An Oxford man will return home to fly in front of crowds at the Abingdon Air & Country Show on Sunday 2nd May.

Flight Lieutenant Tom Saunders, who grew up in Bladon, is this year’s Royal Air Force Hawk display pilot. He will be performing in his colourful Hawk jet that’s painted up in a patriotic colour scheme(picture attached). Tom will be displaying at airshows across the UK this summer, but his appearance at Abingdon will be his debut.

Tom, 29, is looking forward to returning home to Oxfordshire. He said: “Abingdon is a very special show for me, not only because it is my home show but also because it is the first show of my season. I am very proud to be flying in a jet with my name on it! I’ve been going to the Abingdon air show since 2001 – at that time I could only dream of being able to display there one day.” Tom and his accompanying support team will be meeting the crowds at the show. He said: “We will all be delighted to meet the public, answering any questions they may have.”

As a teenager, Tom watched aircraft flying from Kidlington Airport from his back garden in Bladon. He obtained his Private Pilots License aged 17 and worked at Kidlington as a civilian flying instructor before joining the RAF in 2004. Tom is currently an instructor RAF Valley in north Wales where he teaches future fast-jet pilots.

The volunteer-run Abingdon show, staged at Abingdon Airfield, Dalton Barracks, raises funds for the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance. Besides Tom Saunders flying the Hawk, there will be air displays by many other aircraft including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, C-47, Hurricane, Swift Glider Team and Vampire jet. A wide range of ground attractions include Dr Who Daleks, trade stalls, craft fair, Fiona Harrison singing 1940s music, classic MG cars and a parade of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, dragster and Formula 1 showcars, mobile farm, sheepdog demonstrations, WW2 re-enactment displays and 1940s music sung by Fiona Harrison, childrens’ amusements and more.

Advance tickets are on sale now from a variety of outlets including Warehouse Shop,Stratton Way Abingdon,the Guildhall Abingdon,One-Stop Shop,Britwell Rd Didcot and Tourist Info Centres in Aylesbury,Princes Risborough,Swindon,Wallingford and Witney. For more information, visit www.abingdonfayre.com