Two and a bit years on from my first flight in de Havilland Tiger Moth DH82a G-ANEW, built by Morris Motors in Cowley in 1943, I was once again afforded the experience of an aerobatic session in the same airframe through the generosity of my good friend Neil.
On what may well have been the last day of the year to have almost perfect flying conditions for a light aircraft, Clive Davidson once again spirited me through the Somerset and Dorset skies. GoPro Hero3+ on the aircraft and Nikon D3S cameras on the ground ensured that almost everything was covered. The next step is to engineer a heavy duty mount for a Nikon to fit on the centre section of the upper wing.
Nothing comes close to sitting in an open cockpit at 3000ft in a delightful aeroplane that you almost 'wear', watching the speed bleed off to virtually nothing before falling into a spin and eating up 1200ft of sky in three rotations - just jaw-droppingly wonderful. Loops, barrel rolls, a hammerhead and a spin provided me with what my wife Julie calls my 'Tiger Moth Smile' which lasts for days.
This time my friend Neil conspired with Annabelle Burroughes, Clive Davidson and Kevin Crumplin at Tiger Moth Training Ltd at Henstridge Airfield, formerly HMS Dipper, to make this happen - thank you so much. The largest collection of Tiger Moths in captivity, certainly in the UK, are kept under one (large) roof there. Then Neil performed the vital role of ground photographer as well, catching me squeezing into an Irvin jacket that would once have fitted me perfectly before covering the beginning and end of the flight.
Tiger Moth Aerobatics