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Last Christmas my wife surprised me with a voucher for a Glasgow City Tour helicopter flight. I booked for Saturday 30th March well in advance knowing that this was the weekend immediately before the first of 2019`s Joint Warrior exercises, there was potential to capture some of the warships berthed at Glasgow. The large-scale event usually takes place twice a year and participating vessels gather between Faslane and Glasgow for their crews to receive a pre-exercise briefing. The number of ships at each location various year-to-year but the Upper Clyde usually sees a fair amount of traffic.
The weather is obviously an uncontrollable factor, but I was very fortunate as conditions for the flight were ideal and I believe the gathering of 17 naval vessels was the largest-ever number of Joint Warrior participants at the city`s King George V Dock. I also managed an upgrade to the front seat position next to the pilot so the views were excellent. Surprisingly, the tinted glass screen was totally clear of scratch marks and as the sky was partly overcast reflections only spoiled a small percentage of shots. The curvature of the windscreen did result in some images blurring towards the edges but overall the Bell LongRanger makes a superb photographic platform and the trip, with Adventure001.com, is thoroughly recommended.
Pilot for the trip in G-PTOO was Captain Graham Martlew.
Above: Views of a crowded KGV Dock and couple of BAE Systems` Govan yard.
The above view looks west along the River Clyde to Dumbarton Rock with Greenock beyond. BAE Systems` Govan Shipyard is in the foreground with the company`s Scotstoun yard further downstream on the opposite bank. Most new-build vessels in recent times have been assembled and launched at Govan then towed up to Scotstoun for fitting-out. Also on the right side of the river is Rothesay Dock with a tanker at the oil terminal. Two Titan Cranes are visible with the furthest away located on the site of the world famous John Brown`s Shipyard at Clydebank.
Above: A better view of BAE Systems Govan. HMS Medway (P223) is in the dock having recently returned from sea trials. In the distance are the Campsie Fells, a range of hills extending from Strath Blane in the west to Milton of Campsie in the east where they adjoin the Kilsyth Hills. Although the highest point of the Campsies is Earl`s Seat, 578 metres, the most well known hill is Dumgoyne, 427m (1,401ft), a distinctive volcanic plug at the plateau`s west end, which can be seen above, partially sunlit towards the left-hand side.
Please bear in mind that all my images are subject to copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark.
The three main Glasgow football stadiums: Ibrox, Parkhead and Hampden.