ALL eyes were on the sky over York Minster as the world’s oldest independent military flying school celebrated its 90th anniversary.
No 1 Flying Training School, based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, outside York, marked the event with a flypast over the city centre yesterday.
Crowds stood and watched as Tucanos from the academy flew over the Minster in close formation.
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At the base, students and officers were entertained by a flying exhibition including Tiger Moths, a Hurricane and a display by the Red Arrows They were also visited by Air Chief Marshall Sir Christopher Moran and further events are planned for the weekend.
Group Captain Mike Longstaff, station commander at Linton, said: “No 1 Flying Training School has a long proud and illustrious history. Today we not only celebrate its past achievements – we look forward the challenges ahead.”
The next event at Linton, the Gala On The Green, takes place tonight with a concert, culminating in a Spitfire flypast and fireworks display.
The RAF College Swing Band will top the bill, supported by York’s Steel Expression group and Yeadon’s Air Training Corps Band.
Money raised will go to charities supporting members of the armed forces.
Flight Lieutenant Ben Mountfield said: “Everyone is welcome. We hope people will enter into the festival spirit by bringing with them picnics, refreshments and Union Flags. It will be a real family evening and we even have a wet weather plan – just in case.”
The school has been based at RAF Linton since 1957. It was founded in Wiltshire in 1919 and was relocated to India for a spell during the Second World War.
Linton-on-Ouse made national headlines last year when Prince William completed part of its RAF training there.
Tickets for tonight’s concert can be purchased at Linton-on-Ouse Post Office, York and Easingwold tourist information offices, or by phoning 01347 847660.