• A Dambusters Flight in a two or four seater aircraft
• Pre-flight safety briefing
• Climb to 3000-4000ft before experiencing low level flight from approximately 500ft
• Specatular views of the Pennines and North York Moors including, reservoirs and local terrain
• Flight time is approximately one hour 10 mins
• Includes a chance for you to take the controls during the flight
• Four seater flights usually allow the option of bringing a passenger along (at pilots discretion)
• Please allow around two hours on site for this experience
What Can I Expect
Sign up to a Dambusters experience and practice your low level flying over the moors and reservoirs of Yorkshire! These Dambusters flights take off from Durham Tees Valley Airport and offer you over an hour of flying time to give you an insight into the sort of flight training the Dambusters pilots undertook.
Although you’ll be in a modern two or four seater light aircraft rather than a Lancaster Bomber for these Dambusters flying lessons, the views when low level flying are certainly impressive. Having said that, those heroic pilots had to practice flying down to 150ft (well below radar detection level) without modern navigational aids. Tricky, to say the least. When Doctor Barnes Wallis asked Wing Commander Gibson in the 1955 Dambusters film how they were getting on with the low level flying he replied: ‘Ah, it’s awfully hard to get accuracy. I mean to within a few feet. Especially at night, over water. Still, we’ll find some way of doing it’.
Flying in low to drop the famous ‘bouncing bombs’ over the Ruhr Basin within a few feet of each other was key to the operation’s success. Skimming the tree tops is pretty scary stuff and, as the RAF guys say, if you can see the feet of the sheep you’re too low. On these Dambusters flight experiences you won’t be going that low (phew!) but you will certainly still be able to see the sheep’s legs!
You will take off for your Dambuster flight and achieve normal cruising level of around 3000-4000ft. There’s lots of wild countryside to explore around these parts, including the North Yorks Moors and the North Pennines with the likes of Balderhead, Selset and Grassholme reservoirs. These places are also the perfect backdrop for a rapid descent down to 500ft (the legal minimum level flying these days).
And yes, at those sort of flight altitudes you can see everything from the cockpit. Dog walkers on the Moors, farmers herding their cattle and, of course, those ubiquitous sheeps’ legs too. But thankfully, being in fairly quiet Piper aircraft means ‘the chickens won’t be laying premature eggs’ like they did when the Lancasters roared overhead! It’s a fantastic way to recreate just a small part of the Dambusters’ training on a flying lesson in a superb corner of the world though.
We are offering the Dambusters flight experience in both a two seater and four seater modern light aircraft. With many ex-RAF pilots on the roster at this Durham Tees Valley school, the chances are you’ll be able to quiz them about their low level flying exploits in fast jets whilst you fly!
• Flights operate seven days a week all year round
• Lessons are subject to weather conditions and availability
• Minimum age for lessons is 14
• Under 18s must be accompanied on the airfield by an adult
2 Seater Restrictions
• Maximum height is 6'4"
• Weight limit of 17 stone
4 Seater Restrictions
• Maximum weight 19 stone per person
• Maximum height 6'5"
• Friends and family are welcome to watch the take off and landing
• Good facilities in the flying school building including toilets
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Maximum passenger weight for four seater flights is 13 stone
• Durham Tees Valley airport (formerly Teesside International)
• South East of Darlington off the A67