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