Fight or flight: Learn survival skills used by downed air crews at the National Museum of Flight

The National Museum of Flight in East Fortune is exploring nature this half term, with a brand new survival skills programme of events,

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From October 19 – 22, visitors will be able to learn techniques deployed by pilots and other aircrew downed in enemy territory.

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Featuring a bushcraft workshop and wild camping skills sessions, Survival Skills offers a fun-filled family day out, while providing useful lessons for the outdoors, such as lighting a fire with flint and steel and tying the knots used to set up a tarp and hammock.

Survival Skills will be taught in the Concorde hangar

The wild camping skills drop in sessions will take place in the Concorde hangar five times a day (11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30 & 15:30), and focus on setting up a ‘leave no trace’ camp. As well as knot tying, these show and tell sessions also include a lesson on how to make a fire which won’t damage the ground, and a demonstration on using a fizzy drink bottle to clean dirty water.

Meanwhile, the outdoor bushcraft workshops provide an opportunity for families to learn hands on skills, including how to use a knife safely to set up camp. Suitable for children aged 5+ accompanied by an adult, the 30 minute workshops (12:00, 13:00, 14:00 & 15:00) have limited places and should be booked on arrival.

Both activities are free with museum admission, but tickets should be booked in advance via the National Museum of Flight website

The National Museum of Flight has stunning exhibits on display

Museum of Flight general manager Steve McLean, said: “We’re really excited to be hosting Survival Skills at the museum this half term, offering a fun day out for all the family, as well as skills to last a lifetime. With the increased interest in wild camping, particularly in Scotland, we hope that visitors of all ages will be inspired by what they learn. It’s fascinating to think of the pilots who have used these skills in the past, which remain useful today, whether exploring the wilds, or just in the back garden.”

Stephanie Kerr, Programmes Advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery, which helped fund the programme, added: “These workshops are a fun and educational addition to the National Museum of Flight for the holidays. We’re thrilled that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting activities like this, allowing youngsters to learn new life skills, and maybe even encouraging some family camping trips!”

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Survival Skills runs from 19 – 22 October, 11:30 – 16:00 and is most suitable for families with children aged 5+.

Visitors will learn how to set up a camping tarp.

Located at East Fortune Airfield in East Lothian, the National Museum of Flight displays a range of historic aircraft, from Concorde to a Supermarine Spitfire. The National Museum of Flight is open seven days a week between 10am-5pm. Timed-entry tickets are available to purchase in advance from the website:

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, a range of measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. This includes pre-booked timed entry, face coverings, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens, hand-sanitising stations and one-way routes.

The latest information and guidance on how to visit all museums can be found at

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Vital lesson: How to safely set up and start a camp fire

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