2018 – The Year in Review – Part 2

On Wednesday, February 21, I received an email from Ron Alldredge, telling me that he was going to fly his T-34 from his home airport in Tehachapi to Bermuda Dunes to treat Bruce to a flight in the Mentor. This was going to happen on Saturday, February 24. At this point, there was no way I was NOT going to be there! I called John Warwick in San Diego, thinking he might be free to fly me alongside Ron and Bruce to take some special pictures. John already had plans for the weekend. but he sent out an email to the Southern California warbird community, explaining what we were doing and asking if anyone would be willing to help. Sure enough, another Mentor driver, Tyler Trickey offered to fly down from March AFB to help. He said, “I planned to go flying anyway, so this gives me a chance to do something useful, different, and fun!”

L-R: Ron Alldredge, Paula Alldredge, Judy Walker, Bruce Walker, Tyler Trickey, Me

You can read the entire story in the first installment of my blog. Let it suffice to say that the stars lined up and it wound up being a simply amazing afternoon. Bruce went flying with Ron and I had the pleasure of flying with Tyler while taking pictures. It was an afternoon that am pretty sure none of us will forget. The warbird community is a lot more than simply boys playing with toys.

 

In 2017, Scott “Munchie” Andrews invited me to a formation flying clinic that he organized in Mesa, AZ. That was my first formation flying clinic and it opened the door to much of what followed that year. So, returning to Mesa on March 1, 2008, was a bit like coming home for me. Instead of being a total stranger, I found that I was familiar with most of the pilots involved, and also familiar with how the clinics worked. Many thanks to Munchie for helping me to get started.

 

On March 16, I drove the 5 miles to Concord Airport to meet with Dwane Ferguson, organizer of the “Cherokee to Oshkosh” formation clinics. “Ferg” picked me up at Concord in his Cherokee 6 and took me on to Ocean Isle Beach Airport. There, he met with half a dozen Piper Cherokees and pilots to conduct formation training. At first glance, it may not seem as sexy as photographing warbirds. However, I flew with a great group of guys who appreciated having a professional photographer along.

Dwane Ferguson’s Cherokee with a smoke system!

During the last week of March, I tossed two and a half weeks’ worth of clothing, camera equipment, and other supplies into my car and headed south to Punta Gorda, FL, by way of my parents’ home in Atlanta. Punta Gorda was the home spring formation flying clinic of the North American Trainer Association (NATA). T-6s and T 28s from around the country gathered there for a last-minute formation clinic just prior to Sun ‘n Fun.

One person at Punta Gorda single-handedly helped to make my attendance there a success…Walt Fricke, Chairman, CEO, and Founder of the Veterans Airlift Command. Walt owns both a T-34 and an AirCam, And he was very generous with his time in both aircraft for me. Flying in formation is a lot of fun and can yield some very good pictures. However, flying alongside a formation but not definitely in it, permits much more flexibility and creativity in framing my shots. Walt took me up on a couple of sorties in the T 34 and, damn, we got some great pictures. (Note to photographers: finding a pilot knows how to fly a photo ship is our equivalent to striking gold!)

We also did a great little two-ship ship formation flight with another T 34

Walt also took me up for a spin around the block in his AirCam

 

Along with a bunch of nice formation photos, I got plenty of single ship portraits at Punta Gorda as well

 

Then, it was on to Sun ‘n Fun. That will be covered in the next blog installment

 

2018 – The Year in Review – Part 1

As you probably know, 2019 is going to start out very slowly for me as I recover from a pretty major rotator cuff surgery. It’s going to be several months before I can even hold a camera, let along crawl in and out of the cockpits of most of the warbirds I fly in and with.  So while I am chomping at the bit waiting to start taking photos again, I figured this would be a good time to take a look at 2018 in review.

If 2017 was the year I discovered the warbird community, 2018 was the year that I really began with the purpose of making my mark in that community. In the winter of 2017 – 2018 was highlighted by a grand slam of magazine cover photos. My photos were featured on the covers of “Red Alert”, “Skylines”, “Mentor Monitor” and “Twin & Turbine”.

Typically, wintertime equates to hibernation for warbirds. Not in the Southwest, however. My first fly-in of 2018 began on January 26 in Palm Springs, California. 16 Beech T-34 Mentors descended upon Palm Springs, CA (KPSP) for the 18th annual “Meeting of Mentors”.  They came from as far away as Palmdale, San Diego and Phoenix to support the Palm Springs Air Museum, which sponsors a weekly aviation-related event for its visitors. This weekend gave the Museum’s visitors a chance to get up close and personal with the T-34s and their pilots, and it gave the pilots a chance to do some formation flying. The weekend also gave me an opportunity to fly with some of the T 34 pilots based in the Southwest United States. I was able to get photos of planes flown by:

Tom Mitchell

 

Chas Robertson

 

and Michael “Donut” Hohls

However, the real story of the day centered around the pilot I was flying with, Ron Alldredge, and it happened on the ground. To make a very long story short, Ron got to chatting with one of the spectators, a gentleman named Bruce Walker, who had learned to fly in the T 34 some 60 years earlier. Before long, Ron invited Bruce to make himself at home up in the cockpit and from there, a news story was born, one that would be played out later.

 

The following weekend, I was back out West to Yuma AZ to attend the Mooney Caravan Gunfighters Formation Clinic. In order to participate in a mass formation arrival into Oshkosh, pilots must undergo training to advance their formation skills. A total of 33 aircraft participated, which included 23 Mooneys, 4 Cirrus, 2 CJ’s, 2 T-6’s, and one each PA-28 and PA-24. All in all, the Mooney pilots flew some pretty tight formations.

The Mooney’s arrived with some interesting color schemes, and the Yuma area offers some exotic scenery

 

Scott “Gabby” Wallace showed up with his Nanchang CJ-6

 

Mike Pfleger owned, at the time, one of the best looking SNJs around. He has since sold it.

February 15 marked the beginning of Swamp ThunderSwamp Thunder, which takes place at Waycross, GA. Jon “Saber” Blake is the regional director of the Southeast region Red Star Pilots Association, and he believes in organizing two formal formation flying clinics each year. He explains, “I have encouraged the members in our area to organize their own get-together locally. We had a couple in 2018 but nothing like the year before. In some ways, Swamp Thunder is a good dress rehearsal for Sun ‘n Fun. For most of us, is the first opportunity to knock off the rest. This year, we had some weather challenges which several of our members away.”

One of the interesting visitors to Swamp thunder was Barry Ford and his Gyro plane. While he was unable to fly formation with anyone, that Gyro plane made for a pretty neat photo platform.

Here I am getting ready for a flight.

 

This is an interesting view of Jimmy Burke’s Yak 52 TW.

 

Larry Lee taxis in in his L – 39.

 

Despite some weather problems, Swamp Thunder still had pretty good attendance.

 

Here’s a shot of Wayne Altman’s CJ – 6.

 

Val “VD” Diers flew Hank Gibsons CJ – 6.

 

Mike “Pod” Foster is one of the Southeast Region’s check pilots.

 

Pod leads VD and Wayne Altman in a good-looking formation.

 

This formation was planned to show the primary RPA aircraft that showed up at Swamp Thunder

More to follow…

Wichita Bizjets

In December 2015 and July 2016, I visited Wichita KS for the purpose of writing an article about “Doc”, the B-29 that underwent an impressive restoration at McConnell AFB. While I was there, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Wichita (ICT) is also quite an interesting airport, and photo access was mighty good. ICT is a bit off the beaten path, but, in my opinion, well worth the effort.

The only thing better than traveling with a terrific friend is traveling with a terrific friend who is easy to travel with! Phil Rose, I’m happy to travel anywhere with you!

 

N401XR;BEECHJET 400A; MSN RK-300; TEXTRON AVIATION INC

 

N302K; BOMBARDIER BD-100-1A10; MSN 20267; CORPORATE JET LEASING CO LLC

 

N7000C; BOMBARDIER BD-100-1A10; MSN 20225; CARGILL INC;

 

N968AG;CITATION 680A; CITATION LATITUDE; MSN 680A0018; TVPX ARS INC TRUSTEE;

 

N895QS;HAWKER 800XP; MSN 258606; NetJets Sales Inc

 

N7567T;HAWKER 4000; MSN RC-10;LIMA DELTA CO TRUSTEE

 

Victor White, Airport Manager at ICT, is a genuinely nice guy, as well as a fellow enthusiast. What a pleasure it was to meet him!

 

N245CM;LEARJET 45; MSN 403;CARGILL INC

 

 

N313BW;LEARJET 45; MSN 45-108;AND Inc

 

 

N345K; LEARJET 45; MSN 45-310; CORPORATE JET LEASING CO LLC;

 

N407BS;LEARJET 31; MSN 033;JETONE LLC

 

N601CN;LEARJET 60; MSN 087;CHICKASAW NATION

 

 

N740KD;LEARJET 45; MSN 2083;BANK OF UTAH TRUSTEE

 

 

N753A;LEARJET 45; MSN 528;N753A LLC

 

N849BA;LEARJET 45; MSN 454;LEARJET INC

 

N72GW; LOCKHEED 1329-25 JETSTAR II; MSN 5205; FIRST GUARANTY BANK

 

 

 

Wichita Airliners

In December 2015 and July 2016, I visited Wichita KS for the purpose of writing an article about “Doc”, the B-29 that underwent an impressive restoration at McConnell AFB. While I was there, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Wichita (ICT) is also quite an interesting airport, and photo access was mighty good. ICT is a bit off the beaten path, but, in my opinion, well worth the effort. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that Bombardier used Wichita as a test facility for its then-new C-Series.

After staking out a spot near the runway for photography when I first visited Wichita in December 2015, this was the first plane that landed! Imagine my surprise!

C-GWXJ;MSN 50003;AIRBUS 220-100;BOMBARDIER

 

C-GWYD;MSN 50002;AIRBUS 220-100;BOMBARDIER

C-GWXZ;MSN 50005;AIRBUS 220-100;SWISS

N866GA;DC‑9‑83;MSN 49910;Allegiant Air

N414NV;MD‑88;MSN 49766;Allegiant Air

N417SW;CRJ 200LR;MSN 7400; AMERICAN EAGLE

N864AS;CRJ-200ER;MSN 7502;AMERICAN EAGLE

N667GB;ERJ‑145LR;MSN 145784;AMERICAN EAGLE

N952LR;CRJ 900LR;MSN 15373;AMERICAN EAGLE

N995AT;B.717‑2BD;MSN 55139;DELTA AIR LINES

N601XJ;CRJ-200;MSN 8044;DELTA CONNECTION

N8965E;CRJ-440LR;MSN 7965;DELTA CONNECTION

N805FX;ATR‑72‑212(F);MSN 372;FEDEX FEEDER

N794FD;B.757‑222(F);MSN 26701;FEDEX EXPRESS

 

N248WN; .737‑7H4 (w); MSN 32509; SOUTHWEST;2000th 737NG

N35260;B.737‑824 (w);MSN 30855;UNITED AIR LINES

N124SY;ERJ‑175LR(ERJ‑170‑200LR);MSN 17000439;UNITED EXPRESS

N13913;ERJ‑145LR;MSN 145438;UNITED EXPRESS

N12122;ERJ‑145XR;MSN 145684;UNITED EXPRESS

N12201;ERJ‑145XR;14500959;UNITED EXPRESS

N917XA;B.737‑86J (w);MSN 32917;XTRA AIRWAYS

Wichita Citations

In December 2015 and July 2016, I visited Wichita KS for the purpose of writing an article about “Doc”, the B-29 that underwent an impressive restoration at McConnell AFB. While I was there, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Wichita (ICT) is also quite an interesting airport. Several manufacturers of corporate aircraft are located either on the airport, or nearby. There were Citations aplenty, and photo access was mighty good. ICT is a bit off the beaten path, but, in my opinion, well worth the effort. This blog entry features Citations but stay tuned…much more to come.

 

Citation 510 Mustangs

N27369; MSN 510-712; Cessna Aircraft Company;

 

N422TG; MSN 510-0429; 422 TG LLC;

 

N66D; MSN 510-0454; Aircraft Guaranty Corporation;

 

 

Citationjet 1

N326JK; 525-0511; Triangle Transportation LLC;

 

B-9629; 525-0645; Jet Asia Ltd;

 

PR-EXP; MSN 525-0482; Armazens Gerais Agricolas Ltda;

 

Citationjet 2+

N917SL; MSN 525A-0059; SLFH Air LLC;

 

N525AP; MSN 525A-0460; JetSeven LLC;

 

N715DL; MSN 525A-0481; Cessna Aircraft Company;

 

N64LW; MSN 525A-0464; Textron Aviation Inc;

 

Citationjet III

N431CS; MSN 525B-0228; A & M Citation LLC

 

Citationjet IV

N217CJ; MSN 525C-0217; Textron Aviation Inc;

 

N318SB; MSN 525C0225; ETA PARTNERS LLC;

 

N166TX; MSN 525C-0166; T-Roy Aero Inc;

 

N34LA; MSN 525C0104; TCRG CJ4 LLC;

Citation Encore

N552CN; MSN 560-0674; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma;

 

Citation Sovereign

N683SV; MSN 680-0003; Cessna Aircraft Company;

 

XA-GME; MSN 680-0522; Mexico Transportes Aéreos;

 

N121LS; MSN 680-0076; Marlis Aviation Inc;

 

N637SV; MSN 680-0037; Cessna Aircraft Company;

 

N247TA; MSN 680-0131; Cessna Aircraft Company;

 

PP-UTC; MSN 680-0237; U T C Engenharia Ltda;

 

N681GF; MSN N681GF; Cessna Aircraft Company;

 

Citation Latitude

N613CL; MSN 680A-0013; Textron Aviation Inc;

 

N5262Z; MSN 680A-0017; CCC Isle of Man Ltd;

 

Citation X

N299CX; MSN 750-0299; TVPX ARS INC TRUSTEE;

 

N510CX; MSN 750-0510; TEXTRON AVIATION INC;

 

N902VP; MSN 750-0002; CESSNA AIRCRAFT CO;

 

N729VP; MSN 750-0510; TEXTRON AVIATION INC;

 

N50612; MSN 750-0117; VMD Aviation LLC;

 

 

 

DeKalb-Peachtree Airport Props & Rotors- 18 October 2018

I spent a few hours at KPDK on the afternoon of Thursday, 18 October. I find always KPDK worth visiting, since the traffic is usually plentiful and interesting, and the airport is extremely photo-friendly. Here is an assortment of props and rotors I photographed in a 4-hour period during the afternoon:

PILATUS PC-12

N6FZ, MSN 290, BRAVO DELTA MANAGEMENT LLC

 

N112AF, MSN 1412, ALLEN BARRY

 

N444CM, MSN 152, WRIGHT WAY AVIATION LLC

 

N454PS, MSN 454, STS HOLDINGS LLC

 

N539PE, MSN 539, EPPS AIR SERVICE INC

 

N681GH, MSN 681,QUALITY LEASING INC

 

N801PB, MSN 1006, KEY ESSENTIALS LLC

 

BEECH KING AIR

N92FC, MSN LJ-1235, KING AIR C90A, LONGLEAF AIR LLC

 

N275JC, MSN BB1854, KING AIR B200, ENCORE LEASING LLC

 

N503GF, MSN BY268, KING AIR B200GT, WAFFLE HOUSE INC

 

N833UP, MSN FL-947, KING AIR B300, WHEELS UP PARTNERS LLC

 

N988SC, MSN FL244, KING AIR B300, SAMET CORP

 

CESSNA TWINS

N310BA, MSN 310R0065, CESSNA T310R, RAMPEY ALVIN H JR

 

N500AAT, MSN 414A0313, CESSNA 414A, ANASTASIS LLC

 

N441WT, MSN 441-0313, CESSNA 441, HAVEN AIR LLC

 

CIRRUS SR22

N83GT, MSN 4231, N83GT LLC

 

N553LB, MSN 4242, LIVE BIG AIR LLC

 

SINGLE ENGINE 

N7020L, MSN F5C085, WACO YMF-F5C, BIPLANE RIDES OVER ATLANTA INC

 

N143WV, MSN 0040, MORAVAN Z143L, BLAZER ROBERT W

 

HELICOPTERS

N122AA, MSN 11228, ROBINSON R44 II, ADKINS AVIATION LLC

 

N427TJ, MSN 53673, BELL 407, EAGLE AIR SERVICES OF NORTH CAROLINA LLC

DeKalb-Peachtree Airport Jets- 18 October 2018

I spent a few hours at KPDK on the afternoon of Thursday, 18 October. I find always KPDK worth visiting, since the traffic is usually plentiful and interesting, and the airport is extremely photo-friendly. Here is an assortment of jets I photographed in a 4-hour period during the afternoon:

BEECHJET 400A

N101CC, MSN RK-277, KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS AVIATION LLC,

 

N226WC, MSN RK-248, WEB COM GROUP INC,

 

BOMBARDIER CHALLENGER

N872BC,MSN 5479,BCC AVIATION LLC

 

BOMBARDIER GLOBAL EXPRESS

N244DS, MSN 9617, DS AVIATION LLC

 

N806AS, MSN 9511, GLOBAL EXPRESS, ASI WINGS LLC

 

CITATION 501

N501RG, MSN 501-0260, JERAB LLC

 

CITATION 510

N510TX, MSN 510-0131, WASHINGTON ROAD PROPERTIES LEVEL 2 LLC

 

CITATION 560

N654PD; MSN 560-6236; DE210 LLC

 

N817PD; MSN 560-0075; KTS HOLDINGS LLC

 

CITATION 560XLS

N654PD; MSN 560-6236; DE210 LLC

 

CITATION 680

N259CK; MSN 680-0278; DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF DEKALB COUNTY

 

N571QS; MSN 680A0126; COTTAGE 26 PROPERTY PARTNERS LLC;NETJETS

 

CITATION 750

N10XT; MSN 750-0230; EP10XT LLC

 

EMBRAER PHENOM 300

N906KB; MSN 50000287; AEROSPACE HOLDING & LEASING LLC;

 

GULFSTREAM 650

N721MM; MSN 6332; MANDALAY RESORT GROUP;