For my most recent birthday Thea shouted me a joy flight over Melbourne.
It was booked through RedBalloon and was in a vintage Tiger Moth.
The de Havilland Tiger Moth is a biplane that was first built in the 1930s and was primarily used as a trainer. This one had a six-cylinder Gipsy Major engine.
The one I flew in was painted in PMS300, my favourite shade of blue.
Lionel, a local Bayside character, was my pilot and he took me on a wonderful 35 minute adventure over the city and the bay. We left Moorabbin Airport at 8am, the sky was a little hazy but the air was warm and still, so the flight was very smooth.
Our flight path took us north to the city, via Flemington Racecourse, then over the Melbourne Sports Precinct and the MCG. From there we went to the top of the CBD, and over St Patricks Cathedral, the Exhibition Buildings, then across to the Queen Victoria Market.
Flying west we then headed over the Docklands Stadium and out towards Williamstown. Dropping from our cruising altitude of 1,400 feet to 500 feet we flew down the bay and past the Tasmanian ferry terminal. Then hugging the coast we flew south past the Bayside suburbs of Middle Park, St Kilda, Brighton, Sandringham, Black Rock, Beaumaris and then circled back to Moorabbin.
I managed to take 107 snaps as the wind rushed through the cockpit and my moustache.
I am not sure how those ‘Flying types’ kept a stiff upper lip and their mo in control, back in the day.