"20 TFW".... "The Chief" holds awaiting clearance
to depart from runway 27 at RAF Upper Heyford, on 02nd July 1991. This
shot was taken from outside of the base in the field at the Ardley end
of the airfield. What a tragedy the base has closed!!
Olympus OM-20 70-210mm K64
Three Tornado GR 1's from RAF Bruggen, form a stack for my camera on their way from Lajes to Goose Bay on the 01st April 1998. Flown by crews from 31 Sqn the three aircraft were en-route to Goose as part of the annual "Western Vortex" low flying detachment. The nearest Tornado wears the markings of 31Sqn followed by 17Sq and 9!
Canon EOS 100 Canon 35-135mm K64 250/F8
over the North Sea, from a 216 Sqn Tristar on the 12th Oct 2000 was this
Jaguar GR3, XZ364, wearing special anniversary markings, to commemorate
60 years of RAF Coltishall.
Canon EOS 10QD 35-135mm K64 250/F8
17,000ft above Germany on 06th Feb 2001, 37+37 an F4F from JG72 at Hopsten,
attempts to RV with it's tanker, KC-135R 37979 of the 100th ARW, in the
"SAXON" air refuelling area located to the south of Leipzig!
Just before a winter sunset, the low light shows off the classic lines
of the Phantom!
Canon EOS 1 V HS 100-400mm Provia 100F 350/F5.6
to it's home base at Lakenheath after a morning mission on the North Sea
ACMI range on 30th March 2001, is this F-15D 84-044 of the 493rd FS. It
always seems to me a real waste to have an empty back seat!!
Canon EOS 1 V HS 35-135mm Sensia 100 350/F8
hard before descending to make an approach at Lajes Field in the Azores
is ZG794, a 14 Sqn Tornado GR1. On this day it was flown by a crew from
31 Sqn who were taking the aircraft, along with four others, to participate
in Exercise " ASCIET 99" which was centered in the state of
Canon EOS 100 35-135mm K64 350/F5.6
picked up the Military Aviation bug in the late 70's!
Living near to Upper Heyford, the air over my house and school would frequently
vibrate with the sound of Jet noise from F111's and the various other aircraft,
departing from the North Oxfordshire base. In my early years, during the school
holidays or at weekends, I would regularly cycle or cadge a lift so I could
spend time with friends sitting on the end of the runway at UH! In those days
you could regularly see anything from common things such as pairs of Canadian
or German Starfighters to the more exotic like half a dozen US Navy Prowlers!!
In those early days, my activities were basically limited to spotting, but towards the mid-80's after leaving school the funds were available to invest in some decent camera gear! My first camera was an Olympus OM20, which was very reliable, easy to use and produced some pretty good results. This was quickly followed by an OM40 to allow for shooting trannie and print! Since those early days I've changed my gear and now use Canon AF kit. I still have a fondness for Olympus and still have one in the shape of an E-10 which I use for digital shots!!
I guess the hobby has been rather kind to me over the last 25 years that I've been "doing it"!! I had my first aviation picture published in 1990, it was of a Phantom (38+59) at Wittmund in Germany, (thanks, Hartmut and Thorsten!). Since then I've never looked back and through a combination of, alot of hard work, time and effort and an understanding family!. I have been to lots of interesting and exotic places and as a result have had many wonderful experiences and made some very good friends along the way.
Subject wise, I am probably quite unusual in that I like RAF stuff!! I also really enjoy working with Helicopter's!! I know call me weird!! My favourite fixed wing aircraft has to be, one of any variant of the F111 family, closely followed by the majestical VC-10! Like most people I used to like the USAF. But my affinity for them was severely dented when they closed Upper Heyford! Don't think I will ever forgive them for that!!!!!!!!!