Greetings from Louisville, Kentucky (KSDF)!
Like many others, I have been reading the A-Net forums for a many years but never became an active member, aside from uploading my scanned prints prior to the Digital-Revolution. Reading the thread about a plane down at SXM
is what prompted me to finally jump off the fence and join the party.
I was thinking about those airports that have a large group of spotters and aviation photographers around them during most days. AMS
and especially MIA
come to mind immediately. I have made two "pilgrimages" to worship at the temple of exotic airliners (Miami) twice. The first time was January of 1997 and I recall seeing many spotters and photographers all aroung the perimeter. Nothing gets more attention than a classic "smoker" on the move. I shoot primarily video and will hold on a 707 or DC-8 taking off until it's several miles out after takeoff, because I LOVE the great clouds of smoke hanging in the sky and the rumble. In August of '97, a Fine Air DC-8-61F (N27UA) crashed a mile off runway 27 Right. How was this tragic event NOT captured by any print or video photographers who were there at the time? Prior to 9-11, you could go on top of the large parking garages near the west end of the airport, by the air cargo terminal. I have shot much video from up there and can't help but feel that there must have been SOMEBODY up there with a camera at the time.
Perhaps someone DID get it, but those images were turned over to the NTSB to aid in the investigation and never made public. I caught several Fine DC-8-61's on my 1997 tapes, but can't read the registrations. Does anyone familiar with these aircraft know if N27UA had strobe lights on it's wingtips? In my October of 1999 MIA
visit, I shot a great yellow/green DC-3 landing (N54AA) and later learned (through a search of the photo database) that it crashed less than a year after I had photographed it. It's a spooky feeling...
The closest I have come to capturing an accident on video was in December of '05 when an Atlas Air 747-200F landed with number three and four engine thrust reversers inop. All of the CFR
equipment was waiting for it to touch down and idle reverse was used on one and two with heavy braking. The pilot showed great skill keeping the aircraft on the runway, but for a very nervous moment, I thought that it would be ME capturing an accident on video. I was very glad they were successful. Do any of you have similar stories to share?
As my first post, I certainly don't want to give the impression that I am some sort of sick bastard. I have been in love with flying machines since I was a kid on the early 1970's. I was just wondering if an airline accident HAD ever been captured from multiple angles by photographers who were there.
And now for something completely different...
LOUISVILLE, where your camera may as well be a stinger misslie to the Airport Police.