Saturday, June 22, 2013

Standing at the runway's end

Standing at the end of the runway is generally a bad idea, where it's not actually prohibited.   It can be bad for your health in a chronic sense, and if you're really unlucky, bad for your health in a very, very, acute sense.

The internet is filled with examples of people standing at the end of runways and / or facing low flying aircraft.  But these two are not like that.  In both cases the person standing there was authorised to do so, and for the films we are about to see.  They are similar, in a way, yet very different, too.  But they're both history.

Oh, WARNING. Adult themes (technically) and language.  If you haven't already jumped ahead.

First we have a circa 1972 Southwest Airlines advert about how someone (in hotpants) up there "loves you".  Nice to know.

Look at that - smoke!

Secondly is a very, very famous piece of film of Alain de Cadenet doing his piece to camera at the end of Duxford's grass runway while the late, great Ray Hanna brings Spitfire MH434 to finish off the intro, as he does, somewhat more impressively than Alain was ready for.

The film has been withdrawn by the copyright holder, but they have, instead, shared a better version of it, here.

Ray 'the master' was probably the most safely comfortable warbird pilot at 'dot feet', and a great display pilot.  I know one of my life's privileges was to watch someone that good at work doing what he did, though I wasn't there on Alain's immortal day.

PS - Please don't send me other examples of such activities on the interweb.  I'm mildly interested in authorised comparisons, not at all in risk-taking ones.


  1. It has nothing to do with vintage planes, but there was a great scene in the movie "Pushing Tin" where the guys gets pushed over from the force of air displacement when a plane takes off. I've always wondered if the scene was "real". :)

  2. James -- I agree with you regarding risk-taking activities and agree that the Spitfire clip is an exception. A professional pilot, reporter and camera man (let's not forget about him, especially) working in concert. The reporter's emotions are plainly unscripted and fantastic to witness -- which makes this clip exceptionally genuine :) Sorry to comment anonymously but I cannot figure it out, Travel for Aircraft (Joe)