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Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel
  
 
JWilsonphoto
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p.4229 #1 · p.4229 #1 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


All the pilots here know how we analyze and re-analyze an event like yesterday's tragedy. I woke up last night wondering how that solid little Giles could snap like a toy. Certainly you can over G an aircraft, and anything can break if it's bent enough times. Andrew was meticulous in everything he did, certainly there would have been some indication on the airframe if it had been weakened to that degree, he would have seen it. I've seen Andrew preflight his plane and he did it as methodically as a student pilot. So, the next thing that comes to mind is tail surface flutter which is instantaneous and can disintegrate the stoutest of airframes in split seconds. He had just completed his rolling dive to redline that opens his routine and it looked like the problem occurred as he pulled at the end of that 45 degree down line, but it also could have begun seconds before in the rolling dive itself. Flutter generally disintegrates components though, it appears that the entire empennage remained intact and just twisted off the fuselage.

The event is less mysterious than my Buddy Glenn's accident, I still go over and over that chain of events knowing full well there won't be an answer until he tells me what happened as we walk the streets of heaven together. I have been bracing for the flood of memories that surround the anniversary of Glenn's loss, two days from now, this one and knowing our Glenn was up there by himself made yesterday triply difficult.



Aug 29, 2015 at 12:46 PM
ELinder
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p.4229 #2 · p.4229 #2 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


I was thinking about it too last night. I don't know what the structure is like just behind the cockpit, but the way the entire tail section seemed to twist off in one initial piece had me wondering about fatigue induced delamination of the carbon fiber. That would be hard to see in a preflight if it started internally.

The only saving grace in an incident like this is that hopefully something will be learned from it that will help save some future pilot from it happening to him.

Erich



Aug 29, 2015 at 01:41 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.4229 #3 · p.4229 #3 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


I know there are all kinds of advantages to new high tech products like carbon fiber, but give me the bridge truss that is the skeleton of my bipe anytime. They typically just don't break. In fact, a Skybolt is one of the few aircraft that has survived aileron flutter.

I guess that area would have been filled with people today and tomorrow. Doesn't reduce the pain of our loss, but it could have been much worse.

Of course the Tweetiots are calling for an end to air shows. I think we should outlaw living in your parent's basement and trying to effect policy changes for the folks who aren't.



Aug 29, 2015 at 02:30 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.4229 #4 · p.4229 #4 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


Halfway around the world it seems ideas are being born................

http://www.wilsonairwing.com

I just received a 25 page document for review and signing, apparently we are in the process of becoming a 501c3, the documentation for that was filed last week.

Like the site says......."Stay tuned......."

You now know just about what I know



Aug 29, 2015 at 03:26 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.4229 #5 · p.4229 #5 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


Lady Jo, if you are so inclined, we might need your talent to polish up a logo. I'll send you my favorite iteration and you can see what you think it needs.


Aug 29, 2015 at 03:28 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.4229 #6 · p.4229 #6 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


Obviously Andrew's loss has overshadowed everything else, and Glenn's humility will prevent him from telling you this story, but months ago he was chosen to shoot a series of air to air formations with backgrounds on the Hudson, The Freedom Tower and Lady Liberty to be specific. He has been orchestrating all the complex parts of these missions of months. Several months ago he honored me with a request to shoot with him, actually to shoot video from a military helicopter of him shooting the formations from the B25. We were all set until one of my top clients asked me to shoot an assignment that was critical to their future, involving numerous agency people and top management. Very reluctantly, I stood down for the mission Glenn had so generously included me on.

Bottom line, yet again, Glenn's talent, diligence, and now reputation for getting it perfect, and getting it done, put him in the lead of what had to be one of the highest profile air to air shoots in recent memory.

Well done Glenn, I know at the moment it's the last thing on your mind, but well done!



Aug 29, 2015 at 03:40 PM
futurshox
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p.4229 #7 · p.4229 #7 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


Would be my pleasure, Jim.

Glenn, that shoot sounds awesome, and they couldn't have picked a better guy for the job. When the time is right, I'm sure we'd all love to see the results.



Aug 29, 2015 at 03:44 PM
MMcGrath
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p.4229 #8 · p.4229 #8 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


JWilsonphoto wrote:
Obviously Andrew's loss has overshadowed everything else, and Glenn's humility will prevent him from telling you this story, but months ago he was chosen to shoot a series of air to air formations with backgrounds on the Hudson, The Freedom Tower and Lady Liberty to be specific. He has been orchestrating all the complex parts of these missions of months. Several months ago he honored me with a request to shoot with him, actually to shoot video from a military helicopter of him shooting the formations from the B25. We were all set until one of my top clients asked
...Show more

Jim,

If after the events of yesterday, Glenn still went out and executed such a high profile air to air mission, it's says a lot about his professionalism and ability to get the job done even under the most trying of circumstances imaginable.

Mark



Aug 29, 2015 at 05:40 PM
ELinder
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p.4229 #9 · p.4229 #9 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


He already has a single sneak peak photo on his Facebook page. Amazing.

Jim, about that website in progress. Ooooo.....

Erich



Aug 29, 2015 at 06:04 PM
Go4Long
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p.4229 #10 · p.4229 #10 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


I believe the air to air flights were done earlier in the week.


Aug 29, 2015 at 06:11 PM
 

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MMcGrath
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p.4229 #11 · p.4229 #11 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


Go4Long wrote:
I believe the air to air flights were done earlier in the week.


Hadn't realised that. .

Just found this. Bet the full set of photos look epic.


http://abc7ny.com/society/stunning-video-f-22-raptor-and-f-16-viper-perform-flyover-nyc/959774/




Aug 29, 2015 at 06:23 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.4229 #12 · p.4229 #12 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


If they went off as planned, Glenn and I were to fly on Thursday. I can tell you from my friendship with Glenn, if the mission was scheduled for an hour after Andrew's loss, he would have summoned what it took and performed flawlessly in honor of Andrew, and because that is how he is. I'm telling you, sincerely, Glenn is a loyal friend, an artist, a quiet but tenacious competitor, he's the guy you want on your Six, or if he's got a camera in his hands, just about any position will do.


Aug 29, 2015 at 07:30 PM
Rodolfo Paiz
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p.4229 #13 · p.4229 #13 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


First of all, my condolences to those who knew and loved Andrew, Glenn most of all. I know -- sadly, most of us know -- exactly what that feels like, so there's not a lot to say. Let all of us be careful out there, because there's a lot of ways things can get very ugly very quickly, and not all are in high-risk activities. Let all of us keep our hands and our souls clean, so that we may be prepared to walk into our next life with our heads high and our hearts humble, knowing we did our best for all the right reasons. And let all of us rejoice every day -- every single day -- that we draw breath, that we love and are loved, and that we have the hands, head and heart required to improve the lives of those around us. Let us give thanks, for what we've been given and even for what has been taken away. Every. Single. Day.

God bless you all, Godspeed to you, and thank you for enriching my life by sharing with me a part of yours. I know I am a better person for having met you all, and I even have hopes that someday I'll even be a better photographer.



Aug 29, 2015 at 09:02 PM
futurshox
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p.4229 #14 · p.4229 #14 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


I saw a photo of a Raptor over New York yesterday, released by the air show, and wondered then (before I heard about Andrew) if that was Glenn's handiwork... sure looked like it. I guess it probably was!


Aug 29, 2015 at 09:03 PM
Rodolfo Paiz
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p.4229 #15 · p.4229 #15 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


ELinder wrote:
Rodolfo, when you have the time I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that Olympus m4/3 system, especially the lenses. I spec'd it out, and was amazed to find that a similar f/2.8 lens kit weighs half as much as my Nikon kit. Obviously it's a bit of apples to oranges, but there's a huge difference carrying 10lbs vs 20lbs on a trip where ultimate quality isn't absolutely necessary.


Yes, there's a huge difference in perceived weight and bulk. I'm still just getting used to it, but overall my first impressions are very good. I'm using three lenses exclusively so far: the 12-40 and 40-150 PRO lenses that are f/2.8, and the 17/1.7 prime. I also have the 45/1.7 prime for portraits, and the consumer-level 14-42, 40-150, and 14-150 lenses, because the shorter two were on sale for $100 and I couldn't resist, plus I think there'll definitely be some times when I want the Swiss Army knife versatility of the 14-150. Still, none of those has gotten any use yet.

The two 2.8 PRO lenses feel heavier than they should for ideal balance on this camera, but they work well and the construction feels first-rate. The camera itself has several things I love, and one or two I don't. First, in-body IS that works all the time and on all lenses... YES! Second, a thumb switch that toggles the two command dials from speed/aperture to ISO/WB... very cool and insanely convenient. All major controls within instant reach, no taking your eye off the viewfinder. Focus acquisition, frame rate in bursts, all of those things are good. Overall, very happy with the camera and apparently very pleased with the results. Haven't printed anything yet, though, so still a first impression.

The one thing that absolutely does not work for me right now is tracking. Maybe I'm doing something wrong... haven't checked the manual. But if I set the camera up in what I think is the correct set of parameters to shoot a moving target (say, a seagull in flight), I get jack. Won't acquire focus, or will acquire focus and immediately wander off-target to track something else. Zero seagull images so far. I'm going to investigate this further, because obviously for aviation, or wildlife, or one my future trips to a race with Tim or Jan-Arie, I absolutely need this to work. But then again, the camera is so good overall that I simply cannot believe it's such an utter failure at doing something so important. I'm convinced that there is user error in play, I just haven't had the time and resources to track it down yet.

-------

Spent today in and around Dikili, Turkey. Learned a great deal about ancient empires and spent a couple of hours in the ruins around/above Pergamom. Will add more detail to this later, I hope, but for today I've gotta go get some sleep. Here's an image of part of those ruins, including what they believe is the world's steepest theater.





Pergamom, Turkey

  E-M1    OLYMPUS M.40-150mm F2.8 lens    150mm    f/8.0    1/800s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Aug 29, 2015 at 09:23 PM
Rodolfo Paiz
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p.4229 #16 · p.4229 #16 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


Here's a bit of "me testing the camera". Zero processing.

In one image, I tried to get a strong backlighting effect but without allowing direct sunlight into the lens. In the other, I deliberately set it up so the sun was directly into the camera. EC added to prevent silhouetting, of course. See what you think... I liked the E-M1's behavior.

I'll be happy to share the RAW files for these shots if you want to play with them, just PM me (and if necessary, remind me).




  E-M1    OLYMPUS M.12-40mm F2.8 lens    12mm    f/8.0    1/250s    200 ISO    +2.0 EV  






  E-M1    OLYMPUS M.12-40mm F2.8 lens    12mm    f/8.0    1/160s    200 ISO    +2.3 EV  




Aug 29, 2015 at 09:29 PM
futurshox
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p.4229 #17 · p.4229 #17 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


Rodolfo, if your EM-1 is anything like my EM-5, you have Absolutely Got To change the IS tracking mode in the menu from mode 1 to mode 2. I took mine out to an airfield and couldn't get jack either; everything was horribly blurred, until I discovered this. That in-body IS is a beautiful thing but it really hates being in the wrong mode.


Aug 29, 2015 at 10:06 PM
futurshox
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p.4229 #18 · p.4229 #18 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


And yes; Erich, I love the lack of weight of my EM-5 system. Had it a couple of years now and it is my go-to 'grab a camera' choice, and most definitely for traveling.


Aug 29, 2015 at 10:08 PM
Glenn Watson
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p.4229 #19 · p.4229 #19 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


howdy ya'll - thanks so much for all the notes and comments here and texts. I'm sitting on a SWA home from NYC - one of the only times I can ever remember being glad to be on commercial flight instead of at the controls myself.

Its kinda funny - Andrew and a few others and I at the performer party Thursday night we're joking about how often times in life the best thing and the worst things that have ever happened to you in your life are often very close together. While not really the scenario we we're referring to, that definately applies to the past two days. Pulled off possibly the greatest photo mission of my life to be shortly followed by my best friend going in.

My final flight with Andrew out there was this past Wednesday on the Hudson.



Glenn



Aug 29, 2015 at 10:10 PM
Glenn Watson
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p.4229 #20 · p.4229 #20 · Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel


And the good news - from the tail of Panchito we were able to pull the USAF Demo jets around Manhatten and the Statue for what seemed like 20 minutes. This flight was months of planning with NYC tracon and when we ended our final briefing conference call, the plan was to be a single s-turn pass south to north by the Statue of Liberty, the the WTC and straight up the hudson to Stewart airport.

Obviously the high airspeed and the critical nature of lining up the flight over specific landmarks had me unable to sleep at night for 2 weeks due to anxiety But to our surprise and excitment, when we arrieved and the edge of the NYC class Bravo ATC said the runways in use at JFK, Newark, and La Guardia happened to all be favoring our flight, as well as low volume of traffic they just ask - so what do you guys want to do? So we got orbits around the statue and Manhattan from multiple angles, over to Newark to shoot in front of their tower, then right up the hudson grabbing all the key shots - Central Park, Empire, etc. We ran the Viper out of gas is the only reason it ended so fast.




Aug 29, 2015 at 10:26 PM
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