British Sky Tours

                  

HOme The Team SEALION CONTACT  D DAY AIR/LAND SWISS ALPS

' Quit looking so worried, General, we'll take care of this thing for you.'

President Eisenhower recalling his conversation with a paratrooper about to emplane on the evening before D Day.

 

EASY GUIDE  TO SKY TOURS AIRCRAFT

 

LATEST NEWS ON D DAY AIR TOURS

 

PLANES, PRICES AND TOURS FOR 2018 SEASON

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Birthday boy ready for take off and all clandestinely organised with British Sky Tours by his wife, Sarah!

 

A FEW TIPS

 

IF YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING A SKY TOUR.....

 

We always quote before you book a tour.

Our tour prices are all inclusive for your whole group. We cannot sell individual tickets by law - in a nutshell, we are not an airline.

We always suggest that, if at all possible, you form a group of family or friends. An eight strong group offers you the best deal per person.

How do we work out the cost of your tour?

For a sky tour we need a car with a chauffeur to bring you to the airfield, an aircraft with your sky guide. After landing in Normandy we need another car with your guide for the ground tour. Afterwards we board the aircraft and upon landing back in England, your original chauffeur and car take you back to your hotel. These arrangements are required for one passenger or eight.

The aircraft we deploy are very comfortable.

Everyone has a window seat.

Our sky guide explains the D Day sites as you fly over each one.

Many families take our tours while visiting London. Our chauffeur, John, removes all the hassle from reaching an airport early in the morning and driving into a huge and busy city in the evening. North American families are welcome to ask John to meet them upon arrival in Britain. We put you in direct contact - may we stress that we and John have no financial connection whatsoever - you make the arrangements together. We just reckon he's not just the best but exceptional. Other than putting you in touch, we are not involved unless you wish. John is a great chauffeur with very comfortable cars for people with luggage.

Occasionally residents of Britain and visitors from Europe, indeed North Americans living over here, prefer to drive to and from the airfield in their own cars. This drops the cost of your tour because we no longer need send John to pick you up.

Please do bear in mind that if we stand down John, then you subsequently have second thoughts - it does happen - let us know as quickly as possible, so we can make sure he is available for your party.

Below you will find tips on how you can catch a train to one airfield from which we operate.

Have a look at the aircraft below and try our D DAY/AIR LAND virtual tour - link at top of page - also Easy Schedules, link below

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WEATHER

Captain Glenn Heavens - yes - about to fly us home after a summer day in Normandy

We can fly in any weather but the tours are more fun when the sun shines. When planning your holiday, please allow a spare day in case the weather is really awful on the day planned for the trip. We have never postponed a trip, so far, but we are prudent organisers.

We monitor the weather all the time, from the Shetland Isles to the Swiss Alps.

On board all our aircraft everyone sits beside a large window and our pilots are experts at making sure every passenger has a good view of each site on the ground and plenty of time for taking photos.

 

SKY TOURS AIRCRAFT AND AIRFIELDS

Ready for take-off at Maupertus Airport near Cherbourg. The passengers  are looking very relaxed after a day touring the D Day coast. There is plenty of space for luggage but you don't need to bring very much on a day tour.

By all means bring enough Euros or dollars for small purchases, such as gifts and souvenirs, but we purchase all your museum tickets and pay for lunch in France.

Make sure you have charged batteries for cameras and  telephones because there's a lot to photo both from the air and on the ground.

Again, should you prefer to make your own travel arrangements to and from the airfield, there is plenty of parking at Fairoaks and at Lydd Airport.

Lydd Airport in Kent has a main line railway about twenty-minutes distant by car. The ordinary train service leaves from London Charing Cross but takes longer than Eurostar from London St. Pancras - however, to reach the latter you have to make your way across Central London. Both services stop at Ashford International Station. We will have a car waiting for you at Ashford International to bring you to the airport.

Another way to make the tour is by spending a night in the ancient town of Rye only five minutes from Lydd and flying to Normandy the following day.

Have a look at our local gem of a town in the photos below.

 

Ye ancient town of Rye - still with its gates and cobbled streets and like stepping into the fifteenth century. Rye is one of the cinq ports, five later seven, tasked eight hundred years ago with defending England from France. Spend an evening in Rye, stay the night at the Mermaid Inn that's been welcoming visitors since the twelfth century, the present inn was built in1420. Great food and fine cellar.

You're also only ten minutes from the airport.

 

We fly from two airports - Fairoaks in Surrey about one hour by car from Central London and Lydd in Kent about 90 minutes from Central London by road or rail. More travel information below.

We can fly from Biggin Hill in Kent and other airfields but this does involve a charge for positioning - ferrying the aircraft from its home base to the other airfield.

Younger passengers are welcome to fly up front with the pilot - as indeed are parents.

We fly our Normandy Day Tours with Synergy Aviation based at Fairoaks Airport in Surrey, and Lyddair based at Lydd Airport near the coast in Kent.

Fairoaks lies approximately one hour, sometimes less, sometimes more depending on traffic, from Central London. Our chauffeur, John, will collect from your hotel and take you back there after your tour.

 

Amid fields of grazing sheep on Romney Marsh.....

......and beside the English Channel - Lydd Airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

START YOUR TOUR FROM THE GARDEN OF ENGLAND

 

Treasured as Stonehenge, completely unspoilt, largely unknown.

The field of Hastings and town of Battle where William of Normandy defeated Harold of England on the 14 October 1066.

You'll fly over the legendary field on your way back from Normandy

 

 

Every October the battle is re-enacted by local enthusiasts and seems to grow more popular with a larger crowd each year!

Harold's army gather along the Senlac Ridge while modern children keep watch for the Norman army from an oak tree as legend claims - to this day the highest point in the town of Battle is called the Watch Oak.

You may even meet a Norman after the battle. Some of the three thousand enthusiasts who dressed up this year.

 

Take a ride on the longest miniature railway on the planet.

Fifteen inch gauge and thirteen and a half miles long.

 

FLY IN COMFORT

 

Forget about long lines at passports and scrums in the baggage hall!

Your sky guide has taken care of three royal families on overseas visits, prime ministers and movie stars,

dozens of American families with children of all ages.

 

With twenty years experience behind our team we have learned that flying with a larger aircraft adds a proportionately small cost to the overall price - far outweighed by the comfort bonus. The American company directors in the photo - starting two days of studying D Day for management training - told us that Synergy Aviation's aircraft was the first comfortable ride they'd experienced since their arrival in Europe!

Your sky guide was just old enough to serve as a young paratrooper and then officer with many who jumped on D Day.

Our colleague in France comes from a family who lived in a village a couple of miles from the invasion beaches.

A modern Chieftain keeping historic company - left side photo, the tail of a rare Luftwaffe Me 109 just shows while two RAF Hurricane fighters occupy the top of the picture. Seventy years ago these aircraft fought over Kent and Sussex during the Battle of Britain.

 

Keep in mind that when we say ' all inclusive ' we mean exactly that - car travel, flight, tour, meals, tickets for museums. There are no hidden extras, no taxes, no tips. What you see is what you're buying.  

 

These photos show the spacious cabin and large windows of Synergy Aviation's very smart Chieftain.

Have a look at our tours with an overnight stay in Normandy. Not only can we show your more on the ground but the aerial part of the tour is far more wide ranging.

 

WHAT YOU'LL SEE FROM THE AIR....

 

 

Dieppe looking eastward. The Canadians assaulted the shingle beach on the left centre of the photo. British Commandos scaled the cliffs at top right and Lord Shimi Lovatt's Four Commando scaled cliffs to the west that are not in the picture.

 

 

Early in 1942 British scientists were anxious to know more about the German radar - particularly whether it could be confused by a technique known as ' windows ' by which strips of foil dropped from aircraft resembled radar reflections of ships or aircraft. Today we call this by its NATO code-name - chaff. The radar known as a giant Wuerzburg sent out medium length waves of sufficient accuracy to enable flak gunners to engage unseen aircraft. At that time Britain possessed no comparable position finder or gun-layer radar and the Wuerzburg had been giving RAF aircraft trouble for some months. The scientists were keen to have a look at components from this superior radio-location equipment.

A site near Cap d' Antifier on the cliffs at Bruneval was chosen. On a snowy February night a company of British Paratroopers from 2 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, commanded by Major John Frost took off from Thruxton Airfield and jumped about a mile inland from the Wuerzburg radar. Sergeant Cox of the RAF jumped with them. He dismantled the key electronic components of the system and brought them back to Britain for examination so that counter measures could be devised and the technology stolen. There was considerable opposition from the Germans but nearly all the force reached the beach and were taken off by the Royal Navy.

 

 

Courseulles-sur-Mer along Juno Beach where the Canadians landed despite stiff resistance.

The largest aircraft that we deploy on sky tours is the King Air operated by both Synergy Aviation and Lyddair. She is faster than most light aircraft and will take eight people plus sky guide with great comfort. Because the Channel crossing is quick that allows longer over the Atlantic Wall as Hitler called the French coast. We pass over Dieppe where the raid took place in August 1942, Bruneval where British Paratroops dropped, snatched the German radar, and escaped by sea. We fly over the D Day drop zones and landing grounds and alongside the invasion beaches - such as Omaha Beach and the Pointe du Hoc. The photos above and below give an idea of the superb vision when following your sky guide's commentary while taking your snapshots. 

 

PRICES FOR 2018 SEASON

 

 

WHAT WE INCLUDE FOR THE 2018 PRICE

 

The King Air has very comfortable seats. Tall people feel very much at home. Flying from Fairoaks with the King Air makes the cost of your remarkable day 6650 but that includes everything door-to-door for eight people. This cost falls to 6500 should you not opt for pick-up by our chauffeur and instead make your own way to Fairoaks Airport.

Lydd Airfield.

Many top London hotels have their own limousine services. Should you decide to catch the train, we will pick you up from Ashford International Station and take you back there after your day tour.

We do not charge your meals and museum tickets in France as extras, which makes quite a difference when eight people are taking a tour. With eight people touring that's a bargain. We always include a very pleasant lunch. Whoever heard of going to France and skipping lunch? After all, the French invented lunch.  Not to mention that our French colleague, Vanessa, is a National Guide with two university degrees and an expert on D Day who grew up just inland of Juno and Gold Beaches. She's also worked at the Arromanches and Caen Museums.

Vanessa brings the French dimension to your tour. She's extremely knowledgeable about the whole of Normandy. She knows not only where to lunch but where to buy the finest cheeses and calvados! She's also a very capable and safe driver. She studied English at university with part of the course in Ireland. So no language barrier and two guides for the price of one - because your sky guide stays with you all day - although Adrian regards Vanessa as an impressive expert on D Day and Normandy, including Mont Saint Michel, Caen, Honfleur, the cheese countryside and many other charming places.

We can land you in Normandy after your air tour and Vanessa will guide and drive you to a hotel at a local resort - such as Mont Saint Michel - but this does involve the cost of our aircraft returning to base in England. But light luggage only please if there are eight in the group.

We offer you only the best.

 

 

The Mulberry Harbour off Arromanches along Gold Beach

 

The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach on the 4 July

     Pointe du Hoc on the 4th of July

 

....AND ON THE GROUND

 

 

Standing before a D Day veteran in the Airborne Museum at Sainte Mere Eglise and meeting three cadets from West Point on the Pointe du Hoc.

 

ON THE WAY HOME

 

 

Molly aged six enjoys the big windows while flying over Sir Winston Churchills's former home at Chartwell.

 

 

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex

Many claim it's the prettiest castle in England

 

 

 

 

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SAFE HANDS

Former British Airways jumbo captains, Bill Pritchard and Dave Frost, checking their passengers are ready to start a sky touring holiday.

During many years service with British Airways Bill Pritchard and Dave Frost spent no less than five years flying 37,000 feet in the sky at the controls of jet airliners. Many a jumbo jet captain has been taught how to fly 747 aircraft by one them during their years as senior training captains with British Airways.

Happy - second - retirement chaps!

 

TERMS

We ask our clients to pay by money transfer at least twenty-eight days before the tour. We also accept payment long before your tour and hold the money in a bank account for you - in Sterling - which removes any worries about sudden rate of exchange fluctuations. Should you have to cancel your tour, so long as you let us know two weeks ahead of the tour, we refund your money in full. Should your plans suffer disruption from a sudden crisis - such as the volcano eruption on Iceland - we would refund your money in full.

Before a tour we keep in touch regularly and such decisions are taken together - which is how we avoid misunderstandings and stay friends with our customers.

We don't accept credit cards any longer because nowadays this adds 2.5% if not more on the price compared with a money transfer payment. Should no payment arrive twenty-eight days before a tour, rather than argue over cancellation fees, we simply assume that tour is not taking place and stand down the team. We find this is much simpler and everyone knows where they stand.

You can make enquiries and arrange a trip by e-mail with ourselves via the Bookings and Enquiries link below. 

 

PLEASE MAKE BOOKINGS & ENQUIRIES HERE

    Easy Sky Guide           Easy Schedules           Easy Overnight Schedules 

Why not combine a Normandy Sky Tour with a visit to Sir Winston Churchill's Archives at Cambridge University.