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on Feb 23, 2012 in Aviation

Needing a BIG Hose

So I had seen some pretty cool images taken at night of planes with their props turning. Working on an article, I wanted a photograph of the TBM Avenger so it appeared to be on the flight deck of a carrier for a dawn launch. I just so happen to be incredibly lucky to have become dear friends with Dale who just happens to have a TBM Avenger.

Prior to heading down to AZ where the TBM is home, I started to do some homework. The first thing I did was to contact Dale and see if he was up for such a crazy shoot. Understand, working with aircraft at night with the prop turning is extremely dangerous. I only considered it because the folks I was working with are the best! With Dale on board, I then contacted an aviation photographer I have a lot of respect for, Tyson Rininger. He was a HUGE help giving me some great places to start. So with those pieces in place, I went to AZ ready to go.

Everything was going great, had place and airplane so the plans were coming together. Then it came to that day and I started to look for water to wet down the tarmac. I looked for a bib for a hose and you know what, there was none. Why did I want water? Well, flight decks were often wet and because dry tarmacs suck (much as dry rocks suck). Dale asked me what I was up to so I told him. He then asked what about the fire dept. I said that would be great but how do you call to ask that? He pointed and said, “That’s our fire dept right there, dial 911 and ask them.” Beaming me that big Dale smile, I said, “Here’s my phone, you call.” He said he would go knock on their door, what time did I want them? I said, “18:30.”

After messing around with some other little projects and moving some planes, we tugged the TBM into place and I started to get lights set up and gear in order. Right at 18:30 this giant, airport hunking fire truck comes up the tarmac heading our way. The house capt is driving the truck no less and with a big smile asked what I wanted. I showed him the area of the tarmac I wanted wet. He said, “I’ve got 1500 gallons, standback!” And just like magic, the tarmac was soaked!

And that’s where the story has to end for now. That’s because the final photos won’t be online until the article comes out. I can say that when the Capt say the wings of the TBM unfold, he thought it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen. After all was said and done, we shook hands and the Capt said, “When are we doing this again?” To the Falcon Field Fire Dept & Dale, I say thanks for some really great fun!

PS….you’ll never guess how I lit it…too much fun!

In the Bag