Romania Exped. – Meet the crew

Many thanks to Nic Rodgers for an amazing 7 day account of Freedom’s adventurous trip to Romania. Now it’s time to hear from some of the other crew along with their favourite photos…

Name: Christopher BruceIMG_4249
Total Hours: (approx): 260
Favourite airport on trip: Tuzla – lots of interesting aircraft from a different era.
Funniest moment: We arrive into Tuzla airport at dusk, no one is at the airport and it is far from anywhere. Sitting in the car park trying to sort a hotel for everyone in the dark. We then send the only taxi driver away as we didn’t like him. Thankfully Andre sorts out a great hotel and they send a bus to collect us all.
Any final words? –  Fantastic time with a great bunch of lads of all ages and backgrounds. Roll on 2016 trip.


Name: Chris WalesPhoto 10-09-2015 11 43 02
Total Hours: (approx): 100
Favourite airport on trip: Saint Johan in the Austrian Alps
Funniest moment: Fortune Budgies!
Any final words? –  Loved it! Very long days, needed a week to recover after the trip, everybody was great company, the Monday afterwards at work was a bit dull with no adventure to look forward to that day!


Name: Graham Ford
Total Hours: (approx): 250
Favourite airport on trip: Saint Johan
Funniest moment: Pods was doing formation calls, day 1 in Germany and spent ages briefing this guy as to who we all were & where we were going. The guy asked how far apart we all were.  Pods said a couple of miles and the guy replied (strong German accent needed here !) “that is not a formation!” It was so funny!
Any final words? – What a great trip!  Brilliantly organised & supported by everyone involved.  Now looking at next years trip, thinking about , France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Majorca & back!


Name: Chris Blackwell2015-09-10 12.00.20
Total Hours: (approx): 70
Favourite airport on trip: Saint Johan – the scenery was breathtaking
Funniest moment: General banter, and having budgies pick out our fortunes in Romania!
Any final words? – An absolutely amazing trip, Romania is a stunning country, and offered a totally unique flying experience. As a relatively new PPL I feel that I learnt a lot, and really felt I had the support network from the more experienced pilots. Everyone really pulled together as a team, and we all had a great time. I can’t wait for next year!


Name: Phillip Butcher
Total Hours: (approx): 190
Favourite airport on trip: Saint Johan
Funniest moment: Flying around the Carpathian mountains looking for Andrei’s Grandma’s house in Romania… and not being able to find it.


Name: Dave Jelly
Total Hours: (approx): 3000+
Favourite airport on trip: Kemble
Funniest moment: Getting to the airport from the hotel and suddenly realising we’d forgotten Pods!
Any final words? –By far the most challenging trip Freedom have undertaken. Working with JJ to try to teach and fly close formation with a mixed ability group was no easy task. Due to the efforts of everyone involved we managed some spectacular formation flights which the Red Arrows would have been proud of, in fact, I think they have already stolen some of our routines for the 2016 display season.


Name: James ‘JJ’ John
Total Hours: (approx): 1570
Favourite airport on trip: St. Johann or Salzburg for hangar 7 & 8
Funniest moment: Pods – that puts me at 300′ below the ground, you guys got the same??
Dave – say again Pods…you’re below the ground! Might wanna check that! (Epic)
Any final words? – a great trip was had by all, some outstanding flying in some of the best scenery Europe has to offer. Everyone should be justifiably proud to have made it nearly 4000miles incident free and with some great laughs. Roll on the next one!


Name: Alan Gray
Total Hours: (approx): 60
Favourite airport on trip: Salzburg – good crew lounge
Funniest moment: In retrospect, but not very funny at the time, landing in Tuzla (Romania) at dusk to find the booked Tuzla hotel was actually in Bosnia Hertzegovena
Any final words? – Fulsome admiration of the organisation, with warm praise and thanks for all the enthusiastic encouragement and support from fellow travellers for a late learner like me.


Name: Blake Thomas
Total Hours: (approx): 230
Favourite airport on trip: St Johan
Funniest moment: Very hard to pick one as there were so many! Probably the top funniest moments would be the last night in France, with Mikey taking the role of being Village Idiot & clowning around on the last few legs with Pods & Damian in Vicky! 
Any final words? – Unbelievable trip! Loved & enjoyed every bit of it! Real good laugh & fun with a great bunch of lads!! Still have random outbursts of laughter about it all!! Just like to thank everyone again for such an amazing trip!

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