A Tribute to World Renown Aviation Photographer – Frans Dely

Today some very sad news came across the wires. Frans Dely,one of the leading international aviation photographers, was killed in a plane crash over the weekend. The crash occurred in the Limpopo province of South Africa, officials say they have found the two Piaggio P. 166S Albatross aircraft that disappeared Sunday in the Escarpment area on a flight from an airshow in Tzaneen to Rand Airport in Germiston. Frans along with others were en-route back to Rand Airport in Germiston when their plane crashed into the cliffs of the Mamotswiri Peak mountain region due to heavy clouds. The wrecks were found this morning in the Mamotswiri Peak mountain region. All 13 crew and passengers aboard, including noted aviation photographer Frans Dely, were killed.

Dave and I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with Frans at the 2010 International Society of Aviation Photographer conference held in Las Vegas, NV. As many know his work was truly amazing. Frans was one of the guest speakers at ISAP 2010 and his presentation was AWESOME, one of the parts that I remember best were, his Harvards on the water photo shoot.

 Early morning anglers were treated to the spectacle of four T-6 Harvard aircraft from The Flying Lions Aerobatic Team water skiing across the Klipdrift Dam near Johannesburg, South Africa. Lead by Scully Levin, with wingman Arnie Meneghelli, Stewart Lithgow and Ellis Levin, this renown airshow display team rehearse a sequence for the newly launched “Aviation Action” television program on Supersport. Meneghelli from Academy Brushware, owner of the aircraft had this to say, “What we did today I believe is a world first. It illustrates that South African air show pilots are amongst the best in the world”.This unusual act, approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority CAA), and supported by Castrol Aviation, was meticulously planned and took place under the watchful eye of divers and paramedics that were on site. Read more about this wild photo shoot here  http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/Sightings-Water-Striders.html

One other was a personal account of how he photo chased a very colorful Hawker Hunter, owned by ex-RAF pilot, Jonathon Whaley and called Miss Demeanor, low and fast above the dunes of Abu Dhabi.

Frans was a WORLD CLASS photographer and will be missed,  Our prayers go out to Frans’ family, friends and colleagues during this difficult  time.   Gods Speed.  Blue Skies and tailwinds forever Frans.

Frans Dely – The Man Behind A Nikon.

Touted as one of the leading international aviation photographers.

Frans Dely worked in the commercial photographic realm since 1978 after training as a photographer in the SA National Defence Force. In 1995, he became the first South African commercial photographer to work exclusively digital utilising a Kodak/Nikon DCS460, the first ‘one shot’, six million mega pixel camera ever produced.

Dely mastered the challenges presented by the digital revolution and applied his new skills to the aviation industry with great success in the late 90’s, quickly earning himself a reputation as one of the most talented photographers in the field.

Over the years Dely has worked with some of the biggest names on both the local and international aviation circuit, including Airbus, SAA, Execujet, Pilatus, NAC, Beechcraft, 1Time, Cessna, Cirrus, BAE, SAAB, Gripen International and Bombardier.

He also attends most major local and international air shows and his extensive experience and contact base enables him to hire a wide variety of aircraft for shooting purposes. Dely’s images have won numerous awrds and have appeared in numerous local and international publications.

Dely specialized in both air to ground and air to air photography. His company, ‘Avpix’, compiles posters, calendars, adverts, books and brochures.


Frans Dely’s Experience

APIX Magazine

Photography industry

June 2011 – Present (3 months) Johannesburg Area, South Africa

Magazine for the Creative Aviator
Avpix Publishing

Privately Held; Photography industry

2003 – Present (8 years)

Specializing in air to air photography of aircraft.
Photographic Editor
Global Aviator Magazine

Privately Held; Photography industry

2009 – April 2011 (2 years)

 Facebook Links




Who could forget this great sequence!!

[pro-player width=’470′ height=’360′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYqa6DFkVzQ[/pro-player]



All images taken from Fran’s Facebook page and a few other places. If any one objects to the usage..please contact us..and we will gladly remove them. I think a gallery is a fitting tribute to this great man.

Joe Kates

Joe Kates is the founder of Photorecon. Joe has been into aviation since he was a child and has a incredible amount of knowledge to do with planes or aviation in general. Today Joe is the owner and Managing Editor of Photorecon.

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