The pilots at the Rhinebeck air show are very experienced. Some, as in this case, are flying their own planes. The easy part is the flying. The interesting moments occur upon take off and landing. As I said the airfield is by no means smooth. So it requires a bit of skill and concentration to return safely. From a certain viewpoint it seems the planes are about to crash. But so far so good.
I love the googles. This old biplane did not go more than a few feet off the ground. It was too delicate to fly. So every week or so someone took the plane, taxied to one end of the field and flew a few feet off the ground for about ten seconds. It felt like Kittyhawk.
In order to maintain authenticity the biplane show at Rhinebeck used a grass field. It was sort of flat. At one end there was a nasty dip. And there was an uphill. From the other perspective it was a downhill made to help you gain takeoff speed. All in all it was not so even and a challenge to takeoff and land. I am told there have been accidents. But in all my visits there were only a few close calls.
Rhinebeck – Old Time Outfit?
When we were going to Rhinebeck and Charlie was giving helicopter rides, he cooked up the idea that we should also wear something more in the spirit of the place. He got me some suspenders. Yup. I looked pretty period.
He’s a handsome devil. I wore the stuff because he was my ride home. I didn’t want to walk.
It’s upstate New York and there is a grass airfield where on the weekends there is an airshow of old biplanes. I had the good fortune to befriend Charlie who flew a Bell 47 helicopter. So here we are hovering over the field in preparation to land and see the show. Nice entrance.
The grass field is just that. It is not paved. To make matters worse, the biplane are all pretty delicate. But in the interest of authenticity it was an unpaved ungraded field. At least the grass was short. But the landings were ever an adventure.
It’s upstate New York and on the weekends there is an airshow of old biplanes. I had the good fortune to befriend Charlie who flew a Bell 47 helicopter. So here we are hovering over the field in preparation to land and see the show. Nice entrance. Well, truth be told Charlie i hoovering and I am taking the shot because he moved the helicopter into position to be offering rides. I was his assistant. I told the patrons to keep their head low or risk a messy haircut. Everyone did as they were told. Imagine that!
Another Air Show
Portland Airport. It was not the jet runway but close enough. They advertised an air show. With little else to do that day I went to see what’s up. There were some vintage planes. There was no flying show. It was a walk around of the gathered planes. Nice?!
I’m always torn between getting the whole plane or just a detail as an image. Yeah, with digital, just shoot away. I still have to pick one. You go to these events and never know what you’ll find. It wasn’t that much, judging from the sparse crowd.
Blue Angels, Portland
Another day, another airshow…. If you keep scanning the internet, actually, I’m not sure how I got the news of this show. So you experiment, long tele or wide angle, I keep thinking that the detailed close-up is a better shot. But then you don’t get the whole picture. I was there. But it took cruising my archive to remember the event. Nothing too photographically memorable that day…
I got some shots in formation. The jets fly low and the noise is impressively loud. The government budget for airshows was already being cut back. I read that this was the last show that would occur in Portland.
Red Bull. San Diego. The series. They happened to be staging the air races, a series, in San Diego. Lucky me. Looking at the series of images, this was a documented event but I didn’t really have the eye to catch a signature image. If I did it over again, I’d try some different things. I certainly keep evolving my photographic eye. It’s what’s fun. You’re always changing things.
It’s a place in which World War I biplanes fly demonstrations every weekend in spring and summer. Picking a single photo is a hard choice. Charlie and I have been there for many a weekend. I got a backstage pass since I came with a pilot. Charlie gave helicopter rides while I roamed the field and shot from behind the ropes. It was a real privilege.
Close Call Landing, Rhinebeck
I have had the fortunate luck to make friends with a now retired American Airlines pilot Charlie. He flies a Bell 47, “Mash,” helicopter as a hobby. I get to fly with him. Yeah! So, there’s a weekend event in Rhinebeck, New York. It’s an old-fashioned air show complete with a damsel in distress. The pilots, many of whom, fly their own biplanes, put on a show and it’s very entertaining. Charlie would give helicopter rides. And, I got to wander around, backstage as it were, and shoot to my heart’s content. Then we would have a greasy hamburger and call it a day. The biplanes are antique but serviceable. The airfield is grass. The winds can be tricky. I have never seen a crash although they tell me it has happened. On this day and in this photo, it was what I would consider to be a pretty close call. And the saying, “Any landing you walk away from is a good one.” It was never more true.