Dear Action Stations Team,
Well......I know it wasn't a dream because I have the framed picture and loads of photos, but it could well have been.
Thank you all, from me and my family, for a superb day from start to finish. We arrived at the Farm very early and couldn't believe how lucky we were with the weather. We are back to the normal cold gloom here now, again!
It was very special to see the Spitfire pushed out, checked and fuelled and to be able to talk with people, including Charlie.
Having followed Steve in convoy to Lydd, the day just got better, what a charming and friendly airfield and what charming and friendly ladies at the reception desk!
Steve's briefing was excellent and his knowledge and passion for the subject certainly wasn't lost on me as I share the same thoughts, maybe because I was born in January 1947.
As for the main flight, well I have given up trying to describe it, it's impossible; you have to be in the helicopter. Here again the pilot and ground staff were brilliant and as for Charlie Brown's skills, well !!!
Apparently, when I was getting into the helicopter the first time, my younger daughter Sally (she's 33!) told my wife she was so excited she could cry. Sums it up really.
The trip to the Memorial was very special, there was only myself and one other with Steve. Steve asked the pilot if he could get Charlie to fly over on his way back to Pent Farm and he did, just for us, unbelievable. Steve's knowledge was very evident while we were at the Memorial and that just made my day even more special.
We all went back to the Farm after the flight and saw the Spitfire take off again before having a snack on site as well as going to the pub suggested by Steve. He could be right, that may be the best pub in Kent and the food was very good.
You phoned my elder daughter, Katie this afternoon to say she had won the first prize in the draw. She is still with us before returning to Germany. Her and her husband (USAAF) came over especially for the flight. She says she will give me the prize for Father's Day.
I can't believe my luck, perhaps I am dreaming!
We are all still on a high, especially having looked through all the photos and have decided we need to do it again.
Thank you all.
Barrie – Waterlooville
Hi Steve, Many thanks to you and your team for a wonderful day on Saturday - words cannot describe the experience. The incredible flying skill of Charlie in such an icon, flying and manoeuvring around the helicopter so that all on board got excellent views was breath taking - you have got to experience it to believe it!
Ian B. - Herefordshire
Steve, As a lot of people have already said, an incredibly memorable experience, certainly amongst the best that I have done, and your whole team were just brilliant on the day.
Andrew S. - Wigan
Good morning Hayley, I thought I would give you some feedback on my morning on the 14th June. It probably rates as one of the best days I have ever experienced, I smiled and cried all at the same time. I have never been in a helicopter, never mind flown alongside such an Iconic Plane and had a personal (it felt like it) flying display. Strangely time stood still and Jill said I was speechless… Not often lost for words. My Pilot Brian was brilliant kind and professional. During my trip I lost my glasses which would have been a disaster as we were away from home for 3 days, your crew could not have done more eventually finding them on the final pass! Many thanks to all who searched. My advice change nothing, keep it simple, people come for the Plane and are humbled by its presence that's enough. The following week end I went to the Yeovilton air show and watched the Spitfire fly by from the RAF… Not a patch on Charlie and having had your experience
nothing will ever quite match YOUR DAY. Many thanks I hope we meet again regards.
Suzanne B. - Essex
Dear Michelina, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all at Action Stations for a wonderful day on Sunday. It really couldn't have been any better. My Dad had a fantastic time and loved every second of the flight and ground viewing. Everything was so well organised and there was plenty for the spectators to see and keep us all entertained as well. Special thanks to the pilot of the Spitfire, Charlie Brown, for patiently answering my 10 year old nephews questions on speed and petrol consumption! I would not hesitate in recommending the experience to anyone. Best wishes.
Simon A. - London
Dear Steve, I have to say my wife was totally thrilled by the experience and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The Gold ticket/Aviator seat was definitely worth it! Only wish I could have done it as well - will have to start putting some money in the piggy bank.
Thank you for organising a fantastic day - I earned so many 'brownie' points ...
Stuart Humphrey - World War 11 Re-Enactors Magazine
This experience was truly the best ever one I have ever had, it truly blows away any other 'red letter day'. As the Spitfire and Hurricane both race across your flight path across the White cliffs of Dover, the fever of the heart increases and you can feel your pupils dilate in sheer exhilaration, as your helicopter matches speed with the two finest war birds ever produced in WWII. The team and hospitality are simply second to none, you will be dining out on this experience for many years to come.
Charles W. - Arundel
Dear Steve, First of all, thank you so much for arranging and organising such a fantastic, thoroughly enjoyable and emotive day, or in our case two days! As I told you, it was such a wonderful concept that you came up with. You have quite evidently thought about the whole experience, how to present it and the passion that you show and what you are trying to achieve comes over clearly from the start. To get up close to the Spitfire is an experience that many enthusiasts, let alone pilots, just won't be able to achieve, but to fly next to one is just breath-taking. Thank you Steve, what a wonderful thing you have done. As Annie said driving home, to see people so ecstatically happy is a rare thing indeed!
Kathy D. - Dyfed, Pembrokeshire
Dear Steve, You were absolutely right about the location at Pent Farm, we were totally thrilled with the atmosphere and the experience of being so close to the Spitfire & Hurricane, seeing them take off, land and fly over the airstrip. We found it extremely emotional and amazingly thrilling. It was also incredibly well organised - thank you for an unforgettable memory - just what we wanted to celebrate my husband's 70th!
Chris C. - Banstead, Surrey
Dear Steve, Michelina and all the crew,
On behalf of all the Carter crowd on 15th September (Battle of Britain Day), I just wanted to say how much everyone in our party, flying and spectating, enjoyed the day laid on for us by you and your staff including helicopter pilots and ground crew.
Well! You and all your support staff excelled and exceeded our expectations to a higher plane!! I could write pages and pages of details of how we were treated so well at your brilliantly devised tribute to the people that were so brave over the white cliffs of Dover 71 years ago. Without a doubt, to be privileged to share those skies with a Spitfire and Hurricane was a fantastic experience never to be forgotten.
Paul R. - Sheffield
Dear Steve, We visited the Battle of Britain Memorial and were greeted with a large crowd who had gathered to watch your Spitfire overhead. More photos were taken as Charlie did a Victory Roll above our heads. From the Memorial we travelled to Pent Farm for a Viewing of the Spitfire. I had no idea what to expect but upon arrival I spotted the Spitfire in a field. It was so easy to imagine that I was being transported back to 1940. There was no tarmac in sight or any building .It was the perfect location for the "ULTIMATE" experience.
Chris C. - Berkshire
Stephen and Michelina! What a day, it was just as I had hoped for and more! We were lucky with the weather but everything that could have been planned worked like clockwork and resulted in a brilliant day for my family and me. We had a very pleasant and comfortable stay in the Black Pig (which you had recommended) and the lunch we had in the Spitfire room at the Jackdaw, with all the history of the Battle of Britain film, was just perfect.
I particularly want to thank you and Michelina for looking after my family so well. I only learnt after the event at lunch in the Jackdaw how well you cared for them providing them with drinks and chairs and keeping them informed of the programme, so that they knew when and where to be to get the best view and have a chance to meet up with me.
Thank you both for a wonderful day I will always remember!
John B. - Hampshire
Steve, Just a few words to say a big thank you to you and the whole team for such a memorable day. As a reward from my Employer for starting with them 51years ago I could not have wished for a better surprise. The video footage I managed to get from the Aviator seat was excellent and made good viewing for family and friends alike.
From my days as a young lad when I made just about every kit there was of the Spitfire to actually meeting one in "real life" is something I will live with me forever.
This is an experience I would recommend to anyone whether they are aeroplane fanatics or not. Worth every penny. Once again thanks for a great day.
Richard and Gill V. - Bristol
Both Gill and I were thrilled with the whole day. We thought that the mix of professionalism and informality was absolutely spot on. Everyone, from yourself to the helicopter staff and pilots, and of course Charlie, made us feel as though the entire day was for our benefit alone. I think this was brought home to me, when our pilot noticed that I was straining to see the Spitfire, past him. I heard him radio Charlie and ask him if he could 'just go up another ten feet'. Charlie obliged and I had a lovely view. How can you ask for more!
I was given this as a gift by my daughters and could not have imagined how I would feel at that moment when the Spitfire was so close to the helicopter I felt I could have reached out and tweaked Charlie's moustache! The location is perfect and my family enjoyed the spectacle from the ground and looking around the Memorial. I was in the aviator seat but the pilots made sure that everyone on board got a close up view.
So well done again for a brilliant idea. I congratulate and thank all those involved from yourself and Steve to the ground crew and pilots. Professional from booking to end. I will recommend your trip to everyone.
Chris, Michelle and Rio - Spain
Do not change anything. It was an amazing day. If I had been asked to write down what I could hope to get out of the day - it far exceeded anything I could have expected or hoped for. Organisation - First class! Thanks to all of you.
Rob L. - Maidstone
May I take the opportunity to thank you for running such flights - what a brilliant way to see warbirds in such a way.
I wish you all the best in continuing to provide such flights and I will be in touch about going up again when I can!
Gavin S. - West Sussex
The experience was quite simply amazing, a must for any enthusiast, from meeting the pilot, getting close to the Spitfire then witnessing the plane in action, the victory roll the pilot executed at the close of the session gave me goose bumps! Memories to last a lifetime...
Dear Steve, As promised, please find enclosed a disc with a selection of my favourite shots from Saturday – a truly memorable experience, made all the more special by the significance of the date (March 5th, 2011 – the 75th Anniversary of the first flight of K5054). Good luck with your continuing endeavours with this venture – it deserves every success!
Dan - Oxfordshire
We had a fantastic day that ran to time and ended in a truly memorable flight for James and I, it is hard to make a suggestion that could improve on it. I have attached some photos for the gallery, but the best picture was the look on my son's face when he got off the helicopter, that one will live in my memory for a very long time.
Karen S. - Herne Bay
Hi! My grandad had a brilliant day - thank you so much for helping make it a surprise. I would recommend you to anybody. Once again thank you so much, xxx
Garry And Tracey - Leeds
Dear Michelina, I must say what an amazing experience - words cannot express the feeling as I'm sure you hear all the time, but I was very impressed not to mention emotional..
John and Jean - St Margarets Bay, Kent
I would just like to thank you for such a fantastic experience last Saturday, and also to thank Jean for arranging the flight for my Birthday. What can I say, Fantastic ! Fantastic ! Fantastic ! Can't wait until you get the "Mossi" up and running, what an idea. Thank's again for a dream day, My family enjoyed the air-display from the ground, then to top it all, being close to the Spitfire at Manston was the icing on the cake. Thank's for a dream day.
Pauline B. - London
Dear Steve, Just to say how much Nick and his brother John enjoyed their experience last week on their Battle of Britain Memorial day - they said it was absolutely brilliant and the timing couldn't have been better.
Louise M. - Kent
Dear Michelina, Thank you to you and all the people involved on Saturday 9th April. You made it such a memorable day for the whole family. My dad said it was one of the greatest days of his life. Thank you once again.
Pam and Jim W. - Folkestone
Thanks again for a most memorable day, I have had some wonderful adventure experiences all over the world but this takes the biscuit – no cake!
Derek P. - Canterbury
Could you make one significant recommendation that would improve the experience for future customers? 'No I could not. It was a perfect day. Many thanks to you all for making it so!'
Stuart McK. - Birmingham
Hi Michelina, WOW what a morning, I am still flying!!!, it was totally amazing and very emotional, I have sent an attachment of some of my photos for your file and for everyone else.
Marc and Celia - Broadstairs
Hi Steve, Ruth and John, Many thanks for yesterday - it was fantastic! Celia and I really enjoyed our day. The helo flight with the Spitfire was brilliant!
Charles W., Maidenhead
Dear Steve, I hope you like the photos. I've already bored friends, family, and work colleagues with them but I think they're great and I for one am happy to continue re-living such a brilliant day! Both Adele and I had a terrific time, and it goes without saying that I enjoyed myself immensely.
Jim K. Leicester
Just a quick note of thanks for a most awesome and unique experience enjoyed by all the family. Very well worth waiting for.
Dick D. - Berkshire.
HI Steve, How can I put it into words! Amazing doesn't really do it! Whenever I talk about my day flying with the 'Spitfire' I can't stop smiling. Meeting the pilot Charlie Brown and him showing us his flying skills in this wonderful aircraft - Awesome - you could almost see the 'whites of his eyes' he was so close, I'm sure our helicopter pilot shut his eyes a couple of times. Thank you Steve and all your team for making this a very memorable occasion.
Paul R. - Sheffield
Dear Steve, I enjoyed the experience of a lifetime when I flew in a helicopter alongside your beautiful Spitfire along the South Coast. When we took off, we were searching the sky for the Spitfire to come and join us. What a thrill we had when it zoomed upto us to accompany us along the South Coast to the Battle of Britain Memorial. After our flight, we guys were all smiling from ear to ear and chattering like a bunch of excited schoolchildren about what we had just experienced, AND WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!
Ken, Neill & family - Essex
Dear Michelina, I'd like to thank you and your Company for such a great day. The weather was perfect, the venue fantastic and the organisation beyond reproach. Ken had one of the best experiences in his 75 years - he was really blown away and quite emotional afterwards. My family and I enjoyed the day hugely as ground spectators, the humbling magnificence of the Memorial and the sight / sound of the Spitfire overhead was truly wonderful. Taking a seat on the 'copter myself is now definitely towards the top of my 'to do' list... Thanks again!
Rob and Janine L. - Kent
Dear Steve, I know I said it to you on the day, and Janine's emailed you as well but I just wanted to say thanks again for such a brilliant opportunity to see the Spitfire. The small farm strip was an amazing backdrop - in some of the photos there is nothing to date them and it could almost be 1940! I have posted a few shots on an aviation photography forum and although I've remained tight lipped about the venue, (I wouldn't want to give away such a special setting) it's got a few people talking about Action stations! I also made it onto the photos of the week with one of the shots!