A light aircraft fly-in event at Manston on Sunday (May 28) has raised £1,800 (inclusive of a last minute £100 donation) for the Martha Trust charity which provides residential care and respite in east Kent for profoundly disabled people and their families.
The Kent Strut branch of the Light Aircraft Association said 103 craft landed at the runway to raise funds for the associations nominated charity.
Martha Trust operates state-of-the-art homes in Hacklinge near Deal and Hastings, East Sussex, caring for a total of 38 of young people and adults.
Steve Hoskins, of the Light Aircraft Association, said: “It’s very unusual to have everything from multi-million-pound aircraft right down to microlights, and everything else in between, at events like this. It is totally down to the facilities at Manston being available.
“Everyone helped out. Polar Helicopters manned the radios, and did a stonking job, and G! Fire and Rescue had three fire tenders there.
“Everyone had a good time and RAF Manston History Museum were involved and were holding their re-enactment event.
“We have adopted Martha Trust as our charity for pilots in East Kent and supported them with quite a few fly-ins but it was quite unique to have something on this scale and phenomenal that RiverOak let us use the facilities.”
Kerry Banks, from Martha Trust, said: ““We are incredibly grateful for LAA Kent Strut for choosing to support our very special residents at Martha Trust through the charity fly-in at Manston.
“We would also like to say a massive thank you to all the organisations that supported them in making this event possible -it was so fabulous to see everyone come together raising funds for our guys and girls. The monies raised will go directly towards their high level of care, thank you again everyone!”
The fly-in coincided with the history museum’s three day re-enactment event of vehicles and troops from the world wars. There was also a car rally.
Gary Blake, airport manager at RSP Manston, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome so many people and pilots to Manston over the weekend and to see the airfield buzzing with life, just as it was designed to be.
“We would like to congratulate the Light Aircraft Association for such an impeccably organised fly-in, the RAF Manston History Museum for making everyone feel so welcome and the hundreds of people involved in the re-enactment weekend for bringing some of the key aspects of Manston’s illustrious history to life.
“What with the 2023 Hughes Rally also making use of the site for some of their driver challenges, it really felt like the local community came to Manston over the Bank Holiday weekend!”