Saturday, September 12, 2009

200th post! Flying with the Pitcairn.

I was laying on the ground in the morning dew trying to keep my horizon level to get the pictures while the light was still nice. I (careful not to hit my head on the rotor) got up and noticed Andrew King standing near me. We talked for a while and he remarked how he'd like to get the Pitcairn and the (Kinner-powered) Brunner-Winkle Bird biplane parked next to him in a shot together. He went to talk to Tina Thomas, owner of the Bird and I talked with friends.
The next thing I know, he's asking me if I want to go up to take the shots! Yes sir, I do! I don't have a photo-plane though, wasn't expecting to shoot air-to-air up here. No problem, he spends a couple minutes on his phone (man I'd like to have his Rolodex!) and it's all taken care of. Nigel, whose last name I didn't catch and Steve Roth and I are to fly in Ed Lachendro's Piper Clipper (Thanks Ed!). Nigel will have to sit up front for weight and balance purposes. I'll sit in back and take most of my pix thru the (clean!) Plexiglas window. Steve will take care of the flying duties.
We taxi out and have to wait for a few planes to land. Brodhead is having a pancake breakfast this morning and it's a pretty good turnout. All clear and Andrew launches, followed by Tina and then us. The little Clipper climbs slowly to catch up to the two others. A quick fly-by and we're headed southeast, into the mid-morning sun.
We pull into the lead, I hand Nigel his camera and we're both firing away like madmen to shoot the living history just off our wing.
Thanks to Andrew for setting this all up, Tina for going along, Steve for keeping us safe, Ed for lending us his plane, Jim Hammond and Jack Tiffany for restoring and sharing such a beautiful, historic aircraft.


Dan Linn said...

Two thumbs up on the formation shot! One of the most unusual shots I have ever seen!

AShow303 said...

Gorgeous pics!

After reading Carl Gunther's new biography Harold F. Pitcairn: Aviator, Inventor and Developer of the Autogiro and searching out Pitcairn-Cierva models online, I have to say this particular autogiro is my favorite!

Thanks for sharing your photos.