Sunday, 11 September 2011

Photo flying in Belgium: Part 5. Osa’s Ark.

Sikorsky S-38 touching down on the canal near Viersel, Belgium

Parts of this series
Photo flying in Belgium: Part 5. Osa’s Ark

Part 5. Osa’s Ark
This will be a less wordy piece than my previous blog entries from Belgium. The subject of this piece has been so well documented elsewhere, it scarcely needs more from me. I've also posted more pictures in a gallery on Pbase.

During the photo flying days we were tremendously fortunate to have the sole flying example of Sikorsky's earliest flying boat, the S-38, present and flying all the time. Her owner Tom Shrade had brought her over from America and she was touring Europe. The original intent have been to fly down through Africa, but the political situation there ruled out that possibility.

Osa's Ark at Zoersel

Tom flew her several times a day, not just for air-to-air their photography, but additionally for experience flights for passengers, and also for a TV program, where he was filmed from a helicopter touching down on a nearby canal.

I was able to photograph her, static, ground-to-air and air-to-air. It was great pleasure to be able to chat at length with Tom and his partner.

Air-to-air with the Ark
During the photoflying days at Zoersel, there was a regular need for aircraft to be pushed from one place to another. There was no shortage of volunteers for this – but Osa’s Ark attracted more volunteer pushers than any other, a testimony to her popularity.  

Up close and personal

Finally: here are some other accounts and pictures from the photoflying days.

Kedar Karmarkar's Blog (not just the Ark, but an amazingly detailed account of the whole experience - highly recommended).
Mark Salter's own thread on UKAR: his pictures look remarkably like my own! (He was standing behind me.)

If anybody reading this has their own account that I've missed, please leave a comment with the link, and I'll add it to this list.

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