Note: This map only gives the rough position within the UK. If anybody can kindly offer advice regarding the location of this farm strip, this will be much appreciated.
BEACHY HEAD: Private airstrip
Operated by: Mr David Perrin (His family owned the farm)
Location: Close to the cliffs
Period of operation: 1970s
NOTES: The details I have are rather sketchy but it does seem David Perrin started flying with the Rothman’s Aerobatic Team based at BOOKER, now WYCOMBE AIR PARK (BUCKINGHAMSHIRE) in the mid 1970s, possibly as early as 1974? In 1976 at the age of 22 he became the youngest pilot to win the ‘British’ Aerobatic Championships. (Check registration – some think G-RKSF – for Rothman’s King Size Filter. Others think G-SPIN but I have the video).
The video has superb extended sequences of David flying from this farm strip.
When the Rothman’s Team was disbanded in 1980, (having toured Cyprus (?), Egypt and Greece along the way), David Perrin was kept on as a solo performer. He said his favourite venue was Biggin Hill because it was here that he learnt to fly and I think he performed here in both 1981 and 1982?
Shortly afterwards, (82 or early 83?), he died as a passenger in an Allouette helicopter which collided with cables. This was when filming ‘High Road to China’ with a Stampe and I believe the location was in Yugoslavia. Doug Bianchi was also out there but was said to have stayed behind that day to try and fix the Stampe which had developed an engine problem, a common occurrence if fitted with the Renault engine.
So, we very nearly lost two most excellent British pilots that day. As it happens I have also had a very low level flight as a passenger in a Allouette, from St Flour to Issoire in the Auvergne region of France, and we very nearly collided with cables too!
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