musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: helicopter

Photo Essay: Eurocopter EC135

I love helicopters, there is something about that transition between sitting on the ground with your rotors spinning and taking off that really tickles me pink. This morning, the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity Eurocopter G-HWAA landed outside and I had the chance to have a really good look at it. 

I have seen her and a sister before though, at the Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival in 2016 and 2017, but there were always crowds around her. Whether you like it or not, a helicopter landing or taking off is a moment that is worth standing in the cold for. And, it was cold.. I know because I dashed out there sans woolly hat and big jacket. But, it is always worth the discomfort to have a good look at machines like this. This particular helicopter is a Eurocopter EC135 T2, and according to the manufacturers plate it was built in 2005 in Germany.

so without further ado… here are the pics.

 

Unfortunately by the time I had found my camera and keys she had already landed, but I have seen two of them in flight before.

G-WASC. 2016 image

And when she took off I could not get a clear image of her because of the large trees and the need to stay out of range of the downdraft. I was originally in a better position to take pics but left because of the cold, and by the time I got back it was too late to be on the sun side of the chopper. Bah humbug! 

G-HWAA

And that concluded our excitement for the day.  The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is a worthwhile cause, and it is probable that today another life was saved by men who gave up their Sunday to shave time off the golden hour that is all the time that is available in many cases.  Since 1991, the charity has responded to more than 43,000 missions,   and that is a large number when you consider how many helicopters it operates. Maybe one day I will be able to read about this particular one.

DRW © 2018. Created 07/01/2017 

Updated: 04/03/2018 — 08:29

An Aeroplane up in the Sky…

There is something about an aircraft flying overhead that instinctively makes me reach for my camera. They are not always easy to photograph at the best of times and photographing aircraft overhead is often a pot luck thing. I have been doing it for many years, and even today amongst my many images there are strange pics of aircraft from underneath. Most I can’t ID, some I can. The one limitation however is image resolution, many images are zoomed in at their max and then cropped, so quality may be iffy. Here are some of my favourites.

A Robinson with floats!

The aircraft is an Embraer 195, operated by Flybe.

Embraer 195

Bombadier Dash 8 Q400

Bombadier Dash 8 Q400

These twin engined turbo props seem to use Southampton as a base as they are forever hauling their rear ends over the harbour.  I hadn’t seen too many business jets here though, so this was a first for me

 This chopper I spotted in Portsmouth, and I was hoping that it would do a few more passes overhead, and maybe even call a friend or two, but alas it did not. Instead a Chinnook came over and I was really happy.
I had first seen, or rather I had first heard a Chinook in London but could not pinpoint it to try get a pic. Since then I have had my ears open for their very distinctive sound. This was however, not the last Chinnook I would see. Keep reading this blog!

 

Chinook jackpot time arrived when we were near Salisbury and I heard that familiar egg beater on steroids sound…. 

 

And he had two friends as well.
 

I have also seen this strange bird on a number of occasions, and it does appear to be a Britten Norman BN2A MkIII Trislander.

However, everything really was overshadowed by the best flypass of all. On 5 and 6 May Southampton held a Maritime Festival, and we had a visitor on both days.

 

 

And after seeing that, everything else seemed mundane.
However, even when I was in London I would score the occasional great shot, and my pride of place is this one.

He was flying so low I doubt whether I even used the maximum zoom of my lens to take the pic. I also saw much larger aircraft en route to or from their destinations.
 

 
I was quite surprised to find out that this is an BAe 146,  similar to the one I had flown in while I was in the USA, and one of my favourite passenger jet aircraft too. And having seen one, I was hoping to see another.
 
And the inevitable business jet, or maybe some celeb?
 
Or on their way to Southampton perhaps? 
 
 
And my old friend the Avro-Liner. It is hard to believe that the 4 pics above were all taken on the same evening within an hour of each other. 
 
At at very long range, the contrails of a 4 engined aircraft heading somewhere.
 
And disturbing the peace in the cemetery.
Or photobombing an arriving cruiseship, or just flying overhead.
I also spotted this air ambulance coming in to land at Southampton General Hospital, she was low enough to get semi decent pics of without using a zoom.
 

On a steam trip to Boskburg, I was also able to catch an SAA and Mango aircraft on the approach to ORT,

rsdepotday 076 
And at Rand Airport I grabbed this Cessna:
And while grave hunting up at Kromvlei I was fortunate enough to catch a Tiger Moth in flight, as well as a yellow thing.
kromvlei 179 
And finally, the first time I saw one of those new fangled airbus A380’s was back in South Africa; flying over Boksburg. I have since flown in one and frankly they are still like sardine cans, but with more sardines.

In late August I was in South Stoneham Cemetery, which is where RJ Mitchell is buried, and it is on the flight path of Southampton Airport. I was photographing his grave when an aircraft took off. Unfortunately it was hidden by the trees, and I only spotted it when it was quite far away; it was the first time I have ever seen a stringbag! These dated biplanes were involved in so many battles and the records of bravery amongst their crew is outstanding, and it is a testament to the aircraft and their design that they outlived their replacement.
and I managed to get another shot of the Trislander
and I have no idea what this is.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that the skies are rarely empty, there are always aircraft around us, it just happens that now and then we must cross paths.

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 07/04/2016 

Updated: 29/12/2017 — 07:05

Joburg from the Air

I was very fortunate to get a trip on a Robinson R44 with my one ex-boss,  from Grand Central Airport, to Panorama Airfield near Alberton and then onwards to Rand Central and back. I took a lot of video and quite a few stills that really came out much better than I expected, given the reflections off the canopy. My one regret is that I never took more. These images are really amongst my favourite, and they are mostly 1500×1000 and open in a new window. Unfortunately some of my identification of a areas is sometimes vague because frankly I have never seen any of these places from the air before. Enjoy the pics, they open in a new window.

My ride for the morning (registration removed)

My ride for the morning (registration removed)

Heading South and approaching  the Buchleuch Intersection

Heading South and approaching the Buchleuch Intersection

Still heading South and approaching Sandton City

Still heading South and approaching Sandton City

Auckland Park, SABC and Sentech Tower coming up.

Auckland Park, SABC and Sentech Tower coming up.

Hillbrow Tower and Ponte coming up on the left

Hillbrow Tower and Ponte coming up on the left

Braamfontein Cemetery

Braamfontein Cemetery

Braamfontein Yard with Newtown on the right and Park Station in the distance

Braamfontein Yard with Newtown on the right and Park Station in the distance

Makro, Crown Mines, Edgardale area

Makro, Crown Mines, Edgardale area

The much dreaded Crown Interchange

The much dreaded Crown Interchange

Columbine Avenue area, still heading South towards Panorama Airfield

Columbine Avenue area, still heading South towards Panorama Airfield

At Panorama Airfield we landed and stretched our legs and checked that all the nuts and bolts were still there and then took off once again heading North and then East to Rand Airport. 

"The Glenn" shopping centre in Gleneagles/Oakdene

“The Glenn” shopping centre in Gleneagles/Oakdene

Rand Stadium, Hector Norris Park,  James Hall Transport Museum and Wemmer Pan

Rand Stadium, James Hall Transport Museum and Wemmer Pan

Turffontein Race Course

Turffontein Race Course

Johannesburg in the distance. approaching from the South

Johannesburg in the distance. approaching from the South

Johannesburg. with the Carlton centre the highest point

We were not allowed to overfly the city, so turned East, heading towards Rand Airport. I have to admit I do not know this area we were approaching too well.

Rand Airport. Spot the classics.

Rand Airport. Spot the classics.

After leaving Rand Airport we headed West before turning North once again.

City Deep Container Depot

Approaching Benrose and George Goch

Approaching Benrose and George Goch

Aproaching South East Johannesburg. Ellis Park in the distance

Approaching South East Johannesburg. Ellis Park in the distance

Ellis Park Rugby Stadium on the left,

Ellis Park Rugby Stadium on the left,

Ponte and Hillbrow Tower

Ponte and Hillbrow Tower

Joburg General Hospital behind the canopy reflection

Joburg General Hospital behind the canopy reflection

Midrand Gautrain works

Midrand Gautrain works

Grand Central Aiport, and we are back safely.

Grand Central Airport, and we are back safely.

It was a unique morning, and I am very grateful to one of the nicest bosses I have ever worked for. 

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Updated: 24/12/2017 — 10:15
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