Aerial acrobatics may sound scary, but it’s really not! I had a great fun and experience at Airborne Aviation in Camden, NSW Australia. We did aerial acrobats—rolls, dives, zero gravity. I also had the opportunity of taking an aerial photography of Warragamba dam.
I had the opportunity for a Tigermoth joy flight and an opportunity to take aerial photography for the very first time. Check out the video in the middle of this article.
Tigermoth are vintage planes with open canopy. The pilot was no show though, but that’s OK. I did not mind so much as I was here for some enjoyment.
Airbone Aviation is in Camden, south of Sydney. It’s about 70kms drive away. They offer joy flights, charter flights, pilot training, aircraft hire and the primary service. I was booked for a tigermoth flight experience at Airbone Aviation via redballoon two weeks ago. When I arrived for my joy flight, I was told that the pilot could not be contacted. I had an option of rebooking my experience or take an alternative flight. I was keen on the tigermoth plane because it’s a vintage plane and also, I get to fly with an open canopy. But when aerobatics was pitched in to me and that I’ve never experienced fancy flying, it was just too tempting to dismiss. I took the alternate flight.
After pre flight checks, we boarded the vh-sdh Cessna plane. Cessna planes are single engine planes so it’s only got one propeller. Once boarded we took flight after getting clearance from the tower. Camden airport has a small air strip fit for Cessna planes. After take off, I was given a little more prep talk on what’s about to happen and also with our headsets – apparently, if you can’t hear yourself talking then you are not transmitting. What I noticed too, was that if you are soft spoken—which I am not but can be. It won’t transmit as well because it won’t activate. It was so hard for me to talk because, I was enjoying the view and the ride—as much as I wanted to talk to the pilot, often times, I could not activate my phone because, I was talking to softly.
Here’s a video below of what I was referring to. Thrill seekers may not get affected by this, and even though, I don’t consider myself as a thrill seeker, I thought, I had a pretty strong stomach. I stand corrected.
We climbed to 4 thousand feet before doing any aerial acrobats. We did rolls, turns, no gravity and all sorts of fancy flying. I loved how we flew straight up in the air, stalled—then feeling the no gravity before nose diving towards the ground whilst the plane was on spiral. I enjoyed all the aspects of the acrobat that my pilot did—at least for the best part of 20 minutes. After that, those changes in gravity took it’s toll on my stomach. It’s that feeling of 3g force, with rolls and turns and the plane spinning and that zero gravity that at the end of the joy right, my stomach couldn’t hold it and I ended up spewing in the toilet.
I brought my camera as I had a great opportunity to take some aerial photography. Before the flight, my pilot suggested that my (affiliate link) 24-105mm L Lens would be too heavy. As we were doing some aerial acrobatics of up to 3G force, anything I carry would be 10 times heavy. The 24-105mm L lens is attached to my camera is certainly no light weight. I only have 3 lenses, the 24-105 and a couple of (affiliate link) 50mm prime lens. I figured, this would have been more than enough. We were about 4 thousand feet up in the sky and the 50mm would be wide enough in my view for aerial photography—which would be similar to a landscape only the view point is from the sky and the distance to the ground.
I have anticipated the problems of 50mm would cost. In the past, I used 50mm for landscape as I thought, it would be tact sharp. These lenses are renowned for being ultra sharp. It so turned out through my experiences that it wasn’t for long distance shoot. In closer proximity, yes, it is but not when you have a distance in between. I also knew though, that nothing couldn’t be fixed in an photo editing suite. In this case, lightroom was good enough. The problem, I have been having was that, the images comes out soft and it seems, there’s way to much light that comes through—making the image some what smoky—as if there’s some sort of smoke in the air.
I would recommend anyone to do a joy flight like this. Most of us wean out of it because of the expense. This cost about $300 Australian dollars and for most part, we don’t have that kind of money—or at least, we have better ways of spending that money. But for life experiences? It’s priceless. I’d say do it! I wouldn’t recommend, the aerobatics though if you have a weak stomach as it was proven for even people like me who can take a bit of beating—who ended up with an upset stomach at the end of the flight.