Tiger Moth R4922

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Me in Tiger Moth R4922

Video here

Finally made the flight which was cancelled last May due to bad weather. The flight was from Duxford in a 72 year old de Havilland Tiger Moth.

The instructor pilot Colin (who was in the seat behind) showed me the basics of using the control stick. It was a half hour flight around the city of Cambridge and apparently I was at the controls for 25 minutes.

Duxford is right on the edge of the London Olympics no-fly zone and to venture to the south would have brought up an RAF helicopter, which would have been cool for me but not for Colin.

The stand out moment was when Colin spotted ahead and below us a yellow painted Tiger Moth flying out of Duxford. He said over the intercom “Shall we get them?”

“Yeah!” I said, not really knowing what I was agreeing to. I thought maybe he’d just fly towards the other aircraft and we’d wave at them.

Colin took control and put the Tiger Moth into a twisting dive to the left in a mock attack on the other aircraft. I have firmly stamped in my head the memory of there being nothing between my left shoulder and the sunlit green fields of Cambridgeshire one thousand feet below, except that bright yellow biplane flying beneath us. It was fantastic!



32 comments on “Tiger Moth R4922
  1. bill_fawcett says:

    Great story Ian and congratulations on the flight, and dog fight! πŸ™‚ Sounds like you had a great time!

  2. RodtheRhodie says:

    Nice one Ian. My brother-in-law did this a couple of weeks ago, nearly 14 months after we’d booked it for his birthday too πŸ™‚

  3. Benoit Foisy says:

    Like Bill said, your story is just great … and funny! Congrats for this, I’m sure it was fantastic. Thinking of becoming a pilot, now?

  4. Tech Owl says:

    Wow, wow and wow!!!! Didn’t realize that this was what you were doing. Great experience … Jealous!

  5. rob of rochdale says:

    yaaaaay, sounds great!

  6. cgullz says:

    O How Fantastic! Yr good lady has a great steady hand for pix and super eye for composition, she should be behind the camera more often. So glad you finally got yr flight in, and looks like a mint weather day for it too πŸ™‚ Very cool, well done you two πŸ™‚

  7. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Sounds like a great day out Ian and with these shots I reckon you`ve got some serious photographic competition from Mrs D B πŸ™‚

  8. amyrey says:

    Judging by the grin on your face this was the fulfillment of a long-held dream. Memories to treasure for sure. It sounds incredible!!

  9. Richard Tierney says:

    Wonderful…. The Bury Biggles :-))))) Nothing like it.. once done it is like a drug….

    My very first flight was in a Fox Moth off Southport beach.. aged 9 10 bob ! 50 pence to the young ones amongst us πŸ™‚ I have never forgot every second of that flight.

    Nice to have flown out of such an iconic airfield as Duxford Ian… 1940’s Battle of Britain airfield, first to operate the newly introduced Spitfire, home to the American 8th Fighter wings flying P47 and P51’s and P38’s Great day Ian the weather looked great a fair way to travel but well worth it…. Lucy should get behind the camera more often as Ang says… πŸ™‚

  10. salfordlad1 says:

    What a great treat for somebody so passionate about aviation..Great to read about to.

  11. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bill_fawcett] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodtherhodie] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/benoitfoisy] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/cachelog] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/longsidepies] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/25305713@N04] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/15421769@N05]
    Thanks Bill, Rod, Ben, Bryan, Rob, Wilf and Amy.

    A 14 month wait Rod?? I thought 3 was bad enough.
    I took an hours flying lesson once before in a Piper Archer and as [http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardtierney] Richard says my feelings afterwards were that I wanted to get back in the air again! This was why I put up that quote made by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago; Ò€œOnce you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.Ò€

    Ben if I could afford it I would love to try!

    It was a once in a lifetime experience Bryan. Maybe.

    It is something I have always wanted to do Wilf, because I visit crash sites and museums so much I wanted to get a flavour of how it felt to be in an old aeroplane. I was surprised at how flimsy it felt and yet there’s this feeling of security when you are strapped in and the aircraft feels as though it belongs in the air.

    The instructor told me to hold the stick "like you would a baby’s hand," keep all movements gentle and steady and I was able to keep the nose just below the horizon, levelled off the wings after each turn and generally relaxed and enjoyed the flight as Colin was drawing my attention to points of interest. Could just make out central London 45 miles away.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardtierney] The pilot was saying something very similar, said if he doesn’t get in the air at least once a week, his wife notices the change in him. He too said it was very addictive. Great historical notes there mate. I agree, the sense of history just added to the experience. The pilot instructed me to head for the American Cemetery and Memorial at Cambridge, we flew over that and he was pointing out stuff like RAF Bassingbourn, home of Memphis Belle. Lovely to read of your flight at Southport. You have flown out of Duxford in the past haven’t you?
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/davel59] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham]
    She did fine aye! One of my explored photos was actually taken by Lu.

  12. Travelling Man Photos says:

    Sounds like it was something that you’ve been looking forwards to for a while – good pictures from Mrs D.B. as well

  13. nondesigner59 says:

    Love these old biplanes.. Must have been Awesome flying one of these historic craft..

  14. fleabo says:

    Well if you are going to take lessons, do it in Florida.. I did 60 hours training out of Liverpool with CATS back in the 90’s. I would say about 1/3 of my booked lessons had to be cancelled because of poor weather. When that means booking time off work too, it was very frustrating. Cheaper in the US too.

    Grats on taking this flight, I can’t imagine being in an open cockpit.

  15. f3liney says:

    So pleased for you Ian.
    Glad you finally made it up there !
    Yours sounds like quite a flight, with a bit of air-to-air combat and a military theme to the aerial tour.

  16. gastephen says:

    nice one Ian

  17. FOTONICO.BR says:


  18. Highy says:

    Brilliant mate, really pleased you got the flight and just a tiny bit jealous of your dive onto the other Tiger.
    The Bury Biggles indeed!

  19. PeaceLoveScoobie says:

    That’s so awesome Ian. I’m glad you finally got to do it. I guess that’s some thing to cross off your "bucket list", or maybe added to it! Reading your story I could only think of the soundtrack to go with your adventure. Here’s your theme song, enjoy πŸ™‚

  20. SolarScot. says:

    what a fab day for you Ian !

  21. mick cooke says:

    brilliant ian , great time for you , glad you enjoyed it a treat for life

  22. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/peacelovescoobie] I had never heard that before, but Snoopy v The Red Baron, yeah, I’ll have that!
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarscot] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29730035@N04]
    It was, a once in a lifetime thing to do. I wanted to upload the photos and my memory of it soon as a got back so it’s a fresh record of the event.
    The girl done good.
    The Harvard was doing its stuff and while being in the open cockpit was really cool, being in the cockpit of that and taking in the roar of the engine at take off would be phenomenal!

  23. Air Frame Photography says:

    Well done….nice flight. Not flown a Tigermoth yet.
    If you are ever around my way let me know and you can come for a ride in my 72 year old Cub.

  24. bazylek100 says:

    You lucky guy! I must admit I’m totally green with envy watching and reading this!!
    Even flying just as a passenger in such old aircraft would be a fantastic adventure, but to have opportunity to use its controls sounds like more than you could dream of.
    Good series of well composed shots too! Nice to have a skilled photographer to immortalize such day πŸ™‚

    I have to tell my partner what other guys get for their birthdays. I heard the engine of PZL P11c from the Krakow’s museum is still in operating condition ;))

  25. crusader752 says:

    Fantastic Ian – so glad you made it and what a beauty to go flying in. A real classic experience and great weather ….and you got the jump on another one!
    Memories to treasure indeed – mind you the ‘Helicopter’ would more likely to have been a Typhoon out of Northolt!!! Now that would have been a jump!
    Well done and to your other half too for the fab record – as Ang rightly says – she’s good :-))

  26. Ian D B says:

    Don’t tell me that, I shall be knocking on your door and begging for a flight!

    I was watching a Piper Cub at an airshow once and the bloke giving the commentary was saying something about them being among the purest forms of flying.

    Great video on your stream, just had another look, takes me back!


    It really was a great present from the Mrs. Better than socks and cheap aftershave. Good luck wth dropping some hints.
    This was the company behind my trip.

    Mrs D B bought the flight, took the photos and is still listening patiently as I tell her about it for the 100th time!

  27. Xerones says:

    Nice story board.

    PS, Spitfire flew over (from Dunnington field?) last weekend.

  28. stuant63 says:

    Excellent – what a great experience that must have been. And how wonderfully cool to do that dog fight dive….

  29. stopherjones says:

    What a great experience, looks a super little plane, so pleased you got off the ground this time πŸ™‚

  30. *Psycho Delia* says:

    Great set of shots. I got my husband a half-hour flying lesson for his 40th birthday. He had a wonderful time. πŸ™‚

  31. C J Paul (chris) says:

    well done Ian very cool mate.

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