Hertfordshire Constabulary's first Flying Club

Taking to the skies in the 1950's.

Andy Wiseman

Chief Constable A.F. Wilcox (right) visits the Hertfordshire Police Flying Club, at Panshanger airfield on 15th September 1956.
Members of the first Hertfordshire Police Flying Club with their Tiger Moth. From L to R: Sgt John Halsey, UNKNOWN, Pc William James, Ken Green (only surviving member of the club), WPC Audrey Archer, Insp Tom Windsor, Pc Fred Bowen, Pc Norman Bangs, Pc Stan Leathers, Pc George Edmonds.
Ken Green
Herts Police Flying Club 1956

The first Hertfordshire Police Flying Club was formed in 1956, when a small group of serving officers and staff got together to restore a war-time Tiger Moth aeroplane.

It was the first club of its kind in the UK and proved popular, especially among members of the Constabulary who had served with the RAF during WW2.

After many months of restoration, the Tiger Moth, registration number ‘G-ANOH’ was ready to take to the skies once again.

Its official unveiling on 15th September 1956 was attended by Chief Constable A. F. Wilcox who accompanied a serving officer, qualified to fly, on its maiden voyage.

The club captured the imagination of police forces across the country and featured in a Pathe news-reel in 1956.

Watch now: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/police-flying-club/query/panshanger

In addition to the recreational benefits the club offered, their skills and aircraft were often pressed into use for operational matters, such as taking aerial photographs of crime scenes.

Sadly, membership numbers dwindled and the club officially folded in 1960.

The spirit of the club has however been reborn in the 21st century, following the formation of a new Herts Police Flying Club.

Open to serving and retired members of any police force, the club is currently based at Cranfield airfield in Bedfordshire and offers a variety of teaching and flying experiences to its members: http://www.policeflyingclub.co.uk/

According to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, this DH82A Tiger Moth, G-ANOH, crashed on the island of Mull on 28 August 1983.

 

This page was added on 25/03/2017.

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