On 4th August 2021, teams of personnel at RAF Coningsby took part in a charity Dakota pull event in aid of the RAF Central Fund.
The RAF Central Fund is an independent charity that supports serving RAF personnel through grant funding to enable them to take part in sports and physical activities at all levels. The Fund helps anyone in the RAF, regardless of their role, rank, physical ability or competing level to have access to sports facilities, equipment and training; through this support they aim to safeguard health and well-being.
The event consisted of eight teams of six people pulling the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Dakota, which weighs over 17,000 lbs, over a distance of 92 meters – that’s the sum of the wingspans of each of the five aircraft types in service with the BBMF. The teams were competing to be the fastest, or to raise the most money. The winners of both categories were General Engineering Flight, who completed the pull in a remarkable time of 1 minute 24 seconds. They raised £450.
Flight Lieutenant Stuart Voaden, who organised and took part in the event, said:
“The RAF Central Fund helps RAF personnel physically and mentally by providing support to participate in sport, which has been more important than ever over lockdown. We wanted to give something back by challenging ourselves with pulling the Dakota to raise funds for them – and it was definitely a challenge!”
Ross Perriam, RAF Central Fund CEO said:
"Serious kudos to the plane pull challengers at RAF Coningsby and thanks so much for making the RAF Central Fund your chosen charity for this brilliant fundraiser. As a charity, this classic challenge ticks both of our boxes; not only is it a fundraiser so we can continue our ongoing support of serving personnel but it also requires a lot of physicality, so for us it is a win-win."
The combined amount of money raised so far is over £1500.