Well-known and highly experienced ARC pilot Cliff Spink realised a personal ambition at the end of last year’s display season. A conversation earlier in the year with engineer Col Pope, had discovered that he had flown every currently flying mark of single-seat Spitfire except the Mk VIII. This was to change the following September Air Show at Duxford, when Spitfire HF VIIIc owner Maxi Gainza kindly offered Cliff the opportunity to carry out a local type familliarisation sortie in ‘MT928’ (MV154/D-FEUR) prior to his own departure to return home to its base in Germany via an event on the Isle of Wight.
Following a half hour flight with a run and break landing, Cliff was ecstatic to have achieved the ‘full set’ in his logbooks. It is believed that he is the only current Spitfire pilot in the world to have flown every currently available mark of single-seat Spitfire and in addition, he has also flown a number of the Tr.9 two-seat variant.
Congratulations Cliff, and we look forward to watching him continue to fly the iconic Spitfire as flying season commences.
Words: Col Pope