The 2013 Reno Air Races – 50th Anniversary

Celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary, the Reno Air Races put on quite a show and did not disappoint.
The Race had a bit of drama even before the race started with 4 time champion Steve Hinton, Jr switching teams and flying Voodoo. This left legendary Strega being flown by Matt Hill. With Strega suffering a nearly catastrophic canopy damage just a few days prior to the race and then nearly getting disqualified during the Friday qualifying heat, it was shaping up to be one of the best Unlimited Gold races in quite some time.

As they say at the races: Fly low, fly fast, turn left!

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Five Weeks of Flying

Been offline for over a month now, but not because I’ve been sitting idle. I have been very fortunate to be able to have gone flying nearly every weekend and when I wasn’t, it was an Airport-Funday. Because you know what they say, any day at an airport is a good day! And when you add to the fact that your roommate is an amazing formation qualified pilot who flies for the famous Patriots Jet Team. Well, a you get a chance to do some phenomenal air to airs! In those 5 weeks, I logged over 11 hours of flight time in a Cessna 182 (5.6 hours), North American Aviation P-51 Mustang (0.2 hours), and McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender (5.2 hours).
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Santa Clara County Model Aircraft Skypark Airshow 2012

Some of the coolest things are right in your back yard. One such example is the annual Santa Clara County Model Aircraft Skypark’s airshow. Held every year in July, members of the SCCMAS share their passion of radio controlled aircraft with kids of all ages. From helicopters to jets to submarines, they had something for everyone. People even had the chance to fly a plane or helicopter with an experienced pilot using a buddy box. Here’s a few pics from the day that I went. There are two real aircraft, one helicopter and one airplane, that landed at the airshow. Can you tell which ones they are?

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Pride, Passion, Planes – A Day With The Patriots

 

If you hear a plane overhead, and you look up to see what kind it is, then it’s safe to say you love aviation. And most of us can trace back to the when that love first started. And for me, like millions of others of children, it was at an airshow. A few weekends ago, I got to spend the day with 20 of these folks who live and breathe aviation at the March Field Airfest. They are an all volunteer team who maintain and fly the six sleek all black L-39’s that make up The Patriots Jet Demonstration Team.

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Soaring with Sagar – You Spin Me Right Round – Part 2

Day two was setting up to be a busy one. Our goal was to squeeze in two flights and get an intro to Spins and Aerobatics. With the same format as the previous day’s flight, we did a through briefing, hopped into the plane, Tim demonstrates a maneuver, Sagar demonstrates, repeat, head back to the airport and then debrief. It was hard to keep all of the information straight as each maneuver and flight built on the previous ones. But Tim was quite patient and reminded me that this was just an introduction.

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Soaring with Sagar – You Spin Me Right Round – Part 1

You look outside and all you see is the ground flying past you; greens and browns all blurring into one shade. A second ago you were performing an immelman in your new Pitts Special S-2B, and now you and your plane are in a spin hurdling towards the ground. Your instincts kick in, you pull the power back to idle, let go of the stick, look over the nose and figure out which direction you are spinning, full opposite rudder, stop the spin, and recover.

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Vertical Challenge 2009

Every year the Hiller Aviation Museum holds the largest all helicopter airshow on the west coast to much fanfare and celebration. In it’s 9th year, the event was as strong as ever, with helicopter performances from the California Highway Patrol ASTAR, the California Department of Forestry UH-1 Huey, and a California Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook, amongst others. And as in past years, the headliner was the Red Bull BO-105 CBS Helicopter; capable of loops and rolls!!! Read more on my flight aboard that at: http://horizontalrain.com/blog/2008/07/02/behind-the-camera-vertical-challenge/.

Here are a small selection of images from the show; for the full set, please visit:  http://www.horizontalrain.com/Galleries/VC09/index.shtml

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Flying with the Blue Angels’ Fat Albert Airlines!

Imagine the biggest, fastest roller coaster that you have been on, and multiply that by 1,000!  That is what it is like to fly aboard Fat Albert Airlines, the United States Navy Blue Angels’ Flight Demonstration teams’ C-130T support aircraft!  And last week, I had a chance to fly aboard during the NAF El Centro Airshow practice day.

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Behind the camera – Vertical Challenge 2008

Hello everyone.  Warm weather and blue skies can only mean one thing; it’s airshow season once again.  And here in the Bay Area, the first major airshow of the year is Vertical Challenge at the Hiller Aviation Museum.  The largest all helicopter airshow in the United States bring some serious rotor power with it each year.  This years headline act was the Red Bull BO-105 CBS helicopter, flown by the incredible Chuck Aaron.  The only FAA licensed person to perform acrobatics in a helicopter, Chuck wows the crowds with his loops, rolls, and Cuban 8’s in an amazing display of precision and control.  And I had a chance to be one of the small handful of people to actually go inverted in a helicopter, and survive! 🙂

Today’s post is the first in a new series of entries entitled “Behind The Camera”, which will break down the anatomy of a particular shot.  This shot just happened to land on the cover of the upcoming issue of In Flight USA.

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, what the heck??? It’s Sagar?!?!?

Well, wow. What a weekend. Two air shows in two weekends, hundreds of miles of driving, 17.3 gigs of pictures, and 3,145 pictures! But this past Saturday, for the first time ever, I went from taking pictures to having my picture taken! I became a part of the show. 🙂 And it was cool.

A few days ago, my friend Willie, the VP of Marketing at the Hiller Museum, who puts on the annual Vertical Challenge Helicopter Air Show, approached me and asked if I wanted a unique opportunity to get some interesting shots. And of course, I said yes! Being the ‘Official Photographer” for the event, I wanted to have the best images possible. So he asks if I’m afraid of heights, and I say no of course. “So how’d you like to hang from the bottom of a helicopter?”

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