Skies Above Britain

When Speed Counts

Series 1 - Episode 4 When Speed Counts



The star of this programme is 71-year-old Martin Gosling, a stalwart of the Royal Aero Club and two-time air-racing champion. He potters around in the Robin DR400 he keeps in a hangar at the bottom of his garden, hopping over for a cup of tea with a friend in the next county.

At times like this the series is good at capturing the appeal of light aircraft and the freedom they offer, but also the fact that it is very much a rich man’s hobby. For some reason, too, we meet very few female fliers, with the exception of Baroness Boot, who takes great care polishing the baron’s cockpit.


Racing champion Martin, who is a member of Britain's oldest flying club The Royal Aero Club, prepares to compete for the Schneider Trophy, in which 14 pilots will fly around outlying islands in Alderney in the Channel Islands. Elsewhere, a cargo pilot contends with a tight schedule, and must cross the Irish sea even during bad weather conditions, while the team at DHL's warehouse processes a hundred and fifty thousand parcels each night. Plus, at NATS, bad weather grounds planes and dangerous `wind sheer' causes pilots to abort landings.

Cast & Crew

Director Chris Taylor
Executive Producer Chloe Solomon
Producer Chris Taylor
Producer Emma Whitehead
Series Producer Dollan Cannell