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on Apr 18, 2012 in Aviation

Remembering Hard Learned Lessons


With only 90min sleep the night before, we were at Grimes Field at 05:30 to start work. When you have that little sleep and it’s that early, photography is work. At least, getting the brain to function to make images is work. Jake & I arrived with our plans for the morning which we had made based on the briefing the evening before only to find things had changed so we had to move fast. Jake made some amazing images from the end of the ramp while I was in the nose. After a bit of doing, after I was on the ground from the flight, we finally meet up and debriefed from the morning. He had obviously made the images of the morning. I had not.

In the mental rush to try to get caught up on what was perceived missed photographic opportunities is when a hard learned lesson came crashing back. This aviation thing, it’s not about the planes. It’s all about the people who after the years, have now become my friends. The top shot is the crew of “Maid in the Shade” who always have and continue to take such great care of us. Looking at this photo, it’s hard not to get wet eyes knowing I flew in that nose of this plane because of these gentlemen’s friendship. I can’t thank, Spike, Dave and the rest of the crew enough for their friendship and the experience of a lifetime.

And the bottom photo, you might recognize some of these faces since they are no stranger to the blog. My co-instructor for our Air2Air Workshops, Doug Rozendaal flew “Betty’s Dream” in for the reunion. In this group are my dear friends Robert & Casey Odegaard. These folks not only provide the friendship that makes these events so much fun, filled with so much laughter, but make opportunities open up you could never have dreamed of. Walking through the USAF Air Museum here with Bob & Warren was amazing!

And the hard learned lesson? It’s real simple, this event is about the people and not the aircraft! It’s the men who flew the Doolittle Raid that we are celebrating and in a small way, the crews who flew these B-25s into Dayton passion in reminding us about our history. That’ the story, that’s the photos. That’s the learned lesson that will drive the successful photography. It’s going to be a great day today and can’t wait to be standing amongst these amazing aircraft hearing the stories and photographing the heroes, the people!