Sergeant Jim Hutchings
After spending 18 months
in storage at 9 MU Cosford, N-5490 was isued to 21 EFTS, RAF Booker
on 25th March 1948 where it operated until 10th March 1950 when 21 EFTS closed.
As a trainee Army glider
pilot, Jim Hutchings was posted to No. 8 Refresher Course, and flew the
Tiger Moths of 21 EFTS during 1949.
His logbook shows that he flew N-5490 on twelve occasions between June 28th and October 17th 1949.
As such, he is the only living pilot traced so far that flew N-5490 during its RAF service life.
A page from Jim Hutchings' logbook showing his first flight in N-5490 on 28th June, practicing engine assisted approaches and precautionary landings.
Here are Jim's other logbook entries listing his subsequent flying in N-5490:
Airwork ground crew handling Tiger Moth DE606.
This was another Tiger operated
by 21 EFTS during 1949. DE606, FIWF (c/n 85560) subsequently ended
its days as a ground instructional airframe, serial 6804M.
FIV, FIW, FIX and FIY were the unit codes allocated to 21 EFTS. It is not yet known which unit and serial code was worn by N-5490 during its time with 21 EFTS.
Jim flew DE606 on 12th January 1950. Note the all-silver post-war colour scheme with yellow training band around the rear fuselage.
This is the scheme that N-5490 would also have worn at the time.
(photo courtesy Jim Hutchings)
Jim subsequently flew Horsa
gliders and Jim finished up at Netheravon, from where we flew the last
Horsa's to MU's in early 1950. Tugs at that time were Dakota's and
He then went on to serve in Malaya and Korea on Austers and L19 Bird Dogs (1913 Light Liaison Flight) until 1953 and then after CFS,
instructing at Middle Wallop until 1958. He last flew in a Piper Archer in 2008 on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Jim Hutchings in the fifties.
Jim Hutchings, December 2013.
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