Aerial Video and Photos of Moffett Field Hangar One De-skinning

With the speed of the demise of historic Hangar One at Moffett Field increasing, I decided to get some aerial images and video of the current state of the storied hangar. With permission from Moffett Field Tower, we orbited the 198 foot tall hangar and captured various angles of the US Navy Contractors removing the panels of the massive hangar. The panels are contaminated in PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) and need to be removed. But while the US Navy is tasked with their removal, it’s NASA’s responsibility to restore the historic landmark. But with the federal funds not allocated for the restoration, it’s unclear if we will be stuck with the world’s largest birdcage or not.  And while the pictures don’t do the Hangar’s size justice, know that it is 1140 feet in , 308 feet in width and 198 feet in height. In the video below you can see the how tiny the workers are compared to the hangar.

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Cops Care Cancer Foundation – Christmas Fantasy Flight 2010

Some would say that pure happiness can only be found in a child’s smile. If you asked anyone at this year’s Cops Care Cancer Foundation’s Christmas Fantasy Flight 2010, they would probably agree with you. I know I definitely would. The sound of a child’s laugh, children playing games, and the excitement of unwrapping Christmas presents would be enough to put aside  any worries of hospital visits, chemotherapy, and financial worries.

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SJPD “AIR2” Air to Air

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Last week, I had the chance to get some air to air images of San Jose Police Department’s Air Support Units’ EC-120. What made this a special shoot was that over the past few years, I’ve gotten to know the men and women of the Air Support Unit and consider them friends. If they are not patrolling the skies over San Jose, CA, they are selflessly supporting the community through programs helping kids with cancer or their fellow police officers. But today the camera was pointed at them.

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Cops Care Cancer Foundation’s Christmas Fantasy Flight 2009

Once a year, about 120 kids stricken with cancer are given an day where they can be be “normal” and celebrate the holiday as it was meant to be….with family, fun, games, Santa Claus, gifts and lots of laughter and smiles. And thanks to the Cops Care Cancer Foundation, for that one afternoon, these kids forget that they have a hospital bed, rounds of chemotherapy, and a life threatening disease to go back to.

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129th RQW – 2009 Afghanistan Deployment – Sun, Sand, and OEF

A little over a week ago approximately 65 Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing boarded 3 C-17‘s from the 446th Airlift Wing and began a 4 month journey to provide combat search and rescue support for Operation Enduring Freedom.  The McChord based C-17’s were fully loaded with pilots, aircrew, maintainers, support personnel, three 129th RQS HH-60G‘s, and all of their support equipment. While this deployment is part of regular Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) cycle, it is still hard on the families to see their loved ones leave. The last AEF deployment occurred in 2007.  Their sacrifices are deeply appreciated.

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129th RQW – 2009 Afghanistan Deployment – Djibouti? Is that near Albuquerque?

Yesterday approximately 30 Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing based at Moffett Field, CA boarded two MC-130Ps and left behind their friends, family and coworkers and headed off to Djibouti, Africa. While heartbreaking for their families, these brave Guardsmen deployed to provide combat search and rescue support for Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. To these and all Armed Forces personnel everywhere, thank you for everything you do. And to their family and friends, and even bigger thank you for your sacrifices.

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‘Whole Lotta Love’ – Airship Venture’s Zeppelin NT

What do you get when you combine one the founders of a major international electronics company and his wife;  a producer, a camera man, and a famous tv personality from a local entertainment program; 4 average Bay Area locals; the worlds only female Zeppelin pilot; one uber cool fight attendant; and one confused blogger at a 1,000 feet over the skies of the San Francisco? Well, a whole lotta love!!! 🙂

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Cops Care Cancer Foundation Fantasy Flight Holiday Party

Yesterday I had a chance to witness the greatest thing anyone can see, a smile upon the face of a sick child. The San Jose Police Department’s Air Support Unit Hangar 211 at Moffett Field, CA was transformed into the ‘North Pole’ for the 4th annual Cops Care Cancer Foundation Fantasy Flight for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

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Just Another Monday…

VFA-122 “Flying Eagles” was in town after their flyover for the SF 49ers game on Sunday. After the two ship of F/A-18F Super Hornets buzzed the football fans at Candlestick, EXPRT 99, flight of two, landed at Moffett. They brought their CAG (Commander of the Air Group) Bird, NJ 100 for the festivities and it was my pleasure to photograph the beautiful birds in the early morning light.

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SAM at Moffett!

When I heard that the C-32, a specially modified Boeing 757-200, was at Moffett recently, I ran down to capture a couple of images of this rare bird. With only 4 in existence, these C-32’s operated by the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Md, fly the vice president, using the distinctive call sign “Air Force Two,” the first lady, and members of the Cabinet and Congress. What a beautiful airplane!

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Cleared to Land!

The safety light next to the helipad turned from green to red and the HH-60G from the 129th Rescue Wing based at Moffett Field, CA circled in a tight left hand orbit overhead. JOLLY 96 and her crew were checking the landing zone for any signs of wires, poles, people or anything that would keep them from landing on the Regional Medical Center of San Jose’s HeliPad.

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NASA’s SOFIA Visits Moffett Field

What would bring out 3,500 NASA AMES employees and their family and friends? Well, the world’s largest airborne observatory that they helped design and build. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) airborne observatory is the worlds most heavily modified Boeing 747SP. And it came this past Monday to NASA AMES on a test flight and to be shown to the folks that helped give it life.

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Santa Clara County Sheriff STAR1 Video

My friend Mike took some amazing shots of the SJPD Helo last week that I just had never seen before. He was hanging out the side of the helicopter, with the door open and shooting backwards! Somehow in all my flights, I had never thought about doing this before. Probably because it involves sticking my camera out into a 90-120kt wind and possibly having it fly off and hit the tail rotar; which would end very, very badly for everyone. But I had to have this shot and spoke to Bill and Rob from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Aerial Support Unit to see if this was doable. Well, with an expert pilot like Rob, and a lot of safety straps, I was cleared to do it. 🙂

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You want me to do what on that bike?

Ok, let me get this straight? You want me to hit 40 mph, swerve through all those cones, slam on my brakes without locking them up, then go through a hairpin turn at less then 2 mph? Oh, ok. No problem officer! Some sort of sobriety test? Nope, it’s an exercise that police motorcycle officers train on before they can go out can ride on the streets.

Last Wednesday I had a chance to spend a 10 hour shift with The Academy’s Police Motorcycle riding course. It’s where officers from various police departments come to learn how to ride a motorcycle. And not just ride, but really, really learn how to handle a motorcycle. High speed braking, evasive maneuvers, slow speed handling, and formation riding. So this is no average riding course. Each of these students is carrying a gun. 🙂

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