I’ll not bore you with the details suffice to say that I was asked to take some aerial photos of some fields for a friend of a friend, which I have to admit was a new challenge for me.
It sounds simple enough, just locate two fields one near Dundee the other near Forfar and take some photos… except to say that these fields were surrounded by other fields and to all intents and purposes they all look the same from 2,500 ft!
It was also an interesting experience as at one point, purely as a safety measure we picked a field that if the worst came to the worst we would force land in. Sounds easy enough except to say that on closer inspection there was a power line running right across it. It’s easy done and I don’t think that I could ever be an armchair expert when I hear of a pilot hitting power lines when forced landing.
I know four or five pilots that have made force landings, one who is not longer with us made a textbook landing, another crashed on landing , another who flew into power lines and one was lucky enough to land back on a runway.
We flew past the old RAF base at Tealing to the north of Dundee. the field was the home of 56 Operational Training Unit and latterly 2 Tactical Evaluation Unit, both trained pilots straight out of flying school in the finer arts of fighting and survival during aerial combat.
The field is not totally unusable, a chicken farm is built on one end of the runway, a power grid switching station is at the other and now a wind turbine is being constructed on the field. RAF fields were usually built to a pattern and there should have been a third runway but this one does not seem to have had one, probably due to its proximity to the Sidlaw Hills.
I have thought about visiting this place for a while but never seemed to get around to it, so it was nice to fly over the place. No doubt the place was effectively destroyed during the dissolution of the abbeys at the time when the powers that be could not make up their minds what name they wanted to worship their God under and found it more convenient to close all the abbeys and confiscate the contents.
We headed back to Scone after accomplishing the second detail, do you like that real aerial photography talk that! Anyway we passed close to Glams Castle, which was the birthplace of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon also known as Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
On the other side was the home of the Angus Gliding Club at Drumshade
The clubs gliders either launch from the “pan-handle” to the right, if you look hard enough you will see the track of the launch and just above that the landing runway. There is a track running out from the farm to a wood on the left that’s where they launch when the wind is blowing from the east. The recovery runway is just below the thin strand of trees top left.
All that was left was an overhead join for a landing on 27 back at Scone.