Worthing priest soars among the heavens in Second World War Spitfire

Father Chris Ingle in the cockpit of the Second World War Spitfire SUS-180929-161154001
Father Chris Ingle in the cockpit of the Second World War Spitfire SUS-180929-161154001

A Worthing priest ascended to the heavens this month in a Spitfire from the Second World War.

Father Chris Ingle, parish priest for St Michael’s in Ingle Road, Durrington, took to the skies over the historic Biggin Hill Aerodrome in Bromley, London.

Biggin Hill Aerodrome served as one of the main bases during the Battle of Britain, deploying fighters to defend London and the South East from German invasion.

Father Chris used to be a fast jet pilot in the RAF and, once airborne, was allowed to take over the controls.

He said: “It was a moving experience to fly in such a graceful and historic aircraft.

“Completing a couple of victory rolls was the icing on the cake.”

The Spitfire Father Chris manned was a Mk IX machine built in late 1943 and entered into service in September 1944.

It originally deployed from an advanced landing ground in Belgium and was converted to a two-seat trainer after the war.

The flight was made possible through the generosity of parishioners who organised a collection to celebrate Fr Chris’s birthday several years ago.

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