Fly By Photography: Blog https://www.flyby.photography/blog en-us (C) Fly By Photography flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:34:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:34:00 GMT https://www.flyby.photography/img/s/v-12/u65905031-o182134341-50.jpg Fly By Photography: Blog https://www.flyby.photography/blog 120 80 Blue and Gold in Black & White https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/2/blue-and-gold-in-black-white Blue and Gold in Black & WhiteBlue and Gold in Black & WhiteUnited States Navy
United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
163444/6
Lcdr Brandon Hempler #6 Opposing Solo

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United States Navy
United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
163444/6
Lcdr Brandon Hempler #6 Opposing Solo

 

Prints Available HERE

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 163439 / 6 (cn 0641/C011) 2018 NAS Oceana Air Show airshow aviation Blue Angels flying Lcdr Brandon Hempler #6 Opposing Solo Low Transition McDonnell Douglas F-18C Hornet NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) Navy pilot planes strike fighter U.S Navy United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Virgina Beach Virginia https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/2/blue-and-gold-in-black-white Mon, 04 Feb 2019 20:03:16 GMT
Up, Up And Away https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/up-up-and-away The Blue Angels' C-130, Fat Albert riding a plume of rocket flame and exhaust during a JATO take-off during the 2009 NAS Oceana Airshow.

The Blue Angels' C-130, Fat Albert riding a plume of rocket flame and exhaust during a JATO take-off.Up, Up And AwayThe Blue Angels' C-130, Fat Albert riding a plume of rocket flame and exhaust during a JATO take-off.

United States Marine Corps
Blue Angels
Lockheed C-130T Hercules
164763

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United States Marine Corps
Blue Angels
Lockheed C-130T Hercules
164763

 

Prints Available HERE

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 164763 (cn 382-5258) airshow aviation Blue Angels Fat Albert flying Lockheed C-130T Hercules Marines NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) plane transport U.S. Marine Corps https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/up-up-and-away Tue, 29 Jan 2019 19:57:13 GMT
Fingertip Take Off https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/fingertip-take-off The Blue Angels taking off in fingertip formation, prior to moving to their trademark diamond formation. Sept. 21, 2018 NAS Oceana Air Show.

The Blue Angels taking off in fingertip formation, prior to moving to their trademark diamond formation.Fingertip Take OffThe Blue Angels taking off in fingertip formation, prior to moving to their trademark diamond formation. Sept. 21, 2018 NAS Oceana Air Show.

United States Navy
United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
163708 / 1
Cdr Eric "Popeye" Doyle #1 Boss/Leader

163451 / 2
Lcdr Damon "Pad" Kroes #2 Right Wing

163766 / 3
Maj Jeff "Daryl" Mullins #3 Left Wing

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornet
163464 / 7
Lcdr Nate "Utah" Scott #4 Slot

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United States Navy
United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
163708 / 1
Cdr Eric "Popeye" Doyle #1 Boss/Leader

163451 / 2
Lcdr Damon "Pad" Kroes #2 Right Wing

163766 / 3
Maj Jeff "Daryl" Mullins #3 Left Wing

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornet
163464 / 7
Lcdr Nate "Utah" Scott #4 Slot

 

Prints Available HERE

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 163451 / 2 (cn 0662/C020) 163464 / 7 (cn 0685/D010) 163708 / 1 (cn0770/C069) 163766 / 3 (cn 0846/C123) 2018 NAS Oceana Air Show airshow aviation Cdr Eric "Popeye" Doyle #1 Boss/Leader flying Lcdr Damon Kroes #2 Right Wing Lcdr Nate "Utah" Scott #4 Slot Maj Jeff Mullins #3 Left Wing McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet McDonnell Douglas F-18D Hornet NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) Navy pilot planes strike fighter U.S Navy United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Virgina Beach Virginia https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/fingertip-take-off Mon, 28 Jan 2019 19:28:11 GMT
T-6 Texan Coming Left https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/t-6-texan-coming-left T-6 Texan in a left bank over the Neuse River near MCAS Cherry Point. 

T-6 Texan in a left bank over the Neuse River near MCAS Cherry Point.Coming LeftT-6 Texan in a left bank over the Neuse River near MCAS Cherry Point.

North American AT-6D Texan
N29963/PA-4/85077
Pilot, Peter "Mr.Clean" Hague
GIB, Cliff "Dutch" Davis

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North American AT-6D Texan
N29963/PA-4/85077
Pilot, Peter "Mr.Clean" Hague
GIB, Cliff "Dutch" Davis

 

Prints available HERE

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 2018 Joint Base Charleston Air & Space Expo airshow air-to-air aviation CAF Capital Wing Charleston - AFB / International (CHS / KCHS) Cliff "Dutch" Davis Dan Haug flying jets N29963/PA-4/85077 (cn 168-81) North American AT-6D Texan Peter "Mr.Clean" Hague planes South Carolina Trainer warbirds yellow https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/t-6-texan-coming-left Fri, 25 Jan 2019 19:22:52 GMT
Avenger Photo Pass https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/avenger-photo-pass TBM Avenger operated by the Commemorative Air Force Capital Wing makes a photo pass during the 2018 Leesburg Airshow. 

TBM Avenger operated by the Commemorative Air Force Capital Wing makes a photo pass during the 2018 Leesburg Airshow.Avenger Photo PassTBM Avenger operated by the Commemorative Air Force Capital Wing makes a photo pass during the 2018 Leesburg Airshow.

Commemorative Air Force, Capital Wing
Grumman (General Motors) TBM-3E Avenger
N40402 /P87/ BuAer 91426 "Doris Mae"
United States Marine Corps
VMTB-143 "Rocket Raiders"
Pilot, Peter "Mr. Clean" Hague

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Commemorative Air Force, Capital Wing
Grumman (General Motors) TBM-3E Avenger
N40402 /P87/ BuAer 91426 "Doris Mae"
United States Marine Corps
VMTB-143 "Rocket Raiders"
Pilot, Peter "Mr. Clean" Hague

 

Prints Available HERE

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 2018 Leesburg Airshow aerobatics airplane airplanes airshow aviation CAF Capital Wing Capital Wing Close Air Support (CAS) Commemorative Air Force Commemorative Air Force (CAF) flying Grumman (General Motors) TBM-3E Avenger helicopter Leesburg - Executive (JYO / KJYO) Marines N40402 /P87/ BuAer 91426 "Doris Mae" (cn 4331) Peter "Mr.Clean" Hague pilot plane planes sky torpedo bomber U.S. Marine Corps USMC veterans Virgina Beach Virginia VMTB-143 "Rocket Raiders" warbirds World War II WWII https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/avenger-photo-pass Wed, 23 Jan 2019 13:27:52 GMT
Climbing Heavy Weight https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/climbing-heavy-weight Captain Katie Higgins (USMC) begins to pull the Blue Angels' C-130 "Fat Albert" into what will be a 45 degree climb during MCAS Cherry Point's 2016 twilight airshow.

Captain Higgins begins to pull Bert into what will be a 45 degree climb.Climbing Heavy WeightCaptain Higgins begins to pull Bert into what will be a 45 degree climb.

United States Marine Corps
Blue Angels
Lockheed C-130T Hercules
164763 "Fat Albert"
Pilots, Captain Katie Higgins

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United States Marine Corps
Blue Angels
Lockheed C-130T Hercules
164763 "Fat Albert"
Pilots, Captain Katie Higgins

 

Prints available HERE

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 164763 "Fat Albert" (cn 382-5258) 75th Anniversary airshow aviation aviator blue Blue Angels Captain Katie Higgins Cherry Point - MCAS / Cunningham Field (NKT / KNKT) courage defense display excitement extreme fast fighter flying honor Lockheed C-130T Hercules (L-382) Marines MCAS Cherry Point Airshow 2016 modern Navy patriotism performance pilot plane power precision professional transport U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Navy United States https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/climbing-heavy-weight Tue, 22 Jan 2019 20:01:34 GMT
USAF Heritage Flight 2005 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/usaf-heritage-flight-2005 USAF Heritage Flight consisting of a QF-4E Phantom II in the lead, two F-86 Sabres on the wings and an F-16 Fighting Falcon in the slot.

USAF Heritage FlightUSAF Heritage FlightUSAF Heritage Flight consisting of a QF-4E Phantom II in the lead, two F-86 Sabres on the wings and an F-16 Fighting Falcon in the slot.


United States Air Force
USAF Heritage Flight
McDonnell Douglas QF-4E Phantom II
72-1490 / TD
82nd Arial Target Squadron, 53rd Weapons Evalution Group
Pilot, Lt.Col. Jerry "Jive" Kerby

Wyatt "Pigdog" Fuller
United States Air Force
Canadair CL-13A Sabre 5
N86FS / 25222/FU-222
Pilot, Dale "Snort" Snodgrass

Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6
United States Air Force
N186FS / 71461/FU-461
Pilot, Ed Shipley

United States Air Force
Viper East Demo Team
Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon
AF94-0048/SW
20th Fighter Wing
Pilot, Maj Geoff "Hak" Hickman

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For commercial use, please email me through my contact page

United States Air Force
USAF Heritage Flight
McDonnell Douglas QF-4E Phantom II
72-1490 / TD
82nd Arial Target Squadron, 53rd Weapons Evalution Group
Pilot, Lt.Col. Jerry "Jive" Kerby

Wyatt "Pigdog" Fuller
United States Air Force
Canadair CL-13A Sabre 5
N86FS / 25222/FU-222
Pilot, Dale "Snort" Snodgrass

Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6
United States Air Force
N186FS / 71461/FU-461
Pilot, Ed Shipley

United States Air Force
Viper East Demo Team
Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon
AF94-0048/SW
20th Fighter Wing
Pilot, Maj Geoff "Hak" Hickman
 

Prints Available HERE

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 20th Fighter Wing 53rd Weapons Evalution Group 72-1490 / TD 82nd Arial Target Squadron AF94-0048/SW Aircraft airshow aviation Canadair CL-13A Sabre 5 Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 Dale "Snort" Snodgrass Ed Shipley flying Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon Lt.Col. Jerry "Jive" Kerby Maj Geoff "Hak" Hickman McDonnell Douglas QF-4E Phantom II N186FS / 71461/FU-461 N86FS / 25222/FU-222 NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) plane QF-4 Phantom Heritage Flight United States US Air Force USAF Heritage Flight Viper East Demo Team Wyatt "Pigdog" Fuller https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/usaf-heritage-flight-2005 Thu, 17 Jan 2019 19:24:12 GMT
Corsair Clearing Turn https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/corsair-clearing-turn John Fuentes clearing the runway at the beginning of the FG-1D Corsair's portion of the 2018 Warbirds Over Monroe airshow. John Fuentes clearing the runway at the beginning of the Corsair's portion of Warbirds Over Monroe.Corsair Clearing TurnJohn Fuentes clearing the runway at the beginning of the Corsair's portion of Warbirds Over Monroe.

United States Navy
Vought (Goodyear) FG-1D Corsair
92508/31
Ex-Navy BuNo. 92508
VF-17 "Jolly Rogers, Original Pilot, Ray Beacham
Pilot, John "Glenn" Fuentes
Owner, Military Aviation Museum

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United States Navy
Vought (Goodyear) FG-1D Corsair
92508/31
Ex-Navy BuNo. 92508
VF-17 "Jolly Rogers, Original Pilot, Ray Beacham
Pilot, John "Glenn" Fuentes
Owner, Military Aviation Museum

 

                                                                                     Prints available HERE

 


 

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) aerobatics airshow aviation Ex-Navy BuNo. 92508 fighter Fighter Factory flying history John "Glen" Fuentes Military Aviation Museum Monroe - Charlotte-Monroe Executive (EQY/KEQY) N46RL / 92508/31 (cn 3769) Navy North Carolina plane planes Ray Beacham sky U.S. Navy veterans VF-17 "Jolly Rogers" Vought (Goodyear) FG-1D Corsair warbirds Warbirds Over Monroe 2018 World War II https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2019/1/corsair-clearing-turn Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:26:26 GMT
Aerial Grunnery Training https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/7/aerial-grunnery-training   Texans over the Virginia foothills.Chase The WindTexans over the Virginia foothills.

United States Navy
North American AT-6D Texan
N42GK / 789/4-N-4
Pilot, Greg "Dex" Dexter

United States Marine Corps
North American SNJ-5C Texan
N98RJ / 90752/RJ
Pilot, Will "McLovin" Loving

Photoship:
United States Air Force
North American T-6G Texan
N3167G / TA-272 /49-3272
Pilot, Dan Haug

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 The North American AT-6/SNJ Texan was an advanced trainer used to train most Allied pilots, that flew single engine aircraft in World War II. But, the AT-6/SNJ Texan wasn't used solely as a trainer for pilots. Gunners were also trained in the back seats of Texans equipped with back-seats that rotated to face rearward, a flexible .30 machine gun mounted for the back-seater to use and canopies that rotated forward to open, giving an unobscured view rearward. My grandfather, William Corbin, was a 17 year old enlisted sailor in the Navy, eventually bound to be assigned as a radioman/gunner in the Curtis SB2C Helldiver, trained in the Navy's SNJ Texans during the latter years of World War II.
 

  From my grandfathers memoirs:
 

   "...the Navy SNJ was the aircraft in which we got almost all of our aerial gunnery work. Since they were used by every student and every different pilot, they were usually a mess to ride in. But, it was powerful and the pilots took great pleasure in doing a roll, right after take-off, for the purpose of scaring the pants off the student. But, it seemed rock solid, with a power-plant that never once belched as we left land and started out over water, which is something that always seemed to happen in most other aircraft. I suppose it was imagination, but we used to call it "automatic rough" the minute we left land. The rear seat in this bugger was uncomfortable and so loose, we'd rattle around as the pilot maneuvered for an "attack" on the target. I only rode in these facing backward."
 

  I've been very fortunate to have had quite a few flights in Texans, including one that had the rotating gunners seat. Today, these Texans are no longer work horses and are cared for quite a lot better than they were during their WWII days. Just like my grandfather, I've never experience "automatic rough." Unlike my grandfather, my shooting is done with a camera.  Still, the sensations, smells, sounds and sites are much like what my grandfather would have experienced. It creates a bit of a connection between past and present.
 

In a left hand back with the rest of Reveille Flight in right echelon on our wing.High In The Sunlit SilenceIn a left hand bank with the rest of Reveille Flight in right echelon on our wing.

United States Navy
North American SNJ-5 Texan
N3261G / 602/39
Pilot, Steve

United States Navy
North American AT-6D Texan
N796WM / 94
Pilot, Jim "Juice" Koch

United States Air Force
North American T-6G Texan
N66TY / 49-3038/TA-308 "Spanish Lady"
Pilot, J.P. Mellor

United States Navy
North American T-6G Texan
N6253C / 40/E
Pilot, Rob "Blitz" Krieg

Photoship:
United States Navy
North American AT-6D Texan
N42GK / 789/4-N-4
Pilot, Greg "Dex" Dexter

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Texan FlightTexan FlightNorth American T-6G Texan
N6253C / 40/E
Pilot, Peter Hague

North American AT-6D Texan
N796WM / 94
Pilot, Jim "Juice" Koch

Photoship:
United States Air Force
North American T-6G Texan
N3167G / TA-272 /49-3272
Pilot, Dan Haug

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For commercial use, please email me through my contact page.


 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Culpeper - Regional (CJR) Felix N6253C / 40/E (cn 168-47) N796WM / 94 (cn 88-15328) Navy North American AT-6D Texan Trainer U.S. Navy VFA-31 Virginia aviation flying formation pilot. plane planes sky warbird warbirds https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/7/aerial-grunnery-training Mon, 11 Jul 2016 20:12:57 GMT
MXS Monday-5-30-16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/mxs-monday-5-30-16
MXS Monday!
 
  We're changing it up a bit today, going from Mustang Monday to MXS Monday.  The MXS is a single seat high performance aerobatic aircraft, designed and built by MX Aircraft in North Carolina. The airframe is built entirely of light, strong carbon-fiber. The MXS weighs in at just under 1200lbs. and is stressed to +/-14 G's.
 

 
  In the photo, we see Scott Francis in his MXS over the Virginia country side. Scott can be seen at airshows across the country or when not out of town, he flies with the Bealeton Flying Circus on Sundays in Bealeton, VA.
 

 

 

 
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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Culpeper - Regional (CJR) MX Aircraft MXS N104MX (cn 11) Scott Francis Scott Francis Airshows Virginia aerobatic aerobatics air-to-air airshow flying pilot. plane planes sky https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/mxs-monday-5-30-16 Mon, 30 May 2016 19:13:47 GMT
Blue Angels/Thunderbirds Thursday 5-26-16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbirds-thursday-5-26-16 Blue Angels/Thunderbirds Thursday!

Just a quick post today, we are busy here at the "Fly By Hangar." Just a photo each of the Blues and the Birds.
 

Today's Blue Angels photo was taken yesterday at the US Naval Academy. The Thunderbirds photo was taken earlier this month at Langley AFB.
 

As always, prints of these photos may be purchased through my website.
 

Lt. Ryan Chamberlain #5, Lead Solo and Capt. Jeff Kuss #6, Opposing Solo a split second from merging during an opposing pass.Looks Scary, Doesn't It?Lt. Ryan Chamberlain #5, Lead Solo and Capt. Jeff Kuss #6, Opposing Solo a split second from merging during an opposing pass. The aircraft are separated laterally by a few tens of feet and each is travelling at nearly 500mph.

United States Navy
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18B Hornet
162885 / 5
Pilot, Lt. Ryan “Droopy" Chamberlain #5 Lead Solo

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
163455 / 6
Pilot, Capt. Jeff "Kooch" Kuss #6 Opposing Solo

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For commercial use, please email me through my
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The Thunderbirds lift off in a Finger Tip Formation to start their performance at the 2016 Air Power Over Hampton Roads airshow.Bringing The ThunderThe Thunderbirds lift off in a Finger Tip Formation to start their performance at the 2016 Air Power Over Hampton Roads airshow.

United States Air Force
Thunderbirds
Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon
92-3898 / 1
Pilot, Lt. Col. Chris "Reggie" Hammond #1 Commander / Leader

Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon
92-3881 / 2
Pilot, Capt. Ryan "Neo" Bodenheimer #2 Left Wing

Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon
91-0392 / 3
Pilot, Maj. Alex "Gate" Goldfein #3 Right Wing

Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon
91-0466 / 4
Pilot, Maj. Nick "Khan" Krajicek #4 Slot

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contact page.

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 162885 / 5 (cn 0434/B076) 163455 / 6 (cn 0669/C022) 91-0392 / 3 (cn CC-90) 91-0466 / 4 (cn CD-21) 92-3881 / 2 (cn CC-123) 92-3898 / 1 (cn CC-140) Air Force Air Power Over Hampton Roads 2016 Aircraft Annapolis Blue Angels Capt. Jeff "Kooch" Kuss Capt. Ryan "Neo" Bodenheimer #2 Left Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon Langley AFB (LFI / KLFI) Locations Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon Lt. Col. Chris "Reggie" Hammond #1 Commander / Leader Lt. Ryan "Droopy" Chamberlain #5 Lead Solo Maj. Alex "Gate" Goldfein #3 Right Wing Maj. Nick "Khan" Krajicek #4 Slot Maryland McDonnell Douglas F/A-18B Hornet McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet Navy Opposing Pass Thunderbirds U.S Navy U.S. Air Force US Air Force USAF USNA United States United States Naval Academty Virginia airshow aviation aviator blue courage defense display excitement extreme fast fighter flying formation honor modern patriotism performance pilot plane power precision professional https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbirds-thursday-5-26-16 Thu, 26 May 2016 19:17:53 GMT
Warbird Wednesday-5-24-16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/warbird-wednesday-5-24-16 Warbird Wednesday!
 

Today's warbird is the Douglas A-26 Invader. The A-26 Invader was a fast, light bomber and ground attack aircraft that first flew on 10 July 1942. Remarkably, the end of World War II did not mark the end of the A-26 in service. A-26s were used in the Korean War, by the CIA and USAF in Southeast Asia. The Columbian Air Force was the final user of the A-26, retiring them in 1980!
 

My photo is of the A-26B "Silver Dragon" photographed at Culpeper Airport on the morning of 7 May 2015. On May 8th, the Silver Dragon and over fifty other warbirds took part in the Arsenal of Democracy Fly Over of Washington DC to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day. The Silver Dragon represents an aircraft assigned to 552nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 386th Bombardment Group during it's preparation for the invasion of Japan, which never occurred.
 

Prints of this photo are available for sale through this website.
 

Fire In the SkyFire In the SkyUnited States Army Air Forces
Douglas A-26B Invader
N99420 "Silver Dragon"

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For commercial use, please email me through my
contact page.

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 386th Bombardment Group 552nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron Air Force Aircraft Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Culpeper - Regional (CJR) Douglas A-26B Invader Locations N99420 "Silver Dragon" (cn 27383) U.S. Army Air Forces USAAF United States Virginia World War II ex USAAF 44-34104 honor plane warbird https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/warbird-wednesday-5-24-16 Tue, 24 May 2016 19:09:57 GMT
Fast Jet Friday!-5-20-16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/fast-jet-friday--5-20-16 Fast Jet Friday!

 

Today's fast jet is the Grumman EA-6B Prowler. In US Navy and Marine Corps service since 1971, the Prowler is designed for electronic warfare, jamming enemy radar, gathering signals intelligence and launching missiles to destroy enemy radar sites and surface-to-air missile launchers. The Prowler was developed from Grumman's A-6 Intruder carrier-borne attack aircraft. Grumman lengthened the A-6's fuselage to add two additional seats, added a large antenna fairing on the top of the tail and packed it with electronics to create the Prowler.

The Prowler was retired from Navy service in 2015. The Marine Corps plans to retire their Prowlers by 2019. I was fortunate to attend the deactivation ceremony for Marine Prowler squadron VMAQT-1 Banshees on 29 April 2016. In 2013 when the Navy ended training aircrews for the Prowler for both the Navy and Marine Corps, VMAQ-1 went from being an active Prowler squadron to a Prowler training squadron for the Marines and was re-designated  VMAQT-1. With the eminent retirement of the Prowler from the Corps, there is no longer a need to train aircrews and the squadron was deactivated during a ceremony at MCAS Cherry Point on the evening of April 29, 2016. During the ceremony three of the squadrons Prowlers made several passes over the airfield.
 

This trio of Banshee EA-6B Prowlers are in the air to mark their squadrons eminent retirement.Tairngreacht BasTairngreacht Bas- Death Foretold

This trio of Banshee EA-6B Prowlers are in the air to mark their squadrons eminent retirement.

United States Marine Corps
Grumman EA-6B Prowler
163033 / CB-01
161881 / CB-02
163045 / CB-03
VMAQT-1 "Banshees", Marine Air Group 14, 2nd Marine Air Wing, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina

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For commercial use, please email me through my
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A Banshees' Prowler lifts its nose wheel off the tarmac as it lifts off for the VMAQT-1 Deactivation Ceremony.Rotating ProwlerA Banshees' Prowler lifts its nose wheel off the tarmac as it lifts off for the VMAQT-1 Deactivation Ceremony.

United States Marine Corps
Grumman EA-6B Prowler
163045 / CB-03
VMAQT-1 "Banshees", Marine Air Group 14, 2nd Marine Air Wing, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina

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For commercial use, please email me through my
contact page.

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 161881 / CB-02 (cn P-104) 163033 / CB-01 (cn MP-126) 163045 / CB-03 (cn MP-130) 2nd Marine Air Wing 75th Anniversary Cherry Point - MCAS / Cunningham Field (NKT / KNKT) Death Foretold Grumman EA-6B Prowler (G-128) MCAS Cherry Point Airshow 2016 Marine Air Group 14 Marine Corps Marines Tairngreacht Bas USMC VMAQT-1 "Banshees" airshow aviation aviator blue courage defense display excitement extreme fast fighter flying honor modern patriotism performance pilot plane power precision professional https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/fast-jet-friday--5-20-16 Fri, 20 May 2016 19:14:56 GMT
Blue Angels/Thunderbirds Thursday 5-19-16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbirds-thursday-5-19-16 Blue Angels/Thunderbirds Thursday!
 

Today, we'll look at a couple of photos of our favorite teams performing opposing passes! No room for error here, with closure rates on some passes being around 1000 mph! If you are at the airshow, don't blink, you'll miss it.

Opposing SolosOpposing SolosBlue Angels Opposing Solos

United States Navy
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet
162437/5
Lt C J Simmonsen

163093/6
Lt Dave Tickle

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Thunderbirds Opposing PassThunderbirds Opposing PassThunderbirds solos, Maj Aaron Jelinek and Maj J. R. Williams during an opposing pass.


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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 162437/5 163093/6 Air Force Andrews Air Force Base Blue Angels Joint Base Andrews Joint Services Open House Lead Solo Locations Lt Dave Tickle Maj Aaron Jelinek Maj J. R. Williams McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet Solos U.S. Navy USAF Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Squadron United States Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival. Lt C J Simmonsen https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbirds-thursday-5-19-16 Thu, 19 May 2016 18:36:50 GMT
Mustang Monday-5-16-16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/mustang-monday-5-16-16 Mustang Monday!
 

The photo below is of P-51D "Glamorous Gal" being piloted by Capt. Dale "Snort" Snodgrass. Snort is well know for these low, fast passes at airshows. The photo was taken at the 2009 NAS Oceana Airshow. This particular NAS Oceana show was held in mid-October rather than the more usual mid-September date. Saturday was cold, windy, with rain on and off and generally miserable all day. On Sunday we woke up to a down pour that continued all day and Sunday's show was cancelled.

Glamorous Gal is painted as a Mustang assigned to the 355th Fighter Squadron "Chiefs," 4th Fighter Group "Eagles," based in England during World War II.
 

P-51 Mustang and Snort Snodgrass.Bright Spot On A Gloomy DaySnort and the Gal.

United States Army Air Forces
North American P-51D Mustang
NL751RB / 413903/WD-L, Glamorous Gal
Pilot, Capt Dale "Snort" Snodgrass

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 335th Fighter Squadron "Chiefs" 4th Fighter Group 'Eagles' 8th Air Force Baranaskas" Chris NL751RB / 413903/WD-L "Glamorous Gal" (cn 122-40993) North American P-51D Mustang United States WWII airshow https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/mustang-monday-5-16-16 Mon, 16 May 2016 20:00:36 GMT
Fast Jet Friday-Top Gun Day https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/fast-jet-friday-top-gun-day Fast Jet Friday!
 

It's Fast Jet Friday and since it's May 13th, it's Top Gun Day. The movie Top Gun opened on May 16, 1986. Don't ask me why the 13th is Top Gun Day and not the 16th, I have no idea. As any real aficionado of aviation knows, the true stars of the movie were not Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, nor any other actor, but the US Navy's mighty F-14 Tomcat! The F-14 first flew on 21 December 1970 and began service with the Navy in 1974. The F-14 was a fleet interceptor and air-superiority fighter. It is a two seat, twin engine aircraft featuring variable sweep wings. Later in its career, the F-14 took on the ground attack roll. The F-14 was retired from Navy service on 22 September 2006.

Grumman F-14B TomcatCruisin' CatGypsy 101 makes a pass during the air power demo.

United States Navy
Grumman F-14B Tomcat
161860 / AC-101
VF-32 Swordsmen 'Gypsy'

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Clowder of TomcatsClowder of TomcatsA formation of F-14 Tomcats preparing to break for landing following the air power demo. Three F-14Bs assigned to VF-32 with a specially marked F-14D assigned to VF-101 bringing up the rear.

United States Navy
Lead
Grumman F-14B Tomcat
161860 / AC-101
VF-32 Swordsmen 'Gypsy'

Right Wing
Grumman F-14B Tomcat
163410 / AC-104
VF-32 Swordsmen 'Gypsy'

Left Wing
Grumman F-14B Tomcat
163216 / AC-105
VF-32 Swordsmen 'Gypsy'

Slot
Grumman F-14D Tomcat
164601 / AD-160
VF-101 Grim Reapers 'Gunfighter'

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F-14 Tomcat in the carrier landing configuration.In The GrooveF-14 Tomcat in the carrier landing configuration.

United States Navy
Grumman F-14B Tomcat
163410/AC 104
VF-32 Swordsmen, Gypsy
Lt Jack "Rocco" Tangredi, Lt. "Smokin" Joe Ruzicka

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Lts Jack "Rocco" Tangredi and "Smoking" Joe Ruzicka bring the F-14 Tomcat past the crowd.Speed Of Heat, Baby!Lts Jack "Rocco" Tangredi and "Smoking" Joe Ruzicka bring the F-14 Tomcat past the crowd.

United States Navy
Grumman F-14B Tomcat
163410/AC 104
VF-32 Swordsmen, Gypsy
Lt Jack "Rocco" Tangredi, Lt. "Smokin" Joe Ruzicka

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 163410 / AC-104 (cn 594) Grumman F-14B Tomcat Lt Jack "Rocco" Tangredi Lt. "Smokin" Joe Ruzicka NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) NAS Oceana Air Show 2005 Tomcat Tac Demo VF-32 Swordsmen 'Gypsy' Virginia fighter plane https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/fast-jet-friday-top-gun-day Fri, 13 May 2016 19:17:32 GMT
Blue Angels/Thunderbirds Thursday!5-12-16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbirds-thursday-5-12-16
Blue Angels/Thunderbirds Thursday!
 

 
Today, we take a look at the Blue Angels Diamond formation and the Thunderbirds Diamond formation. You will notice that they are different. The Blue Angels fly what is called a "stacked" Diamond. By stacked, it is meant that the planes are vertically stacked in the formation, with the leader above both wingmen and the wingmen above the man in the slot or rear most position in the formation. The Thunderbirds fly a "flat" diamond. In the flat diamond, the aircraft fly with much less vertical separation.
 

 
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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 163442 / 4 (cn 645/C013) 163491 / 2 (cn 0727/C048) 163498 / 1 (cn 0737/C053) 163754 / 3 (cn 0829/C112 92-3881 / 2 (cn CC-123) 92-3890 / 4 (cn CC-132) 92-3898 / 1 (cn CC-140) 92-3908 / 3 (cn CC-150) Andrews AFB (Washington NAF) (ADW / NSF / KADW) Blue Angels Capt Nick 'BIL' Holmes No.4 Slot Capt Ryan 'Motor' Riley No.2 Left Wing Capt. Tom Frosch #1 Boss/Leader Diamond Formation Joint Services Open House Lcdr. John Hiltz #2 Right Wing Lcdr. Nate Barton #3 Left Wing Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon Lt Col Case 'Basket' Cunningham No.1 Commander/Leader Maj John 'Nuke' Gallemore No.3 Right Wing Maj. Brandon Cordill #4 Slot McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) NAS Oceana Air Show 2014 Navy U.S. Navy USAF Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Squadron Virginia afterburner airshow plane teamwork https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbirds-thursday-5-12-16 Thu, 12 May 2016 19:01:37 GMT
Warbird Wedsnesday-Good Guys Do Wear Black https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/warbird-wedsnesday-good-guys-do-wear-black Looking rather sinister in gloss black among its more colorful brethren, this O-2 Skymaster is a Vietnam Veteran. This Cessna O-2A Super Skymaster was originally assigned to the 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron, 505th Tactical Control Group of the USAF at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand in 1967. This Forward Air Control (FAC) unit, operating under the call-sign "Nail," flew low and slow, searching for targets over hostile territory. Once a target was located, they directed fast moving jets loaded with bombs to attack the target. They were also used to search and direct the rescue of downed aircrew. The 23rd TASS was involved in the famous rescue of BAT 21.

United States Air Force
Cessna O-2A Super Skymaster (M337)
N424AF / 67-21424 (cn 337M0130)
23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron, 505th Tactical Control Group, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
 

Good Guys Do Wear BlackGood Guys Do Wear BlackLooking rather sinister in gloss black among its more colorful brethren, this O-2 Skymaster is a Vietnam Veteran. This Cessna O-2A Super Skymaster was originally assigned to the 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron, 505th Tactical Control Group of the USAF at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand in 1967. This Forward Air Control (FAC) unit, operating under the call-sign "Nail," flew low and slow, searching for targets over hostile territory. Once a target was located, they directed fast moving jets loaded with bombs to attack the target. They were also used to search and direct the rescue of downed aircrew. The 23rd TASS was involved in the famous rescue of BAT 21.

United States Air Force
Cessna O-2A Super Skymaster (M337)
N424AF / 67-21424 (cn 337M0130)
23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron, 505th Tactical Control Group, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
Pilot, Christopher Mayer

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron 505th Tactical Control Group Bat 21 Cessna O-2A Super Skymaster (M337) Christopher Mayer Forward Air Controller (FAC) Manassas - Municipal (Harry P. Davis) (HEF / KHEF) Manassas Airshow 2016 N424AF / 67-21424 (cn 337M0130) Nail Nakhon Phanom Operation Cricket Thailand Vietnam War Virginia aerobatic airshow flying formation pilot. plane sky https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/warbird-wedsnesday-good-guys-do-wear-black Wed, 11 May 2016 18:00:00 GMT
Blue Angels/Thunderbird Thursday 5/5/16 https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbird-thursday-5/5/16 Blue Angels/Thunderbirds Thursday!
 

  Today we are going face-to-face with a Blue Angels' F-18 Hornet and a Thunderbirds' F-16 Fighting Falcon. Both of these aircraft, now used by our military's flight demonstration teams, have their roots in the same Air Force program. In 1971 the USAF began the Lightweight Fighter program to evaluate relatively simple, inexpensive fighter designs that could be purchased in large numbers to augment its fleet of more complex and expensive aircraft. The aircraft that emerged from that program were the General Dynamics, now Lockheed Martin, YF-16 and the Northrop YF-17. Both aircraft competed to be the Air Forces new fighter. The Air Force chose to purchase the F-16.
 

  Typically, the looser of a design competition would become but a footnote in aviation history. Not so for the YF-17. In 1974, the US Navy was looking for a cost effective aircraft to replace its aging aircraft and was ordered to evaluate the YF-16 and YF-17. The Navy dismissed the YF-16 because of the narrow width of its landing gear and single engine, both seen as detrimental to operating on an aircraft carrier. The YF-17 with its wider landing gear and twin engines looked to be more promising. The Navy asked Northrop along with McDonnell Douglas to develop the YF-17 into an aircraft that conformed with the Navy's needs. After heavy modifications, the YF-17 was morphed into the aircraft we know today as the F-18 Hornet.
 

  The Thunderbirds began using the F-16 in 1983 and continue to use the F-16 today. The Blue Angels started using the F-18 in 1986 and continue flying the F-18 today.
 

Face to face with Lcdr Mark Tedrow's Hornet, Blue Angel #5.Blue and GoldFace to face with Lcdr Mark Tedrow's Hornet, Blue Angel #5.

United States Navy
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
163451 / 5
Pilot, Lcdr Mark "IROC" Tedrow #5 Lead Solo

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Head on view of a USAF Thunderbirds' F-16 Fighting FalconFace to BeakHead on view of a USAF Thunderbirds' F-16 Fighting Falcon.

United States Air Force
Thunderbirds
Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon
92-3896 / 5
Pilot, Capt. Nick "Tred" Eberling #5 Lead Solo

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 163451 / 5 (cn 0662/C020) Air Force Air Power Over Hampton Roads 2016 Aircraft Blue Angels F-16 Fighting Falcon Langley AFB (LFI / KLFI) Locations Lockheed F-16CM Fighting Falcon Lt. Mark "IROC" Tedrow #5 Lead Solo McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) Navy Thunderbirds U.S. Air Force U.S. Navy US Air Force USAF United States Virginia Virginia Beach airshow aviation aviator blue courage defense display excitement extreme fast fighter flying honor modern patriotism performance pilot plane power precision professional https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/blue-angels/thunderbird-thursday-5/5/16 Thu, 05 May 2016 19:08:01 GMT
Warbird Wednesday/Helldiver https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/warbird-wednesday/helldiver  Warbird Wednesday!
 

  Today's warbird is the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver. The Helldiver was a carrier based dive bomber that replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless in US Navy service during World War II. The Helldiver made its first flight on 18 December 1940 , but was not introduced into service until 1942. Development and its introduction to the fleet was problematic and the aircraft was not well liked. The Helldiver earned itself quite a few nickname during its service. Big Tailed Beast because of its large vertical tail or simply Beast. Another nickname that I first heard from my grandfather, a former Helldiver radioman/gunner, was the Son of a Bitch, 2nd Class, a reference to its Navy designation, SB2C. Despite early problems, the Helldiver was flown during the last two years of World War II and scored a respectable combat record.
 

  My photo is of the Commemorative Air Force's SB2C-5 while on a visit to Manassas Airport in 2013. Although its hard to see in this photo, that is my friend, author Robert F. Dorr sitting in the radioman/gunners seat. In his book 365 Aircraft You Must Fly, Robert included this photo for the entry on the Helldiver, on page 127.
 

The Commemorative Air Force's SB2C-5 Helldiver, the world's only flying Helldiver, photographed in the break for landing at Manassas Regional Airport on June 1, 2013.Beast In The BreakThe Commemorative Air Force's SB2C-5 Helldiver, the world's only flying Helldiver, photographed in the break for landing at Manassas Regional Airport on June 1, 2013. In this photo, Ed Vesley pilots the Helldiver with my friend, author Robert F. Dorr in the second seat acting as radioman/gunner.

United States Navy
Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver
N92879 / 32
Pilot, Ed Vesley
GIB, Robert F. Dorr
Owner, Commemorative Air Force (CAF)

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) CAF Airpower History Tour Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver Ed Vesley Manassas - Municipal (Harry P. Davis) (HEF / KHEF) N92879 / 32 (cn 83589) Navy Robert F. Dorr U.S Navy Virginia WWIIii World War II dive bomber flight flying plane warbird https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/5/warbird-wednesday/helldiver Wed, 04 May 2016 18:10:45 GMT
Texan Tuesday > Talon Tuesday https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/4/texan-tuesday-talon-tuesday

Texan Tuesday > Talon Tuesday
 

Today we'll take a bit of a departure from our normal Texan Tuesday. Today I give you the Northrop T-38 Talon. In my opinion, this is one of the best looking aircraft ever to take to the sky!
 

The Talon has a lot in common with the Texan. It really does! Both are advanced military trainers. Both have enjoyed a long life serving their country. The T-38 went into service with the US Air Force in 1961 and is still its advanced trainer to this day. Bo...th were exported to many allied countries. See, a modern Texan.

The T-38s in my photo were photographed Saturday at the 2016 Air Power Over Hampton Roads airshow at Langley AFB. They are assigned to the 71st Fighter Training Squadron "Ironmen", 1st Fighter Wing, based at Langley. Their primary mission is adversarial air training for the 1st Fighter Wing's F-22 Raptors. Yes, they fight against Raptors!
 

"Black Talons"
http://goo.gl/HirhWd
Two T-38 Talons, of the 71st Fighter Training Squadron, take off in section on Saturday at Air Power Over Hampton Roads.

‪#‎TexanTuesday‬
‪#‎TalonTuesday
 

Two T-38 Talons, of the 71st Fighter Training Squadron, take off in section on Saturday at Air Power Over Hampton Roads.Black TalonsTwo T-38 Talons, of the 71st Fighter Training Squadron, take off in section on Saturday at Air Power Over Hampton Roads.

United States Air Force
Northrop T-38A Talon
63-8131 / FF
63-8163 / FF
71st Fighter Training Squadron "Ironmen", 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Virginia

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) (LFI (cn / 1st 2016 63-8131 63-8163 71st AFB Adversary Air FF Fighter Force Hampton Ironmen KLFI) Langley N.5478) N.5510) Northrop Over Power Roads Squadron T-38A Talon Trainer Training USAF Virginia Wing airshow aviation aviator blue courage defense display excitement extreme fast fighter flying honor modern patriotism performance pilot plane power precision professional https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/4/texan-tuesday-talon-tuesday Tue, 26 Apr 2016 18:41:36 GMT
Fast Jet Friday, Airshow Weather https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/4/fast-jet-friday-airshow-weather

Fast Jet Friday!
 

We have an airshow at Langley AFB this weekend and I'm sitting here contemplating the weather which isn't going to be entirely cooperative. Then, I found this shot from a rain soaked 2011 NAS Oceana Airshow. The low light really brings out the afterburner flame and the high humidity creates nice vapor off the wingtips. As long as the weather is acceptable enough to fly in, I'll be there!
 

"FNG"...
http://goo.gl/e3dgMr
FNG, the call-sign painted under the canopy of this F-18. An F-18E Super Hornet of VFA-105 Gunfighters "Canyon" lifts off smartly from NAS Oceana.

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) 166649 / AC-413 (cn E112) Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet Carrier Air Wing 3 NAS Oceana / Apollo Soucek Field (NTU / KNTU) NAS Oceana Air Show 2011 U.S. Navy VFA-105 Gunslingers 'Canyon' Virginia airshow fighter photography plane rain weather https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/4/fast-jet-friday-airshow-weather Fri, 22 Apr 2016 19:16:59 GMT
The Union of Man and Plane https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/2/the-union-of-man-and-plane    As a photographer, I never stop learning. This is especially true of air-to-air photography.  I’m always amazed at how nonchalant some photographers are about air-to-air photo shoots. Not me.  I’m all business, because it’s a deadly serious business.  I have a responsibility to make sure everyone and everything gets back on the ground safely.  To that end, you’d think something as simple as your camera’s strap would be considered a safety item. Well, it is, but not the way you’d think.

  Of course a camera strap is an important item for an air-to-air. If you happen to drop the camera, it’s nice to know it’s only going as far as the strap will allow and not fall several thousand feet to Mother Earth. More importantly, it’s not going to hit some unsuspecting soul down below. It won’t be plummeting through some home owner’s roof like some sort of man-made meteorite.  I can hear that conversation now. “Hey honey, did you hear something? I think the squirrels are back in the attic!”   It’s not going to hit and damage the plane you’re photographing from nor the planes you are photographing. I’ve seen what bird strikes can do to a plane, I don’t want to be the guy responsible for the first mid-air camera strike! 

 

With Gold 2 on our wing, Gold 3 and 4 slide into their positions.
Gold Flight Join UpWith Gold 2 on our wing, Gold 3 and 4 slide into their positions.<br/> <br/> United States Marine Corps<br/> North American AT-6C Texan<br/> N623DC<br/> Pilot, Rick Henshaw<br/> GIB, Morris &quot;Sir Morris&quot; Ray<br/> <br/> United States Navy<br/> North American AT-6D Texan<br/> N42GK / 789/4-N-4<br/> Pilot, Greg Dexter<br/> <br/> United States Marine Corps<br/> North American SNJ-5C Texan<br/> N98RJ / 90752/RJ<br/> Pilot, Will &quot;McLovin&quot; Loving<br/> <br/> Photoship:<br/> United States Air Force<br/> North American T-6G Texan<br/> N3167G / TA-272 /49-3272<br/> Pilot, Dan Haug<br/> <br/> To purchase a high quality print or digital download for private use, click the <strong>cart</strong> on the right, above the thumbnails.<br/> <br/> For commercial use, please email me through my <a href="http://www.fly-by-photography.com/contact.html" target="_blank">contact page</a>.                                                With Gold 2 on our wing, Gold 3 and 4 slide into their positions.
 

  So I’m in the back of a T-6 Texan on a formation training flight. We are the lead for Gold Flight, a flight of four T-6s. Now, this isn’t a true air-to-air session since I’m basically along for the ride getting whatever photos I can with absolutely no say in the what, when and where.  I’m back there strapped firmly into a parachute, which doubles as my seat cushion.  On top of that I’ve got a five-point harness holding me in my seat.  My camera is attached to a Black Rapid RS-7 strap which sits across my right shoulder, passes under my left arm and puts the camera in front of me. My camera is safe; it’s not going anywhere.  The camera and I are now one with the plane.
 

  As we work through various formation changes my aircraft, Gold Lead moves to the Gold 3 position. Our group of four T-6 Texans moves into a trail formation.  In a trail formation, each plane is stacked down and behind the plane ahead of it. We are number three in the trail, so there are two aircraft ahead of and stacked over us. Looking up at the aircraft ahead of us I think, that could make a cool photo. I’m pretty sure my lens is too big to get the shot I want, but I’m willing to give it a try. I’ve had my canopy open only half way up until now. Half way open was enough to shoot the other aircraft when we were in other formations, yet it kept a great deal of the wind blast and buffet off of me making it easy to keep the camera steady.  I know with the canopy half open, that it will be showing in my photo. That’s not going to make for a good photo. I’m going to have to open the canopy all the way and deal with the hurricane force breeze. I slid the canopy all the way open and in came the blast of air. Damn, I’m going to have to up my shutter speed, there’s no way I’m going to be able to keep the camera steady enough at the low shutter speed I’m at to get a sharp shot. I roll the shutter speed up and put the camera to my eye. As I did, I could feel the strap being lifted off of my shoulder, in the rush of air. I didn’t give it much thought and went about trying to get a photo.  Unfortunately, my lens did have too much zoom and I wasn’t seeing the shot I wanted, but what the Hell, I squeezed off a high speed burst that got me five photos of the underside of the tail of the plane ahead of us. That’s going to look like crap, I thought. Oh well, I gave it a shot and it didn’t work. You live and learn.
 

IMG_7074-2IMG_7074-2                          One of the five photos I managed to get in the trail formation. This wasn't the photo I had in mind.
 

  I pulled the camera away from my face, which as it turned out wasn’t very far! Oh shit! I was able to get the camera maybe six inches from my face, instead of down in my lap where I had been keeping it when not photographing.  This is the part when time seems to come to a standstill.  Now, my mind seems to kick in to overdrive. I’m holding the camera off my face, now what?  I can feel that the strap is no longer on my shoulder. Great, where is it?  I try gently tugging against my camera. No luck, it’s not going any further.  When I strapped into the plane, I thought I was one with the plane. This little predicament brought oneness to a whole new level!  This isn’t fun anymore! I don’t want to have to continue the flight like this.  Even more, I really don’t want to land like this and have my pilot find me sitting in his backseat holding the camera off my face, needing his help to get unstuck from whatever it is I’m stuck on. I’m sure he’d call everyone at the airport over to come have a look, before releasing me, too!  Hell, I do that to him, if our roles were reversed!  I’d even get pictures to post on Facebook if he were trapped back there with a camera against his face! 

  What if I bring the camera back up to my face?  Would that release me? It might work or it might make things worse. It’s bad enough right now; I don’t want the camera to be hard against my face for the rest of the flight! What if the camera slips down and ends up tightening around my neck? Yeah, that thought really did run through my mind!  I could be strangled by my own camera!  That would be quite the headline in the newspaper:  “Man Strangled by Camera Strap in Flight.” Not cool.

  The strap! I felt it go slack, come off my shoulder and flutter in the breeze when I lifted the camera toward my face to take the photos!  It must be caught on something behind me.  I had tried gently tugging on it and it didn’t budge. I could try giving it a good jerk to see if that will remove it from whatever it’s caught on!  But, it’s not my plane and I don’t want to break anything, especially something that could potentially, put my plane and the other planes around us in danger!  Four planes dropping out of the sky would be just a little bit worse than my being a laughing stock back at the airport! No, brute force isn’t the answer here.

   Once again, the thought of bringing my camera closer to my face really did seem to be the way to go.  Oh yeah, this strap is held to the bottom of the camera with spring loaded clip! If things get worse, I can release that clip. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? With my left hand I lift the camera back toward my face. I feel the strap once again fluttering in the slipstream. With my right hand I grab the strap and slide it rearward along the strap and gently pull outward and upward.  Success, I’m free!  I’ve saved face, both literally and figuratively!

  So what’s the take away here?  Firstly, this whole incident probably didn’t last more than fifteen seconds. Despite my mind running through possible solutions and outcomes and some of those outcomes being bad, I never panicked.  Next, I’ll never wear a neck strap on another air-to-air; I’ll be using a wrist strap from now on.  Lesson learned!
 

Ok, now everyone smile for your close up. Formation training over Virginia.Everyone SmileOk, now everyone smile for your close up. Formation training over Virginia.

United States Marine Corps
North American AT-6C Texan
N623DC
Pilot, Rick
GIB, Morris "Sir Morris" Ray

United States Navy
North American AT-6D Texan
N42GK / 789/4-N-4
Pilot, Greg Dexter

United States Marine Corps
North American SNJ-5C Texan
N98RJ / 90752/RJ
Pilot, Will "McLovin" Loving

Photoship:
United States Air Force
North American T-6G Texan
N3167G / TA-272 /49-3272
Pilot, Dan Haug

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                                                                Everyone Smile! Gold 2, 3 and 4 in a left echelon formation on my wing.
 


 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Capital Wing Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Culpeper - Regional (CJR) Dan Haug Greg Dexter Marine Corps Marines Morris "Sir Morris" Ray N3167G / TA-272 /49-3272 (cn 168-726) N42GK / 789/4-N-4 (cn 88-10577) N623DC (cn 88-1516) N98RJ / 90752/RJ (cn 88-17960) Navy North American AT-6C Texan North American AT-6D Texan North American SNJ-5C Texan North American T-6G Texan Rick Trainer U.S. Air Force U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Navy USAF USS Ranger Virginia Will "McLovin" Loving World War II air-to-air airshow aviation camera flying plane planes strap warbird warbirds yellow https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2016/2/the-union-of-man-and-plane Mon, 22 Feb 2016 21:47:53 GMT
Throw Away The One That Almost Got Away? https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2015/3/throw-away-the-one-that-almost-got-away   If you frequently photograph moving subjects, then you have probably managed to, on occasion, mess up the framing. Here is one of mine that almost flew out of the frame, opened in Photoshop. Its a well exposed, sharp photograph, but I blew the composition by not paying attention to the entire view in my camera's viewfinder. So, should you send this one to the trash?

almost 1almost 1

  The answer is no, if you own Photoshop. If you've read my previous blogs, then you know I already have a tutorial on fixing composition errors in Photoshop, so what is different about this tutorial. Its quicker, easier and requires less work on your part! It does require you to own a newer version of Photoshop that has the Content-Aware function.

 

  Let's fix this photo. As you can see above, I've already opened the photo in Photoshop. Next, go to Image > Canvas Size. Your screen will look like this.

Almost 2Almost 2

  Click on Canvas Size and you will get a dialogue box like this.

Almost 3Almost 3

  You want to modify the width of the photo, so add two inches to the existing width in the width box. You don't want to change the height, so  leave that alone. The next step is to choose an Anchor Point. This will tell Photoshop what part of the photo remains the same and which part gets added on to. For this photo you want to choose the arrow that is in the center, pointing left. Your screen will look like this.

Almost 4Almost 4

  Click OK and your screen will look like this.

Almost 5Almost 5

Now, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool.

Almost 6Almost 6

  Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, select the new area of you photo, which in this case is the black area, plus a little of the original photo's background sky. Make sure you do not select any part of the plane. You'll have something like this selected.

Almost 7Almost 7

In the area you have selected, right click to bring up the dialogue box and click on Fill.

Almost 8Almost 8

  After clicking Fill, you'll see this dialogue box. In Content select Content-Aware.

Almost 9Almost 9

  Click OK and you'll get this.

Almost 10Almost 10

  On your keyboard press Cltrl + the letter D to deselect the new area of the photo. Now, go to the Crop Tool so you can crop the photo to a more pleasing composition.

Almost 11Almost 11

  Here is my final crop.

Almost 12Almost 12

 

  And my final image after just a little tonal adjustment and sharpening.

C-FIJAC-FIJAAir Canada Jazz
Bombardier CRJ-200ER
C-FIJA / 165


To purchase a high quality print or digital download for private use, click the cart on the right, above the thumbnails.

For commercial use, please email me through my
contact page.

  That's all there is to it! This technique is especially useful if you upload your airline photos to websites like Airliners.net. They are incredibly picky about the aircraft in the photo being level and centered and this is a quick easy way to fine tune an image to fit their demanding criteria.

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) airline composition content-aware photoshop plane tutorial https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2015/3/throw-away-the-one-that-almost-got-away Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:40:16 GMT
The Grand Plan https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2014/5/the-grand-plan  

  Do you plan your airshow photo outings? Perhaps you should, it may save you some frustration and help you get the shots you’re after. Your plan can be as simple or detailed as you like if it works for you. The important thing with your plan is to keep it flexible. Stuff happens. At airshows, that stuff is usually the weather. The rest of this article will be a walk-through of my plan for my next airshow.

  The very first thing I do is pin-point the airfield on an app that displays both a map and the position of the sun and it’s light. Sun Calc is an excellent web based app for this. There are also several apps for your smart phone that do the same thing. By knowing where the sun is, I can position myself to take advantage of the light.

  Next, I’ll check the weather forecast. I want to know what the cloud coverage is going to be since it will affect the brightness of the sky and my decisions about exposure. I also want to know which direction the wind will be from, since it can affect the direction of take-offs and landings and I can take that into consideration when I choose a location to shoot from.

  My next airshow is a World War II weekend complete with re-enactors. I’ll get there early, hopefully beating the crowd, and photograph the aircraft on the ground.  I’ll also wander through the re-enactors ‘area and get shots of them. My personal goal is to photograph the re-enactors going about their business, not posed.  When people see the photos, I want them to question if they were taken today or seventy years ago.

 

This is only one of two Avro Lancasters still flying today.LancasterThe Canadian Warbird Heritage Museum's Avro Lancaster Mk X. This is one of only two Avro Lancasters still flying today.

To purchase a high quality print or digital download for private use, click the cart on the right, above the thumbnails.

For commercial use, please email me through my
contact page.

 

  All of the flying aircraft are propeller-driven except for the Me-262 jet. Low shutter speeds and very accurate panning is called for here. The sun will be in front of me all day. There is no way to put the sun at my back for this show. The flying aircraft will be backlit against a washed out sky. This is very important information. It lets me know that I’ll need to add light (add exposure comp) to what the camera’s light meter is telling me, otherwise the aircraft will be very dark or silhouetted in the sky. How much exposure comp? I’ll add as much as I can get away with, without blowing-out the highlights.

  I’ll shoot all of the propeller-driven aircraft at ISO 100. My target shutter speeds, depending on the type of aircraft; ~1/100 - 1/160 for take-offs. In-flight; ~1/125 - 1/250. Landings; ~1/125 or as low as I dare. Taxi; ~1/60 or as low as I dare. Stationary with the prop spinning; 1/30 or lower.  For the jet, I’ll up the shutter speed and set an aperture value of f/7.1-9. I’ll probably need to turn the ISO up to 200 to get a comfortably fast shutter speed. At ISO 200 I’ll accept whatever shutter speed I can get. The aircraft will be back-lit; I don’t want to lose anymore image quality by upping the ISO further. 

 

deHavilland DH 82, Dragon Rapide on take off.Royal Rapidede Havilland DH 89 Dragon Rapide on take off.

Military Aviation Museum
de Havilland DH 89 Dragon Rapide
NX89DH / G-ADDD
Painted in Guard's Colours to replicate His Royal Highness Prince Edward's DH 89.

To purchase a high quality print or digital download for private use, click the cart on the right, above the thumbnails.

For commercial use, please email me through my
contact page.

 

  I want to nail take-off and landing shots. There will be trees in the background and little of that washed-out sky. The trees will blur giving the photos a sense of motion and direct the viewer’s eye to the sharp aircraft. For the in-flight photos, I’ll zoom-in tight on the planes, preferably on the cockpits and the pilots. I want to fill the photo with the plane, which will help block a lot of and de-emphasize the ugly sky.

  I’ll stick around once all of the flying is done too. Most folks head for home so I’ll again have views of the parked aircraft without a crowd around them. If I’m not exhausted by then, I’ll break out the tripod for some sunset/ twilight photos.

   That’s my plan. What’s yours?

Merlin MagicMerlin MagicP-51D Mustang, Double Trouble Two, starts up the Packard V-1650-7 a license built version of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine.


To purchase a high quality print or digital download for private use, click the cart on the right, above the thumbnails.

For commercial use, please email me through my
contact page.

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) ISO aircraft light photography planes planning shutter speed https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2014/5/the-grand-plan Thu, 15 May 2014 23:37:46 GMT
Some Ground-To-Air Photography Basics. Before That First Airshow. https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2014/5/some-ground-to-air-photography-basics-before-that-first-airshow  

Opening PassOpening PassLcdr Mark "Crunchy" Burgess brings the Warrior Aviation L-39, "Vandy 1" past the crowd for the first time during his demonstration.

Warrior Aviation
Aero L-39C Albatros
N55107 / VX-9 (cn 433136) "Vandy-1"
Pilot, Lcdr Mark "Crunchy" Burgess

To purchase a high quality print or digital download for private use, click the cart on the right, above the thumbnails.

For commercial use, please email me through my contact page.

 

 

 

 

So you want to try your hand at ground-to-air photography, but you’re not quite sure about what you’ll need and the settings to use. Well, you’ve stumbled upon the right place because I’m here to help. I’ll tell you how to set up your camera and give you some settings to use to get acceptable photos of flying airplanes. I’ll keep it simple and not too technical for the beginners.  By the way, what I tell you here, will also work in many other situations such as sports, motorsports, and wildlife photography.

  You’ve got a DSLR camera, right?  Despite what smartphone manufacturers tell you, that iPhone isn’t going to cut it here. A point-and-shoot camera is a recipe for frustration. Ask me how I know. You really need a DSLR for this.

  Do you have a lens with enough reach?  A 200mm lens is going to be the minimum.  300mm will be better.  400mm is pretty sweet. 500mm is going to be really nice, but I hope you’ve done some weightlifting before you try photographing aircraft with it. You don’t have to own a long lens either. You can rent a lens for the weekend from your local camera store or on-line.

  You are going to want a lot of memory card capacity. A whole lot of memory card capacity! You’ll be taking a lot of photos, and it’s a real bummer to run out of memory before the flying has ended. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. Make sure your camera battery is fully charged before going to the airshow. While we are on batteries, a fully charged spare battery is good insurance.  It might really spoil your day to exhaust your battery before the last plane has landed.  Lastly, sunscreen applied and re-applied per the instructions. You’ve been warned! I can now absolve myself of any responsibility if you get burned.

  Now go grab your camera and your camera’s manual. Here’s where the real fun begins. Oh, you don’t know where your camera’s manual is?  I can help some with that little issue too. Open a separate browser window. Search for your camera manufacturer’s website.  Somewhere on that website is a downloadable version of your camera’s instruction manual. We’ll still be here when you get back with that manual.

   I’m a Canon shooter and will use Canon nomenclature in this article. Nikon users will need a translator. Not really.  No worries though if you use Nikon as both manufacturers’ cameras will have the same basic features. They just like to call them different things to keep us all confused. 

  First things first, you need to decide whether you are going to shoot in jpeg or RAW.  If you don’t know what RAW is, own a RAW converter, or how to use a RAW converter, then jpeg is your choice. If you know what RAW is, the reasons to use it, and how to use a RAW converter, then you may want to choose RAW. For those who can’t decide, you can set your camera to produce both, but you’ll be using a lot of valuable memory card capacity by doing so. Go to your camera’s menu and make your selection.

  Let’s stay in the menu for a bit. Your camera’s menu probably has the option of shooting without a memory card.  Make sure that is turned off.  Still in the camera’s menu, Auto White Balance should be fine.  For color space, unless you are intimately familiar with color management, choose sRGB. Enable Highlight Alert. You’re in the menu, so go ahead and make sure the date and time are correct.

  Let’s get out of the menu for a bit and deal with the buttons on the outside of the camera body. For exposure mode choose center weighted or your camera’s nearest equivalent. For autofocus choose AI Servo or your camera’s equivalent. AI Servo is designed to continuously focus on moving subjects.  For drive mode choose High Speed Burst. To achieve the highest speed burst possible for you camera, you may need to go back into you camera’s menu and enable it. For ISO, start with 100. We may need to change ISO later, but for now it’s a good starting point.

  There is normally an Exposure Level Indicator within the small LCD panel that is duplicated in the viewfinder. Make sure that the exposure indicator is centered, no exposure compensation. A word of warning about using exposure compensation, which we will be using eventually: If you add or subtract exposure (Move the indicator to the right or left of the centered position) and take a picture, the exposure comp will not automatically go back to the centered position. If you want the exposure for your next photo to be 0 (centered in the indicator), you’ll have to manually center it. This is something you need to be watching when you look through the viewfinder!

  These next few tips may take a little bit of digging through your manual or perhaps a search on the internet, since each camera model may be a little different.  If you are a Canon user, this site is a great resource to use, to research on how to set up your specific camera; Canon Digital Photography Forums - Powered by vBulletin .

 You want to enable Manual AF Point SelectionThis will allow you to choose which auto-focus point you want the camera to use. We don’t want to use all of the focus points nor allow the camera to choose which focus points to use. If you allow the camera to choose your focus points, it may select something in the background, such as a cloud, instead of the plane you are trying to photograph. By using Manual AF Point Selection, we are forcing the camera to focus on what we want to be in focus. So, which focus point should you use? Use the center focus point. It’s your camera’s most sensitive focus point.  

  This next tip is optional, but I recommend doing it. You want to enable Back Button Focus. Typically, your camera is set up to focus when the shutter button is depressed half way. With back button focus, you press either the AF-ON button or the * button with your right thumb to activate the auto-focus. You depress the shutter button only when you are ready to release the shutter. This setting is usually found in the custom functions section of your camera’s menu and may require a bit of searching in order to figure out how to enable it. 

  Finally, set your camera to what Canon calls Tv mode, also known as shutter priority mode. This is typically selected with the large knob with the little pictures and letters on it.  In Tv mode, you use a dial on your camera to select the shutter speed you want the camera to use. The camera will automatically select the aperture for you. The chosen shutter speed will be displayed in the small LCD panel and repeated on the far, bottom left side of the viewfinder. The aperture that the camera has selected will be displayed to the right of the shutter speed in both the small LCD panel and view finder.  “So, what shutter speed should I be using?” you ask. For jets, use a shutter speed of 1/800-1/1000. For propeller- driven aircraft, shutter speeds of 1/320 and slower are required to get prop-blur. We’ll discuss achieving prop-blur in another article. I’ll simply say here that it will require you to master a skill called panning.

  Ok, the camera is all set up, and you’re ready for the airshow! No,not quite! Before going to the airshow, you need to go out and practice getting used to your camera’s new settings, especially if you took my advice and are using back button focus. Also, you may notice that when the shutter speed is set high, say around 1/1000, the aperture the camera has chosen is flashing in the view finder, and the photos are underexposed (look dark) when that happens.  When you choose a high shutter speed, and the aperture number is flashing, it means that your ISO is set too low. Remember back near the start of the article when I said set the ISO to 100?  I also said that we might need to change that later. This is the situation that will require you to change ISO. Depress the ISO button and dial up 200. Is the aperture still flashing in the viewfinder? If it isn’t, your exposure should be good; shoot away. If it is still flashing, then you’ll need a higher ISO. Depress the ISO button and dial up 400. Continue upping the ISO until the aperture stops flashing in the view finder. It is always preferable from an image-quality standpoint to shoot at the lowest possible ISO. If it gets brighter or you are using a slower shutter speed, go ahead and lower the ISO as low as it will go without your aperture flashing in the view finder.

   When you have mastered the above and feel comfortable, and most of your photos are sharp and well exposed, consider yourself about ready for the airshow. There are still a few things we need to cover, especially panning, which we will do in a future article. Until then, go practice.

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2014/5/some-ground-to-air-photography-basics-before-that-first-airshow Wed, 07 May 2014 12:50:46 GMT
Insight Into a Black and White Bald Eagle https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2013/5/bald-eagle-in-black-and-white Jim BeasleyBald Eagle

This P-51 Mustang that was at the Manassas airport during their airshow turned out to be a nice surprise. It was not part of the show and I don't know why it was there. I'm sure one of my aviation buddies knows. The plane itself is a P-51D Mustang named Bald Eagle, owned by Jim Beasley. The Mustang is arguably one of the best looking planes ever to take to the air. Its Rolls Royce Merlin engine is music to the ears.

This photo has proven to be very popular with my aviation photo peers. Funny thing is, I wasn't sure I was happy with the processing I had done. I'm still not sure I'm completely happy with it! I posted it out on the internet social sharing sites to gage whether or not I should include it in my portfolio! Folks really liked the processing. Well, it won its place on my website.

 This particular photograph, like all of my photos, started life in color. I made some basic exposure adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Next, it was sent to Adobe Photoshop and the real fun began. First step was to remove a couple pairs of legs that were sprouting out the bottom of the plane. No Fred Flintstone look for this Mustang. Next, it went to Nik Software's Color Efex to put an extra high polish job on the bare metal skin. The exact recipe for the polish is a secret. After a lot of binary elbow grease on that metal finish, it was off to Nik Silver Efex for conversion to black and white. At this point it looked good, but not what I was seeing in my mind's eye. Back to Silver Efex for round two. That second round in Silver Efex was brushed only on to the plane. I'm a bit happier with it now, so its time to sharpen the image. I chose a method of sharpening that not only sharpened the lines but, enhanced the reflections as well. At this point I saved the image back into Lightroom. Still not there yet. In Lightroom, I bumped up the clarity, again, and bumped the contrast just a hint. Done.  

 I think this one may end up hanging on one of my walls.  View a larger version of this photograph or purchase a print here Manassas Airshow 2013.

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Mustang P-51D lightroom phtoshop plane https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2013/5/bald-eagle-in-black-and-white Fri, 17 May 2013 00:01:47 GMT
Dark Skies for the Blue Angels https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2013/4/military-demonstration-teams-mission Dark skies for the Blue AngelsMoody Blues

It seems that there exists a wide spread misunderstanding as to what the mission of military demonstration teams is. Their primary mission is to enhance recruiting. As a supporter of military aviation I feel it's important to share this on my page and put this information out there for everyone, particularly in light of recent events. Below is a Facebook posting from the US Navy Blue Angels. Cmdr Frosch's answer to the question of when did he want to become involved in naval aviation, is a clear example of what the Blue Angels' mission is within the military. Cmdr Frosch's story brings the mission full circle, culminating in his becoming the commander of the squadron that sparked his interest in aviation when he was a child.


This was posted on the Blue Angels' facebook page in March 2013.


"Welcome back Blue Angels fans! It’s Monday and we are only 5 days away from the first air show of the 2013 season at NAF El Centro March 16!
 Our "Countdown to the first air show," featuring in-depth questions with a different pilot each week, is a great way to get to know your U.S. Navy Blue Angel pilots! Continue to check in to learn more about where they came from and how they got where they are today!
 This week features Commanding Officer and Flight Leader Cmdr. Tom Frosch, from Clinton Township, Mich.
 When did you know you wanted to be involved in naval aviation?
“My father was in the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) during World War II and he always had an interest in military aviation. When I was a young child, he took me flying several times and then took me to my first air show at Selfridge Air National Guard Base just north of Detroit, Michigan. It was there when I first saw the Blue Angels while they were still flying the A-4 Skyhawk. That was essentially when my interest in aviation started. When I was about 10 years old, I saw the movie “The Final Countdown,” which was filmed on the aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz. That was how I learned that airplanes landed on ships. I thought it was absolutely amazing and knew that I wanted to be a part of it.”
Check back tomorrow for questions and answers from Commanding Officer and Flight Leader Cmdr. Tom Frosch, from Clinton Township, Mich., as we continue our “Countdown to the first air show!" "
 ~BAPA

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Angels Blue sequestration https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2013/4/military-demonstration-teams-mission Tue, 09 Apr 2013 22:56:11 GMT
Tutorial-Photoshop Composition Correction https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2013/1/tutorial-photoshop-composition-correction  

  Attempting to photograph objects that move fast offers many challenges. The main challenge is to achieve a sharp photograph of your subject. To that end, you concentrate on holding one of your camera's focus points, preferably the center focus point, on a specific spot on the subject as you pan your camera with that subject. At times, what you may not realize is that as your panning, concentrating on that focus point, your loosing site of the big picture. You are forgetting about where your subject is within the camera frame. Your composition suffers or worse still, you cut off part off the subject. Time to delete what otherwise would have been a great shot. Such is the life of an aviation photographer.  Wait! Photoshop can fix that poor composition and turn a not so good shot into a winner.

 

In the photograph above, you see one the US Navy's Blue Angels attempting to land on me. Now, I'm a firm believer that a moving subject needs room in the frame to move. To that end, this Blue Angel needs some sky to fly into. Out of the camera, the plane in this photo is running into the edge of the frame. 

 

  In this tutorial, I'll show you how to correct your composition faux pas. In some cases, you can even fix cut off bits of your subject. I'll save fixing cut off subjects for another day. In this tutorial we are going to concentrate solely on composition. You wil notice in the screen shots that I have used Photoshop CS6. To the best of my knowledge what I'm going to show you will work in all legacy versions of Photoshop as well as Photoshop Elements.

 

Step One:

Open your image in Photoshop. I like to make my photo fit the screen, so I'll use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+zero.

Step Two:

Drag the highlighted thumbnail labeled Background in the right column, down to the Create New Layer icon (highlighted in yellow in the screen shot below) next to the trash can in the layers pallet to create a new background copy. Alternately, you can do as I do and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J. Your screen should now resemble the screen shot below.

Step Three:

Make sure that the layer labeled Background Layer is the active layer. Select the move tool by clicking the icon (highlighted in the screen shot below) or by using the keyboard shortcut Shift+V. Now, depress the left button on your mouse and hold while you drag the background layer into the position you wish the subject had been in when you depressed the shutter. In the case of this photo, I simply dragged the background layer down to provide some room in the frame for the plane to fly into.

Step Four:

Next, with the Background Copy still highlighted, add a layer mask. This can be done by simply clicking the add layer mask icon (highlighted in the screenshot below)

Step Five:

Click the eyeball on the layer labeled Background to hide the background layer. Your screen should resemble the screen shot below. Select the brush tool by clicking on the icon or using the keyboard shortcut B. Choose a soft edge brush and adjust the brush size using the left and right bracket keys([and]) on your keyboard. Press the letter D on your keyboard to set the foreground color to black, the background color to white. Now, make sure the layer mask thumbnail is active. It will be within white brackets if it is active. If it is not, simply click on the layer mask thumbnail to make it active. Now, paint along the edge of the photo. The soft edge you create will help blend the sky of the original background layer to the sky of the background copy.

If you accidently paint over your subject, you can simply press X on your keyboard which will change your foreground color to white. Now paint your subject back in, as I have done in the screen shot below.

Step Six:

Click on the eyeball in front of the layer labeled background copy to hide that layer. Next, click the square in front of the bottom layer labeled background to reveal the background layer. Now, click on the background layer to make it the active layer. Select the clone stamp tool by clicking its icon or press S on your keyboard. Adjust the size of the clone stamp tool using the left and right bracket keys ([and]). Using the sky adjacent to the plane, hold the alt key and click the left mouse botton to select a target area to clone from. Now, paint over the area of the plane that will be visible when both layers are unhidden as I have done in the screenshot below.

When you think you are finished, click on the square in front of the background copy layer to reveal that layer and check your work. You can see in the screen shot below, I have a missle rail showing through.

With the background layer still active, reselect the clone stamp tool and clone out the missle rail.

When you are satisfied, use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+E to merge the layers. Now you can proceed to make any other adjustments to the photo that you wish.

Before

After

Belly shot of Blue Angels #6, Lcdr Dave "Elmo" Tickle on final for Apollo Soucek Field's runway 23L.Blue Angels #6 OverheadBelly shot of Blue Angels #6, Lcdr Dave "Elmo" Tickle on final for Apollo Soucek Field's runway 23L.

United States Navy
Blue Angels
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet
163093 / 6
Pilot, Lcdr Dave Tickle #6, Opposing Solo

To purchase a high quality print or digital download for private use, click the cart on the right, above the thumbnails.

For commercial use, please email me through my contact page.

The photo used in this tutorial was admittedly very quick and easy to fix but, illustrates the basic steps required to correct a photograph's composition. The background in the example photo is very simple and essentially a consistent color making cloning, in order to blend the layers, simple. The more complicated the background, the more Photoshop tools and techniques will be required to make a fix. My hope is that this tutorial as well as helping you save some of those photos you may have otherwise deleted, will inspire you learn more about photoshop's capabilities so that you can tackle more difficult corrections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Angels Blue Photoshop clone composition layers plane sky tutorial https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2013/1/tutorial-photoshop-composition-correction Sun, 13 Jan 2013 00:00:55 GMT
The Mystery Yakolev. https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/10/the-mystery-yakolev I have named this photo Some Assembly Required. Fitting, right?

Yak-11 aircraft converted to look like a Yak-7.Some Assembly Required HDR

I took this photo at the Culpeper Airfest held on Saturday October 13, 2012. It was the first photo I took that day, shortly before 8am. It is a single exposure that I processed with Nik HDR Efex Pro 2.

I posted this photo to a couple of forums and received a lot of questions about what type of plane it is. At first I thought it was a Yak-9, which is a Soviet World War II fighter. I was pretty sure it had been re-engined since Soviet props turn counter-clockwise when viewed from the cockpit. This plane's prop turns clockwise when viewed from the cockpit so, it doesn't have its original Soviet engine but, an American or English engine.  Problem is the Yak-9 is a single seat plane and this one appears to be a two seater. Must be a Yak-7, which is an earlier Soviet WWII fighter with two seats. I still had folks telling me it was a Yak-9. No, I don't think so. So I set about figuring out what this plane is. A google search turned up a photograph of this plane taken in Florida in 2007. Fortunately, the registration number was visible in that photo. A google search of the registration turned up the true identity of this plane.

The plane above started life as a Yak-11. The Yak-11 is a post World WarII Soviet training aircraft. Yak-11s were fitted with a radial, aircooled, seven cylinder engine. At some point the aircraft was re-engined with an Allison V-1710 liquid cooled V-12 and made to look like a Yak-7. Mystery solved.

To view more photos from this shoot Culpeper Airfest 2012.

 

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Culpeper Airfest World War II Yakolev airshow mystery plane propellor https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/10/the-mystery-yakolev Tue, 23 Oct 2012 20:49:48 GMT
Raining? Don't Go Home! https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/6/raining-dont-go-home   Some times it's just not in the cards. You've been looking forward to the big airshow for weeks and now that it's here, the weatherman has given you the news you didn't want to hear. Rain.

Back to the Wulf's Den  Rain can be a case of you making lemonade out of lemons. The weather is only a prediction and that can change. Planes can perform in the rain as long as the cloud ceiling is high enough and visibility far enough. The high humidity that accompanies rain means lots of vapors streaming from the planes that are flying. With the sun's bright light obscured, afterburner flames are clearly visible. If the clouds do begin to open, the resulting sun light can be stunning. True, you won't have that ice blue sky you dreamed of but, bad weather can produce some of the most dramatic photographs in your portfolio.

 

 

 

What happens if no one can fly? Work on your static shots. This is a great oppurtunity to get really creative with photographing objects on the ground. Besides during that sunny airshow you've always wished there were fewer people wondering through your shot. Well, a lot of folks stay home if they think it will rain. Now is your chance to have that plane all to yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I pack a pancho if there is a chance of rain. I find they work very well. They are light and take up little space when folded up. I can put it on quickly and it covers all of the gear I have on my body. And I can still get to my gear quickly. If I need to pull the camera out to get a shot I simply pull it out through the side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crying Tiger

So, don't let your next airshow be a complete washout because there is rain in the forcast.

More images can be found here.

 

 

 

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Photographs airshow aviation plane rain https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/6/raining-dont-go-home Sat, 16 Jun 2012 00:21:11 GMT
Welcome to Ambush Country https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/5/welcome-to-ambush-country   "You want to know who the best are?" asks Viper in the movie Top Gun. At NAS Oceana, if you want to know who the best are, you go to the hanger with "Welcome to Ambush Country" emblazoned over its doors. This hanger belongs to VFC-12 (Fighter Sqadron Composite 12) Fighting Omars callsign Ambush. VFC-12 provides Navy and Marine aviators with dissimilar air combat training. They are a Navy Reserve squadron made up of reservist and active duty personnel. VFC-12 is one of the most sought after duty assignments in Naval Aviation. The pilots are hand picked, cruise veteran, Topgun graduates. Yes, the film makers of the movie Top Gun added a space between top and gun that the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) has never used.

 

  VFC-12 flies F-18C/D Hornets painted to resemble Soviet Mig-29s. They simulate threat capabilities and tactics of potential adversaries that fleet pilots may encounter.

 

 

  Ambush One Zero is currently painted in a CONA (Centennial Of Naval Aviation) heritage paint scheme. This paint scheme represents that of an F-6F Hellcat operated by VF-12 from the USS Randolph in 1945.

To see more photos from this shoot click here.

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) CONA F-18 Hornet NAS Oceana Plane Top Gun Topgun US Navy VFC-12 aviation https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/5/welcome-to-ambush-country Wed, 30 May 2012 23:22:04 GMT
A Word On Callsign Etiquette https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/5/callsign-etiquette Naval Aviator from VFA-213 Blacklions, scans the flight line.HotgunNaval Aviator from VFA-213 Blacklions, scans the flight line.

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 Thanks to the movie Top Gun, most people think US Navy aircrews have cool callsigns like Maverick, Viper or Iceman.  Wrong. Callsigns like those in the movie are the exception rather than the rule. And, yes, there are rules for callsigns. The first rule is, you don't get to pick your own callsign. Your peers have that honor. You aren't going to like your callsign. The more you hate it, the more it's going to stick. Callsigns typically come about as a play on your name or something embarrassing that you did and would rather forget about. Don't think about changing your own callsign either. Again your peers will take care of that for you if, they feel it's necessary. A quick look at some of my photography and off the top of my head, yields the following gems: Dickwood, FNG, Rub, Roach, Crunchy, Grunt, Tank, Flap, Skid, Tuna, Stubby, Creepy Jake, Lobes, Handy, Seabass, Timmay!, Hooch, Swill, Spider and so on. Just a reminder to aspiring fighter pilots, rule number one of being a fighter pilot is never look bad.

 Hotgun in the photo above is a member of VF-213 Black Lions assigned to Carrier Air Wing 8, home based at NAS Oceana. The photo was taken on NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach on May 18, 2012 during an International Society of Aviation Photographers field trip to the air station. VF-213 is the sister squadron of VF-31 Tomcatters whom graciously hosted us on their flight line.

Exposure Info:

Camera: Canon 7D

Lens: Canon 100-400mm L

Exposure: 1/1000  Aperture Priority, -1/3EV

Aperture: f/8

ISO 400

To see more photos from this shoot click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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flybyphoto@cox.net (Fly By Photography) Aviation Black Lions Callsign F-18 NAS Oceana Top Gun US Navy VFA-213 photography https://www.flyby.photography/blog/2012/5/callsign-etiquette Thu, 24 May 2012 22:47:45 GMT