Sentinel (Spitfire Island) - Added to Monuments in West Midlands

I have just added this to the map of places to fly your drone at Drone Scene:

Land owner permission not required.

Sentinel is a 16-metre-high (52 ft) sculpture by Tim Tolkien, installed upon Spitfire Island, a roundabout at the intersection of the Chester Road and the A47 Fort Parkway.

It is near Junction 5 of the M6 motorway and the present day Jaguar Cars plant (the former Castle Bromwich aircraft factory). It shows three Supermarine Spitfires peeling off up into the air in different directions. The half-scale Spitfires are made of aluminium, with curving steel supporting beams which act as vapour trails. It captures the dynamics of the Spitfire in flight and commemorates the nearby Castle Bromwich factory where most of Britain's wartime Spitfires were built.

Firstly this is a busy junction, try to stay clear of rush hour, and the obvious precautions regarding traffic, take off away from driver visibility where possible so as to not be distraction and cause an RTC. Trying to fly 50 meters away is difficult, so use a sub 249g drone only within this area to keep within the drone code.

Secondly, seagulls. On this visit there was a colony of gulls that seem to use the Jaguar Land Rover Plant as home, probably a hot spot of left over food from workers. So whenever I got over that side (which the monument faces) then the gulls got interested which made getting good video footage frankly impossible, photos were a case of go in, photo, go out, repeat. I eventually gave up after several runs as didn't want a drone potentially falling on traffic after a gull attack.

Thirdly, this is just outside the Birmingham Airport FRZ, so don't stray!

If arriving by car use either the B&Q Car park or the Sainsburys car park near by. Both allow 3 hours free parking for 'customers only' be aware of the opening and closing times of the stores as the car parks do get locked up.

The best TOAL is where I've placed the marker, as this is a path on a gradiant and allows you to be higher up than the road giving a good VLOS.

The next best place is the opposite side of the A452 by the pedestrian crossing. There is a telephone junction box here which makes a nice stable TOAL point, however you are closer to traffic and could be a distraction to drivers, so use cauction, be sensible and only use this point at quieter points of the day.

The originator declared that this location was not inside a Flight Restriction Zone at the time of being flown on 18/08/2021. It remains the responsibility of any pilot to check for any changes before flying at the same location.


If mods think this is too iffy a location H&S wise, please remove. Photo in entry was taken X2 and not above traffic.

This is a brave one for sure - I am sure this is all within the drone code - its just more the location and how others would react to being there.

Nice one though - driven past here loads of time but its not a place I would have ever thought of flying at.

Yeah, I entered it for the 4th birthday competition, at the time there was confusion if every entry needed a Drone Scene entry. I’m happy for it to be removed for the H&S reasons hence my OP goes into a lot of warnings, especially the seagulls, which are actually the bigger danger, but if they get it and it then drops on a car… As soon as I saw them come out once I got into the ideal position facing the structure, I was FFS! I knew it would be a short flight and video was out the question. Got my picture and just ascended and got out of dodge.

The TOAL position marked is pretty good in fairness as it gives a good vantage point, I’d scoped the area out and know it pretty well as used to live near by and had wanted to capture it while it was still near the old spitfire factory before they potentially move it to widen the road. The competition spurred me to just do it. If you just want the island and aren’t bothered about facing the scuplture, then from the opposite side the gulls tend to ignore you, but yeah, what’s the point if you can’t get what you want to capture properly!

Also wasn’t sure if you were still active on here. Thanks for the Barrowpit recommendations, I now live in Kingsbury and the water park isn’t welcoming, which again is fair due to the amount of wildlife. Will be looking out for more places to fly around Tamworth and surrounding areas. :slight_smile:

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Hey there,

Yip still here just have not flown in many many months :frowning: just been busy with other things and in the spare time I could fly the weather had other ideas sadly.

Have you been down to Alvecote Priory ? Need to put it on the map as it looks like I have not done so - been here a few times to fly

Its a little ruin - I need to come back here again and do some more filming and make this one a load better

As for Kingsbury - yeah it sucks a little that we cant fly there. An ideal place would be down at the Jet Ski club and they could maybe charge for a flight permit to make a little bit of cash.

Also want to fly here but same rules as KWP apply here too - but there is a bit of a cheat here - TOAL from the canal - I have seen drones around here before but I have also seen the rangers going mental trying to find the pilot too haha

So a few local idea’s for you


Yeah weather has been pants, Wednesday and yesterday were the only chances to get out during my week off as has been too windy, most annoying, then it downpoured (originally not forecast) in the afternoon yesterday so drew a close to my adventures. Now the weekend is here, life and other priorities…

I have Alvecote & Gold Leaf on my ‘to do list for the competition’ but as

A) you’ve mentioned you’ve intended to add it, I won’t steal your thunder. I’ll probably still venture out there as it’s also a good location for lots of trains. If it’s not on the map as the competition draws to a close, I will add it to grab the point if that seems fair?

B) I haven’t actually properly researched the areas yet, so wasn’t aware of the no drones policy, so thanks for the heads up. I assumed Alvecote was ok as it’s on the West Midlands Drone Flyers Facebook group map, but of course could be out of date info, I do try to research everywhere first and because of my uni work tend to complete risk assessments and flight plans beforehand too, just in case…


I thought I had put Alvecote on the map already - I have now :slight_smile: though so your good to go - I should also give these competitions a go haha

I am not aware of any no fly zone etc at Alvecote but the tower down the road is part of the Warwickshire Parks like Kingsbury and they all have a blanket no fly zone applied to them - but that’s just for take off and landing - flying over haha we all know that story haha