A visit from my buddy Paul was a good reason for a day off and a trip to Whidbey Island. We had some ideas about what we wanted to see but anything was going to be good. The weather was nice so we were in luck. One thing we got a lot of that I was not expecting was C-40 Clipper traffic. Two of the jets were out and about. They weren’t just moving people around though. They were clearly getting some training in as they flew pattern work for a long time. We were able to get shots of them multiple times.
The trip to photograph Eric’s Clipper that I described here included a bonus (as if the flight wasn’t bonus enough). Eric had talked to another Clipper owner, Scott, and he had brought his plane across to Sonoma. Scott is not a formation pilot but Eric landed after the shoot with his plane and jumped in to Scott’s plane with Scott in the second seat. We orbited overhead until they joined up and then we got a bunch of additional shots.
Since it was a bit later in the day, the light had got a bit better. The colors of Scott’s plane were particularly receptive to the evening light and, while it was a totally stock aircraft and therefore not possible to get too vertical with (see the roof mods in Eric’s plane in the other post), we could still get some great shots. Thanks Dave and Eric (and Scott for bringing your plane).
Eric Presten is a guy who spends his career photographing other people’s aircraft. He is not so often the subject of the photo. Dave Leininger was writing an article on Piper Clippers and wanted some shots of Eric’ aircraft to illustrate the piece along with some details of the modifications it has and how Eric uses it. I was up at Sonoma Skypark on the day that Dave was visiting and he kindly allowed me along on the photo flight. A Bonanza was the camera ship so I took the second spot shooting over Dave while he was seated on the floor.
Dave had a publication date for his feature so I embargoed these shots until his piece had gone live which it now has. It was late in the afternoon so the light was getting pretty good. The Clipper is a cool little plane and Eric is used to formation work so makes a great pilot for bringing the plane in close. In addition, his plane has a roof that is modified to include a transparency which means he has good visibility upwards. This makes some shots looking down on the plane possible since he can maintain visibility of the camera ship safely while below us.
Shooting air to air is so much fun. It is impossible to avoid stopping shooting every once in a while and just looking outside to see the other plane so close to you. Of course, you are there for a reason so don’t spend too much time staring out of the door. However, never lose the enjoyment of doing something cool.
A long weekend away was on the cards so we decided to head down the coast to San Diego. Just over an hour on the plane and you are there so it is a pretty easy trip for us to do. San Diego is a city with a lot of things to offer so you won’t be surprised to see a bunch of different posts showing up in the coming days that are from there. Far too much to put into one or even a couple of posts.
One afternoon we had a bit of spare time between things we had planned so we took a walk along the waterfront. This is an area designed to appeal to tourists (which, after all, we were) and it has a number of attractions playing on San Diego’s nautical heritage. One that caught Nancy’s attention was an old clipper style of ship. These were the speed demons of their age moving goods around the globe (at a pace that would now be considered impossibly slow). They were big square riggers and it was the rigging that was what impressed Nancy. The complexity of the ropes is quite something. In order to hold the high loads using the ropes of the era, they are multipled up on a pulley type of arrangement to provide the strength required. From a distance they look impossibly complex and even up close, they are still something to see.
In the previous post I talked about the trip to Oshkosh for the ski plane fly-in. While I was mainly taking stills on this trip, I did also take the GoPro with me for the occasional bit of video. Unfortunately, the bar clamp I took was a little larger than the ideal place to mount it. Instead I hand held it which makes for some fun bouncing around when on the ground! However, it isn’t too disastrous so I am prepared to let some of the footage make it out in public. Hardly broadcast quality work though! Still, I hope you enjoy it.