The family and friends of Thomas Castle, who lost his life in 2019, are working to ensure his name lives on to inspire young aviators and promote vintage aviation. Martin Needham learns more about the Thomas Castle Aviation Heritage Scholarship
It’s a hot Saturday in May and there’s a frenetic buzz around the pair of Tiger Moths in the sunshine at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. The two biplanes are being used to provide experience flights and training sorties for a handful of enthusiastic students. A dedicated team clad in red polo shirts ensures those going for flights are strapped in ready for departure and afterwards, clamber down safely from the aircraft as they beam from ear to ear after an open-cockpit trip.
The operation runs like clockwork, overseen by Ian Castle, who has masterminded the day’s events and countless others like it. However, behind Ian’s quiet, friendly demeanour lies the heartbreak of losing a son. Yet, what defines Ian is the strength he musters from that loss.