RAF Northolt Night Photoshoot II


The RAF Northolt Photocalls have been a popular edition to the aviation enthusiast's calendar in the past few years. With a view to raising further funds towards charity, the organisers and 32(TR) Squadron have organised "Night Photoshoots" for aviation enthusiasts under the powerful floodlighting of the new hanger complex at Northolt. The first of these took place at the end of January and proved so successful that a second was organised for mid March. Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports. All photography copyright of the Author.

Photocalls are highly regarded events amongst enthusaists. The lack of the public showground of an airshow and few barriers means that they can get some unobstructed photographs of the aircraft. Northolt's Night Photoshoots bring in the extra dimension of a unique backdrop and some very pure light conditions. The theme for this second photoshoot was Helicopters. Sadly, last minute glitches rather reduced the level of participation but didn't detract from what was a unique and enjoyable event. Dominating the line up of aircraft were two AgustaWestland A109E helicopters and two BAE Systems 125 CC2 aircraft from the host unit, 32 (The Royal) Squadron. During the evening, Officer Commanding of 32(TR) Squadron, Wing Commander Steve Pitcher hovered one of the A109s for the photographers for some very unique photo oppotunities. As well as the 32(TR) Squadron aircraft, there were a couple of other interesting visiting RAF aircraft. A Westland Puma HC1 from 33 Squadron was the only frontline helicoipter on show. This particular airframe has only just returned from detactment to Iraq. Making an equally rare public appearance was a Westland Sea King HAR3A from 202 Squadron. Both of the latter helicopters departed during the evening allowing for some unique shots with rotors turning and navigation lights on!

With the unique backdrop from the lights of RAF Northolt and western London, this was a hugely enjoyable event. Thanks must go to Philip Dawe who's efforts produce these wonderful events and to OC 32(TR) Squadron, Wing Commander Steve Pitcher and Station Commander of RAF Northolt, Group Captain Guy van den Berg who generously support these events. Money raised from these events goes towards the restoration of the Sector Operations Room at RAF Uxbridge which is looking for 25,000.

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