Skip to main content

The BALPA Flypast

Despite pretty daunting conditions this morning, with fog and low cloud, we decided to "have a go" at getting to Brimpton airfield just north of Farnborough, to launch the BALPA banner to support the British Airways pilots union march at Heathrow today. (see BBC)

Departing in minimal visibility, we were in the cloud past Rochester and pretty much until Ockham, remaining "VFR on top" at 2000 feet but found, to our surprise as we passed Blackbushe that the weather, although not great, looked good enough for the flight.

While one of us filmed, AIRADS Chief Pilot, John Waller, took BALPA's Head of Flight Safety, Carolyn Evans, along as co-pilot. (Pictured) Off first towards Reading and then with the approval and control of Heathrow ATC, along the M4 towards Slough and the Burnham beacon.


By then the rain had started and the cloudbase was starting to fall but John, as you can see from the video, bought back a very wet and "draggy" banner to drop at Brimpton without mishap.

It was raining so hard, I couldn't get any decent photos! Because the background was so dull, the banner photo is colour enhanced which is why you can see the smaller tail-flag 'parachute' - actually a different colour which normally goes unnoticed - at the end of the banner. Otherwise it wouldn't fly horizontal!

I'm looking forward to getting a souvenir T-shirt!



Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…