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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!



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