Excuses for a Getaway

When I found the Antonov An-225 was leaving the European heartland and making the trip out to Australia it was an opportunity of a life time I thought to myself.

Yes I was excited by the thought of seeing and photographing Mriya - what would the light be like, where would be the best vantage point, flights needed to be booked from Brisbane to Perth, hire car needed to be booked, accommodation needed to be organised but one point stood out the most.

Friends.

Some of my best friends are people I have met through aviation and those from a very young age. People I met through gatherings at Sydney Airport organised by the gang at the Sydney Message Board back in the early 2000's and friends who showed me the way in my early years.

How do you know real friends?

One reaches out and the conversation picks up where it left off no matter the amount of the time.

Accommodation was sorted in a day and the wheels were set in motion for the opportunity of a life time.

Next task - how would I photograph Mriya?

I wanted something unique. I made a phone call to a helicopter company at Jandakot - Rotorvation and it was underway. Another chap - Matt Kelly - had the same initiative to photograph the beast in a unique way.

Here's where things got interesting.

Due to a high volume of requests to photograph the Antonov An-225 from a helicopter, Perth Air Traffic Control placed limitations on who would be allowed into the airspace based on what news agency and publication the images would appear in.

Needless to say I needed to think outside the box on this occasion.

I got in touch with my contact at a large news outlet and set the wheels in motion.

Thanks Robyn!!

Perth Air Traffic Control approved our presence inside the airspace for photographing Mriya.

All we needed now was clouds to be above 1000ft for the day. Weather conditions had to be perfect.

Matt and I arrived early at Rotorvation and sat down with Newton who would be our pilot tasked with assisting us in photographing Mriya.

We took off from Jandakot and flew out towards Fremantle before making our track for Perth Airport.

And we patiently waited.

She's in sight. Unmistakeable with 6 engines and a huge wingspan.

Photo Copyright: Beau Chenery

Photo Copyright: Beau Chenery

Photo Copyright: Beau Chenery

Photo Copyright: Beau Chenery

Photo Copyright: Beau Chenery

Photo Copyright: Beau Chenery

How lucky was I photographing the worlds largest aircraft from above. Definitely had to pinch myself when I was in the chopper.

Good friends Brendan Scott, Will Mallinson and Brendan Vanderwerf came to the party on the opportunity to catch up for old times sake.

Bon fires, copious amounts of beer, great food and most importantly great company made for a great weekend. We reminisced about old times and set a plan in place to catch up again sooner rather than later.

Can't thank you enough guys for an awesome weekend!!

If the opportunity arises to travel to see great friends and aviation is the excuse sounds like you have a great trip planned.. perfect some might say!