During the evening of the Eagle Field fly-in, there was a dinner held in the hangar. I took the time to wander around outside as it had become a lot quieter and the chances to shoot the aircraft had improved. As the sun went down, things got considerably better and the evening light was lovely. Not all aircraft were well oriented to take advantage of it but there was still plenty of scope.
My trip in the Harpoon was to get to the fly-in at Eagle Field. This is an event that I previously didn’t know anything about so I went with few preconceptions. As it turned out, this year was not the most well attended that they have had. A selection of aircraft showed up for the event but not as many as hoped for. A few T-6s were there along with a C-54, some Navions, an Interstate Kadet and us. Some less exotic types were also there such as Pipers and Cessnas. There was also quite a gathering of military vehicles. These are not something that I know a lot about. During the day some reenactors also carried out some firefight demonstrations.
The following morning, the visitors headed back out. We were one of the last to go so got to watch the other aircraft start up, taxi out and take off. Most put in at least one pass before they headed home.
A pair of locally based North American T-6 trainers were keeping busy while the Collings folks were in town. Shortly after I first arrived, they launched as a pair. The departure was very nice but was a little spoiled by a card error on my camera. (I had a card that had given me occasional trouble but this was the first time it really crapped out. It has now gone back to the manufacturer for a replacement.) The T-6s were not done and flew several times. This gave me a few more opportunities to get shots of them. Their returns to base would involve some nice breaks into the downwind which were well centered on our location. I will have to investigate these guys further since they flew very nicely.
The field trip during the ISAP Symposium was held at Paine Field in Everett. We were hosted by the Heritage Flight Foundation and its owner John Sessions and they were excellent hosts. (I visited once before and you can see that post here.) Aside from the selection of aircraft still in the hangar where we were set up, they had arranged some photo sorties with some of their aircraft. The B-25, Grumpy, was the camera ship for a few photographers and the P-51 Mustang was the target. A T-6 also went up as a second camera ship. Each photo position was a paying ride with the T-6 obviously being the premium slot.
I had decided not to take the ride. It was not cheap although certainly not bad value for money. As the weather was not looking great, I wondered whether I had chosen wisely. As it was, the people who did go up did get some great images. The area certainly can provide some nice backdrops and the light, while flat, did not hurt things. However, even as someone on the ground, the flights seemed over very fast so I imagine for those on board, it was gone all to quickly.
For those of us on the ground, we got treated to the departure and arrivals of the aircraft plus a few passes of the P-51 and T-6 which were a lot of fun. Gloomy skies made it all a little flat looking but still a great sight. Being able to be close to the aircraft during the start up, taxi out and return was certainly worthwhile. The following day they were having a public event and I hope the weather improved for the large numbers they were expecting.
I recently popped up to Waukegan to see the good folks at the Warbird Heritage Foundation. I was up there to take some shots of their A-4 Skyhawk. It was scheduled to fly and the weather was looking particularly good so it seemed like an opportunity not to miss. A post on that will follow soon.
While I was there, the Chief Pilot, Herwig, was getting ready to take up the T-6 to run a check on the adjustments that had been made to the aileron trim. When he asked if I wanted to come along, I think you can guess what my answer was.
This was to be my first trip in a T-6. I minimized what photography equipment I was going to take along in order to keep things simple. Since we weren’t shooting anything else, I really only had two shot options. The ground or myself. Needless to say, I had a go at both. There is something very self centered but fun about shooting yourself in the cockpit while flying. I like shooting the pilot too but in the case of the T-6, the best I can get is the back of Herwig’s head!
The flight was a quick one and the trim checks were carried out before heading back to Waukegan. An overhead break into the pattern and then we were back on terra firma. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Thanks guys.