I keep spoiling Pete with some of his favorites. I hope he appreciates this one. You don’t see a lot of Piper Aerostars about. It is a quite unusual aircraft, apparently designed originally for possible conversion to a jet in future versions. However, the piston version is the only one that was produced. The empennage is quite unlike most similar aircraft. The one I saw was looking like it was very well taken care of. The paint was certainly in great condition. It landed at Paine Field and taxied off to park. I understand it is something of a regular so I will hopefully see it again.
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.
This is a short but sad post. I read the sad news of the death of Alan Purwin. Alan was a pilot and entrepreneur who was involved in many fields but was well known for his working in filming movies from helicopters. He was a genuinely friendly and welcoming person and had been involved in many interesting things.
Alan died in a plane crash in Columbia during the making of a film with Tom Cruise. You may have seen the news mentioning a crash but that Tom was not involved. Sadly Alan was, along with another two people, one of whom also died. It is a very sad time for all involved.
My relative Pete is the sort of friend I was destined to have. Pete likes lots of fun things but at the heart of it for him (aside from his family of course) is flying. Pete has been flying all of his life and today he spends his working time at the pointy end of a 747. However, in the mean time, he owns a Piper Arrow which he spends as much time as possible flying.
I have told about our trip in some previous posts. However, I didn’t ever show you the beast itself – I am talking about the Arrow rather than Pete. After we had finished our trip, he had to take it across to Bournemouth for some maintenance so I hung around long enough to catch him departing from Sandown. Here, then, are some shots of Pete and his plane. Thanks for a great time mate.
You can’t cover Oshkosh this year without mentioning the Piper Cub. This year was the 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub and they came to the fly-in en masse. There was a mass arrival the weekend before the show started but I didn’t get there in time to witness that. However, the parking had been set up to give the aircraft prominence. They also made an effort to give those aircraft painted in the original Piper yellow parking together to emphasize the effect.
I wandered down to the Cub parking in the evening. I had been hoping that the late evening light would pop out nicely and illuminate the ranks with a warm glow. Sadly,m the light never really cooperated. It always lurked just behind a cloud. However, the lines of Cubs were certainly something to see. It was tricky finding an angle that really showed just how many there were. Just trust me. There were lots of them!
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.