Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Getting Close

I'm an aviation nut. If you were to ask me when and why, all I can say is I remember my older brother describing his first jet flight to me...and he went on and on about getting thrown back in his seat during takeoff.

Lately I've been given all sorts of privileges that I can't even comprehend. Saturday, I got my fourth "ride-along" with Ken, a guy who works in airport operations. His job is to cruise the DFW Airport grounds, escorting civilian vehicles and construction vehicles, picking up foreign objects reported by pilots on the runways and taxiways, and checking the perimeter fences for any kind of breech. When I ride along, if there is a lull in his responsibilities, he will let me pick where I'd like to shoot photographs. And he will try to put me there. About the only restriction is that we can't get on an active runway without permission.

While standing between two active runways Saturday, I kept smelling a bad odor...like tires burning. I asked Ken about it and he said, "That's from the landing gear smoking on the touchdown, idiot." Or words to that effect. That's how close I'm privileged to get. That's why I'm able to get a shot like the one above. Based upon my knowledge of DFW photography history, I'm pretty sure there are no other pictures existing like the ones I've been lucky enough to take. I say this not in any self-serving way...only to point out just how lucky I am.


Tim Perkins said...

Just a few minutes after posting this entry, an Air France A340 crashed in Toronto. The A340 is the aircraft in the above picture. It doesn't look good for survivors.


Brett said...

"It doesn't look good for survivors."

It's amazing and wonderfully thrilling how wrong you were on this one.