Parade – Thessaloniki: What did the British Spitfire pilot who “dreams” of Greek food see? (video)

The flight of the Spitfire fighter is considered a highlight during the military parade in Thessaloniki . The British pilot Dan Griffith reports to the Athens News Agency that: “What the spectators will see is your own, Greek Spitfire, to lead the parade …!”.

Dan Griffith will pilot today at the Thessaloniki parade the reconstructed Supermarine Spitfire MJ755 fighter of Greece, which will fly in formation with a modern F-16 fighter of the 335 “Tiger” Squadron – the oldest PA Squadron formed when Greece was under Occupation by the Germans in October 1941 at Akir Airport in Palestine. The two fighters will perform a joint passage in the introductory moments of the military parade of October 28, 2021.

The pilot who on Wednesday afternoon after taking off from Tatoi at 12:30, “met” a Greek F-16 of the specific Squadron over the Kassandra peninsula. The MJ755 then made a test run with the jet “duo” flying next to it in a tight formation, as will be done in the military parade on October 28 with the British pilot declaring that “the view from above of Thessaloniki is wonderful” with the “wonderful coastal front of the city “to be” impressive “.

Griffith will fly the reborn – at the initiative of Peter Livanos and the Icarus Foundation – aircraft with 68 years of history for the last time. Within the next few days, the additional training of the experienced Greek pilots of the PA is expected to be completed, with the execution of solo flights. After special training in the UK and at Spitfire they are the ones who will now fly with the historic fighter.

A historic flight over Thessaloniki

“It is always wonderful to see an aircraft return to its homeland! To see Spitfire flying over the skies of your country is a dream come true. It is equally wonderful for me personally to be here, as I know that when I come I will meet all the Greeks, in your country I will taste your wonderful food ! So the profit is double for me “, the experienced pilot answers describing his feelings.

For the top pilot found in the cockpit of dozens of different aircraft, that of the British fighter has a special place in his heart. “I have been flying Spitfire aircraft for a while now, about 30 years (!) And it is my pleasure to fly your own aircraft, the MJ755. “Aircraft handling is my specialty and I often fly with old, vintage aircraft, so I know, all these years, this particular aircraft very well”, he commented, while praising the specific fighter of B’PP, the Greek MJ755.

“It’s always great to fly a Spitfire, it flies very well, it has a very smooth flight, it has just been rebuilt, and it is in top condition, and the engine is running very well,” adds Griffith.

Knowing the current situation of this year’s events of October 28 in Thessaloniki, he states that he knows that this year of celebrations of 200 years since the proclamation of the Greek Revolution of 1821 is “… a historical event of major importance for the Greeks” and notes that ” the addition (s.s. to the celebrations) of this particular Spitfire will add all the other glorious Greek “history chapters” from the 2nd FP “to this year’s celebrations. An aerial presence that, according to the British pilot, “ties” these celebrations since the flight will be an “event of national pride” for Greece.

One last word about the Greeks? “Come, enjoy it, and be very proud to have this aircraft in the skies again…!”, Is the message that comes from the lips of the British pilot to the Greek public.

Who is Dan Griffith?

There is a special category of pilots who undertake, from the first years of global aviation development after the Second World War, to do something exciting and particularly dangerous: To “test” the aircraft, military and civilian so that they can be used by all other pilots. This elite group of pilots also includes Dan Griffith who will fly the unique MJ755 in the sky of Thessaloniki.

Daniel Griffith was born in 1963. From the age of eighteen he studied at the British RAF at London University Aeronautical Engineering, and began his flight training in 1984. He acquired his wings on Hawk Mk1 aircraft and after his training period found himself on the legendary British Harrier aircraft. Operating at No. 1 Squadron in RAF Wittering and No. 4 in RAF Gutersloh in Germany, he completed 1,200 hours of flying to the famous Harrier before becoming an air combat leader and unit maintenance test pilot.

He was also trained in the US and during the training flew with 43 different types of aircraft including F-15, F-16, F-18, F-4, A-10, A-7, C-5 Galaxy, B- 52, Mustang and more. He became the first British pilot to fly a specially designed, thrust vectoring, high-maneuver high AoA aircraft. After his demobilization, he also worked as a consultant for organizations such as the demanding British Military Research and worked on the 4th Generation Eurofighter fighter.

In terms of historic aircraft, the experienced pilot has made demonstration flights with most models beyond the Spitfire, legendary aircraft “… such as the Hurricane, Avenger, Hunter, Canberra, Sopwith & Fokker Triplanes, Meteor etc.”

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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