The camera ship for the majority of the photo missions at Madras A2AX (and all of the flights I undertook) was Scott Slocum’s Beech Bonanza. This is an aircraft which is certificates for flight with the doors removed. With the rearmost two seats removed, this provides a great location for two photographers to shoot back at the target aircraft. Both photographers wore harnesses that were strapped to the airframe.
Once airborne, one person would sit on the floor by the door and the other would stay on the seats and shoot over the head of the other photographer. This system worked really well. During the turbulent flights, the person by the door was probably a touch more aware of how close they were to the door as we bounced around but it was all safely planned and a lot of fun. Full credit to the work Scott did as the photo pilot coordinating the aircraft as well as guiding us students.
About a year ago I saw a ton of cracking images showing up online from friends of mine that had attended the Madras A2AX workshop. At the time I figured I needed to start panning on being there for the next edition of the workshop. It is run by Scott Slocum and Lyle Jansma at the Erickson Air Museum’s facility and their aircraft provided the subjects for the photo flights. Scott and Lyle were joined by Paul Bowen. Paul was not instructing but he did provide his own perspective and guidance on what we were working on and also could be relied on to show up with his camera whenever you were looking at your goofiest and to tell some hilarious tales of his various exploits.
I met some familiar faces and made a whole bunch of new friends. Various hurdles were thrown in the way of the team due to weather and serviceability issues but they adapted well and the team were intent on having a good time whatever was going on. It was a fantastic weekend with some great learning opportunities and some beautiful aircraft to photograph. Here are a couple of samples of what we had to play with.