The images accessible via 'showcase' will change regularly under various
sub headings. There will be a variety of different themes, and from
time to time, different contributors.
|3rd Club Class World Championships Elverum Norway 2004
The charming Starmoen airfield, set amongst the relentless pine forest, a few kilometres outside the town of Elverum, was the venue for the increasingly popular Club Class World Gliding Championships. An acknowledgement of thanks should go to the director Arild Solbakken and his hard working team of cheerful volunteers, for whom, no request was too much trouble. Against the occasional adversity of the weather, the Norwegian hospitality will long be remembered by all who took part in this World Championship event. Click here to view.
|The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – The Red Arrows
The name ‘The Red Arrows’ has for the last forty years been synonymous with precision and excellence amongst the aviation community world-wide. Formed out of the remains of the somewhat haphazard and officially frowned-on ‘Yellowjacks’ in 1965 in order that the RAF could represent itself in public with an official display team made up of relatively economic but high performance jet aircraft. Click here to view.
Royal International Air Tattoo RAF Fairford 2004
The Royal International Air Tatto, now traditionally held annually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire UK, had this year as it’s headline theme The 50 th Anniversary of the C-130 Hercules. Around 375 aircraft from 30 Air Arms around the world took part in RIAT 2004. Click here to view.
|Exercise NOMAD RAF Waddington July 2004
The authority which issues NOTAMs, ‘excuses’ the behavior of the participating pilots by stating: ACFT MAY BE UNABLE TO COMPLY WITH RULES OF THE AIR …such luxury!
NOMAD is described as a medium scale multi-nation airex involving up to 30 fast jets centered on the North Sea ACMI range – multiple aircraft in various formations – conducting high energy manoeuvres. So pretty much ‘heavy-metal’ heaven. Those of a sensitive or nervous disposition should not attend.
The participating aircraft on this occasion were EF-18A’s and B’s and F/A-18C’s and D’s of the Spanish and Swiss Air Forces respectively, plus Mirage 2000’s from the French Air Force typically flying two short sorties each day per aircraft. Click here to view.
|Balloons over Basingstoke
Balloons over Basingstoke, which for me began as ‘Burners over my bedroom’. I was woken at 07:10 on the second day of the event by the unmistakable, aggressive roar of hot air balloon gas burners aiding pilots in their immediate quest – to avoid depositing themselves and their passengers on the roof of my flat. All were close enough for me to shoot easily from my bedroom window.
As ‘NOMAD’, a NOTAM’d aviation event, this one however, with the emphasis less on extreme high energy manoeuvring and more on drifting gently in a highly conspicuous manner, at approximately the same speed as the breeze at between around 1000’ and 3000’. Click here to view.
“Aisle or window seat sir?”… Why would anyone with half an imagination, willfully deny themselves views like these…? It’s a big, beautiful world out there, and the nature of ever-changing meteorological conditions often result in even the most mundane of commercial flights rewarding a traveler with a phenomenal visual experience. I have, however, to declare a commercial interest in ‘window seats’ as despite often shooting through less than optically perfect glass, I have shot several book-covers from such situations. Click here to view.
“Reach for the Sky” is an 8-page feature, commissioned for the Toyota magazine - “One Aim”, a prestige Haymarket publication with production run of half a million, in 6 different languages. Organized with the superb logistic co-operation of the Kondor Gliding Club at Javelin Barracks - previously RAF Brüggen, Germany. Written by the internationally respected motor sport journalist Gavin Conway, the photographic brief called for a range of images reflecting the common ‘aerodynamics’ interest of Toyota F-1’s chief aerodynamicist René Hilhorst and the 2001 Club Class World Champion, Pete Masson. Click here to view.
Anyone with even half a passing interest in birds is guaranteed a treat without even leaving the airfield at Santa Cilia. Apart from the usual vast quantities of beautiful red kites and gigantic griffon vultures, the first week of March ’04 saw an exceptional number of migrating, highly vocal cranes passing directly overhead. Other species which one can expect to see in the area include: lammergeir, Egyptian vulture, booted eagle, black kite, short toed eagle, hen harrier. Click here to view.
|Gliding in the snow
An opportunity too good to miss. Hampshire, UK rarely gets covered in snow, but on this day - 29 Jan ’04 I felt obliged to organize a spur-of-the-moment air to air shoot featuring 2001 Club Class World Champion - Pete Masson, flying Duo Discus - 775 over the snow-dusted countryside amongst ‘regular’ airfield activities. Click here to view.
|Santa Cilia Airfield
The airfield at Santa Cilia near the northern Spanish town of Jaca in the Aragon valley, is one of the most comfortable and delightful places in the world from which to fly gliders. Its infrastructure, size and facilities make it a safe and comfortable airfield for pilots throughout the experience range. Even in rare non-flyable conditions, it’s location at the base of the Pyrenean foot-hills, rich in features of cultural and historical significance makes Santa Cilia a great place to spend time. Click here to view.
Gliding in the Spanish Pyrenees out of Aeródromo de Santa Cilia de Jaca N 42°34’16
W 00°43’39 March and September ’03. The airfield at Santa Cilia is an excellent place to fly from, affording safe and easy access to the Pyrenean mountain range. The entire range is spectacular from east to west, providing a mixture of wave and thermal lift to heights which allow great distances to be flown between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Click here to view.
Waddington December 2003
A day on the Lincolnshire plateau when the temperature failed to rise above 0°C witnessed ‘manic’ activity from the BAe Systems Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation range visitors, 10 and 2 Wing F16AM/F16BMs from the Force Aérienne Belge and the Mirage 2000Bs, Cs and -5s of EC 02.012 Picardie . With each nation flying very short duration mission, there was rarely a moment of daylight without a combat aircraft out of the circuit. Click here to view.
Bell 47G G-MASH
The classic Bell 47G, synonymous with the 1970 film “M.A.S.H.” and the popular long running TV series of the same name is flown by the highly experienced helicopter pilot Tracy Martin on the UK air display circuit. The images seen here were the result of a shoot, specifically aimed at generating some publicity pictures with a view to gaining a season’s worth of sponsorship funding. Anyone out there interested...? Click here to view.
World Championships, Musbach 2002
Musbach, a village near Freudenstadt, in the heart of the Black Forest area of Germany, was the venue for the 2002 Club Class World Gliding Championships. Superbly hosted and managed by the Fliegergruppe Freudenstadt, under the directorship of Axel Reich, the competition brought together 66 pilots from 24 nations in an excellent atmosphere of camaraderie. These images are just a very small selection of those taken during the 3 weeks of competition and practice. Click here to view.
These pictures were taken by Pete Masson on a trip to Omarama, New Zealand. The images were captured during various cross-country flights including his Diamond Height which took him to 30,000 feet above the Southern Alps. Immediately following this trip, Pete went on to compete at the Club Class World Championships in Gawler, Australia in January 2001 where he became World Champion. Click here to view.