Autumn Tiger (Ken Brannen)
For the last 2 years, Finest Hour has flown throughout the Autumn, our final day's flying in both 2017 and 2018 being 28 October. Both pilots and groundcrew are certainly starting to feel the lowering temperatures by this time of year, but the clear skies and low light can provide some of the most memorable flying of the 'season'. We usually have a camera to hand, so we thought it only fair to share some of the glorious Autumn colours we experienced on the last day of the 'season' on both years.
28 October 2017 saw us flying one of our Ancient England Tours, giving us the rare treat of an aerial view of Wayland's Smithy, the neolithic long barrow and chamber tomb site which we normally only see at the height of Summer. No tour of Oxfordshire's archaeological treasures would be complete without lingering over the Uffington White Horse and its associated Castle and Dragon Hill.
Dragon Hill, White Horse and Uffington Castle
We were fortunate to have our resident photographer (Ken Brannen / Oxonimages) waiting for us and available to capture a take off, landing and some aerobatics in the warm Autumn light. The picture at the head of this blog entry was taken that day and has since become one of our most used images.
Last landing of 2017
We've had a very busy season's flying from Bicester Heritage, but recent weather-induced cancellations gave us a full programme for Sunday 28 October 2018. Our first flyer was 'Mrs Bishops', a fellow Bicester Heritage - based business, providing welcome catering at events from a 1949 Fordson 7V; the opportunity to pose this vehicle with the Tiger Moth in front of Bicester's historic watch tower was, of course, not to be missed.
Tiger Moth and 'Mrs Bishops' Fordson 7V at Bicester Heritage
Mrs Bishop's itinerary included viewing Blenheim Palace, with access to Oxford Airport's airspace facilitated by their ever helpful Air Traffic Controllers.
Mrs Bishop's tour then headed North to view her house, the task of finding which was eased by her living in the same village as her pilot :-)
Kiddington Hall, North Oxfordshire
This part of the world is enriched by many impressive country houses, with Kiddington Hall lying directly under Sunday's route. Later customers enjoyed views of the pretty hilltop village of Brill in Buckinghamshire, Waddesdon Manor and the Cherwell Valley.
As the sun lowered on our final day of the 2018 flying season, our pilot was starting to feel the cold, so it was clearly time to retire to our regular post-flight watering hole, the welcoming Trigger Pond at nearby Bucknell :-)