December 17, 2006

Night Landing

The view from my seat as we arrived at Manston airport in the dark this evening. We've had to temporarily re-locate because our own grass strip is far too soggy to operate from!

December 9, 2006


Well, we are trying to get off the ground but the aftermath of a week's rain has left us grounded with all the airfields in Kent with grass runways closed. It's all very annoying and more rain is forecast this week. If things don't improve soon, we'll have to reposition to Manston until the county drys out.

We very much depend on the hospitality of small airstrips, as places to pick-up banners from. The larger airfields are of course much busier and invariably the circuits are full of practising pilots, which makes our work much harder and much slower... a bit like being caught in a city centre traffic jam. Unfortunately, the sea temperatures are so warm for the time of year, the chances of more gales and tornado weather are very high and so we may find ourselves struggling to find good weather gaps in December and January.

One client has already booked the "Fat Boy Slim" concert in Brighton on New Year's Day. Let's hope the weather is kind for him!

November 30, 2006

New Look for Airads

First look at the "New look" design for the Airads Cessna 172. New branding and much brighter than before as we're sure you'll agree!

November 8, 2006

Romance in the Air with Airads

With the aircraft being repainted this month, there are no more flights going out until 24th November when it appears in its new colours. To keep busy then, we enjoyed a quick slot on BBC Radio Gloucester, the breakfast show, this morning, to tell the audience all about our flying proposals and how well they work!

November 4, 2006

Big Bang

City View

Two days of stunning November weather, with high pressure sitting over the country. This is the view of London's 'Docklands' early on Saturday morning, on the way out to Turweston.

Expect lots of fog around on Sunday as a consequence of the Guy Fawkes fireworks celebrations. The carbon particles in the air will hold the moisture and unless the wind increases from the predicted overnight calm, we'll have perfect conditions for post-fireworks fog.

November 6th is commonly one of the foggiest mornings of the year.

FastFit Sale

fast fit tyre sale

Glorious Winter sunshine over Milton Keynes, operating from Turweston arfield to promote the FastFit tyre sale.

Did anyone living in Milton Keynes 'Not' see us?

October 31, 2006

Along for the Ride

One way to spend the weekend I guess, which reminds me, I have to have the aircraft painted in new AIRADS house colours next week. Should look nice when it's finished but given the cost, it had better be!

October 28, 2006


Interesting day at Rochester on Friday, with the airport turned into a filmset and closed to visiting traffic. They were busy making a film called "Surveillance", starring Simon Callow and others, where the plot involved stealing an aircraft in an attempt to leave the country.

Lot's of takes and 'derring-do' aerial chases, the internet and all that I'm sure, so I won't spoil it for you. It's due to be screened at next year's Cannes Film Festival.

I rather wondered, from this one and the Ridley Scott production we were roped into in June, where actress Keira Knightly was cast as as a lost pilot, how on earth they ever get these films finished, as so much time appears to be spent in preparation for filming, standing around waiting for takes or sitting in the canteen.

October 24, 2006

Wet Feet Weather

The Autumn weather is starting to make its presence felt. Today's missions were abandoned with Rochester airfield underwater and an improvement is now unlikely until Friday.

Last week, we had a lucky break with a banner around Ipswich advertising "LISTEN TO TOWN 102 FM NOW ON AIR !" another radio station launch under bright blue skies but with very challenging and gusty conditions.

Over the next four months at least, flying any banner involves an element of probability and some luck, which is why the aircraft will go for a complete re-paint at the beginning of November for two weeks and will re-appear looking rather smart I hope.

October 11, 2006

Front Page News

Front page news on 'Churchill Estates Review'. How an aerial banner can be good for business!

September 5, 2006

Awful August

First look at the banner regularly flying over East London for Churchill Estates. Very bright and visible from a very long way.

I think we'll remember last month as "Awful August", more banners cancelled due to bad weather, including "Glorious Goodwood" than I can recall. A dramatic contrast with a record-breaking July!

August 27, 2006

Maiden Flight

Over the Reading Festival (2006) this afternoon towing a banner for rock group, Iron Maiden for what was planned to be 90 minutes but we noticed a tear in the banner fabric - you can just see it in the pickup photo at the top - so to save the banner from further harm, we cut short the flight to take it home for repairs.

Apologies to a disappointed Iron Maiden but these banners are like the sails on yachts. Made of hi-tech material able to take enormous forces, just occasionally and very rarely, a seam will fail and if that happens, it's best to get them backon the ground quickly to avoid the risk of an unsightly bundle of washing behind the aircraft if a tear expands in flight.

Meanwhile, on the ground below, I can't remember seeing so many thousands of people packed into such a tight but very large space. You could see the stage from miles away!

August 19, 2006

Lynx City Tour - Be Prepared

Be prepared for the Lynx city tour at the end of August and beginning of September, with Airads pulling the Lynx towel along behind the aircraft.

Maiden Voyage

Airads will be at this month's Reading Festival displaying a special banner for the legendary rock group, Iron Maiden. Let's hope the weather is perfect for the flyby.

Today, we opened the Eastbourne Airshow with a girl to boy proposal of marriage along the seafront in front of thousands of spectators. Guess what, it worked!

August 17, 2006

First Minute Fares and Airads

First Great Western_02
Originally uploaded by DrMoores.

The banner was supposed to be flying down in Devon today but awful weather turned us round near Newbury this morning, with the cloud down to six hundred feet and up as far as three thousand feet into controlled airspace.

It takes a great deal to turn us round but in the driving rain, fog and with the hills up around our ears, discretion is the better part of valour and so instead we displayed this banner over Bluewater, the QEII Bridge and M25 North. Funnily enough, one of our pilots driving to Leeds across the bridge actually saw it and wondered why it wasn't down in Devon.

The moral of the story is that if you can't fly the banner exactly where you want it, we can normally find somewhere with a guaranteed audience, like an M25 traffic jam!

August 16, 2006

First Flight Mobadoo

First Flight Mobadoo Banner_04
Originally uploaded by DrMoores.

First look at the banner that Airads is flying along the M25 North and South on consecutive days in August during the evening rush hour.

And what's a 'Mobadoo' you might ask? Well visit and all will be revealed!

August 15, 2006

Unseasonable August

The weather had the better of us this last weekend. I'm not sure what happened to August but the storms left a trail of destruction, which included my garden fence and sadly, the flight over the charity shield game at Cardiff. Very disappointing but the weather between us and Wales would have chewed-up a light aircraft and dropped it into Cardigan Bay.

By Sunday evening we had managed to re-schedule our local flights with partners around the country but the coming week still looks very unsettled with a second band of weather now making its way east.

This is one factor, the English summer weather, that clients should always take into account. We all know it's unpredictable and if you have a banner to fly at a certain time and date, we are bound by CAA regulations to ensure that the aircraft safety and the safety of the people watching on the ground below is paramount.

Up and coming this week, we have the Dawlish Air Festival and the start of a regular circuit of the M25, every other day for

August 10, 2006

The Churchill Spirit

Leading north London estate agents, Churchill Estates, has commissioned a giant "billboard" sheet banner (artwork pictured left) for a new advertising campaign starting next weekend.

It's a "rush" production challenge but as long as Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs don't sit on the package when it arrives from the States, these big ones are produced in Florida - as they sometimes do, we hope to have it flying over the Chingford area on time.

August 9, 2006

FA Community Shield at Cardiff

This weekend Airads will be flying the flag for a client over the FA Charity Shield at the Cardiff Millenium Stadium.

Formerly known as the Charity Shield, The FA Community Shield is the traditional curtain-raiser to the domestic season between the League and FA Cup Champions.

The first Charity Shield match was played in 1908 between Manchester United, reigning Football League Champions, and Queens Park Rangers, then Southern League Champions. In 1974 FA Secretary Ted Croker proposed that the Shield should be played at Wembley as a curtain-raiser to the new season between the reigning League Champions and FA Cup holders.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea are current Shield holders after beating London rivals Arsenal 2-1 in Cardiff.

The FA Community Shield on 13 August 2006 will be played at the Millennium Stadium between Liverpool and Chelsea.

Quick Pickups

Two Pickup videos to compare with each other. The first is the Meridien Alfa Romeo car sheet banner being collected at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight for Cowes Week:

The second is of course the pickup of the Dubai Aerospace banner for the Farnborough Airshow 2006

August 6, 2006

Mishon Mackay

Over Brighton today and operating from Deanland where they had a great "fly-in" with breakfast on hand. Towing a banner for Mishon Mackay along the seafront on a sultry August morning.

Achtung Spitfire

So there I was, minding my own business, setting up a banner on the runway at Rochester, when this Spitfire appeared and started to buzz me. Good thing I had my camera to hand.

By coincidence the car in the photo below that was on show at Deanland airfield, has a Spitfire Merlin engine installed.

The noise is unmistakable and the petrol consumption, well, out of this world!

August 3, 2006

Wet Start to August

It’s the start of August and the weather, in the south-east at least, is like March.

Bad news for flights over the last two days with high winds and rain keeping us on the ground. The weather is however set to improve over the coming weekend and we have the Corona Beer sheet banner to display over Brands Hatch racetrack on Sunday afternoon and two more sheet banners to fly, one in Brighton and one over the Margate Carnival, the same day.

Remember that if bad weather stops us flying your message, then you are entitled to a full refund or the choice of a new display date.

July 29, 2006

Fly Alfa Romeo

It's 'Cowes Week' at the Isle of Wight and Airads is busy flying a specially designed sheet banner for Meridien Milano,advertising their Alfa Romeo cars.

We had a small hitch with a slow oscillation on the first run to Cowes but this was quickly fixed by adding extra weight to the base of the lead pole and after this, it all worked fine.

This kind of thing is far more difficult to fly than people might think.

July 19, 2006

Much too Hot at Farnborough 2006

More brush fires breaking out between here and London and the temperature showing 41 Celsius at Brimpton airfield near Farnborough today as we prepared for our detail over the airshow.

The heat meant that the density altitude at ground level was equivalent to 2000 feet and the aircraft struggled in the thin hot air to do its job

Picking-up the big Dubai Aerospace banner was equally difficult with the buffeting the aircraft received in the hot air close to the ground.

I’ve attached a few photos taken above the airshow here. Spot the stealth fighter and of course the big A380 airbus for the aviation buffs among you.

July 18, 2006

Watch the Skies

We've been doing the display at the Farnborough Airshow for the last two days this week and three more to go. Here's a picture of the huge A380 airbus on the runway.

Here's a photo of one of the crop circles I spotted near Rochester, I found them again this afternoon, so here you are, an exclusive of sorts!

Pointing the way to Farnborough for the aliens perhaps.

July 16, 2006

Tolpuddle Martyrs Rally

Back again to celebrate the annual rally in memory of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Airads was busy flying a Trade Union banner over the march which takes place in the small Dorset village of Tolpuddle to commemorate the men who were deported to Australia, over 150 years ago, for starting a small Trades Union.

The six Tolpuddle Martyrs were all farm labourers, paid 9 shillings a week and lived in dreadful poverty. Their leader George Loveless, decided to set up a Union in Tolpuddle to give the labourers bargaining strength.

In 1834 James Frampton, a local landowner, wrote to the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, to complain about the union, invoking an obscure law from 1797 prohibiting people from swearing oaths to each other, which the Friendly Society had done. James Brine, James Hammett, George Loveless, George's brother James Loveless, George's brother in-law Thomas Standfield, and Thomas' son John Standfield were arrested, found guilty, and transported to Australia.

Farnborough 2006 - Welcomes Dubai Aerospace

A short video showing the test flight preparation for the Airads pickup of the Dubai Aerospace banner for the Farnborough 2006 Airshow.

July 3, 2006

Just Married - Kev & Grace

Today's personal message from a proud father to the happy couple in Westbrook, Kent..

July 2, 2006

Powerboat Weekend

Over the annual powerboat races at Ramsgate today. Lots of fast action with some of the boats overtaking the aircraft as it towed a property website advertisement banner above them.

July 1, 2006

Homes in the Sky

We have been towing a banner for Terence Painter Properties today along the North Kent coast from Birchington t Ramsgate, advertising new homes in Thanet.

If anyone does call 01843 599130 and moves in for only £99.00 let us know!

More photos here.

June 30, 2006

A Mini World Cup

Lots of children waving for the banner flypast organised by Kent County Council at Newington junior school in Ramsgate today, to celebrate the mini-World Cup competition. More photos and some interesting shots of the Thanet seafront you can find by following this link.

June 28, 2006

Farnborough 2006 Selects Airads

The organisers of the Farnborough 2006 Airshow in July have selected Airads as the company to fly a sheet banner for Dubai Aerospace on each day of the show.

Measuring approximately 20 by 70 feet, the banner will be displayed before the start of each day's air displays at this, one of Europe's largest aviation events.

June 27, 2006

Veterans Day 2006

Another first for AIRADS as the Ministry of Defence asks us to fly a "Veterans Day" banner over the Imperial War Museum and Westminster for two days.

More photographs will soon be available for viewing in our photo library.

June 18, 2006

Kent Airshow Flypast

After the experience of joing the RAF Falcons for a ride to 12,000 feet yesterday, it wasn’t quite by design but I found myself as the first aircraft into the Kent Airshow today, towing a banner advertising “ – New Homes.”

Thanet Airshow 2006_day 2-10

Having checked the details with Manston air traffic, I was under the impression that I had until 13:00 to get in and out of Palm Bay and it wasn’t until we were airborne that I heard the Red Arrows were due to run through at 11:55; just giving enough time for us to run in and out of Palm Bay before we were run over.

I’ve just uploaded some more photos of the air show that you can fine by following the link.

June 14, 2006

Takes More than Wind and Rain

Summer seems to have gone again as suddenly as it appeared and we're desparately trying to fly the banner in the photo opposite the Grand Hotel in Brighton this evening with the wind and rain very much against us.

Fingers crossed that we get there in time for the proposal and that the lady says "Yes" as a result!

Field Testing the Corona Beer Banner

Field testing the Corona Beer sheet banner under the watchful eye of Captain Bob, in an evening's banner lifting "masterclass."

The really big ones like this, soon to be flown over Brands Hatch, present some real challenges to the pilot and the aircraft together!

June 13, 2006

Veterans Day 2006

Airads has been asked by the Ministry of Defence to fly a ‘Veterans Day’ banner over central London on 26th and 27th June to celebrate the event at the Imperial War Museum.

In order to fly over central London, we’ll be using an Islander, twin-engined aircraft with a banner designed especially for the day. All we need to make the mission a success is good weather and the permission of the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) which is rather less predictable than the possibility of blue skies on the day.

June 11, 2006

Palm FM

Towing a banner fro Exmouth to Dartmouth for radio station Palm FM today. Everybody appears to have been enjoying the sunshine and very sensible too.

One man's view of Dartmouth and the entrance to the River Dart earlier today. Pretty hot and sticky everywhere I went with almost as many aircraft up as there were cars jamming the roads back from the coast this evening

June 9, 2006

World Cup Fever

Over Bury St Edmunds and much of Suffok today for the police, publicising their 'Operation Crackdown" and I thought we might join in with the manic World Cup spirit by flying two St George's flags from the aircraft. Unfortunately, the flags, designed for cars, weren't up to the job of dealing with an aircraft slipstream at 120mph and shredded themselves in-flight.

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!

The News of the World decided not to position us over the Big Brother House tomorrow evening. originally, they had wanted a message with "England Won" on it but then they considered that England might not win, which would be waste of money, so another bright idea went out of the window.

June 4, 2006

Gone Tech

With both the News of the World and The Sun newspapers calling us over the last couple of days, Airads is now firmly into its peak season, with the summer sunshine appearing at last this weekend.

Now working almost flat-out on Saturdays and Sundays, A technical problem yesterday afternoon was the subject of some disappointment on the second of three missions in the south west and the aircraft is now back at base; laid-up waiting for a replacement part which we hope will have us back in the air for Suffolk Police on Friday.

June 2, 2006

The Race is On

Another day at the Volvo Ocean Challenge for Airads, once again supporting the start of the next leg of the race to Rotterdam and the Sony Ericsson yacht.

See all the photos here.

May 31, 2006

Caravan Sales are On

A new banner for Haven Holidays, as Airads works the holiday sites of caravan parks across southern England.

May 29, 2006

Ocean Challenge

Ericsson Boat Ocean Challenge Portsmouth 2006_09

Airads flies the flag for Sony Ericsson at the finish of the Volvo Ocean challenge at Portsmouth today, supporting the boat and its crew as they arrive home from the South American leg of the race.

BBC News report.

May 22, 2006

Backup Website for Airads

Airads now has a backup website at

We've been experiencing reliability problems with our existing Web hosting company and have placed a mirror site online to give us a better chance of being found if the main airads website at, 'Falls Over".

May 13, 2006

Airads at the FA Cup Final

Just back from the FA Cup Final in Cardiff where we have been towing a banner for

I had an unusual view of the match from above. Pictures can be found here for anyone who might be interested in a view of footballers’ heads.

From what I could see, buzzing around above the pitch, most of the first half of the game appeared to be played around the Liverpool goal but I’ll try and get a better look in the TV highlights later tonight. Liverpool won of course 3-3 on penalties or so air traffic control told me on the way home.

May 11, 2006

You'll Never Fly Alone

I had almost forgotten it was FA Cup Final Day on Saturday until I had a call this afternoon requesting a banner, supporting a Liverpool Football club website, to be flown around the stadium for ninety minutes during the match.

I can try and watch the action on the big screen from the air but I think the rest of you will be able to see rather more than me! None of the cold ‘Fosters’ either I’m afraid.

May 9, 2006

Operation Crackdown

Airads have been selected by the police to fly a banner in support of  “Operation Crackdown”, the new national anti-drugs initiative, starting with East Anglia on June 9th.

May 1, 2006

Match of the Day

Yesterday’s circuits of Spur’s White Hart Lane ground made BBC’s Match of the Day on  Sunday, in both the game’s highlights and a separate shot of the banner.

With England manager Sven Goran Eriksson  at the match looking for players to join the World Cup squad, the media can be forgiven for thinking that the banner might have been for him until they could read it properly. I wonder what Sven thought of it all? Who is Steve G perhaps and can he take the injured Wayne Rooney’s place in Germany?

April 30, 2006

Me To You over White Hart Lane

One man's view of White Hart Lane stadium at 4:15 this afternoon. Whether, “Steve” who was proposed to by his partner, “Manda”, said “Yes”, I don’t know but it must have come as a bit of a surprise to be sitting among thousands of fellow Spurs fans and have a banner float by; a message from your partner asking you to marry her. Definitely a first in my experience!

To Perranporth for the Co-op

To Perranporth in Cornwall to announce the opening of a new Co-op supermarket in the town. Atlantic Surf and stunning views along the Cornish coast makes this a popular seaside holiday destination.

April 17, 2006

Saints Flyby

St Mary' Stadium 3-170406
Originally uploaded by DrMoores.

A successful flyby over St Mary's Stadium this afternoon. With the banner carrying the fans' message, "Time to Go, Rupert Lowe". Any lower and we would have been in the stadium. Much of the western and southern side of Southampton was covered but the north-east was barred because of incoming airport traffic.

Click on the stadium photo to see the others, which can be downloaded in high resolution if you wish to have copies.

A bit tricky for us to fly, as the stadium is right on the final approach to the airport and so our thanks to air traffic control for making it possible and slotting-in the display between landing flights.

Saints Update

For all interested Saints fans this morning, Southampton Air Traffic Control has kindly given permission for the aircraft carrying the banner to position over the St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon. The weather looks promising with the forecast for a NW wind at around 10mph and broken cloud at 2,000 feet.

We will be leaving for Bembridge Isle of Wight at noon.

April 16, 2006

From Southend Pier

Another successful proposal of marriage on the end of Southend pier this morning. Our congratulations to Upesh and the happy Jyoti, who said “Yes.”

This was our second attempt at playing Cupid as last Monday was “Snowed-off.”

April 14, 2006

Pilots Notes for Saints Fans

I can see some activity from the various Saints fan sites rippling across this web page and so here’s some information for you all to counter any of the misinformation I’ve been reading.

  • The aircraft will be operating from Bembridge, Isle of Wight as it’s much easier to pick-up from there and it’s out of the way of other operational traffic.
  • I will be speaking to the SATCO, the senior ATC controller at Southampton airport in advance to ask permission to enter the control zone and log our aircraft details. We did this last time and ATC were fine about it, Saints fans I assume.
  • Flying time from Bembridge to St Mary’s stadium is approximately ten minutes. We will aim to pick up the banner by 14:45 latest and will loiter over Portsmouth before heading for the stadium for 15:05, as long as the weather and the ATC are kind. If there is a large passenger aircraft coming into the airport at that time we may be held.

  • From the stadium and with the permission of ATC we will fly the banner across the city before returning to Bembridge for the drop.

If you have any questions please ask and I’ll attempt to answer before Monday!

Sad Farewell

A poignantly sad banner flown over a funeral at Cardiff this week. A double tragedy from the message but an impressive send off, with a fleet of white Rolls Royces and hundreds of people at the cemetery service.

April 13, 2006

Saints Banner - Second Attempt on Easter Monday

I can see that the Weblog is being visited regularly by Southampton Football Club fans from across the world, possibly to see if the banner flight is on for this coming Bank Holiday Monday; the match against Millwall.

The long term forecast for Monday looks promising and we are set for the display to appear over St Mary’s stadium at 3:05pm. Any changes to plan and I’ll let you know.

Give us a big cheer if we get there. I’ll be filming it from the air and will put the video of everyone waving – I hope – on this Weblog to look at.

Wish us and the weather good luck!

April 8, 2006

Thanet Life Takes to the Sky

Flying the banner for "ThanetLife" a new online community publication for the Isle of Thanet in Kent.

April 6, 2006

Spinnaker Tower Celebrations

Spinnaker Centre Portsmouth - 5- 060406
Originally uploaded by DrMoores.

We've been over at Portsmouth today, towing a banner for the 250,000 visitor celebrations for the Spinnaker Tower.

Lots of photos here of the famous tower, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and more, so follow the link to see more.

April 2, 2006

Marry Me Laura?

Another day and another spring romantic “pops” the question.

I didn’t think that today would be possible with a proposal to fly just outside Aldermaston. The weather conditions were very challenging with heavy cloudbursts and 40mph winds. However, the young man in question was desperate for us to try, having set-up a surprise party and bought the engagement ring and so with the wind howling along the runway at Basing Farm, Cupid or fortune were on his side, with the banner up at the first attempt; more luck than judgement.

Having done the quick flight and wrestled the aircraft back on to the ground in the rain, a coffee and two Vallium was followed by an excited call from the client. “She said ‘Yes’, he said, “As it was the only way she was going to get back inside out of the rain!”

If I had realised the boat race was on on the way home, I would have stopped off for a look. To give you an idea of the wind-speed out there, Farnborough to Herne Bay in forty minutes on the way home!