Your article: Pocklington’s modern day flying man thrills crowds

Flying high...Eddie Room.
Flying high...Eddie Room.

Modern day flying man Eddie Room, who is 85-years-old, thrilled visiting crowds at Pocklington’s Flying Man Festival on Sunday (10 May) with a breathtaking glider aerobatics routine.

After being towed to nearly 4,000 feet, just below the clouds, in one of the club’s two-seater ASK21 training gliders, the Pocklington resident flew a sequence of spins, loops and figures at speeds up to 130 mph on his aerial rollercoaster ride.

Eddie, of Wolds Gliding Club at Pocklington airfield, finished with a wave of his wings as he passed over All Saints’ Church, Pocklington, home of the Flying Man Festival, on his way back to land at the airfield.

Eddie, of Yapham Road, was a founder member of the Wolds Gliding Club when it moved to Pocklington during the 1960’s. He was in demand for many years as a glider aerobatics display pilot at local air shows. He reckons that his biggest crowd was 25,000 at an Eastern International Air Fair at Kirmington, now Humberside, in the 1980’s. Eddie said: “I’ve always enjoyed aerobatics. It’s all about energy management and the planning is as important as the flying so you are ready to deal with the conditions on the day, you might only have split seconds during the sequence for a critical decision.”

On the ground visitors were able to try ‘flying’ the gliding club simulator, which was set up in All Saints’Church, raising £120 for church funds, and talk to Wolds Gliding Club members about gliding. Club chief flying instructor John Norman said: “We were very pleased for the opportunity to play a role in the Flying Man Festival this year and contribute as part of the local community”.

Eddie’s exploits have inspired a new generation of aerobatic pilots at Wolds Gliding Club. Last summer the British Aerobatics Association ran courses at the Pocklington airfield and a number of club members gained aerobatic qualifications. Impressed by the club facilities, the Association is holding an aerobatic competition for gliders at Pocklington this year from 23-25 July, as well as further aerobatics courses.

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