View Full Version : Ride in a dual-control Spitfire

16th May 2007, 12:46
Anyone know where I might be able to get a ride for the old boy, in a dual Spit, as a birthday present (in the UK or beyond)?


old,not bold
16th May 2007, 14:56
I thought that there was one, but perhaps not, can't find it...

This link came out of Google, for what it's worth

Good Luck!

16th May 2007, 15:18
The "Old Flying Machine Company" does not offer rides in its Spits but they might know of another party or outfit who does... google 'em and then phone 'em and see what you can find out.

Good Luck, I hope you can get your old man up in one, it sounds like a great gift.:)


16th May 2007, 15:23
Try this thread:-

21st May 2007, 09:38
There was a chap who had a twin spitfire who did flights out of Wales somewhere and Sleap airfield - Anthony someone. You could contact Sleap and ask if they know who it is. My Father really enjoyed it.

21st May 2007, 09:57
Does Carolyn Grace hire out?

old,not bold
21st May 2007, 13:45
Sleap is Shropshire Aero Club....Ah, those Austers, all those years ago!

21st May 2007, 14:28
Thanks all - I shall make the appropriate enquiries.

If the Spit idea fails, I might try to get him over to Florida for a trip in the P51 'Crazy Horse' as he once flew a P51 in the '50s for the RAAF and I freely admit that I suspect it was a bigger buzz for him than the arrival of #1 son...

Double Zero
22nd May 2007, 11:07
Just had a look at Carolyn Grace's site ( just dial 'Carolyn Grace' into Google UK ) - no mention of rides but plenty of contact info' - Good Luck !

22nd May 2007, 14:28
Anthony Hodgson owns the N.Wales two seater. He operates under the name of Dragon Flight. Mike Sain at the Shropshire Aero Club will put you in contact with him.

22nd May 2007, 18:22
You could get a Harvard flight out of Shoreham

25th May 2007, 04:18
2500-5000 hours total flying in how many airframes?:hmm:

26th May 2007, 02:51
A buddy of mine had a spin in one out of Norwich recently, the going rate for that one is £50 per minute!!!.

PM me if you want more details...

26th May 2007, 12:24
Buying a Spitfire ride is very tempting but they are illegal public transport flights.
The operator's insurance company would be entitled to refuse to pay a penny if there's an accident.

What happens if you're injured and not able to work for a long time - or ever again?
Or your children are left without your income if you're killed?

Insurance companies aren't known for paying claims unless they have to.
What are the chances of them voluntarily paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds just out of generosity?

29th May 2007, 08:16

£50 per minute - :eek:!!

But that's literally half what I've heard for a ride in some other parts.

Plus VAT, of course, Gordon's boys won't let us have any fun without paying them their 17.5%, now, will they?! :ugh::hmm:


The old boy's licence is still current and given his RAAF experience in the '50s, I'm open to trying the angle of it being a training flight for an ex-mil, taildragger-experienced ex-QFI pilot.

I would like to thank everyone for their input on this. I've been a bit flat out the last couple of weeks but will now get into following up these leads. I really appreciate it and if it works, I'm sure Dad will, too.
I look forward to being able to post some photos.

Cheers all

29th May 2007, 19:11
TD67.......... I'm open to trying the angle of it being a training flight .......... The operators who sell rides won't need an angle to persuade them. Payment will be enough.

'Angles' can satisfy the paperwork and are all very well if nothing goes wrong but, if it does, the real question is whether the angle will stand close examination.
Please don't think I'm trying to throw cold water on your great idea for the old man.
I'm just pointing out generally that there is a risk involved in paid Spitfire rides - not being covered by insurance if something goes wrong.

For some reason, the CAA has turned a blind eye for years to the Grace organisation selling rides.
But, if something goes wrong, what are the chances of an insurance company shelling out tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds when they can just say: Sorry, the policy doesn't cover illegal flights. Claim rejected.

30th May 2007, 08:08

Understood and I see your point.

I would say that (no doubt like many!) my Dad is seeing progressively more of his old mates drop off the twig (he's in his mid-70s but still fit as a fiddle himself) and has, I think, squared away a few demons such that he knows the inevitable is approaching - so if he were to meet his maker in a smoking hole still strapped into something like a Spit, I think he'd prefer that to fading away anonymously in a nursing home.

I do agree with you totally, though, for anyone else who might be involved both in the aircraft and on the ground.

30th May 2007, 17:23

And I fully understand yours. :ok: Someone in your father's position might well take a different view from say someone who's married with young children who depend on his income.
I loathe the 'nanny state' culture which doesn't allow adults to make their own informed decision whether to take a risk, but the crucial word is 'informed'. IMHO that includes knowing (finding out) the true insurance position. Whether it makes any difference is, as you say, a personal decision depending on personal circumstances.

Speechless Two
I'm not saying all flights in a two-seat Spitfire in which payment is made are illegal public transport flights - yours may well have been legal. I'm just pointing out the potential problems and urging people thinking of paying for rides to find out the insurance position before they decide whether to do it. It's too late afterwards.
Is the flight legal? ie Not just legal on the paperwork, but actually legal.
If not, they will not be covered by the operator's insurance.
They (or their children) could sue the operator but there may not be any money to pay compensation. eg If the owner/operator has put the aircraft into a company name and the only asset was the aircraft destroyed in the crash.

The CAA might turn a blind eye but insurance companies won't. If they can find a way of not paying out large sums, they'll use it.
I know someone who was very badly injured in an accident and the insurance company refused to pay the claim because the pilot didn't comply with a regulation, even though the reg had nothing to do with the crash. Fortunately (if you can describe a 30 year old paralysed for life as fortunate) the wealthy owner/pilot could afford to and did pay the compensation personally, well over a £million to his three friends who were injured, but not all owners or pilots have the money to do that, and I doubt if everyone would do the decent thing even if they could afford it, especially if the injured passenger is a stranger rather than a friend.

If the flight is a genuine cost-share with the pilot paying at least 50% of the direct costs of the flight, there may be no problem, but bear in mind the concession in the ANO only applies to the direct costs of that flight. The sort of money operators charge for a jolly in a Spitfire is way beyond a half share of the direct costs.

The well established operators like the Fighter Collection and the Old Flying Machine Company could make a lot of money selling rides in their two-seat warbirds, but they won't do it because it's illegal so there'd be no insurance cover.

Alison Ranftler
6th Jan 2008, 20:35
Hi, Did you get an answer to your request, as I am also looking to get my father a flight in a dual seater spitfire for his 80th birthday in Feb. 2008. My steo mother seems to think it is possible at Duxford if you have enough money! He is ex RAF and ATC and still plane mad, even at his age!

Love to hear from you.

A Ranftler

Alison Ranftler
6th Jan 2008, 20:39
I am looking to organise a rise in a two seater spitfire for my fathers 80th birthday - if you could e mail details that would be great, especially as he lives in Norfolk.


A Ranftler

8th Jan 2008, 22:48
Hi Alison welcome to PPrune, Like they have already said, Duxford the OFMC (old flying machine company) should be able to help you.

I don't think there is anywhere in the Norfolk area, There is a Tiger Moth at Old Buckenham I think??

A mate of mine (non aviator) had a ride with Carolyn Grace a few years ago, He won it as a prize.:D

I hope this helps.:ok: