If you read my last blog you know I don’t do well with high places. Well today was a bit of a challenge for me because I went flying with a good friend. My friend just got his pilot’s license last week and I suspect I’m one of the first people to fly with him.
The plane he was flying was a 1970s vintage Piper, which didn’t add to my confidence so I was a bit nervous to say the least. But then I have great respect for this individual and he is one of the smartest people I know, plus being meticulous in his preparation so I figured I was pretty safe.
We met at the Dubuque Regional Airport. He had flown in from Freeport, Illinois, his home. We went up to the Dubuque terminal and had breakfast at the restaurant inside the terminal. It was surprisingly good. Then Gary said, “Well let’s do this”, and it was time for the flight.
By the way it was a perfect day for a flight. Crystal clear skies and the temperature was about 50 degrees, with very little wind, and unlimited ceiling. We taxied out and took off from runway 36 (360 degrees or due North). It was about a 22 minute flight and Gary flew an unwavering course to Prairie Du Chien, WI. We landed at the airport and taxied to a full stop. I asked Gary if we could stop so I could change the lens on my camera because I had chosen the wrong lens for what I was trying to capture.
I don’t know what I was thinking, when I took my Nikon 70-300mm lens. It was too long to operate comfortably in the small cabin. I changed to my Nikon 24-120mm lens and it made it much easier to get some shots without banging into the side window.
Now about the shots. I used my new Nikon D300s for this trip because it has video capability and yes I did take video of both take offs and both (thankfully) landings. I shot 170 images plus the video and few of any of the images are worth posting.
Like I said this is an old plane and the windows have kind of a haze or mild fog on them from all the sunlight that has beat upon them over the last 30-40 years so it was like trying to shoot though a dirty filter. Most all the shots have a milky haze cast to them. Not very pleasing and I haven’t tried to fix them yet in Photoshop.
I got some shots of the river, the Meadows Golf Course (which for awhile I thought was Thunderhills.) Then I realized none of the holes were in the right place so it dawned on me that it was the Meadows. The only really decent shot of the day (and I’m being kind to myself) was this shot of Gary making final approach at Dubuque.
It was a great experience and I thank Gary for giving me a real treat. By the way this is the plane we flew in (below.)
Here is our landing “SWEET” in Dubuque.