This blog is about Canadian Aviation, a bit of deviation is in store for you. The participant in this Air2Air Workshop is Canadian and would like to share the following story with you.
I found out about Air2Air workshops a while ago when looking at Moose Petersons website. The workshop has 3 Instructors Moose Peterson, Richard VanderMeulen and Doug Rozendaal and are held in Arizona, Florida and Texas with four workshops done this year.
I went to Galveston Texas on Thursday November 3 and when I got into town I found 5000 Harleys and their owners at the annual Lone Star Harley event. Those bikes make a lot of noise but cannot beat the sound of the B-17G engines when you are 200ft away from it in midair.
On Friday Morning I went to visit the Lone Star Flight Museum and saw the aircraft that we were going to fly with on Saturday. Unfortunately the P-51 was in the hangar with a leaking radiator so it would not be flying with us, that is aviation for you.
At 7pm the workshop started with the 8 participants and the instructors introducing themselves we went right down to business with an image presentation, gear basics and preparation for the morning shoot.
Saturday morning up early after a restless night of sleep disrupted by the thousand Harleys showing off on the beach promenade. At 6:45 we are at the airport and the B-17G "Thunderbird" and the P-47D Thunderbolt "Tarheel Hal" are parked on the apron and we start the static shoot. Shooting goes on until the sun is up and illuminating the aircraft beautifully. we break for breakfast and head beck to the classroom for formation training and air to air briefing with Doug Rozendaal, an exceptionally talented and experienced photo pilot. The photoplane is a Short Bros. Skyvan flown by "Rabbit".
The origin of the P-47D Tarheel Hal Name
The pilot Lt. Davis had 2 girlfriends and was too chicken to name the plane after anyone of them so he named it after his baby brother who was named Hal - so therefore, being from NC the Tarheel state the plane was named Tarheel Hal - the plane was orig. named Big Chief.
At 4;30pm we are harnessed and ready to roll. The first aircraft is the F4U-5 Corsair, followed by the B-17G and finaly the P-47D. We are off and climb, suddenly filling my viewfinder the Corsair, close enough to feel and hear the rumble of the engine over the rushing 160 knot slipstream in the open door. The Corsair's distinctive sound, earned its Japanese nick-name "Whistling Death", partly because of the engine sound, that was caused by the wing-root inlets for engine air. We fly over the clouds, under the clouds and then the Corsair dissapears, and the B-17 shows up. The cards are filling up quickly.
It is fun hanging out the back of a Skyvan where your next step will have you swimming with the fish. Next is the P-47 and we get a chance to get some shots of little and big brother together. Following us to the airport we get the P-47 with the gear down...and then the mission is over. We touch down a couple of minutes later.
At dinner the talk is all about the shoot and when I get back to the hotel I have no problem sleeping, do not hear the Harleys driving up and down the beach promenade.
At 7:00am on Sunday we are ready for the next mission. This morning we are joined by 5 RV's with three models of the popular homebuilt RV-4 ,6 and 8. Three RV-4's follow us as we go chasing for the sun, which we find soon, after having climbed through the clouds we are in brilliant sunshine and again the cards fill up quickly. The RV's follows us down to the runway where we do a last shot of them over the runway and then we climb back up in the sky again, to meet up with the other two RV's, one RV-6 and one RV-8 (Two seater side by side), flown by a Husband and wife team.
Suddenly it is all over. I am sure the lessons learned at this workshop will make me a better aviation photographer.
One of the photos I took during the Air2Air Workshop had the honour of being selected for the FG 2011 Front Cover Competition and you can view it here.
Lone Star Flight Museum: http://www.lsfm.org/
Air2Air Workshops: http://air2airworkshops.com/
Mon, Nov 14 2011 4:44 PM
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