Flying Fast in a P51
After the morning shoot out of the sky van the workshop was officially over, with one minor exception. FiFi the B29 SuperFortress flew down to the CAF headquarters in Phoenix on its way to some more restoration. The group decided to go see the event. Well the field that it was landing at was 45mins from Falcon Field, so the Doug and Bob thought it would be fun to fly the P51′s over to Deer Valley where FiFi was landing. In true Dad fashion, he called me over told me to get my stuff cuz i was going flying. O yea flying in a P51, glad i had an extra pair of shorts in the car because it was damn exciting!
The two P51′s were Stang and Cripes’a'Mighty. They both were beautiful Mustangs. Richard flew in Stang with Doug and i was in Cripes with Bob. We also had the Spitfire come up and fly with us so we ended up with a really nice formation, now all we needed was the B17. Now I’ve flown in a T6 with the canopy open before so i was going off what that was like. Well i was wrong… After a few minutes of taxing out we launched in formation, Stang on the left. Oh it was blast, literally i couldn’t lean forward. The one thing that i did learn from the T6 is that shooting to the left is easier than to the right. It was proven correct yet again.
After a few minutes of flying towards Deer Valley, we started on a flyby of the cemetery for a memorial service that day. The affect of classic aircraft flying over is truly amazing, everyone stops in awww. After the cemetery we started doing a view left turn orbits until we could land. The amount of traffic that day at Deer Valley was unbelievable. Every five someone was landing or taking off. then again it is a training facility for new pilots. Even though we were flying solely for supporting the CAF, we still had a little fun.
The best part was the hard break left which pushed me into the right side, for a short moment i though about shooting but it seemed smarter not raising the camera. The funny part was, we weren’t even going that fast. The challenge this time prove to be the canopy. The reflections and angles of lights made for a tricky material to shoot through. As i was told beforehand, you can’t have a shade or filter on or else the canopy will get damaged. So many more lessons to learn. The flight was amazing and Bob yet again proved how good a pilot he was. We landed at Deer, with cheering fans awaiting the arrival of FiFi. We stepped out of the planes with smiles on our faces.
Images captured with D3, AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film