Sunday, May 22, 2011

Touch and Go

After yesterday evening's run along a dazzling Brighton beach with a marriage proposal, I've just had to let today's client know that the forecast for Kent is so bad that he's going to have to cancel or postpone his noon proposal at Leeds castle; wind speeds are expected above 30mph. It's all very stressful for people I know but invariably, it all works out if a little patience and a 'Plan B' is involved.

What interested me most yesterday was the volume of 'Tweets' from Brighton beach as people watched the banner go past. When I arrived back home, much like the results of last week's Millwall banner at Wigan, I could follow a running commentary of the flight and people's opinions.

Not content with a simple T-shirt trophy I see that the happy Millwall fans are now getting into commemorative 'mission badges' as a host of merchandising opportunities have appeared since last Sunday. At this rate, a thousand or more Chinese factory workers will be turning out collectors items like the badge shown below. The next step up is probably a leather flying jacket with a hand painted design, much like those worn by USAAF aircrew in World War II. There's a company in Scotland that does them!



Friday's Daily Mail report was likely another example of the paper not letting a good story get in the way of the facts. In many ways it's quite funny as the Mail uses me as a pilot from time to time and all they had to do was ask:

"Have you heard from the CAA" - "No".

I've lost track of the number of football matches we've done over the years and so over the course of any season, we might do several trips for fans around different clubs, Liverpool, Norwich and Manchester United being among the most popular.

Collecting a banner is a difficult exercise, which is why only a handful of pilots do it. On a day like today, the strong winds would make it far too dangerous to try and work at 100mph ten feet off the ground, much like being in a small boat in a stormy sea.  As I'm having so many hits from different football fans sites, the video below gives you an idea of what's involved. The orange bucket, eight paces from the posts is vital as my aiming point and you can just see it as the G-force pulls the camera away from the passenger.

The first video, I thought visiting  fans might enjoy just for fun!  What one might achieve, given a little more performance and budget to sneak-up on a football game! There's always next season!



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