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It's not the same as it once was...

Yes, that is a German Army anti-tank missile launcher, carried by MBB 105 helicopters. A friend received it as a present from one of the crews at an event we photographed. This was taken about ten years ago. Not sure if the hi-viz jacket does anything for my look but it was certainly required on an active airfield.

Have camera, will travel.... I used to be invited to a lot of local fly-ins and other aviation events back in the day, usually because I was doing their official photographs. Enjoyable but surprisingly hard work ensuring that I managed to obtain enough decent shots to justify the invitations! One of my local airfields hosted a huge three day-long fly-in each year (where the photo was taken) and despite being an informal affair, was always a huge success with lots of aircraft turning up. There was a great all-day barbecue where sausage sarnies or burgers were flying off the grill in huge numbers.

Unfortunately, a few years ago the event turned into a "Wings and Wheels" festival and was officially opened to the public. This meant the friendly, informal arrangement with no barriers to access disappeared overnight - physical barriers were erected around the aerodrome restricting movement and buggering up chances of decent photographs. I may have been able to apply for some sort of airside pass but it's doubtful that such things would have been allowed due to the insurance risk. I stopped going, and moved onto other pursuits.

Things evolve, and even those events you know and love often change, and sometimes not for the better. I'm sure the fee-paying public have a good time at the new event each year (when Covid isn't forcing it to cancel) but the new arrangements certainly spoilt the major part of the enjoyment for me. It simply wasn't the same anymore.

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