The Northolt Nightshoot events have been popular with aviation photographers and once you’ve seen the photos it’s not hard to see why. The events are organised by Phil Dawe and supported by a small team of helpers and the operations team at RAF Northolt. The aim of the events is to fund the restoration of Building 27, the Sector Operations Building dating back to when RAF Northolt was a frontline fighter base in World War II.
The thirteenth event followed the format of the previous ones with a mix of 32 Squadron aircraft and aircraft invited from both UK and foreign air arms. The aircraft arrive and are positioned right in front of the photographers on the South hard standing under the powerful airfield lights. Some of the aircraft will be night stopping and will be available to shoot for the entire event and others arrive, spend some time on the ground and then depart.
The event receives good support from the air arms but operational taskings or aircraft faults means the line-up is subject to change right up to and including on the night. The 7 Squadron Chinook from the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW) was a good example of how the organisers try to work around these limitations with the Chinook touching down between taskings allowing a few minutes of photography before lifting again to depart for the next one.
This being my first time I’ve attended was a very enjoyable night and a good set of photos, although I did learn a few things and hope to do even better next time.