G-BOAE - Last flight from Heathrow 17 Nov 2003

Take off

When I got to 09L one of my friends was standing there, in the far off distance I heard Concorde’s engines slowly getting louder and louder, I checked my camera and found in the panic of going from 09R to 09L I’d forgot to load film in it, so I quickly got 1 roll of 24 exposure ASA/400 film and put that in.

It was very bad weather and it was raining like a monsoon, the sky was dark grey and there wasn’t enough light in the sky to get 1/640th  - 1/800th second pictures, so I had to setup the camera to take pictures at 1/400th of a second and hoped this would work.

As I was doing this G-BOAE was making its final take off run and it started to rain more heavily, my camera was dripping water, my friend suddenly started loudly shouting


    Jet  Jet  Jet ….. she’s coming.

At 12.37pm G-BOAE  left the ground and was airborne…..As soon as I saw her very rapidly hurtling towards me I got on my blue stool and just in time started taking head on pictures of her taking off 200 feet above my head and as with G-BOAD her shock wave knocked me off my stool but with wobbly legs I still took pictures of her flying over me.


G-BOAE - Take off videos

I got 2-3 ok-ish photos out of 24 but they where not as good as they could have been as I was in the wrong place and I needed to get side on pictures, but when I realised this it was too late for me to move so had to make the best of a bad situation………………..

Below are those photos

I felt utterly gutted that I didn’t realise this sooner…..I wanted to really beat my self up at how stupid I was…..at how could I be such an idiot as I could have got once in a life time spectacular steam off wings pictures which would have been better than any others I‘d ever taken before…..but now it was too late to do anything about that……she’d gone…..that chance had gone and that was it.…..I felt extremely extremely disappointed by it all and these where the worst Concorde pictures I’d taken in my life……………

But that’s life you live and learn……………….

Above are videos of G-BOAE’s last take off from Heathrow.

As with the other Concordes again was a tinge of sadness as I knew this was the last time I’d ever see G-BOAE take off and it was the last time I’d ever come up here to see Concorde.

Map of G-BOAE taking off on  runway 27R

the North runway on a rainy day .

Below are a few of the many wobbly pics I took these are not in sequence