Flying the Jurassic Coast  

 MG 5780

         An aerial view of Dorset's Chesil Beach 

What a great day! Hattie and I took a spectacular flight in a little four-seater PA28 'Warrior' from Bournemouth Airport this morning. We flew across the conurbation to Poole Harbour then inland to Wareham and Corfe Castle before heading along the coast to Chesil Beach, Abbotsbury, Weymouth and Portland. Flying at 110 knots at between 500 and 1,000 feet, it gave us superb views of the Jurassic Coast and some intriguing angles on familar sights. We returned via Chapman's Pool,  Swanage, Old Harry Rocks, Poole, Bournemouth, Hengistbury Head, Mudeford and Christchurch. 

Old Harry

      Old Harry Rocks 

Our pilot was the redoubtable Joe Knighton who, despite being partially paralysed in a motorbike accident 14 years ago,  has qualified as both a flying instructor and aerobatics teacher. He's also an airline pilot, but sadly not allowed to practise. Our trip was organised for a feature that we've been invited to contribute to Dorset magazine about the new Aerial Photography School based at Bournemouth Flying Club.

Newly established by photographer Andrew Plant  and Flying Club boss Simon Birt, the school offers one-day aerial photography workshops  that will appeal equally to professionals and amateurs.  With targeted tuition before taking to the air and a critical assessment of your work afterwards it aims to cover technique and practice. We had the added bonus of being a cream tea on our return. A little unorthodox at lunchtime perhaps  but welcome nontheless.

Although we are both professionals, aerial work is not something we have had a huge amount of experience in, though Hattie has done far more than me. She once looped the loop in a Pit Special (three times) photographing plane to plane. That was back in the days of film when cameras weighed far more than they doi now. Not surpriisngly perhaps she returned from today's sortie with a memory-card stuffed full of amazing images. I think I did quite well too. The pictures of Chesil Beach and Old Harry Rocks on this page are among the ones I took from the "writer's" seat at the back of the plane. Hattie's pictures will be saved to illustrate the magazine article.



© Jeremy Miles 2018