany, he spent about seven months as a flying instructor at RAF Shawbury as well as spending time based at Sleap, Tilstock and Peplow.
It was therefore fitting that John's flight on his 99th birthday took him back to RAF Shawbury where he landed for a short time before heading back to Sleap. The station commander greeted John with a bottle of bubbly and a card, while John was trying to pay the landing fee!
BBC Midlands came out to televise the event and the clip was aired on BBC1 at 18:30. Shropshire Star and ITV News also covered the story. John saw this as a practice attempt for next year, his 100th birthday.