Aviatika MAI-89 A2A shootPhotographer: Frank Grealish
5th April 2013Location:
Brittas, Co. Limerick, Ireland
One of the more unusual aircraft in Irish skies is the Aviatika MAI-89 owned by Gerry Humphreys, and in April 2013 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do an air to air photo shoot with the MiG, flying from "Brittas International Airport" - Gerry's private airstrip.
The day didn't look like it would turn out too good.... on the drive from Galway it was very cloudy, wet in parts, and I was fearing the worst about the weather. Thankfully the clouds had disappeared by the time we got airborne and it was blue skies all the way.
This was my first time meeting Gerry and his son Harry, our paths had crossed at various air shows and fly-ins, but I don't think we had ever been introduced.
Having seen Gerry fly displays on numerous occasions, and having been told nothing but good things about him and his flying skills, I was curious as to how the photo shoot would turn out.
Ever the perfectionists, Gerry and Harry washed down the MiG to make sure it was pristine for the photo shoot. Once the MiG was cleaned, we cleaned the canopy of EI-HUM, the photoship, made our final checks and took to the air.
I can't remember the last time I had so much fun in an airplane, and I don't think I've ever had to work so hard to take a picture, barrel rolling around the subject was a first for me, and as the year progressed, it wasn't to be the last time.
We ended up doing two takes.... we landed after a few minutes, reviewed the photos, came up with other photo possibilities then back up in the air we went.
So, back on the ground once more, pictures were reviewed, everyone was happy, aircraft were packed away, job done!
As it turned out this was to be the opening round of photo shoots I did with Gerry during 2013, culminating with the Vulcan in Northern Ireland during August.A big thanks go to Gerry and Harry for their hospitality, professionalism, accommodating my request for a photo shoot and trusting me.