My lifelong fascination with flying had its origins in my childhood when my grandmother took me along to an airfield and sat me in the cockpit of an aeroplane where I could pretend to fly. My dream came true after meeting an elderly gentleman in New York. I was in a men’s clothing store when I noticed the man staring at a pin, shaped like a vintage aircraft, which I wore on my jacket. He asked me whether I knew which aircraft it was. I said I had no idea and he replied that he had bought such an aircraft from Howard Hughes and would show it to me if I were interested. In the following month, his pilot took me up flying in his aeroplane – a Spartan Executive – and we became friends. A couple of years later, he sent me a catalogue from an English auction house which was offering various vintage aircraft for auction. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the low prices. My budget at that time allowed me to buy two aircraft, one of which was in pieces, for less than the price of a new Volkswagen. By this time, although I had clocked up several hundred hours flying in modern aircraft, I had lost my enthusiasm for flying. This changed the moment I piloted the Broussard, one of the two post-war aircraft (WWII) which I owned. When you fly a vintage aircraft you hear the engine noise, smell the oil and fuel, and feel that you are flying the plane and not the other way around. Of course, a jet flies very fast and is very comfortable, but you are 10,000 meters above the earth and could just as well be sitting in your living room.