The Saratoga T6

There was no way that the three of us were going to come to Hawaii without seeing Pearl Harbor and the nearby airfields. What better way to see these places then by air. A good friend of ours, Bruce, owns one of the only warbird flying in the Hawain islands. Yes there is the Pacific Aviation Museum which has some beautiful historic aircraft but unfortunately they aren’t flown. It’s the sad truth that all planes will eventually be grounded flown or not. Anyways, we decided it would be worthwhile to fly over Pearl. Little did we know at the time that flying over Pearl isn’t an easy feet to accomplish. The air space restrictions over the island make it difficult for GA fliers, mostly due to the island being controlled by the Navy. Oahu has numerous airfields including Ford Island, Hickam, Wheeler, and Barbara’s Point. There are more as we found out including multiple bases, ammo depos, and hangers.

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Dad and I flew in a Cesna 172, not the ideal choice of photo platforms but it got the job done just fine. I was yet again in the back of the bus which was fine because I got to fly over Pearl Harbor. It doesn’t get much cooler than that! Our subject was Bruce’s T6 SNJ. He has personally flown that plane all over the states and it now resides in Hawaii. Don’t ask how it got there you’ll never believe the story. Bruce was in the Army and Coast Guard. This particular plane was flown off the Saratoga many many years ago and since has been restored in the original paint scheme of the planes that were on that aircraft carrier.

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As you can see from the background it was an interesting shoot. We had clearance from three different towers to fly over Wheeler Airfield, Pearl Harbor and Hickam Airfield. Most of the island at this point is covered in homes, few pockets of rain forest are left . Unfortunately the weather made it unsafe to go over certain areas which would have been more scenic but less historic. The shot above was taken over an orbit of Middle Bay. In the background is a moth ball fleet of Navy ships no longer in use. It’s one of those times that Dad and I agreed, buildings in the background were okay. There is more to this story but not right now.

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Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 70-200, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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