James (AKA SpeedBirdUk) is an aviation addict and an incredible photographer. We caught up with James to find out more about his aviation experience and top tips as an #AvGeek. We’ve also shared a selection of his spectacular photos for you to enjoy!
Name: James Oates
Location: Shoreham, West Sussex
I attended the World Scout Jamboree in 2015 in Japan, which was a 13 hour long haul flight via Istanbul. This was my first long haul and wide-body flight, and ever since then I have been fascinated by aviation.
I started taking pictures on my mum’s camera at Heathrow and I developed some basic photography skills, and eventually bought my own basic canon camera. Ever since then I have been improving and practising my photography skills and my passion for aviation photography grew.
My Instagram has enabled me to travel the world as part of the intentional press contingent for many large aviation events. My highlight has been the delivery of the worlds first A350-1000 for Qatar Airways back in February from Toulouse to Doha, and the first flight of the Beluga XL in July.
I have been all over the world photographing aircraft and I particularly enjoy aerial plane spotting, which I managed to do in Los Angeles and Sydney.
The wide variety of airlines from all around the world that fly in and out of Heathrow and also the volume of planes you get to see in a day – with around 1300 combined take offs and landings each day, your camera’s memory cards soon start to get filled up when photographing planes at Heathrow.
I read in an onboard magazine that the Boeing factory have a machine which tests how strong the Dreamliner wings are by lifting them upwards until they broke. In the case of the B787, their wings broke the machine instead.