Wednesday, 27 June 2012
|Aviation Festival of Speed|
More when the show starts....
Tomorrow there is a moving Motor Show - no idea what it is but it sounds good and, whatever else, there is always a chance to buy a copy of Helicopter Life and get a flight in a helicopter.
|Helicopter Life booth|
Monday, 25 June 2012
|Barclays Battersea Heliport|
It is now to be known as Barclays London Heliport owing to its new branding sponsor! Just hope they don't have the same kind of computer gliches as RBS or there will be helicopters all over the place : "..can the EC135 from Southend to Battersea now come in from Wales, please." Etc
It is now the only landing site in London with full ATC and fire and rescue service. It has had 470,000 movements since it opened in 1959.
Today, we had a meet the press day at Barclays London Heliport (BLH). I wonder if they changed the name so people flying into London didn't realise they were going to be stuffed out in Batteresea and nowhere near central London?
Anyway, they are 100% booked for Silverstone, and did more flights to Ascot than last year by 30%.
They are arranging a shuttle service from Oxford London Airport, which is also owned by the Reuben Brothers.
They are now intending to increase the amount of light helicopter traffic by reducing landing fees - up to 20% they said, although an exact price is not yet determined.
For the Olympics they are hoping to arrange a helicopter to boat service with a company Water Chariots to take punters right up to the Olympic Park. They are looking for a service which starts with a jet and ends with the Water Chariot.
See Helicopter Life magazine Autumn issue for more on the Barclays London Heliport and this site for this weeks Festival of Speed at Goodwood.
|David Learmount with an EC135|
Sunday, 17 June 2012
|Leopard in a tree - Mara|
|Ol Seki in the Maasai Mara|
Hemingway have made a lot of changes and upgraded the showers and decking.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
|Cutting the fruit of the cactus|
Some of the lions are taking part in a survey! They wear radio collars and can be tracked using a large aerial. We were given a crash course in identifying individual lions.
Friday, 15 June 2012
We flew across the swamps around Lake Naivasha and saw the hippos moving around in their paddling pools! Water buck ran away from their movement but were undiminished by ours.
We stayed in Lake Naivasha at a really beautiful place alongside the lake.
|AS350 taking off from Lake Naivasha|
In my case I flew from Brighetti's helipad in Karen in Nairobi across Lake Magadi to the Maasai Mara. It was incredible flying: high - not so warm - about 23 degrees but with a variety of heights from 6200 feet down to sea level and back up again. We flew through lakes with pink flamingos, over untenanted plains and for a while into 'softer' lands where the tribesmen have been persuaded into farming communities. The flying itself was wonderful: up and down escarpments, over lakes and dry land and then into hills. And the animals.. well - you can see things from a helicopter you would not see from any other transport.
|An elephant family in the Mara|
|Cheetah seen on a night drive|
In the evening, we left the tented camp and went into the bush on a landrover to see game. We spotted many of the big five but the real piece de resistance was after sun-downers when the wardens were out with their lights and we spotted a cheetah ready to hunt.
The cheetah actually had three attempts to catch game - all unsuccessful but all witnessed by us and wow - what a change from flying around the circuit at Biggin Hill!