This is our office: 18 Irish Air Corps photos that put drones to shame
Ireland from the air
Published 24/04/2015 | 06:45
Ireland’s Air Corps logs 10,000 flying hours every year. But did you know it carries photographers on board?
This gallery of images (above), drawn from a vast collection of aerial snaps posted on Facebook, give a whole new perspective to their beat.
The Air Corps carries out approximately 5,500 missions a year, ranging from army and naval support to maritime patrols, search and rescues, air ambulances, surveys and more.
Founded in 1922, it is the air component of Ireland’s Permanent Defence Forces, with a base at Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel, Co. Dublin.
Photographers are carried on board for operational purposes.
The majority of the photos above were taken by members of 105 'Photographic and Airborne Imaging' Squadron while they were crew members on maritime patrol.
Such patrols are carried out daily and typically last several hours.
Their purpose is to monitor and record activity within Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone - an area covering 132,000 square nautical miles of the Atlantic Ocean... or "the Maritime Patrol crew's office", as it quips on Facebook.
MV Plassey, Inis Oírr
The photographers capture images during the patrol used to document unlawful activity - such as illegal fishing or drug shipments - according to its press office.
"But they are sometimes treated to some wonderful views of Ireland's landscape and cannot resist capturing the scenic pictures you have seen."
Approximately 750 men and women now serve with the Air Corps, which operates 15 fixed wing aircraft and eight rotary wing aircraft along with two simulators.
You can bet these views weren't shot in the simulator, however.
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