November 19, 2011

We Only Had 10 Men

Airads was busy this afternoon flying a banner with the message "We Only Had 10 Men" for the Derby vs Hull match this afternoon.

We did have some last minute issues with the police attempting to prevent the flight after complaints from the rival fans but in the end, it all went ahead without a hitch and from the look of Twitter, to some amusement by both sides.

The weather deteriorated badly as the flight progressed and it was only luck that the aircraft managed to get to Pride Park before it closed in.

As one might expect, lots of good media coverage for the flight.

November 5, 2011

A Flying Football Message for Steve Kean

Airads were in action once again this afternoon for football fans and it was over Elwood Park with a message for the Blackburn Rovers manager, Steve Kean

The plane circled Ewood during the first half of the match against Chelsea, with the message - reading simply 'Steve Kean Out' - bumping along behind it.

We were delayed for a quarter of an hour by a bird strike en-route, described by some as 'Fowl Play' but all credit to Peter, the pilot for getting it there and back without incident.

There's been considerable coverage online and it has appeared on the TV sports reviews.

October 16, 2011

Liverpool vs Manchester United - Bonjour!

Seen before the kick-off over the Liverpool vs Manchester United match at Anfield this Saturday. Guess who?

"BONJOUR 19X ICDJ" was the message!

September 30, 2011

Maisy Behave - Big Brother House

Another Big Brother House ambush flight this afternoon, with a plane banner saying "MAISY BEHAVE YOURSELF LOVE DAD!"

I'm losing count. There was Jade, Ulrika, Maisy and I can't recall who the other one was over the last six years!

Meanwhile, I was being shadowed by Baron Von Richthofen - see photo

Indian Summer Marriage Proposal at Fairlop Water

It's getting steadily hotter out there and our congratulations go to Jaspal and Simi after a fairy tale Airads flying  marriage proposal at Fairlop Water in Essex yesterday afternoon. A special day and an Indian summer to remember!

Here's a photograph of a very special bouquet for the lucky lady!

September 28, 2011

Wicked Wednesday at Northampton

A 'Wicked Wednesday' promotion over the University at Northampton today. I wonder if anyone in the town 'didn't' see the banner!

August 29, 2011

Reading Festival 2011 - A Proposal to Remember

Between the heavy showers at this year's Reading Festival, Scott successfully proposed to Sammy-T with an Airads proposal banner, just before Madness came on stage.

From the aircraft, the view below was of thousands of tents and thousands of revellers standing in a uniform landscape of mud between the stages. But for the soon to be happy couple, 4pm on Saturday was a date to remember.

August 21, 2011

Airshows and a Botany Bay Proposal

Airads had a busy week with both Shoreham and Dunsfold Airshow press days and banner displays at both the Dawlish Air Fair and the Bournemouth Air Festival on Friday for Airfix.

Today we have a marriage proposal banner for Catia from Luis over Botany Bay at Broadstairs. Good Luck!

July 20, 2011

Cash in Hand - A Giant £2 Million Cheque

A special assignment today, deliver a giant £2million cheque to a location outside Maidstone.

Left the camera in the car so I don't know if anyone else has a photo of it flying yet? Maybe the BBC?

Wonder what happens when it's paid into the bank?

July 17, 2011

Airads Congratulates the Open Golf Champion 2011

It was touch and go this evening to get a banner flying over the 18th hole of the 2011, Open Golf Championship at the Royal St Georges in Sandwich.

The weather all day had been appalling and we had already lost two banners to fly at the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs, trade union rally in Dorset.

However, at 6pm, just in time for the prize giving at Royal St Georges, the weather broke and Airads managed to get to the airfield and have the banner over the golf course in sixty minutes.

Congratulations Darren Clarke!

July 4, 2011

Heart FM Flies an Airads Banner

Over the North of Kent this morning with a  special competition for Heart FM 103.1 & 102.8 and SKY TV.

Pictured is the lovely Lucy from the radio station who acted as roving presenter and 'co-pilot' as the aircraft picked its way along the Thanet coast.

You can listen to the edited programme here:

June 19, 2011

Airads Flies the Flag at Margate's Big Event - The Airfix Airshow 2011

What a fabulous display by the Red Arrows this afternoon that entertained thousands of people between the Margate Harbour Arm and the beach at Westgate, with the 'Arrows' skimming along the clifftop at low level between the two as they carried out a lengthy and highly skilled display.

We finally managed to get the Airfix Airshow banner airborne during a gap in the weather and before the Memorial Flight came in. It got back just in time as the heavens opened and so I call that as a good and rather lucky result. I did notice that some of The Tigers freefall parachute team ended up having a dip in Margate harbour but they gave the crowds some wonderful entertainment in the process.

June 6, 2011

An Essex Birthday

An afternoon  birthday banner just between Stapleford and North Weald airfields yesterday and as the weather collapsed around us, we were very lucky indeed, to complete the flight as the rain, the first seen in months, started to pour down.

Thanks to Richard Foord for his photo.

June 4, 2011

Pendulum Over Cambridge at The Junction

Busy this afternoon for two hours flying a Pendulum banner for 'The Junction' over Cambridge's Midsummer common for 'The Junction', see their Facebook page

Very difficult and windy conditions meant it took three attempts to get the banner, pictured below, airborne over the city's dreaming spires!

Visit the Airads Facebook page to keep up with what and where we are flying this summer.

May 30, 2011

Glider FX Display Abingdon 2011

The Glider FX display from this year's Abingdon Airshow can now be found on YouTube. Towing a glider at low level can be harder and more challenging work than towing a banner.

May 22, 2011

Quick Pass

After yesterday evening's run along a dazzling Brighton beach with a marriage proposal, I've just had to let today's client know that the forecast for Kent is so bad that he's going to have to cancel or postpone his noon proposal at Leeds castle; wind speeds are expected above 30mph. It's all very stressful for people I know but invariably, it all works out if a little patience and a 'Plan B' is involved.

What interested me most yesterday was the volume of 'Tweets' from Brighton beach as people watched the banner go past. When I arrived back home, much like the results of last week's Millwall banner at Wigan, I could follow a running commentary of the flight and people's opinions.

Not content with a simple T-shirt trophy I see that the happy Millwall fans are now getting into commemorative 'mission badges' as a host of merchandising opportunities have appeared since last Sunday. At this rate, a thousand or more Chinese factory workers will be turning out collectors items like the badge shown below. The next step up is probably a leather flying jacket with a hand painted design, much like those worn by USAAF aircrew in World War II. There's a company in Scotland that does them!

The Friday's Daily Mail report was likely another example of the paper not letting a good story get in the way of the facts. In many ways it's quite funny as the Mail uses me as a pilot from time to time and all they had to do was ask:

"Have you heard from the CAA" - "No".

I've lost track of the number of football matches we've done over the years and so over the course of any season, we might do several trips for fans around different clubs, Liverpool, Norwich and Manchester United being among the most popular.

Collecting a banner is a difficult exercise, which is why only a handful of pilots do it. On a day like today, the strong winds would make it far too dangerous to try and work at 100mph ten feet off the ground, much like being in a small boat in a stormy sea.  As I'm having so many hits from different football fans sites, the video below gives you an idea of what's involved.

May 18, 2011

Rain Stops Play

Airads was scheduled to deliver a surprise message to the Home Secretary from the Police Federation today as she arrived at the conference in Bournemouth but the weather had other ideas; our first cancellation in weeks.

With so much time spent in the air recently, there's been no time to congratulate Johan and Emilia for the proposal over Leeds castle on Sunday and we've another coming this coming Sunday afternoon and a second over Brighton beach at 6pm on Saturday if you happen to be there!

The Abingdon airshow two weeks ago was a first success for banner towing as part of the display from Guy Westgate and my colleagues in the GliderFX team and I've embedded a view of what the team gets up to in the YouTube video below with Bournemouth seen at a sunnier moment for their own airshow.

May 16, 2011

Avram Grant - Millwall Legend

Airads was asked by the Millwall 'House of Fun' to fly a banner, with the message, Avram Grant - Millwall Legend', over the West Ham vs Wigan football match on Sunday. Airad's Chief Pilot and Operations Director, Simon Moores, gave an interview on 'Talk Sport radio on Monday afternoon.

Very difficult flying conditions on the day and credit goes, Alan, the pilot for making it possible and on time! These things are not always easy to arrange and demand a military-like precision at times to pull off the best effect!

Thanks for all the messages of support on Twitter. Send us a T-shirt!!

See the Daily Mail Article

April 26, 2011

Supporting NO to AV Above Mr Cameron

Airads was sitting over an Academy in Maidstone today, watching the Prime Minister, David Cameron arrive with his entourage.

I'm sure he noticed his 'No to AV' banner!

Racing at Goodwood

Airads was operating from Goodwood airfield over the Bank Holiday weekend, promoting the horse racing weekend at the famous racecourse at the end of this month.

The beaches between Portsmouth and Brighton marina were packed with with sun-worshippers enjoying what felt very much like July weather. Over in the naval dockyard at Portsmouth, I saw the nuclear submarine had gone but two modern warships were moored-up for the weekend.

April 19, 2011

Aerial Views of the Olympic Site

I promised to give you some aerial photos of central London on this unusually warm April day and I have added in some passing shots of the Olympic stadium , so readers should feel a little privileged to be able to see what's going on there before anyone else! Follow the links to the online library for the rest.

April 16, 2011

Manston Airport Welcomes The Turner Contemporary Gallery with an Airads Banner

Manston Airport welcomed the opening of the Turner Contemporary Gallery with a banner fly past this morning as local artist, Tracey Emin and Jools Holland started the ceremony. For anyone wishing to enjoy a 'Bird's eye' view of what was happening at exactly 09:45 this morning as the gallery opened, a historic moment for the town of Margate after many years of waiting, here are some photos to enjoy. The link to the gallery will give you higher resolution, although not quite good enough to identify individual faces!

April 10, 2011

Airads Flies The Brighton Marathon 2011

Back home from an hour sitting over the start of this year's Brighton Marathon. It's a little warmer and sunnier on the southern side of the country and I wonder what any visiting alien might make of all the thousands of people running up and down the Brighton seafront? In this weather I don't envy them, having experienced the real pain of running the distance in warm sunshine and little wind when I was a little younger. There's an episode of National Geographic, 'Running the Distance', which shows me rather worse for wear in the Sahara desert.

This week we have two days of away training with the GliderFX display team in preparation for the season ahead. Lot's more flights to come so do look out for us!

March 31, 2011

American Advert Shows Benefits of Plane Banners

A video from a US aerial advertising company, shows the benefits of using aircraft to market one's message or brand!

March 21, 2011

Spring is in The Air with Airads

Congratulations to Matt and Fiona, on the first truly Spring weekend and Airads was running romantic messages and marriage proposals from as far apart as Brighton Beach for Steve and Lisa and then to Lytham, with a quick stop for a religious festival outside Coventry.

Now's the time to start booking your own aircraft banner as from March onwards, the weekends start to become booked into the summer, for weddings and big events and there of course only four capable aircraft in the entire country.

February 15, 2011

My Funny Valentine

An unusual Valentine's Day job yesterday with a flight over Sittingbourne, (photo by Jim Bennett). I'm still not entirely certain what it was for but I did put the Kentish Gazette, who called me when I landed, in touch with the sponsor.

Sittingbourne being a relatively small town, I can honestly say that in a sixty minute flight, if anyone didn't see the banner message, they were most probably asleep!

January 23, 2011

Congratulations Luke and Kellie

Photographs just in from Paul Johnson of the first marriage proposal of 2011.

Touch and go with the weather conditions once again and with Rochester closed, we had to divert to Headcorn to set-up the operation. But like the film, 'Shakespeare in Love', it all worked out in the end and from the air, I could see Luke drop to his knees and propose to Kellie, who of course said "Yes"

Congratulations from Airads.