Moray Flying Club had the honour of hosting Mr George Harvey recently as part of his visit to Kinloss Barracks and RAF Lossiemouth. Mr Harvey (age 96!!) was an ex WW2 pilot who joined as a boy entrant, he trained as an Air Gunner until he was selected for pilot training. He flew the Mosquito, Beaufighter and the Meteor…his favourite was the Mossie but not the particular Mossie that he had to land wheels up due to combat damage!
RAF Lossiemouth were contacted a few weeks ago by a nurse who works in a Hospice in Nairn. She was desperately trying to find out if a flying club in the North of Scotland that would be able to help her out. As part of her work with Mr Harvey she had asked him to write down a short sentence – he wrote “I’d like to fly once more before I get measured for a wooden overcoat!” The nurses request made it to me and this was a complete no brainer therefore, a visit programme was organised by the Stn Adjt (Fg Off Chloe Mcfarlane) and a date set.
Mr Harvey arrived at the club and, following the normal admin and briefs, he was soon strapping into the C172; this was to be his 1st flight in decades and his excitement was obvious! He did complain that we only had Cessna’s and that there wasn’t a Mosquito sat on the pan for him but he did say that “if this is all we have then they will have to do…;o)” A double treat for him was that his favourite nurse was able to sit behind him in the ac to share the experience.
Once airborne he became teary eyed and it was clear that lots of memories were rushing back to him…some good and some not so good. Back on the ground he had a smile from ear to ear – mission accomplished! After a cuppa in the crew room the Adjt took Mr Harvey and his nurse across to RAF Lossiemouth where he had lunch in the Officers Mess and got to meet modern day RAF pilots and then got to look at a Typhoon ac. A great day for him, the club and both bases and it was a huge honour for me to be able to take him flying once more and satisfy his nurses wishes for him.
A truly fantastic character who, along with his nurse, had us all laughing…he still possesses brutal military banter.
Flt Lt Iain Bright