Amazing photo of Santa - in auto gyro

HE has enjoyed a long reign, but it seems Rudolph may have become redundant as Father Christmas shirks his traditional mode of transport for the latest gadget.

By Richard Smith

HE has enjoyed a long reign, but it seems Rudolph may have become redundant as Father Christmas shirks his traditional mode of transport for the latest gadget.

While preparing for his busy night delivering gifts, he was spotted above the skies of Suffolk on Saturday, testing out an auto gyro.

Wearing his trademark red and white suit and sporting his long white beard, Santa couldn't be missed as he practised some aerial manoeuvres that were bound to make the reindeer jealous.

Mystery surrounds why Santa decided to use the flying machine, usually based at Beccles, but early indications are that it is due to difficulties getting round the rural areas of Suffolk quick enough.

It is said the sleigh lags behind the 80mph speeds the auto gyro can reach 800 feet above the ground.

Most Read

But there is one drawback to the new transport - there is not as much room for presents, with only a relatively small sack of gifts squeezed onto the back seat.

It is not yet known whether Santa will use the auto gyro tonight, with fears it could wake up children when he lands in the middle of the night.

Suffolk photographer Mike Page was in his Cessna 150 plane when he suddenly found Father Christmas flying through the air a few miles from Beccles.

He was astonished to see the burly bearded figure at the controls of the auto gyro - but Mr Page was quick enough off the mark to take a picture.

Mr Page said: “I thought at first it was a UFO but then I saw Santa and realised he had a new sledge. This is going to be Santa's latest acquisition.”

Mr Page is more accustomed to taking aerial photographs of Suffolk's towns, villages, countryside and coastline. He flies with a window open and takes photos with his hand-held camera.