A blog about what I love….photography and bicycles!

And you though that a Yak was a beast of burden!!


Before finally getting the great Eastern Cape Road trip finished I thought I would squeeze this one in.  For a while now I have been chatting to my SAA pilot and Yak 52 owner mate Gavin Barry to take me to the airstrip and photograph his Yak 52 in its hanger.  He agreed and said that he would like to take me for a flip over Howick to photograph his house.

I arrived at the strip early and we opened up the hanger.  Gavin’s plane is a beautiful machine.  Very simple, no sophisticated engineering just good old trusted cables and pulleys a very light body powered by a powerful 9 cylinder radial engine.  I got a couple of shots off in the hanger and then we pulled the machine out for fuelling, warm up and then flight.  While all this was happening I was fortunate enough to get a number of photographs, see below.

In the hanger




Warm up


Yak 52


After the warm up we hopped in (the plane is designed for 5 foot emaciated Russians and not 6 ft 1 South Africans), it was a squeeze and Gavin had quite a time communicating on the radio with my knees bashing the comms buttons etc. The flight over Howick was great.  I did learn a lot though.  The main thing being that poking a lens out of the window at 300km/hr as well as being in a rather shuddery machine requires a high shutter speed, higher than the one I was using.  Also, the ability to view your photos in the plane with an open canopy is virtually non existant so this means that the camera must be set prior to take off.  All that said it was a great flight, I need to take the aerials again but we had masses of fun.  Thanks Gavin.



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