In a Tiger Moth over the Gold Coast


Tiger Moth #1; © Ian Poole, c1978

The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth is a rapidly disappearing aeronautical masterpiece from the pre-World War II 1930s production line.

I was fortunate, in the late 1970s, to be commissioned to photograph the last two remaining Tiger Moths flying on the Gold Coast.  They were taking tourists on brief tours up and down the surf side of the Surfers Paradise high rise towers.  The take off point was inside the old Surfers Paradise motor racing track at Carrara.


Pilot’s Thumbs Up; © Ian Poole, c1978.

The brief was to document one of the Tiger Moths from within the other craft, showing the open cockpit and the biplane construction with the struts visible.


Self-Portrait with Concentration; © Ian Poole, c1978.


Opposition Seaplanes; © Ian Poole, c1978.

Shooting with a Nikon F3 and 28mm and 20mm Nikkor lenses, I was able to get some amazing shots.  As we were traveling at relatively slow speeds (probably around 60-80 knots) the pilots were traveling in close formation.  Initially a little unnerving, but the photographer in me was impressed that I was shooting with wide angle lenses and the risk of lens shake was dramatically reduced.  Whilst aloft we managed to document a pair of the opposition company’s sea planes also flying in formation.  This was a company that I was to work for at a later time.


Gold Coast Looking South Along the Spit; © Ian Poole, c1978.

Film used was the ever reliable Kodak Ektachrome transparency.

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