As I mentioned last posting, I would be shooting the Atlantic Canada International Air Show in Miramichi, New Brunswick this past weekend. Like the previous year I would be shooting in the pool of Media Photographers. A part of Media Day in Summerside was the opportunity for us to go up with Fat Albert of the Blue Angels. What a blast that was! This year we were hitting the skies with the Canadian Army Skyhawks Parachute Team!
This was my first time on a J-model Hercules and the difference between the older generations was immediately noticeable when they fired up the engines. Being able to talk to the person next to you with an elevated instead of an lung bursting level was nice.
Before arriving at the airport I had noticed a lot of towering cumulus and some elevated winds so there was a bit of a wonder if they’d jump. During our briefing we were told that was in fact the case. High winds and the cloud were a possible issue… One of the Skyhawks told us “If we see the the drop zone, we’re going to go!”
As we approached the altitude for the wind check they opened the rear ramp of the Herc. Having had open doors in smaller aircraft before I was curious as to how much turbulence we’d experience. Surprisingly smooth, even out on the ramp!
All of us along for the ride were securely fastened to the floor with a tether. As we crossed the drop zone they deployed their wind check streamers to see where they would land if they jumped.
Unfortunately the winds proved that it would be a longer walk to the drop zone than expected so they weren’t able to jump. Regardless, it was a great ride and cool to see their pre-jump routines. The coordination and precision of their communication non-verbally was amazing.
After landing we got a great demonstration from the Shockwave Jet Truck. But I’ll leave that for the next posting! There’s plenty more photos from the show so stay tuned!
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