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on May 15, 2015 in Aviation

VE Flyover

Then the planes appeared. People parked on the Washington Bridge, other lined the river and waved flags. Roof tops all across DC were packed with over 30k folks on the mall and the vets, many just cried! For us, it was sensory overload with not a dry eye amongst us. Overhead were our friends, collages and spouses, Sharon in the jump seat in the C-53. And surrounding us, the greatest generation. As the last flight passed overhead, Taps was played and the Missing Man formation flown. It was one of the greatest days,...

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on May 15, 2015 in Aviation

VE Day 70th Celebration

By 09:00 we were at the WWII Memorial in DC after the ninety minute drive from Culpeper. There was a contingency of us Texas Flying Legends Museum ground crew present to partake in the ceremonies. We were fortunate to have seats reserved for us but in a way, it forced our hand photographically. Our movements were restricted since we weren’t press and not knowing we’d be doing this, hadn’t applied for credentials for this portion of the ceremonies. And as life turned out, it worked out perfectly. By now you’ve read one of the thousand accounts that have been broadcasted and printed and I can tell you they are not very accurate. That’s because the emotions that enveloped this event were beyond description! The sun was brutal, the heat took its tool and being wedged into the granite memorial intensified it all. In looking for moments that I could share that might tell the story, I took many a photograph and of all of them, this one expressed the...

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on May 14, 2015 in Aviation

After the Press is Gone

Once the press were gone and the field got quite, pilots do what pilots love best, fly! So many jumped into their planes and went off for some fun. Jake and I were nearly alone and were afforded an opportunity to shoot the activity from the grass stripe between the runways. This not only put us close to the planes but down in a drainage ditch providing us a great view of the aircraft. And Jake and I took advantage of the location, light and clouds with glee! Shooting with the D4s / 80-400VR3, it was fun and like shooting fish in a barrel. The L Birds first flew overhead in perfect formation and seeing the wind direction, we got in place knowing how the direction they were landing, how’d they taxi and where they wanted to head. So what I think of as a “very happy” plane shot came about. I call it happy because of those three elements Jay Maisel says so well are important in a...

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on May 12, 2015 in Aviation

Practice Flight

In the back of the B-25 “Betty’s Dream” of the Texas Flying Legends Museum, we launched for the practice flight for the next day DC Flyover. The B-25 wasn’t made for a Moose which is especially true of the small ass seats and wide safety belts but belted in I was. The side hatch cover was removed before flight providing a large access panel to shoot out. Once in the air, we asked the pilot Alan permission to move about and then the fun began. Now my flying this day was not an air to air mission, but rather seeing what the possibility would be for tomorrow’s giant DC flyover. It was obvious from the get go, flying in a plane to get the photos of the flyover was simply not going to work for me. Flying in formation with other B-25s was a first for me. It was amazing and gave me some idea what those kids saw seventy-five years ago! We were flying in a Vic formation....

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on May 11, 2015 in Aviation

Practice Day, May 7th

Months and months of planning were coming together at two airports, Mananssas and Culpeper. Mananssas was bomber base and Culpeper was fighter base and that’s where we were stationed. We were “ground crew” with our good friends Texas Flying Legends Museum (From Warbirds Movie). Sharon and I flew down from NYC and arrived at the field around 9AM, long after the field had come to life and the press were in force covering the event. The best part were all the WWII vets on the field who now had cameras pointed at them and recorders running capturing their stories and emotions being amongst aircraft they once flew as kids in war. It was an amazing gathering of warbirds and media! Last I heard, over 120 news agencies were present and I forget how many countries were represented but it was staggering. Jake had been embedded with the TFLM boys for a week, being hired to document and create a book from the entire event so I was simply along...

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on May 7, 2015 in Aviation

VE Day 70th Flyover

Tomorrow is a BIG day! The Arsenal of Democracy or the Washington DC Flyover of 50+ WWII aircraft celebrating and honoring the 70th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe). This has been in the planning for a long time, I can’t believe it’s here. Many have been asking if we’ll be there. Jake has been with the Texas Flying Legend Museum for a week now documenting and working on a book. Sharon & I join the boys today to fly with them tomorrow. I’ll be in the B-25 “Betty’s Dream” shooting the formations from the sky, but many have been asking where should they be for the best shot. Well, since this have never been done before and more than likely, won’t happen again, here are my thoughts on where you might want to be. I’ve posted four photos here of formation flying photographed from the ground. These shots were taken with a D4s / 80-400VR3 of formations you would see at an airshow, very similar to what...

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