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Published on Mar 14, 2011
On the 17th of October 1996 the worlds only surviving Vanguard (Merchantman) G-APEP made its last ever flight into Brooklands. This may not seem very surprising as Vanguards flew in and out of Brooklands all the time, back in the days when they were building them there. However, now the Runway had been cut in half by the new road - Wellington Way. Also, the airfield had not been an operational field for many years and offered many challenges to the crew!
At the time I was Managing director of National Rescue and had been planning to movie the aircraft by road. I was very pleased when Peter and Gary said the could fly it in. So they went off and practised short landings at the Aircrafts base at East Midlands Airport, while we put a plan together to close a busy industrial estate down, during the landing. This video shows you what happened on the day, from my vantage point up in the Control Tower.
There have been several comments about why were the holes not covered up and the answer is simple, the aircraft was not supposed to go anywhere near them. Steel plates etc. would have slid on the grass anyway and just filling without compacting would not have worked.