Ottosen Photography: Blog https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog en-us Copyright (C) Matt & Rylan Ottosen | Ottosen Photography, All Rights Reserved (Ottosen Photography) Thu, 02 Jul 2020 02:56:00 GMT Thu, 02 Jul 2020 02:56:00 GMT https://www.ottosenphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u213056426-o198837071-50.jpg Ottosen Photography: Blog https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog 80 120 Sentimental Journey https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/7/sentimental-journey boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressSentimental Journey

Recently I had some new ink done.  I decided a couple of years ago that my left arm would be my 'accomplished dreams' arm.  11 years ago I achieved my greatest aviation dream, twice.  In 2009 I was able to go on tour with "Sentimental Journey" two times.  The first time was up to Grand Canyon for a weekend tour stop, and the second was later that year as part of her Summer Tour.

 

The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" has been my favorite aircraft since I was a little kid.  I remember crawling through the Flying Fortress at air shows as early as I can remember, and I just fell in love with this aircraft.  I have now had the opportunity to and crew her multiple times, and have had the opportunity to be at her controls twice.  I have 30 minutes from left seat, and an hour from the right seat.  These are opportunities that I will never forget.

 

 

 I recently decided to add the "Sentimental Journey" nose art in the form of ink on my arm, as a way to permanently show this accomplished dream come true.  This work was done by John Leroux at Golden Rule Tattoo in Phoenix, Arizona.  He did an amazing job, thank you so much, John!

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Airbase Arizona B-17G Boeing CAF Commemorative Air Force Dream Flying Fortress Golden Rule Tattoo John Leroux Sentimental Journey Tattoo https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/7/sentimental-journey Thu, 02 Jul 2020 02:56:21 GMT
Luke AFB salutes essential workers with flyover https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/5/luke-afb-salutes-essential-workers-with-flyover

Today, Luke Air Force Base, including the 56th Fighter Wing and the 944th Fighter Wing, along with the Arizona Air National Guard 161st Air Refueling Wing to honor Arizona’s front line COVID-19 responders with a community flyover May 1, 2020.

“We are honored to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the healthcare workers, first responders, military members and other essential personnel who are working on the front lines to combat the coronavirus,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “We want everyone to be able to look up from their homes and enjoy the display of American airpower, resolve and pride while keeping frontline responders in their hearts.”

A formation of 15 aircraft, including seven F-35A Lightning IIs and seven F-16 Fighting Falcons flying out of Luke Air Force Base and one KC-135 from the 161st ARW will begin the flyover at approximately 3:10 p.m. and will last 50 minutes.

The flight path will bring them through Buckeye, Luke Air Force Base, Litchfield Park, Surprise, Waddell, Goodyear, Tolleson, Phoenix Metro, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Deer Valley, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City West, and El Mirage. Residents along the flight path can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead.

Residents in these areas will be able to see the flyover from the safety of their homes and should maintain all social distancing guidelines during this event. They should also refrain from traveling to landmarks, hospitals and gathering in large groups to view the flyover.

Luke Air Force Base welcomes and encourages viewers to tag them on social media in photos and videos of the formation with the hashtag #LukeSalutes, #AirForceSalutes, and #FlyoverFriday.

 

I watched this flyover from the top of the Terminal 4 Parking Garage.  There were a lot of people there to watch this event, it was the most people I have seen at the airport in almost two months.  Anyway, here are a couple more photos from today's flyover.

 

 

It goes unsaid during this time, but please remain safe and well.

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(Ottosen Photography) 161st ARW 56th Fighter Wing 944th Fighter Wing Air Force Arizona Arizona Air National Guard Boenig COVID-19 F-16 F-35A Fighting Falcon KC-135 Lightning II Luke Air Force Base Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Sky Harbor https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/5/luke-afb-salutes-essential-workers-with-flyover Sat, 02 May 2020 04:13:10 GMT
Five Years Ago https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/4/Five-Years-Ago boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Embarking aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was such an incredible experience, and I still cannot believe that this opportunity even happened.  I also cannot believe that this was five years ago.  Some incredible memories and some amazing photos, let's revisit my time aboard CVN 74 with the slideshow below.

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Black Aces Boeing C-2A Cat Shot Chargers CVN 74 E-2C EA-18G Embark F/A-18E F/A-18F Golden Hawks Greyhound Growler Grumman Hangar Bay Hawkeye HSC-14 HSM-71 Jet Shop Knighthawk LSO Platform MH-60R MH-60S Northrop Grumman Providers Raptors Ready Room Ready-5 Seahawk Sikorsky Super Hornet Teamwork Tophatters USS John C. Stennis VAQ-133 VAW-112 VFA-14 VFA-41 VRC-30 Warhawks Weapons Wizards https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/4/Five-Years-Ago Wed, 29 Apr 2020 21:31:00 GMT
In the Best of Times https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/3/in_the_best_of_times grumman tbm-3e avengergrumman tbm-3e avenger With everything going on right now with COVID-19 and the desires to self-quarantine and keeping the population healthy, I thought I would share some of my favorite photos from the past years.  I will share a few of my favorites, and give a bit of background on each one.  Let's have some fun, here we go...

 

boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
My favorite photograph that I have ever taken.  I took this while embarked aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) on my first ever media embarkment aboard an underway US Navy aircraft carrier.  This photo was taken while standing near the LSO Platform as the sun was setting.

 

lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
I have embarked aboard two aircraft carriers, and the second time was to photograph Lockheed F-35C Lightning IIs working towards their initial carrier qualifications.  We were lucky to wake up to one F-35C still aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN -70) in the morning, as were were told that none of the Gladiators would be spending the night aboard the ship.

 

north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellMaid in the Shade consolidated pb4y-2 privateerconsolidated pb4y-2 privateer douglas sbd-5 dauntlessdouglas sbd-5 dauntless

 My favorite warbird air show is the Planes of Fame Air Show, and that is where I captured the Privateer and Dauntless photos.  But, my favorite warbird photo shoot is my Air-to-Air shoot with the North American B-25J Mitchell "Maid in the Shade."  I took my photos of her during the first official Air-to-Air shoot with her after completing her 28-year restoration.

 

ATTU WARRIORATTU WARRIORLockheed PV-2 Harpoon We have a gallery called The Art of War, and Attu Warrior is my favorite art piece in this collection.  We have a great history with Attu Warrior, and have many special memories with this aircraft and her owner, Dave Hansen.  We were able to fly aboard her during the US Navy's Centennial of Naval Aviation's parade of planes, and we became very good friends with her owner, Dave Hansen.  We are sad to report that Dave Hansen passed away a couple of years ago from cancer.  Attu Warrior is currently parked at the CAF Utah Wing, and is in some serious need of repairs and donations to make her air worthly agian.  The Attu Warrior will always hold a special place in our hearts'.

 

boeing 737-800boeing 737-800American Airlines boeing 747-47ufboeing 747-47ufAtlas Air

Here's a couple of my favorite airliner photos.  One from when I worked nights at Sky Harbor, and another from a cloudy day at Sky Harbor.  While I am very happy to be back on days at work, I do miss a few of the opportunities afforded to me when I was working at night.

 

St. James's GateSt. James's GateSt. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland We currently have plans to return to Dublin, Ireland and Paris, France later this year, but life may require a change of plans (we hope not).  Our previous trip to Dublin was amazing, and we are hoping to return very soon (hopefully later this year).

 

We have many other favorites, maybe too many to list and show here.  Anyway, these are some of our favorite photos, and we are happy to share them with you at this time of uncertainty.  We hope that everyone stays safe, and we look forward to a return to normal as soon as it is safe to do so.  In the mean time, do what is right and love one another, we are all in this together.

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(Ottosen Photography) 737-800 747-400 Air" American Airlines Arizona Atlas Attu Warrior Avenger B-25J Boeing California Chino Consolidated CVN-70 CVN-74 Dauntless Douglas Dublin EA-18G F-35C Growler Grumman Guinness Harpoon Ireland Lighting II Lockheed Lockheed Martin Maid in the Shade Mitchell North American PB4Y-2 Phoenix Planes of Fame Privateer PV-2 SBD-5 Sky Harbor TBM-3E USS Carl Vinson USS John C. Stennis https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/3/in_the_best_of_times Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:56:44 GMT
2019 Holiday Heavies https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/1/holiday-heavies

With all the people on planet Earth, Santa Claus needs a lot of help staging all of his presents for the good (and bad) girls and boys.  That's where cargo carriers like UPS and FedEx come into play.  The weeks before Christmas there is always an increase in cargo traffic at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and I can only imagine this increase happens worldwide.  There are always more UPS and FedEx aircraft, and there are also cargo charters to help with the operations too.

 

Every year, the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) select one day prior to Christmas as the group's Holiday Heavies Meet-up.  In 2019 that day was December 20.  The members of the group, that can make it out, gather around the airport prior to sunrise to catch the morning's cargo operations.  This year seemed especially busy with cargo traffic arriving and departing all morning, but I wasn't able to catch the Kalitta 747 that I was hoping to catch departing.  It's always fun to spend time with good friends and take photos of extra, special cargo operations.

 

mcdonnell douglas md-11mcdonnell douglas md-11FedEx Express boeing 767boeing 767United Parcel Service (UPS)
airbus a300airbus a300United Parcel Service (UPS) boeing 767-300erfboeing 767-300erfPolar Air Cargo
DHL Express

 

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(Ottosen Photography) 767 A300 Airbus Arizona Boeing FedEx McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Phoenix PHX Polar Sky Harbor UPS https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2020/1/holiday-heavies Sat, 04 Jan 2020 03:55:52 GMT
Naval Air Facility El Centro: 2019 Fall Photocall https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/12/nafec-2019-fall-photocall
boeing c-17a globemaster IIIboeing c-17a globemaster III62d Airlift Wing (62 AW)
446th Airlift Wing (446 AW)

Any day along the runway at Naval Air Facility El Centro is better than any day in the office, even if your office is at another airport!  On Tuesday, October 22, we attended another NAFEC Photocall, and were treated were one awesome afternoon of aviation photography.  And this one marked 10 years of our little group of photographers, Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP), attending NAFEC Photocalls!

 

It started as another early morning with Joe Copalman, my AzAP Co-founder, and partner in a lot of aviation photography endeavors.  We hit the road early, and joined two other aviation photography friends for the drive out-and-back.  Once at NAFEC, we met many more friends from APSoCal, 3G Aviation Media, and ISAP.

 

At the end of the photocall it was time for dinner and what has become part of AzAP's post-photocall culture, dinner, drinks, and some great conversation with friends at Burgers & Beer.  It's always a lot of fun to spend the day with like-minded photography friends!

 

As always, a huge thanks to Kris and all of NAFEC for making this opportunity possible!

 

northrop f-5n tiger IInorthrop f-5n tiger IIFighter Squadron Composite (VFC-13) "Saints" beechcraft t-34c turbo-mentorbeechcraft t-34c turbo-mentorStrike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) "Flying Eagles" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) "Flying Eagles"
boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 22 (VFA-22) "Fighting Redcocks" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" dissimilar air combat training (DACT)dissimilar air combat training (DACT)Northrop F-5N Tiger II
Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC-13) "Saints"
Boeing EA-18G Growler
Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"
boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"
boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) "Flying Eagles" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" northrop f-5n tiger IInorthrop f-5n tiger IIFighter Squadron Composite (VFC-13) "Saints" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"
mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier IImcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier IIMarine Attack Squadron 542 (VMA-542) "Tigers"   lockheed c-130h2 herculeslockheed c-130h2 hercules139th Airlift Wing (139 AW)
180th Airlift Squadron (180 AS)
boeing c-17a globemaster IIIboeing c-17a globemaster III62d Airlift Wing (62 AW)
446th Airlift Wing (446 AW)

 

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(Ottosen Photography) 139 AW 180 AS 446 AW 62 AW Beechcraft Boeing C-130H C-17A California EA-18G El Centro F-5N FA-18F Fighting Redcocks Flying Eagles Globemaster III Growler Hercules Lockheed NAF El Centro NAFEC Naval Air Facility Northrop Saints Super Hornet T-34C Tiger II Turbo-Mentor VAQ-129 VFA-122 VFA-22 VFC-13 Vikings https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/12/nafec-2019-fall-photocall Sat, 07 Dec 2019 14:48:51 GMT
Grand Teton National Park https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/11/grand-teton-national-park

In September, Rylan and I went up to our cabin near Park City, Utah.  During our time up there we made a plan to visit Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.  We decided to make this a day-trip, it made for a long day, but we were treated to some awesome views and an amazing sunset.

 

After passing through Jackson Hole, we briefly stopped at Mormon Row and Moulton Barn.  Our drive was briefly delayed by a herd of bison crossing the road, and a herd of tourists blocking the road to take photos and video of the bison.  I have always loved these two barns with their incredible backdrop, the Teton Range.

t.a. moulton barnt.a. moulton barnGrand Teton National Park, Wyoming john moulton barnjohn moulton barnGrand Teton National Park, Wyoming

 

We then headed to Oxbow Bend which always provides a great view of Mount Moran.  This is also a great place to view wildlife in the mornings and evenings.

oxbow bendoxbow bendGrand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Our final location for this trip was Signal Mountain Lodge and Jackson Lake.  This area has a long history with my family, we have spent much time up here and it holds a special place in our hearts.  This would also be where we would watch that day's sunset, which turned out to be one beautiful show.

mount moranmount moranGrand Teton National Park, Wyoming mount moranmount moranGrand Teton National Park, Wyoming

 

And as darkness fell on the Teton Range, it was time for us to head back to our cabin.

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(Ottosen Photography) Grand Teton National Park GTNP Jackson Hole Mormon Row Moulton Barn Mount Moran Oxbow Bend Signal Mountain Lodge Sunset Teton Range Wyoming https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/11/grand-teton-national-park Sat, 16 Nov 2019 14:01:13 GMT
"Nine 0 Nine" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/10/nine-0-nine boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressNine O Nine

The Collings Foundation's Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Nine 0 Nine" was the first B-17 that I flew on, and I will never forget that day.  I have since been part of the flight crew of another B-17G, but nothing will ever take the memory of that first B-17 flight away.

 

On October 2, 2019, "Nine 0 Nine" crashed at Bradley Airport, near Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven and injuring six.  "Nine 0 Nine" was destroyed in the crash, but the true horror was that seven that lost their lives and the six that were rushed to hospitals.  While sad the aircraft was lost, it is tragic that some lost their lives and others were severely injured.  The Collings Foundation had the following statement about the crash:

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley.

The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known.

 

Back in early 2009 I was invited by Joe Kates and Photorecon to fly with the Collings Foundation from Glendale Municipal Airport to Scottsdale Airport on a repositioning flight.  Basically, the Collings Foundation was taking their warbirds from one tour stop to another, and I was invited along for the ride.  While not a long flight, it was truly and experience that I will never forget.

 

NINE O NINENINE O NINE
boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressNine O Nine boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressNine-O-Nine

 

While I will never forget my experience on "Nine 0 Nine," I will also never forget the crash at Bradley Airport, Connecticut.  That crew, those passengers, and the person on the field were just going about another day in their normal lives.  For some, it would be their last day, and for many others it would be a day that they would never forget.  Just like me, a day that they would never forget, but for a completely different reason.

 

Our hearts go out to those that lost their lives, and our prayers go out to those that are recovering.  While a truly heartbreaking crash, I also hope that this doesn't mean the end for warbird flights and living history tours around the United States.  While truly heartbreaking, this history needs to keep flying.  There are still so many that need to see these aircraft in the air, learn about what they did, when they did, and about the Greatest Generation.

 

To help keep history flying, please read the following important message from Rob Collings, Executive Director, Collings Foundation:

Dear supporters,

Please join the Collings Foundation in our thoughts and prayers with those who were on the tragic flight of the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine” on Wednesday, October 2nd. We will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley International Airport and the assistance of all local agencies in the days after the crash.

The Collings Foundation team has been and remains fully cooperative with officials to determine the cause of the crash and we will comment further when facts and details become available. We have suspended the Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season and the aircraft have returned to our winter maintenance base in Florida.

The mission of the Collings Foundation remains steadfast in the goal of making history come alive as we have for over 30 years. Since 1989, the Wings of Freedom Tour has touched the lives of millions, as we have made visits to over 3600 communities in that time. Tens of thousands have flown aboard our Living History Flight Experiences (LHFE) on the B-17, B-24, B-25, and A-1E and flight training on the TP-51C, TF-51D, and TP-40N. In the past week we have received many stories on how powerful and life-changing the tour has been for families and as we move forward, and we expect there are thousands more who have been touched by the Wings of Freedom Tour.

In the coming months, federal agencies will be reviewing the LHFE program for not only our organization, but many other organizations nationwide who continue to fly vintage aircraft as a part of their educational mission. As these reviews take place, we feel it is important for the voices of those impacted by the Wings of Freedom Tour over the years to be heard. We need to let federal agencies know that the LHFE program is important to you and other American citizens as an educational tool.

Please take a moment to add your comments to the current docket regarding the renewal of the Collings Foundation LHFE program with the FAA at the Federal Register. You may do so online at the following link:

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FAA-2001-11089-0096

As you write your comment, please review the tips for submitting effective comments from Regulations.gov at https://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_For_Submitting_Effective_Comments.pdf

Thank you for your support of our living history mission.

Best regards,
Rob Collings
Executive Director

 

Please help, as we have, and help keep history alive.

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(Ottosen Photography) #WeSupportCollingsFoundation B-17G Boeing Bradley Airport Collings Foundation Connecticut Crash Flying Fortress Hartford History Nine 0 Nine Photorecon Warbird https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/10/nine-0-nine Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:17:12 GMT
Sky Harbor at Night https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/9/sky-harbor-at-night boeing 737-800boeing 737-800Southwest Airlines

I have now been a Night Operations Manager for Flagship Airports at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for about three months.  And while working nights has taken some getting used to, I do enjoy the job and I love being at the airport at night.  The one thing that has taken some real adjusting to is that Ry and I do not have as much time together, but happily we are able to find some time for each other every week.

 

I've been working at Sky Harbor for over four years now, but most of my time there has been during the day.  So, now that I work nights, it's cool to see the nightly operations that go into getting the airport ready for the next day's business.  Sky Harbor always seems to be busy with passengers and aircraft coming and going, and work continuously going on, but there are some quiet and peaceful moments too.  And it's those moments that I realize how much I enjoy my job and where I work.  Now, while I never take my Nikon gear to work, I do always have my cell phone.  Modern cell phones, like my Samsung Galaxy S9+, are actually quite good at taking photos, and I am usually impressed with the quality they deliver.  My job keeps me very busy, so I'm not able to take photos of aircraft very often, but I do find the occasional moment to take a photo or two.

 

boeing 737-800boeing 737-800American Airlines boeing 737-800boeing 737-800American Airlines

airbus a330-243airbus a330-243Hawaiian Airlines
Pau-ahi

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(Ottosen Photography) 737 A330 Airbus Airport American Airlines Arizona Boeing Galaxy Hawaiian Airlines KPHX Nikon Operations Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor Internation Airport PHX S9+ Samsung Sky Harbor Southwest Airlines https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/9/sky-harbor-at-night Wed, 04 Sep 2019 12:27:45 GMT
100 years of British Airways https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/8/100-years-of-british-airways boeing 747-436boeing 747-436British Airways
Landor Heritage Livery
On August 25th British Airways turned 100, and BA celebrated their landmark birthday by celebrating Britain.  I have been a huge fan of BA since my first ride with them back in June 2000.  I have since had a total of four flights with BA, and they are still my favorite airline.

 

 

I first remember seeing British Airways' Boeing 747s back in the early '90s at Sky Harbor when they were flying their Landor livery.  Since then, the Landor livery has been my favorite BA livery.  Now, I really loved the World Tails, and that is when I first flew with BA (Boeing 747-400 w/ Netherlands World Tail), but they didn't last long.  So, it is awesome that Landor, and a couple of other liveries, have returned to the skies during the British Airways Centenary.

 

I have loved being able to catch BA heritage liveries this year, and I hope to be able to catch them some more before BA replaces their Boeing 747s with Boeing 787s on the Heathrow-Phoenix-Heathrow route later this year.  Once BA makes that change, it will be Boeing 787s and Boeing 777s on the route, and I will miss our daily 747 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

 

While I love seeing the BA Boeing 747-400s coming and going from Sky Harbor, I do welcome the next generation of airliners, and I will always love watching British Airways come and go from Sky Harbor.  And, even with the steady decline of Boeing 747s in the sky, I still find myself looking forward to my next flight on British Airways!

 

 

boeing 747-436boeing 747-436British Airways boeing 747-436boeing 747-436British Airways
Negus Heritage Livery
British Airways’ Centenary
1919-2019British Airways
Negus Heritage Livery
British Airways’ Centenary
1919-2019
boeing 747-436boeing 747-436British Airways
Negus Heritage Livery
British Airways’ Centenary
1919-2019
boeing 747-436boeing 747-436British Airways
Landor Heritage Livery

 

 

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(Ottosen Photography) 100 Years 747 787 Arizona BA Boeing British Airways Dublin England Ireland KPHX Landor London Los Angeles Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor Internation Airport PHX Sky Harbor https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/8/100-years-of-british-airways Tue, 27 Aug 2019 15:24:30 GMT
Old Number 30 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/7/old-number-30 douglas c-47a skytraindouglas c-47a skytrain

Serving with the 11th Troop Carrier Squadron, this aircraft flew highly classified missions transporting spies and supplies and rescuing wounded and refugees. This actual aircraft’s missions were lost to history for 70 years until now. CAF Airbase Arizona has embarked on an ambitious fundraising program to restore “Old Number 30” to its authentic interior and exterior.

 

This C-47 is a modified version of the Douglas DC-3 passenger airliner and was used as a corporate plane after WWII. She was then purchased by the “Wings of Flight Foundation” before arriving at Arizona CAF Museum.

 

The awesome book, The Forgotten 500, is an astonishing, never before told story of the greatest rescue mission of World War II—when the OSS set out to recover more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia...

 

During a bombing campaign over Romanian oil fields, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian farmers and peasants risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers while they waited for rescue, and in 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip large enough for C-47 cargo planes—without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the cargo planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back—without getting shot down themselves.


 
Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time ever. I'm not sure of the full history of this aircraft, but the book, The Forgotten 500, is the gripping, behind-the-scenes look at the greatest escape of World War II. And after reading about "Old Number 30" and her history, I can't help but believe that she was one of the C-47s that took part in these incredible rescue missions.

 

douglas c-47a skytraindouglas c-47a skytrain douglas c-47a skytraindouglas c-47a skytrain

 

Thanks to Airbase Arizona and author Gregory A. Freeman, for the historical information.

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(Ottosen Photography) Airbase Arizona C-47 C-47A CAF Commemorative Air Force DC-3 Douglas Old Number 30 Skytrain The Forgotten 500 World War II WWII https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/7/old-number-30 Wed, 24 Jul 2019 07:33:30 GMT
Mars 2020 Mission https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/6/mars-2020-mission Rylan and I are onboard, at least with our names, for this next mission to Mars!  This will be the third mission that our names have tagged along on, and we couldn't be more excited!  It's also kinda cool that you earn mission patches for each mission that your name is a part of.

 

On this mission, the Mars 2020 rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The Mars 2020 mission addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself. The Mars 2020 rover introduces a drill that can collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils and set them aside in a "cache" on the surface of Mars. A future mission could potentially return these samples  to Earth.  That would help scientists study the samples in laboratories with special room-sized equipment that would be too large to take to Mars. The mission also provides opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. These include testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.

 

 

The mission is timed for a launch opportunity in July 2020 when Earth and Mars are in good positions relative to each other for landing on Mars. That is, it takes less power to travel to Mars at this time, compared to other times when Earth and Mars are in different positions in their orbits. To keep mission costs and risks as low as possible, the Mars 2020 design is based on NASA's successful Mars Science Laboratory mission architecture, including its Curiosity rover and proven landing system.

 

Our Boarding Passes:

 

For more information, or to register your own name for this mission: mars.nasa.gov

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(Ottosen Photography) Boarding Pass Frequent Flyer Mars Mars 2020 NASA https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/6/mars-2020-mission Tue, 25 Jun 2019 03:25:59 GMT
Planes of Fame Air Show 2019 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/5/planes-of-fame-air-show-2019 douglas sbd-5 dauntlessdouglas sbd-5 dauntless

It was the making of a great weekend, a road trip to California and an air show.  Ry and I had been planning for this one for quite some time, and it did not disappoint.  The plan was to drive to Palm Springs, where we would be staying for the weekend, and to drive to Chino and back on Saturday for the air show.  This would also allow us to visit the Palm Springs Air Museum before we hit the road back to Phoenix, and it was nice to take some time to relax in Palm Springs.

 

Planes of Fame Air Museum was proud to present the Planes of Fame Air Show on May 4-5, 2019, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. The show featured over 50 historic aircraft, including the P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustangs flying for the attendees enjoyment. Thanks to all who joined us in honoring the history, contributions, and sacrifices of our Veterans.

 

northrop n9mb flying wingnorthrop n9mb flying wing

The 2019 Planes of Fame Air Show was dedicated to the Memory of David Vopat, Planes of Fame Air Museum pilot and beloved friend.

 

Not only are you able to watch the warbirds fly, but you are also able to get up close to them in the morning while the flight line is open and the aircraft are on static display.  Getting up close to the aircraft is always amazing, and it allows us to work on our The Art of War Collection.  We love being able to take photos of the markings (art) on the aircraft, and we hope that our photography can help preserve some of these markings for many years to come.

 

Photo FannyPhoto FannyNorth American B-25J Mitchell AIR GUARDAIR GUARDLockheed T-33 Shooting Star Dottie MaeDottie MaeRepublic P-47D Thunderbolt Hollis H. (Holly) HillsHollis H. (Holly) HillsNorth American P-51A Mustang

Planes of Fame and The Art of War

 

This was the third time that we have covered the Planes of Fame air show, we have never been disappointed, and this year was no different.  It is always awesome to see history take flight!  It's always nice to see so many great friends too, and what's better than great friends, flying warbirds, and photography?

 

republic p-47g thunderboltrepublic p-47g thunderboltSnafu grumman tbm-3e avengergrumman tbm-3e avenger Honey BunnyHoney BunnyLockheed P-38L Lightning hawker sea fury fb.11hawker sea fury fb.11

 

 

We had such a great weekend that we are already looking forward to next year!

 

Last, but not least, a few photos from the Palm Springs Air Museum.

 

4141Grumman F-14A Tomcat VF-161VF-161McDonnell Douglas F-4B Phantom FALCONSFALCONSBell UH-1B Huey

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Air Show Avenger B-25J Bell California Chino Dauntless David Vopat DBD-5 Dottie Mae Douglas F-14A F-4B Falcons FB.11 Flying Wing Grumman Hawker Honey Bunny Huey Lightning Lockheed Mitchell Mustang N9MB North American Northrop P-38L P-47D P-47G P-51A Palm Springs Palm Springs Air Museum Phantom Photo Fanny Planes of Fame Republic Sea Fury Shooting Star Snafu T-33 TBM-3E Thunderbolt Tomcat UH-1B VF-161 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/5/planes-of-fame-air-show-2019 Fri, 31 May 2019 23:18:44 GMT
Planes of Fame Air Museum https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/4/planes-of-fame-air-museum north american p-51d mustangnorth american p-51d mustangSpam Can The Planes of Fame Air Museum is one of our favorite air museums around.  We love visiting the museum as well as attending their annual airshow.  The have two locations, their main one in Chino, California and a second one in Valle, Arizona.  We have visited both locations many times.  The Valle location used to have an annual fly-in that was absolutely awesome, but it is now the Chino location that keeps us coming back to see their collection and attend their airshow.  And it is their upcoming 2019 airshow, commemorating the 75th D-Day anniversary, that we are looking forward to.  We have been approved for media credentials, and we can't wait to cover the 2019 Planes of Fame Airshow!

 

The story of the Planes of Fame Air Museum is the story of one man’s vision.

Ed Maloney knew that protecting our aviation history was important. At a time when very few shared his foresight, he understood the need to preserve, inspire, educate, and honor the legacy of what was then an industry less than half a century old.

 

Today, his vision is reflected in the extensive collection of the Planes of Fame Air Museum, comprising aircraft and artifacts that might have been lost forever. His vision lives in roar and thunder of rare warbirds flying overhead to the delight of millions. Moreover, his vision perseveres through the efforts of our volunteers and staff to make the experience of each visitor to the Museum unique and memorable.

 

It begins with their mission.
The mission of the Planes of Fame Air Museum is to preserve aviation history, inspire an interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans.

 

On the surface, the mission is simple and straightforward. Four cornerstones – preserve, inspire, educate and honor – form the basis of everything they do.

 

Preserve
Their efforts at preservation have assembled one of the most extensive collections of rare and historic aircraft in the world. They take this a step further by restoring many of these aircraft to flight. These meticulous restorations have saved some of history’s most precious aircraft. Putting them back in the sky allows new generations to appreciate our vast aviation heritage. These efforts continue on a daily basis at the Museum.

 

Inspire
Inspiration takes many forms. The annual Airshow lets thousands see and hear historic warbirds, vintage aircraft, and aerobatic performers take to the skies. Their Aviation Discovery Center provides hands-on experiences that help Museum visitors gain appreciation for the wonder of flight. Through endeavors such as our Youth Programs, Student Art Contest and our College Scholarships, the goal is to kindle an interest with young people to the enticing field of aviation.

 

Educate
From guided tours, school field trips, and their stimulating monthly Living History presentations, the educational efforts of the Museum play an essential part of their ongoing activities. In order to better tell important stories from aviation’s rich history, they're integrating many of the Museum displays and graphic support with new levels of interactivity. Their Research Library and Model Room are knowledge centers dedicated to assisting in scholarly endeavors.

 

Honor
They recognize that the intellectual and physical contributions of the men and women who built this industry, and the veterans who advanced it through their service and sacrifices, are worthy of honor. The Museum presents its annual “Achievement in Aviation” award to individuals who exemplify the highest standards in aviation. Each month, their Kilroy Coffee Klatch says a simple “thanks” to veterans past and present. The 475th Fighter Group tribute, the Wright Flyer display, and the developing Korean War Memorial, further honor major contributions to aviation’s legacy.

 

It has been this way since the very beginning.

 

We are looking forward to covering the upcoming Planes of Fame airshow, and we are happy to be sharing their story and our photography!

 

north american p-51d mustangnorth american p-51d mustangWee Willy II boeing p-26a peashooterboeing p-26a peashooter northrop n9mb flying wingnorthrop n9mb flying wing north american f-86f sabrenorth american f-86f sabreJolley Roger
douglas ad-4na skyraiderdouglas ad-4na skyraider north american f-86f sabrenorth american f-86f sabreJolley Roger lockheed p-38j lightninglockheed p-38j lightning23 Skidoo north american p-51d mustangnorth american p-51d mustang

 

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(Ottosen Photography) AD-4NA Arizona Boeing California Chino Douglas Educate F-86F Flying Wing Honor Inspire Jolly Roger Lightning Lockheed Mustang N9MB North American Northrop P-26A P-38J P-51D Peashooter Planes of Fame Preserve Sabre Skyraider Spam Can Valle Wee Willy II https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/4/planes-of-fame-air-museum Sun, 21 Apr 2019 18:50:41 GMT
Grumman EA-6B Prowler https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/3/grumman-ea-6b-prowler grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards" This month the US Marine Corps officially retired their Grumman EA-6B Prowlers, and we had to officially say "goodbye" to the venerable Prowler.

 

In the mid-80s TOPGUN came along and I fell in love with Naval Aviation and the Grumman F-14 Tomcat.  As my passion for Naval Aviation grew, my new love became the Grumman A-6 Intruder.  But, then there's the Winnebago version of the Intruder, the Grumman EA-6B Prowler.  She's ugly, but yet beautiful in a warfighter and electronic jammer sort of way.  While I never had the opportunity to photograph active Tomcats and Intruders, over the years I had plenty of time to have a deep veneration for the Prowler and photograph her in action.  In fact, we even named our dog Prowler.

 

While I never had the opportunity to photograph a Prowler operating from a carrier deck, I was able to see one on the deck of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) in San Diego, California.  I also had plenty of opportunities to catch them operating around NAF El Centro, and I was even on hand to catch a Prowler being retired to the Palm Springs Air Museum.

 

The Grumman EA-6B Prowler was a long-range, all-weather aircraft with advanced electronic countermeasures capability.  It's a twin-engine, mid-wing configured aircraft that has a side-by-side cockpit arrangement.  The EA-6B weapons systems include the AN/ALQ-218 (V)2 Tactical Jamming Receiver, ALQ-99 tactical jamming pod, USQ-113 communications jammer, and AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).  The EA-6B's primary mission was to ensure survivability of U.S. and coalition forces through the identification and Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses in support of strike aircraft, ground troops, and ships.  It did this by interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining tactical electronic intelligence within the combat area.


The Prowler was in service with the U.S. Armed Forces from 1971 until 2019.  It has carried out numerous missions for jamming enemy radar systems, and in gathering radio intelligence on those and other enemy air defense systems.  From the 1998 retirement of the United States Air Force EF-111 Raven electronic warfare aircraft, the EA-6B was the only dedicated electronic warfare plane available for missions by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Air Force until the fielding of the Navy's EA-18G Growler in 2009.  Following its last deployment in late 2014, the EA-6B was withdrawn from U.S. Navy service in June 2015, followed by the USMC in March 2019.

 

grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron 140 (VAQ-140) "Patriots" grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron One Two Nine (VAQ-129) "Vikings"
grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"  
grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-134) "Garudas" grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerMarine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 (VMAQ-3) "Moon Dogs" grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerMarine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 (VMAQ-3) "Moon Dogs"  

 

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(Ottosen Photography) A-6 California Centennial of Naval Aviation CoNA CVN 74 EA-6B El Centro F-14 Grumman Intruder NAF El Centro Palm Springs Prowler San Diego Tomcat US Marine Corps US Navy USS John C. Stennis Winnebago https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/3/grumman-ea-6b-prowler Sun, 31 Mar 2019 23:29:50 GMT
VFA-147 "Argonauts" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/2/vfa-147-argonauts lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

The Navy declared today that its Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was operationally ready to deploy and conduct missions around the world.

 

The initial operational capability (IOC) declaration comes after the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147), conducted aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in early December, received its safe-for-flight operations certification on December 12, and spent the intervening weeks working with the Navy’s test community to prove it could operate and maintain the new stealthy jets.

 

Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller H. III, and United States Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation (DCA), Lieutenant General Steven R. Rudder, jointly announced that the F-35C met all requirements and achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) February 28, 2019.

 

“The F-35C is ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win,” Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller H. III said in a statement today, “We are adding an incredible weapon system into the arsenal of our Carrier Strike Groups that significantly enhances the capability of the joint force.”

 

The Mighty Argonauts of VFA-147 have a strong tradition of pride and professionalism that dates back to their beginnings as an A-7 squadron. Attack Squadron 147 was commissioned as the Navy's FIRST A-7E Corsair II squadron on February 1, 1967 in Lemoore, California. VA-147 was the FIRST squadron to employ the Corsair II into the Southeast Asian Conflict while deployed to the Western Pacific aboard the USS RANGER (CVA-61), and amassed a total of five combat deployments conducting air operations over Vietnam.

 

The first F/A-18C arrived on December 6, 1989. A complete transition to state-of-the-art technology resulted in new tools, newly graduated technicians, and 11 new LOT XII aircraft to commence integrated warfare training. The Argonauts were the FIRST squadron to receive the new Lot XII "Night Attack" Hornets and quickly put them in action on their first WESTPAC deployment to the Persian Gulf in March of 1991. Combat air patrol missions over Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm during troop withdrawal operations highlighted the deployment.

 

The squadron began transitioning to the F/A-18E Super Hornets in October 2007, and completed transition in February 2008. VFA-147 and CVW-9 deployed with John C. Stennis (CVN-74) on a scheduled Western Pacific deployment on January 13, 2009.

 

VFA-147 preserves U.S. Navy maritime supremacy flying the 5th generation aircraft F-35C Lightning II. The F-35C carrier variant sets new standards in weapon system integration, lethality, maintainability, combat radius and payload that bring true multimission power projection capability from the sea.

 

lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

 

Special thanks to Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing and VFA 147 Argonauts.

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(Ottosen Photography) Argonauts Carrier Qualification CQ CVN 70 F-35C Initial Operational Capability IOC Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II Lockheed Martin Strike Fighter Squadron 147 USS Carl Vinson VFA-147 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/2/vfa-147-argonauts Thu, 28 Feb 2019 23:40:29 GMT
2018 Year in Review https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/1/2018-year-in-review lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
2018 was an amazing year for Ottosen Photography, although it was a bit lean for aviation photography.

 

There were only three aviation related trips in 2018.  The first one was a trip down to Yuma, Arizona to attend the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 2-18 Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) exercise.  The WTI HA/DR is one of my favorite military exercises to cover, it doesn't get much better than Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallions and Bell UH-1Y Venoms landing in a city park.

bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) "Scarface"

 

The second one was a trip down to Tucson, Arizona to spend an afternoon at Pima Air & Space Museum.  This is one of our favorite aviation museums, and it's always fun to spend some time there.

boeing eb-47e stratojetboeing eb-47e stratojet376th Bombardment Wing
Pima Air & Space Museum
ArizonaArizonaCurtiss P-40E Warhawk I'll Be AroundI'll Be AroundBoeing B-17G Flying Fortress

 

The third and final aviation trip was to San Diego, California for an embark aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).  This was an incredible trip to capture Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts" and their Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning IIs working on obtaining their Carrier Qualification (CQ).

lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

 

Our big trip for the year was a week in Dublin, Ireland to celebrate Rylan's birthday.  It was an incredible week and in the end, the food, the drink, the people, and everything we experienced all made for a trip that we will never forget, and a place we will always want to come back to.

St. James's GateSt. James's GateSt. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland Ha'penny BridgeHa'penny BridgeRiver Liffey, Dublin, Ireland

 

Throughout the year we worked on our Sentiment d'Amour Collection, and Rylan became an Ambassador for Capitola Watches.

 

We are looking forward to 2019, and making plans for it to be another great year.

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(Ottosen Photography) 2018 2-18 Ambassador Argonauts Arizona Bell California Capitola Watches Carrier Qualification CH-53E CQ CVN-70 Dublin F-35C Guinness HA/DR Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery Ireland Lightning II Lockheed Martin Pima Air & Space Museum San Diego Sentiment d'Amour Collection Sikorsky Strike Fighter Squadron 147 Super Stallion Tucson UH-1Y USS Carl Vinson Venom VFA-147 Weapons and Tactics Instructor WTI Yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/1/2018-year-in-review Fri, 01 Feb 2019 02:25:09 GMT
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/1/uss-carl-vinson-cvn-70 lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

On December 8, 2018, I was able to take part in a 24-hour, Distinguished Visitor (DV)/media embark aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The Navy flew me to and from the ship in a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, and we made an arrested landing upon arrival and a catapult launch when we departed the next day. I was able to see much of the ship, and also spend many hours taking photos on their active flight deck. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!

 

The USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is America's third Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.  The ship's primary mission is to conduct sustained combat air operations.  Partnered with the embarked Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW 2), Vinson protects US interests around the world and other friendly military or merchant vessels, defends air and sea-lanes, provides humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maintains a visible presence of American resolve any time, any place.

 

A small group of four aviation photographers were invited to be part of a 24-hour overnight embark aboard the USS Carl Vinson to photograph Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts" and their Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning IIs working on obtaining their Carrier Qualification (CQ).  VFA-147 is the Navy's first operational squadron with the F-35C, and the Navy is planning for VFA-147 and their F-35Cs first aircraft carrier deployment in 2021 aboard the USS Carl Vinson.  Here is what the Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing (CJSFW) Public Affairs had to say about VFA-147 and their time embarked aboard the USS Carl Vinson.

 

The “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 completed their carrier qualifications Dec. 12 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the final required component for Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing (CJSFW) to issue the squadron its safe-for-flight operations certification.

This marks a major milestone for the U.S. Navy toward declaring Initial Operating Capability (IOC) this year. The safe-for-flight operations certification (SFFOC) is the final step for VFA-147’s transition from the F/A-18E Super Hornet to the F-35C Lightning II. This process ensures a squadron is manned with qualified personnel to implement maintenance and safety programs in support of fleet operations. All transitioning squadrons are required to complete this certification prior to independently conducting flight operations.

When introducing a new aircraft to the fleet, the appropriate fleet replacement squadron (FRS) is assigned oversight responsibility for the transitioning unit. The VFA-125 “Rough Raiders” were re-activated in January 2017 to fulfill the appropriate FRS role for the Lightning II. Since completing their combat deployment last winter, VFA-147 has been working with the Rough Raiders to accomplish the safe-for-flight operations certification.  The Argonauts will now be able to operate independently from the Rough Raiders, having received their safe-for-flight operations certification.

The safe-for-flight operations certification encompasses areas such as equipment, personnel and programs. Not least among them is the requirement for the squadron to be in the physical custody of at least 30 percent of the assigned aircraft. Other requirements include the installation and operation of management information systems such as Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) and its accompanying support networks.  There is also a requirement for operational F-35C squadrons to maintain robust, on-track, maintenance programs, as well as complete various inspections ranging from weapons to safety. Aircrew complete a transition flight syllabus and maintain certain proficiencies in accordance with Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures and Standardization (NATOPS).

Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. Currently, the U.S. Navy F-35C program is scheduled to declare initial operating capability by the end of February 2019.

- Lt. Cmdr. Lydia E. Bock, Commander Joint Strike Fighter Wing Public Affairs

 

It was a great honor to be included in this group of amazing photographers which included; Katsuhiko "Katsu" Tokunaga, Susumu "Toksans" Tokunaga, Michael "Mike" Heilman, and myself.  Our embark was scheduled to start on December 7th, but due to a maintenance issue the ship was not able to get underway as scheduled and our embark would have to be rescheduled for the next day.  But, we were able to board the ship, get into our staterooms, and tour the Flight Deck before we were told we would have to reschedule.  Two of the photographers were Japanese, and it was a true honor to spend part of December 7th aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier with two amazing Japanese citizens, especially when you think about what happened exactly 77 years prior.

 

On December 8th, the four of us returned to Naval Air Station North Island for our flight out to the USS Carl Vinson.  Since our embark had to be rescheduled to December 8th, we ended up joining another group of D/Vs.  This other group included Gabby Giffords, Captain Mark Kelly, Olivia Munn, and their entourage.  There was definitely a buzz aboard the ship because of this group of D/Vs, but I think it was mostly because of Olivia Munn.  We didn't spend any time with them aboard the ship, but it was an honor to be able to meet them.  After meeting up with the entire D/V group, we headed over to NAS North Island's Air Terminal to receive our briefing for our flight out to the ship.  Our flight would be with Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) "Providers," aboard one of their Grumman C-2A Greyhound, or COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery).  The briefing included what to expect during our flight, landing aboard the ship (trap), what safety gear we had to wear, and what to do in case of an emergency.  This wasn't anything new to any of us photographers as we have all done this before, but we still listened carefully.

 

As we waited in the Air Terminal for our flight, we started to hear a buzz that kept getting louder, it was the familiar sound of the COD's two Allison turboprops.  It was time, the COD was taxiing over to the terminal to pick us up.  We were escorted out, boarded the aircraft, and strapped into our rear-facing seats.  Once we were all strapped in, it was time to go.  We were told that about 10 seconds prior to landing the Crew Chiefs would raise their arms over their heads and shout, "Here we go, here we go, here we go!"  About an hour later, there it was, "Here we go, here we go, here we go!"  I relaxed and sat firmly back into my seat, and the next thing I know the tires and Tailhook thump, then almost instantly, you're stopped.  You are thrown back into your seat as the COD experiences extreme deceleration from 105 mph to 0 mph in two seconds.  Still a rush!  The wings fold back, the cargo doors open, and you taxi over next to the Island.  Looking back, with the doors open, you can see the Flight Deck, you can see all the different colored shirts working the Flight Deck, and you can see the ocean.

 

Once back aboard the ship it didn't take long to get everything sorted and get situated back in our staterooms.  After lunch, we met the ship's Safety Officer, had our Flight Deck safety brief, and were escorted up to the Flight Deck for some photography.  The Flight Deck was active with pilots working on their CQs.  The Flight Deck during CQs is not operating as normal.  Normally, the ship does all of its launches, and then all of the recoveries.  But during CQ the aircraft are launching and recovering at the same time, so the dynamic is changed and it actually becomes a bit more dangerous.  This is why the ship's Safety Officer was our escort during this period.  It was awesome to watch and photograph all the action, especially the F-35Cs as this was my first time seeing the F-35C.  Arizona has plenty of A (Air Force) and B (Marine Corps) models with both Luke AFB and MCAS Yuma, so it was amazing to finally see the C (Navy) model.  In addition to VFA-147, there were other training squadrons out on the USS Carl Vinson.  All these squadrons had pilots working on their own CQs, so there was plenty to see and photograph while we were out there.  We had almost an hour photographing flight operations, then we had to put our cameras away due to photography restrictions, but we were then able to spend much of the remainder of the afternoon on Vulture's Row watching all the action.  We went back up there after dinner for night operations, which are always amazing to watch.  The US Navy is the only navy in the entire world that conducts night operations, so it's an incredible experience to be able to watch the Navy do one of the very specific things that sets them apart from the rest of the world.

 

The next morning we awoke to a beautiful sunrise and another hour of photographing an inactive Flight Deck.  While the active Flight Deck from the previous day was incredible, the sunrise gave us some amazing, ever changing light as a backdrop to our photos.  We had the run of the place, and could photograph whatever we wanted (as long as we stayed within the Navy's guidelines for photographing the F-35C).  After the morning photo shoot, we met up with the ship's Public Affairs Officer (PAO) so that he could perform a Quality Control (QC) check on all of our photos.  Between the four of us we lost around a total of eight photos due to the QC check, but most of them were released for publication.  After the QC check, we spent some time in the Hangar Bay and on the Fantail.  I have always loved watching a ship's wake, so it was cool to spend some time on the Fantail watching the wake go all the way to the horizon.  Then it was lunch, the food was actually very good during all our meals, and then off to the ATO (Air Transfer Office) Shack for our departure briefing.  In the ATO Shack, we watched a video briefing on what to expect when we launched off the bow of the ship.  Then it was time for one more trip up to the Flight Deck where we would be launched using one of the ship's four steam catapults in a COD, experiencing acceleration from 0 mph to 128 mph in three seconds.  This time, the g-forces throw you out of your seat as your four-point harness strains to hold you back in your seat.  After the launch, it was a nice flight back to NAS North Island.  Once back on dry land, I collected my gear, jumped in the car, and hit the road back to Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Another amazing embark spent aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier, my time on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is not something that I will ever forget.  Now that I have embarked aboard two US Navy aircraft carriers, my wife is calling me, "The COD Father."  I kind of like the sound of that!

 

© Katsuhiko "Katsu" Tokunaga

© Katsuhiko "Katsu" Tokunaga

"The COD Father"

181013-N-BS159-0012181013-N-BS159-0012181013-N-BS159-0012
PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 13, 2018) A C-2A Greyhound assigned to the “Providers�? of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 prepares to launch off the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Devin M. Monroe/Released)

Grumman C-2A Greyhound

U.S. Navy photo

lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
mcdonnell douglas f/a-18c hornetmcdonnell douglas f/a-18c hornetMarine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101) "Sharpshooters"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
lockheed martin f-35c lightning IIlockheed martin f-35c lightning IIStrike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) "Flying Eagles"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)
sikorsky mh-60s knighthawksikorsky mh-60s knighthawkHelicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 (HSC-23) "Wildcards"
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

 

A huge THANK YOU to all the men and women who helped make this such an awesome embark, especially the CNAF PAO and the USS Carl Vinson PAO.

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(Ottosen Photography) Argonauts Boeing C-2A California Carrier Onboard Delivery CJSFW COD Commander CVN 70 Distinguished Visitor EA-18G Electronic Attack Squadron 129 Embark F/A-18C F/A-18E F/A-18F F-35C Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Flying Eagles Greyhound Growler Grumman Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 Hornet HSC-23 Joint Strike Fighter Wing Knighthawk Lighting II Lockheed Martin Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 McDonnell Douglas MH-60S NAS North Island Naval Air Station North Island Providers San Diego Sharpshooter Sikorsky Strike Fighter Squadron 122 Strike Fighter Squadron 147 Super Hornet The COD Father USS Carl Vinson VAQ-129 VFA-122 VFA-147 Vikings VMFAT-101 VRC-30 Wildcards https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2019/1/uss-carl-vinson-cvn-70 Fri, 25 Jan 2019 22:21:16 GMT
Ireland https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/11/ireland Ha'penny BridgeHa'penny BridgeRiver Liffey, Dublin, Ireland

To celebrate Rylan's Birthday this year, we planned a trip to Ireland.  We spent a week there, staying in Dublin City, but taking a couple of days to travel to other parts of Ireland too.  We found the Irish people to be some of the nicest, most friendly people we have ever met.

 

We left Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, November 9, and arrived in Dublin, Ireland the morning of Saturday, November 10.  After arriving at our hotel, the Academy Plaza Hotel, it was time for breakfast and to spend some time exploring Dublin City.  We had breakfast at Murray's Pub, which was conveniently located just around the corner from our hotel.

Academy Plaza HotelAcademy Plaza HotelDublin, Ireland After breakfast we walked down O'Connell Street and found our way to the Molly Malone Statue in front of St. Andrew's Church.  This statue would be our meeting location on a couple of early mornings for our trips to both Blarney Castle and Belfast.  After locating the Molly Malone Statue it was time to make ourselves familiar with the Temple Bar area.

 

Sunday was Rylan's Birthday, and we started the day by heading to the Poolbeg Lighthouse.

Poolbeg LighthousePoolbeg LighthouseGreat South Wall, Poolbeg, Dublin, Ireland

After our walk along the Great South Wall, we stopped at a small beach to take some photos for our Dublin Belle collection.  That afternoon we visited Peterson of Dublin for a pipe.  Rylan really wanted a pipe for her Birthday, and she found the exact one that she wanted at Peterson of Dublin.  So we made our way there, and I bought her a Birthday present.

That night we spent the evening in Temple Bar, visiting The Oliver St. John Gogarty, Leo Burdock, and The Temple Bar Pub.

The Oliver St. John GogartyThe Oliver St. John GogartyTemple Bar, Dublin, Ireland Leo BurdockLeo BurdockTemple Bar, Dublin, Ireland The Temple Bar PubThe Temple Bar PubTemple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

 

Monday we were scheduled to visit the Guinness Storehouse.  We took one of the Hop-on Hop-off bus tours, as this would show us much of the city as well as it stopped at the Guinness Storehouse.  On the bus tour, we saw the Jeanie Johnston (Replica) and learned a bit of history about the Great Famine in Ireland.

Jeanie Johnston (Replica)Jeanie Johnston (Replica)River Liffey, Dublin, Ireland The Guinness Storehouse was very impressive.  It was very cool to see the actual 9,000 year lease that Arthur Guinness signed in 1759 for their brewery at St. James's Gate.  The Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse gave us an amazing view of Dublin City.

Guinness StorehouseGuinness StorehouseSt. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland St. James's GateSt. James's GateSt. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland Dublin, IrelandDublin, IrelandSt. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland

Dinner that night was at the Hard Rock Cafe Dublin, and the customer service there was nothing short of amazing!

Hard Rock Cafe DublinHard Rock Cafe DublinDublin, Ireland

 

Tuesday was our first day trip, this one would take us to Blarney Castle.  We met our group at the Molly Malone Statue, boarded our bus, and headed out of Dublin City.  Our first stop was Blarney Castle, and a hike to the top to kiss the Blarney Stone.  When we arrived at the top of the castle, we found that the Travel Channel was filming for Legendary Locations.

Blarney CastleBlarney CastleBlarney, Ireland Blarney CastleBlarney CastleBlarney, Ireland Blarney CastleBlarney CastleBlarney, Ireland

Our next stop was Cahir Castle.

Cahir CastleCahir CastleCahir, Ireland Cahir CastleCahir CastleCahir, Ireland Cahir CastleCahir CastleCahir, Ireland

Our final stop was the Rock of Cashel, also known as St. Patrick's Rock.  Rylan found two four-leaf clovers during our short time at the Rock of Cashel.

Rock of CashelRock of CashelCashel, Ireland Rock of CashelRock of CashelCashel, Ireland Rock of CashelRock of CashelCashel, Ireland

 

Wednesday we woke up early to head to Temple Bar to work on our Dublin Belle collection.

That afternoon we visited St. Stephen's Green.

St. Stephen's GreenSt. Stephen's GreenSt. Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland O'Connell BridgeO'Connell BridgeSt. Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland

That night we had a very good and relaxing dinner at Madigan's on O'Connell Street.

 

Thursday we were off to Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.  It was another early morning meetup to meet our group, board our bus, and make our way out of Dublin City.  We learned about the history of Belfast, and we were able to see some of the Belfast Peace Murals and sign the Belfast Peace Wall.  Rylan thought it was an honor to be able to sign the Peace Wall.

Belfast Peace MuralsBelfast Peace MuralsBelfast, Northern Ireland, UK Signing the Belfast Peace WallSigning the Belfast Peace WallBelfast, Northern Ireland, UK

We then headed to Belfast City Centre, where we were able to do a bit of shopping and grab a bite to eat.  We had lunch at Cafe Parisien Belfast, where the food was amazing.  After lunch we headed to the Titanic Quarter to visit the HMS Caroline and Titanic Belfast.  Both were very cool experiences, and Rylan found four more four-leaf clovers at Titanic Belfast.

HMS CarolineHMS CarolineBelfast, Northern Ireland, UK Titanic SlipwayTitanic SlipwayTitanic Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

 

Friday was our last full day in Ireland, and we spent it visiting some of our favorite locations.  We spent a good amount of time having lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe Dublin, and for dinner we found ourselves back at Madigan's on O'Connell Street.

NO DRUGS OR NUCLEAR WEAPONS ALLOWED INSIDENO DRUGS OR NUCLEAR WEAPONS ALLOWED INSIDEHard Rock Cafe Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

 

On Saturday we went back to Dublin Airport, flew to London's Heathrow, and caught one of Air Canada's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners back to Toronto.  The Dreamliner experience was very nice, and was by far the best flight of our trip.  We spent the night in Toronto, and made it back to Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday.

 

During our time in Dublin, Rylan reached out to help the homeless and was able to connect with Dublin Homeless Awareness.  She wanted to help because the people there are so beautiful and she felt a connection to them, and she wanted to do something, even if it was from afar.  After being back only a few days, Rylan sent out her first package of hand-crafted Love Letters and Flower Fairy Wishing Stones for the Christmas Party for the Children in Emergency Accommodation.

 

It was an incredible week and in the end, the food, the drink, the people, and everything we experienced all made for a trip that we will never forget, and a place we will always want to come back to.

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(Ottosen Photography) 787-9 Academy Plaza Hotel Air Canada Belfast Belfast Peace Murals Belfast Peace Wall Blarney Blarney Castle Boeing Cahir Cahir Castle Cashel Dreamliner Dublin Dublin Belle Dublin City Dublin Homeless Awareness Flower Fairy Wishing Stones Great South Wall Guinness Guinness Storehouse Ha'penny Bridge Hard Rock Cafe HMS Caroline Ireland Jeanie Johnston Leo Burdock Love Letters Northern Ireland Peterson of Dublin Poolbeg Poolbeg Lighthouse River Liffey Rock of Cashel St. James's Gate St. James's Gate Brewery St. Patrick's Rock St. Stephen's Green Temple Bar The Oliver St. John Gogarty The Temple Bar Pub Titanic Belfast Titanic Quarter UK https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/11/ireland Fri, 30 Nov 2018 05:35:04 GMT
Pima Air & Space Museum https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/10/pima-air-space-museum convair b-58a hustlerconvair b-58a hustler305th Bombardment Wing
Pima Air & Space Museum
Rylan and I recently drove down to Tucson, Arizona and paid a visit to one of our favorite aviation museums, the Pima Air & Space Museum.  We had put an invitation out on Facebook inviting friends to join us, and it was great to see both Dave and Jack decided to make the trek down as well.  With our upcoming trip to Ireland, we haven't done much aviation photography this year, and it was great to get out and spend a few hours around the museum and see a couple good friends.  The day was pretty hot, but we made the best of it dividing our time inside hangars and outside.  I was mostly working on photos for our The Art of War collection, and Rylan was just enjoying herself while surrounded by all the aircraft.

 

I'll Be AroundI'll Be AroundBoeing B-17G Flying Fortress VAQ-135VAQ-135Douglas EKA-3B Skywarrior Surprise AttackSurprise AttackBoeing B-52G Stratofortress COMMANDCOMMANDLockheed C-141B Starlifter
ArizonaArizonaCurtiss P-40E Warhawk MOONDOG MAINTENANCEMOONDOG MAINTENANCEGrumman EA-6B Prowler
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 (VMAQ-3) "Moon Dogs"
MiG-17 KILLMiG-17 KILLMcDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II
8th Tactical Fighter Wing
433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
CITY OF DUBLINCITY OF DUBLINDouglas C-9B Skytrain II

 

There was also time to take a few photos of some of the large aircraft around the perimeter fence.

 

boeing eb-47e stratojetboeing eb-47e stratojet376th Bombardment Wing
Pima Air & Space Museum
boeing kb-50j superfortressboeing kb-50j superfortress4505th Air Refueling Win
Pima Air & Space Museum

 

Even with how hot the day was, we still had a lot of fun and Rylan even visited the Moon!

 

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Air Force Reserve Command Air Mobility Command Arizona B-17G B-52G Boeing C-141B C-9B City of Dublin Curtiss Douglas EA-6B eb-47e EKA-3B F-4C Flying Fortress Grumman I'll Be Around kb-50j Lockheed Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 McDonnell Douglas MiG-17 Kill Moon Dogs Moondog Maintenance P-40E Phantom II Pima Air & Space Museum Prowler Skytrain II Skywarrior Starlifter Stratofortress stratojet superfortress Surprise Attack Tucson VAQ-135 VMAQ-3 Warhawk https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/10/pima-air-space-museum Sun, 28 Oct 2018 19:51:01 GMT
Rylan's Birthday Celebration https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/9/rylans-birthday-celebration

We are really looking forward to our upcoming trip to Dublin, Ireland, and we would love for you to join us in celebration!

 

On Sunday, November 11, 9pm-11pm (local), we will be meeting at the The Temple Bar Pub (47-48 Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland Dublin) to celebrate Rylan's Birthday.  Now, this is in no way affiliated with The Temple Bar Pub, it is just where we are going to be that evening.  This is our first trip to Ireland, and it is Rylan's first time across the pond. This invite is open to any/all friends/family/followers of Ottosen Photography and King of Hearts Store.

 

I know that travel is a lot to ask of anyone, but we hope that you will join us!  This is Rylan's 'dream vacation,' and we hope that anybody that can make it will join us.

 

Please keep in mind, if you do plan to attend, please make sure that you RSVP to this event.  We plan to have gift bags for all those that have RSVP'd.  Please RSVP by October 15.  To RSVP, please use your smart phone and scan the QR Code below.

 

 

A party in Dublin, Ireland?  Sounds perfect, and we hope to see you all there!

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(Ottosen Photography) Birthday Dream Drinks Dublin Happy Birthday Ireland King of Hearts Store Ottosen Photography Party Pub Rylan Ottosen Temple Bar True Love https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/9/rylans-birthday-celebration Sun, 09 Sep 2018 03:04:54 GMT
"Maid in the Shade" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/8/-maid-in-the-shade north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellMaid in the Shade The North American B-25J Mitchell "Maid in the Shade" is owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force's Airbase Arizona, located at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona.

 

"Maid in the Shade" is an actual World War II veteran with 15 combat missions flown in Europe.  In 2009, Airbase Arizona completed their 28-year restoration of "Maid in the Shade," and she proudly returned to the air.  Here's some information provided by Airbase Arizona:

The B-25J, built in early 1944 and named in honor of General Billy Mitchell who is recognized as the father of strategic bombing, was used mainly as a low altitude strafe and skip bomber, and was used in America’s first large-scale bombing offensive in the Philippines. The B-25 is most remembered for the Doolittle Raid on Japan where Jimmy Doolittle led 16 B-25s across Japan bombing targets.

The Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum’s B-25J Bomber “Maid in the Shade” was a 28-year restoration project that began in 1982 when she was donated to the museum. Upon arrival, the B-17 Bomber “Sentimental Journey” was being restored, therefore, volunteers slowly began to dismantle the B-25 bomber and gradually moved the shell and parts into the new hangar that was built in late 1987.

Unlike the B-17G that was restored outside in the hot Arizona sun, the B-25 began its restoration in the shade hence how she got her name. The B-25 Bomber “Maid in the Shade” is one of 34 B-25Js still flying out of the nearly 10,000 that were produced.

Today, the B-25J “Maid in the Shade” tours the U.S. and into Canada during the summer months. In the fall and winter months, she can be found at the museum available for tours as well as Living History rides.


Combat History:
Based out of Serraggia Airbase, Corsica from Nov 1 – Dec 31, 1944. Assigned to:
57th Bomb Wing
319th Bomb Wing
437th Bomb Squadron

Combat Missions Flown:
13 over Italy
2 over Yugoslavia

 

north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellMaid in the Shade MAID in the SHADEMAID in the SHADENorth American B-25J Mitchell

 

Back in 2009, as Airbase Arizona's main photographer at the time, I was given the opportunity to take her first official air-to-air photos.  This was an amazing opportunity, and I wasn't about to pass it up.  I flew in the back seat of Airbase Arizona's SNJ/T-6 Texan, and it is a great platform for photography.  It was incredible to be up flying with and photographing such a beautiful piece of history.

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(Ottosen Photography) Airbase Arizona Arizona B-25 B-25J CAF Commemorative Air Force Falcon Field Maid in the Shade Mesa Mitchell North American Veteran World War II WWII https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/8/-maid-in-the-shade Fri, 24 Aug 2018 23:01:36 GMT
Irish Influence https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/7/irish-influence desert rosedesert rose

It all started on Thanksgiving Day last year.  It was just a quick thought, a passing moment.  It was a brief discussion with Rylan about how awesome it would be to go to Ireland.  Rylan has wanted to go to Ireland her whole life.  We didn't know it at the time, but this brief discussion was the spark that would change our lives over the next year.

 

The following day I started looking into making this dream a reality.  I started checking out travel and tourism websites, started thinking about an itinerary, and pricing different options.  Within two weeks we had our airfare to Dublin, and it wasn't long after that we booked our hotel and day trips.  We'll be in Dublin for one week, and during that week we'll also be visiting Blarney Castle and Belfast.  Rylan will be celebrating her birthday with a Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl, and ending the night at Temple Bar.  We'll also be visiting the Guinness Storehouse at the St. James's Gate Brewery.

 

Dreaming about and planning this trip has greatly influenced us this year, especially when it comes to our photography.  We have been taking less aviation trips, but we've been doing more modeling for our Sentiment d'Amour Collection.

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Belfast Blarney Castle Dublin Guinness Guinness Storehouse Ireland St. James's Gate Temple Bar U2 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/7/irish-influence Sun, 15 Jul 2018 19:54:21 GMT
WTI 2-18 HA/DR https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/6/wti-2-18-ha/dr bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) "Vipers" With Media Credentials in hand, I drove to Yuma, Arizona to attend the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 2-18 Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) exercise.  This is one of our favorite photo shoots of the year, and we always look forward to it.  Unfortunately, Rylan was not able to attend with me this time.  While students and instructors participating in Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS-1)'s WTI 2-18 conducted a HA/DR exercise in Yuma, Arizona, I was there to photograph the exercise.  The helicopter traffic came from a different direction than normal, so I didn't get the photos that I was planning.  But, I was still able to come away with some unexpected photography.


In past years, WTI students would practice non-combatant evacuation training at Kiwanis Park to help students prepare for real world incidents that require a quick reaction force to extract U.S. and allied personnel from hostile situations.  In an effort to broaden WTI students’ understanding of how to respond to natural disasters and how to assist people who are displaced from their homes due to hostilities or catastrophic weather, this year’s exercise in Yuma will show how Marines can provide essential aid to those in dire need around the globe.  The HA/DR exercise is used to practice the delivery of medical personnel, supplies and vital natural resources to help sustain people displaced from their communities after a natural disaster.


Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Marine Corps took part in a HA/DR assistance operation to support Japan in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  The Marine contribution to the relief effort, designated Operation Tomodachi, included CH-53s from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) operating from the Navy’s forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, the USS Essex.  The 31st MEU delivered more than 164,000 lbs of food and supplies to five cities, one island, and one Japanese ship.

 

sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 (HMH-361) "Flying Tigers"   bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) "Scarface"

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Bell Ch-53E Flying Tigers HA/DR HMH-361 HMLA-169 HMLA-367 Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 MAWTS-1 Scarface Sikorsky Super Stallion UH-1Y Venom Vipers Weapons and Tactics Instructor WTI https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/6/wti-2-18-ha/dr Sat, 30 Jun 2018 02:22:30 GMT
Love Letters https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/5/love-letters Rylan's current project is her Love Letters, and she just donated her 3,000th Love Letter to the Phoenix VA Health Care System for their patients there.  This project truly comes from her heart, and I couldn't be more proud of her and her efforts.  Here's what she has to say about this awesome project:

 

Love Letters was started from my own personal journey of wisdom and quotes. Originally I wrote my messages on small sheets of paper, then I decided to make it in a shape of a heart, which went along with the motto, “From my heart to yours, healing one heart at a time.” I have a long history of charity work with the military, and decided to revisit it again. I now create 200 hand-written creative “Love Letters” every month for the VA Hospital patients here in Phoenix, Arizona.

If you wish to help, please send your contributions to the address below:

King of Hearts
PO Box 67631
Phoenix, AZ 85082
USA

 

For more information, check out Rylan's website at: kingofhearts.store

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(Ottosen Photography) artist author creative heart interview king of hearts love letters model ottosen passion rylan rylan ottosen wife https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/5/love-letters Mon, 28 May 2018 02:11:37 GMT
Author Spotlight: Rylan Ottosen https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/4/author-spotlight-rylan-ottosen in god's countryin god's country

Rylan is an amazing wife, artist, model, and author.  These are just a few of her many beautiful qualities.  She has already self-published her first book, and is working on a few others, all while creating her Love Letters and managing her daily life.  I recently interviewed her about being an author and what it means to her.

 

Ottosen Photography: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

Rylan: When I was in the Eighth Grade.

 

Ottosen Photography: What made you decide that you wanted to be a writer, what prompted that dream?

Rylan: Because I have a lot of creative thoughts.

 

Ottosen Photography: How long does it take you to write a book?

Rylan: It depends on the passion.

Ottosen Photography: Like the subject, or the passion of that day's writing?

Rylan: It's a creative process that once you know it's finalized, then it's done.  So, it could take a year, it could take two years, it just depends on the creative process being final.

 

Ottosen Photography: What is your work schedule like when you are writing, how often do you write each day when you are writing a book?

Rylan: Maybe a few times a week.

 

Ottosen Photography: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk, what do you think you do differently from other writers?

Rylan: I'm eccentric and dramatic.

Ottosen Photography: How so?

Rylan: Eccentric because I don't think like other people, I go through the back door.  I like to think outside the box.

 

Ottosen Photography: Is your writing more writing, or more art?

Rylan: It's both.

 

Ottosen Photography: For your books, where do you get your information and ideas from?

Rylan: My heart and God.

Ottosen Photography: What is God's inspiration as far as ideas or inspiration for your books?

Rylan: To help people.

 

Ottosen Photography: When did you write your first book, and how old were you?

Rylan: It was a couple of years ago, I was 39.

 

Ottosen Photography: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Rylan: I like being dramatic and creative. 

Ottosen Photography: Outside of writing, what are your hobbies and interests?

Rylan: I love movies, I love singing, I love music.

Ottosen Photography: Do you play any instruments?

Rylan: I play the harmonica.

Ottosen Photography: Do you want to play any other instruments?

Rylan: I want to start playing the guitar.

 

Ottosen Photography: What does your family think of your writing?

Rylan: They think that it is very thoughtful and innocent.

 

Ottosen Photography: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your first book?

Rylan: It's a lot of work!  There's a lot of thought and emotion.  You have to make sure that you say exactly what you want to say, and making sure that you are helping people.  It's a lot of work, you think that you can do it in a week, and that's just not how the creative process goes.

 

Ottosen Photography: You've had one book published, how many other books have you started?

Rylan: Two or three.

Ottosen Photography: How many of those are complete?

Rylan: One is complete.

Ottosen Photography: Which one, so far, in the creative process of writing those two or three books, is your favorite?

Rylan: The Moon book is probably my favorite.

Ottosen Photography: Which is the next one, correct?

Rylan: Yes, the next one.

 

Ottosen Photography: Do you have any suggestions as to what other people can do to become a better writer?  And if so, what are they?

Rylan: It's a difficult question to answer, because some people are more creative while others are more analytical.  If you're going to do something there needs to be a certain amount of direction.  So, whether it's direction from you heart, or direction from something you're interested in.  Some people aren't necessarily writing from their heart, some people don't think that way.  You just have to have a direction.  You have to know where it is going to go and how it is going to impact people.

 

Ottosen Photography: If you had a preference would you create books for adults or for children?

Rylan: I like both, because the books that I write are for children and for adults.  At first I wanted to do only children's books, but I realized that not only children need to be able to be inspired by books.

 

Ottosen Photography: What do you think makes a great story?

Rylan: That you can help people, that you change people through self-help.

 

Ottosen Photography: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Rylan: I wanted to be a motorcycle mechanic.  I really love motorcycles and I love working with my hands.  When I was young I couldn't draw and I couldn't write very well, my dad was my influence on motorcycles.

 

I would like to thank Rylan for taking the time to sit down with me and answering my questions.  If you would like to know more about Rylan and all that she is doing, please take a moment to visit her website King of Hearts.

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(Ottosen Photography) artist author creative heart interview king of hearts model ottosen passion rylan rylan ottosen wife https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/4/author-spotlight-rylan-ottosen Fri, 27 Apr 2018 17:08:54 GMT
King of Hearts https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/3/king-of-hearts king of heartsking of hearts Rylan is now working on what she calls, King of Hearts.  In her own words, "King of Hearts represents mastering one’s heart. Life is a great teacher which has allowed me to open my heart to God and others. Dreams, magic, and miracles are alive and well, and will present themselves at any moment. You must be open to welcome such blessings, and believe.

I am passionate about the arts, the beauty of the world, a deeper understanding of life, and the joy in laughter. I also navigate the world through logic and the curiosity of knowledge."

 

I am very proud of her Love Letters project that she is currently doing for the Phoenix VA Health Care System.  She puts a lot of time and effort into each and every letter that she donates to the Phoenix VA, and she is looking to expand this project to other hospitals.  To date, Rylan has completed and donated 2,600 Love Letters to the Phoenix VA, and she continues to create and donate 200 each and every month.  Rylan said, "Love Letters was started from my own personal journey of wisdom and quotes. Originally I wrote my messages on small sheets of paper, then I decided to make it in a shape of a heart, which went along with the motto, “From my heart to yours, healing one heart at a time.” I have a long history of charity work with the military, and decided to revisit it again. I now create 200 hand-written creative “Love Letters” every month for the VA Hospital patients here in Phoenix, Arizona."

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(Ottosen Photography) author king of hearts love letters mastering one's heart model ottosen phoenix va health care system rylan rylan ottosen sentiment d'amour collection https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/3/king-of-hearts Fri, 30 Mar 2018 23:11:38 GMT
Sentiment d'Amour Collection https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/2/sentiment-damour-collection sonoran señoritasonoran señorita

The Sentiment d'Amour Collection is a collaboration between a photographer and a model, a husband and a wife.

For photographer and/or model booking inquiries, or more information about Matt and Rylan: info@ottosenphotography.com

 

canadian womancanadian woman

 

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(Ottosen Photography) american woman beauty british flavour canadian woman casino royale classic angel coeurs de la ville d7000 fashion hot husband king of hearts love miss blackwood model nikon pearl of the desert photographer photography pinup rendez-vous d'amour rylan the riveter sexy skytrain peach sonoran señorita the girl upstairs tinkerbelle vintage belle wife woman https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/2/sentiment-damour-collection Sun, 11 Feb 2018 04:36:23 GMT
2017 Year in Review https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/1/2017-year-in-review ilyushin il-76td-90vdilyushin il-76td-90vdVolga-Dnepr 2017 was a great year for Ottosen Photography!  We took thousands of photos, went on quite a few trips, and celebrated our 10th Anniversary.

 

The year started with a trip to Naval Air Facility El Centro for their Winter/Blue Angels Photocall.  We photographed the Blue Angels' during both their morning and afternoon practices was over, and spent time out at the LSO Shack and the east end of the runway.  At the LSO Shack, we had a few few hours to photograph all the comings and goings at NAF El Centro.  This spot is such an amazing place to photograph, and during photocalls it's great to see old friends that you don't get to see very often.  We saw a lot of action by Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators" that went well into the evening.

blue angelsblue angels mcdonnell douglas f/a-18d hornetmcdonnell douglas f/a-18d hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators" boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators" boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators"

 

We also had an opportunity to visit Aluminum Overcast down near Tucson at Marana Regional Airport (AVW, KAVQ, AVQ).  Aluminum Overcast was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945.  Although delivered too late to see action in World War II, the airplane has an interesting history.  Purchased as surplus from the military inventory for a mere $750 in 1946, the airplane has flown more than one million miles.  It has served as a cargo hauler, an aerial mapping platform and in pest control and forest dusting applications.  The airplane's return to its military roots began in 1978, when it was purchased by a group of investors who wished to preserve the heritage of the magnificent B-17.  The group, "B-17s Around the World," was headed by Dr. Bill Harrison.  Their goal was to return the B-17 to its former glory.  The economic reality of simply maintaining a vintage bomber, let alone the cost of restoration, prompted the group to donate the B-17 to EAA in 1983.  Since that time, an extensive program of restoration and preservation was undertaken to ensure Aluminum Overcast would be a living reminder of World War II aviation for many years to come.  The restoration has taken more than 10 years and thousands of hours by dedicated staff and volunteers at EAA’s headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Aluminum Overcast proudly carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi-held territory during the war. Aluminum Overcast commemorates B-17G #42-102516 which was shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manior, France, on August 13, 1944.  Veterans of the 398th helped finance the bomber's restoration.

boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressAluminum Overcast

 

We had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Planes of Fame Air Airshow.  This is my favorite airshow of the season, and we were both very excited to attend.  The weather was cool and the skies were cloudy, and the show officially kicked off with a gaggle of Planes of Fame's own warbirds flying in formation to celebrate their 60th Anniversary.  Here's what Planes of Fame had to say in their Air Show 2017 Recap:

Planes of Fame Air Museum was proud to present Planes of Fame Airshow 2017, May 6 & May 7. This year’s airshow featured over 40 historic aircraft performing for your enjoyment and saluting our veterans. We thank you for coming to the airshow to celebrate the history, contributions, and sacrifices of our veterans. Planes of Fame Air Museum is also celebrating its 60th Anniversary!

Performers included: F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight, B-25 Mitchell, F4U Corsair (5 of them!), P-51 Mustang, Pacific, European, Korean & Vietnam flight displays, Sanders Sea Fury Aerobatics, Rob Harrison the Tumbling Bear, Gregory Colyer T-33 Aerobatics, Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet, N9MB Flying Wing demonstration, military vehicles, Kids Zone!, static displays, food & vendors, and more! In addition to many other fantastic airplanes that performed and were on static display, there was a special panel discussion with some of our honored veterans. It was a resounding success!

consolidated pb4y-2 privateerconsolidated pb4y-2 privateer north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellPacific Princess douglas c-47b skytraindouglas c-47b skytrainWilla Dean douglas ad-4na skyraiderdouglas ad-4na skyraider
catch me if you cancatch me if you can navy furynavy fury corsiar radialscorsiar radials dropping in for teadropping in for tea

 

2017 also saw the creation of our new collection, The Art of War.  This collection was a complete accident, we never had any intention of creating this one and it only came about through a recent visit to Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.  During this visit we were able to tour their Restoration Hangar as see two Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors that they had recently received and were getting ready for display.  They both had the Punisher logo painted on them and I wanted to get a photo of the helicopter with the Punisher logo, but I was struggling to get a good angle on the entire aircraft.  In all honesty, I always seem to struggle when taking photos in a museum, I always have trouble finding that great angle that reduces background clutter.  This time I decided to get in close to capture the Punisher logo and I just let everything else fall into place.  The following image is the result, and it's the image that started this new collection.

PunisherPunisherBell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior
10th Aviation Brigade
C Troop 6-6 CAV “Outcasts”

Wee Willy IIWee Willy IINorth American P-51D Mustang STRATEGIC AIR COMMANDSTRATEGIC AIR COMMANDBoeing EB-47E Stratojet
376th Bombardment Wing
BELL Aircraft X-2BELL Aircraft X-2Bell X-2 Starbuster Simply Wicked!Simply Wicked!Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21F Fishbed

 

There was even an opportunity to photograph one of our favorite cargo planes for the first time, a Russian Ilyushin Il-76TD-90VD operated by Volga-Dnepr.  This particular aircraft had made an overnight visit to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, and luckily a few friends had made me aware of it being there and of its departure time.  I wasn't about to miss this opportunity, so I headed out to "Willie" for some photography.

ilyushin il-76td-90vdilyushin il-76td-90vdVolga-Dnepr

 

Later in the year, we found ourselves back in Palm Springs and Chino to visit their museums and take some photos.  We were also there to celebrate Rylan's Birthday, and it was a fun weekend for both of us.  First we stopped at Flo's Airport Cafe for breakfast.  Flo's is amazing, and is a must when in Chino.  Rylan had never been to Flo's, and she thought Flo's was very country, fresh tasting.  After breakfast, we were off to Planes of Fame.  It was awesome to spend a few hours at the museum, and Rylan was so impressed that she was, literally, knocked off her feet!
After Planes of Fame we decided to hit the beach.  We decided to head to the city of Newport Beach and visit beautiful Little Corona del Mar Beach.  This is one beach that we would love to visit again.
The next morning we visited the Palm Springs Air Museum.  We both really enjoy this museum, and try to visit whenever we are in Palm Springs.  This time they had recently opened a new hangar, and it was great to see that their Grumman EA-6B Prowler was finally on display.  I was at the museum when the US Navy delivered the aircraft to the museum, and it was very cool to see the name of one of my friends on the canopy rail.  Blake and I went to flight school at Arizona State University together.

grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-134) "Garudas" LT BLAKE "BERT" JARDINELT BLAKE "BERT" JARDINEGrumman EA-6B Prowler
Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-134) "Garudas"
3030Vought A-7 Corsair II 17th photographic reconnaissance squadron17th photographic reconnaissance squadronNorth American B-25 Mitchell

 

Our final trip of the year was to the NAF El Centro Fall Photocall.  During our four hours out at the runway, we were able to photograph a lot of aircraft movements and many of those movements were unexpected.  While we were expecting Goshawks and Growlers, we were not expecting Venoms and Vipers.  The Goshawks and skids were coming and going on training missions, with the skids carrying live ordinance.  The Growlers were practicing Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP), so they just stayed in the pattern and kept beating up the runway.  It turned out to be an awesome Photocall!

mcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkmcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkTraining Squadron 7 (VT-7) "Eagles" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers" bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers"

 

2017 was also the 10th Anniversary of Ottosen Photography.  In 2007 Ottosen Photography was launched and started providing professional photographic services including portrait, wedding, fashion & glamour, architecture, landscape, wildlife, and aviation.

 

We're not quite sure where 2018 will take us yet, but we do believe that we will be taking a small step back from aviation photography.  Our only plan for the year, as of right now, is a trip to Dublin, Ireland.  While we do hope to get out to take some aviation photos, our trip to Ireland is our main priority.  And don't worry, our cameras will be coming with us to the Emerald Isle!

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(Ottosen Photography) #wesupportplanesoffame 10th anniversary 2017 398th bomb group 42-102516 44-85740 ad-4na ah-1z airbase arizona airshow aluminum overcast arizona arizona aviation photographers avq avw azap b-17g b-25j bell black black aces blue angels boeing boise bee burgers & beer california chino ea-6b burgers and beer c-47b c-53d caf california camelback mountain catalina centro" chino commemorative air force consolidated corsair curtiss cvn 74 dauntless d-day doll douglas dublin ea-18g eaa eagles el el centro emerald isle experimental aircraft association f/a-18d f/a-18f f-14a f-4n f4u f4u-4 f7f-3p flo's airport cafe flying fortress gladiators goshawk growler grumman hangover harrier ii hmla-267 hornet il-76td-90vd ilyushin invasion stripes ireland kavq kc-130j kiowa warrior kittyhawk lightning little corona del mar beach lockheed lockheed martin maid in the shade marana marana regional airport marine corps marine corps air station mcas yuma mcdonnell mcdonnell douglas mesa mitchell mrs. virginia mustang naf el centro naval air facility navy newport beach north american oh-58d ottosen photography p-38 p-40 p-51a p-51c p-51d pacific princess palm springs palm springs air museum pb4y-2 pby-5a phantom ii phoenix phoenix-mesa gateway airport pima air & space museum planes of fame privateer prowler punisher sbd-5 seattle sentimental journey sheep" sherman skyraider skytrain skytrooper spam can stang stingers strike fighter squadron 106 super hercules super hornet t-45c tav-8b the art of war tigercat tomcat training squadron 7 tucson uh-1y uss john c. stennis vaq-129 venom vf-21 vfa-106 vikings viper vmat-203 vmf-214 vmfa-211 volga-dnepr vought vp-61 vt-7 wake island avengers warhawk washington wee willy ii willie wti yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2018/1/2017-year-in-review Sat, 06 Jan 2018 18:29:30 GMT
Naval Air Facility El Centro: 2017 Fall Photocall https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/12/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2017-fall-photocall boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" On Thursday, November 16, I hit the road and headed to Naval Air Facility El Centro (NAFEC) for their 2017 Fall Photocall.  This day was promising to be a day with friends and US Navy aircraft, and I was really looking forward to it.

 

Prior to the Photocall most of us met outside the NAFEC fence to catch up and take photos of departing and returning aircraft.  It was great to see so many friends, and to be able to catch up.  When the time came we moved to the gate and waited our turn to go on base.  Once on base we met the NAFEC PAO, NAFEC CO, and had our Safety Briefing.  We also divided up into two groups for our movement out to the runway.

 

During our four hours out at the runway, we were able to photograph a lot of aircraft movements and many of those movements were unexpected.  While we were expecting Goshawks and Growlers, we were not expecting Venoms and Vipers.  The Goshawks and skids were coming and going on training missions, with the skids carrying live ordinance.  The Growlers were practicing Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP), so they just stayed in the pattern and kept beating up the runway.  It turned out to be an awesome Photocall!

 

mcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkmcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkTraining Squadron 7 (VT-7) "Eagles" mcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkmcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkTraining Squadron 7 (VT-7) "Eagles" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"
"stingers""stingers"Bell UH-1Y Venom
Bell AH-1Z Viper
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers"
bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers" bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers" bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers"

 

After the Photocall, many of the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP), and a few other friends, met at Burgers and Beer for our traditional post-Photocall dinner.  Our dinners at Burgers and Beer are always a lot of fun filled with great conversation, and this one was no different.

 

I had decided to spend the night in El Centro, and head home on Friday.  I decided to stop at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma on my way back, just to see if I could catch anything flying.  It was a pretty slow morning, but I was able to catch a Lightning II returning from a training flight.

 

lockheed martin f-35b lightning IIlockheed martin f-35b lightning IIMarine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) "Wake Island Avengers"

 

I am already looking forward to my next Photocall at NAFEC, but I honestly don't know when that will be.  Rylan and I have some big travel plans in 2018, and those plans are going to somewhat limit my aviation photography next year.  I'll still be able to get out to airports around the Phoenix area, but I just don't know how many aviation photography trips I'll be able to go on, if any.  But, it's going to be worth it!

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(Ottosen Photography) ah-1z arizona arizona aviation photographers azap bell boeing burgers and beer california ea-18g eagles el centro goshawk growler hmla-267 marine corps air station mcas yuma mcdonnell douglas naf el centro naval air facility stingers t-45c uh-1y vaq-129 venom vikings viper vmfa-211 vt-7 wake island avengers yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/12/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2017-fall-photocall Fri, 22 Dec 2017 18:39:44 GMT
Small Town Warbirds https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/11/small-town-warbirds BELL Aircraft X-2BELL Aircraft X-2Bell X-2 Starbuster Last month Rylan and I spent a long weekend in Palm Springs, California.  This trip was not only visiting friends and a couple of aviation museums, but was also to celebrate Rylan's upcoming birthday.

 

We started out early Friday morning, heading southwest to Yuma, Arizona.  We decided to stop at MCAS Yuma to see if there was anything flying on the second-to-last day of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course (WTI) 1-18.  We didn't expect much flying, but decided to kill a few hours in hopes of catching something.  All we were rewarded with was one Lockheed Martin KC-130J Super Hercules from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) "Sumos."

lockheed martin kc-130j super herculeslockheed martin kc-130j super herculesMarine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) "Sumos" It was actually kinda cool to catch a VMGR-152 "Sumos" bird, as I flew on one of their KC-130Js a few years ago during another WTI.

lockheed martin kc-130j super herculeslockheed martin kc-130j super herculesMarine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) "Sumos" After Yuma, it was off to El Centro, California to see what was happening at NAF El Centro.  I was told that there were a few aircraft there, and that I could expect some flying.  This info came a few days prior to our trip, but once we got to NAF El Centro the winds were too strong and all flying was canceled for the remainder of the day.  But, we were able to spend the evening with our great friends, Kris and Robin, at Burgers & Beer in El Centro.  Burgers & Beer is one of our musts when we visit El Centro, and it is where the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) go after every NAF El Centro Photocall.

 

We then hopped back in our car for our last leg of the day, El Centro to Palm Springs, California.  Palm Springs was where we would be staying for the weekend.  Our hotel was the Palm Canyon Resort, which is a beautiful resort located not far from downtown Palm Springs.  We have stayed there before, and were looking forward to another weekend there.

 

The next morning it was off to Chino, California and the Planes of Fame Air Museum.  First we stopped at Flo's Airport Cafe for breakfast.  Flo's is amazing, and is a must when in Chino.  Rylan had never been to Flo's, and she thought Flo's was very country, fresh tasting.  After breakfast, we were off to Planes of Fame.  It was awesome to spend a few hours at the museum, and Rylan was so impressed that she was, literally, knocked off her feet!

"Mrs. Virginia""Mrs. Virginia"North American P-51A Mustang 3030Vought A-7 Corsair II Wie ein Floh, Aber oho!Wie ein Floh, Aber oho!Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet DOUGLAS SkyrocketDOUGLAS SkyrocketDouglas D-558-2 Skyrocket

After Planes of Fame we decided to hit the beach.  We decided to head to Newport Beach, California and visited beautiful Little Corona del Mar Beach.  This is one beach that we would love to visit again.

 

The next morning we visited the Palm Springs Air Museum.  We both really enjoy this museum, and try to visit whenever we are in Palm Springs.  This time they had recently opened a new hangar, and it was great to see that their Grumman EA-6B Prowler was finally on display.  I was at the museum when the US Navy delivered the aircraft to the museum, and it was very cool to see the name of one of my friends on the canopy rail.  Blake and I went to flight school at Arizona State University together.

grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-134) "Garudas" LT BLAKE "BERT" JARDINELT BLAKE "BERT" JARDINEGrumman EA-6B Prowler
Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-134) "Garudas"

It was fun to take our time to walk through all their hangars and see their displays.

163030163030Grumman EA-6B Prowler
Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-134) "Garudas"
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELTUSS THEODORE ROOSEVELTGrumman A-6E Intruder
Attack Squadron 36 (VA-36) "Roadrunners"
17th photographic reconnaissance squadron17th photographic reconnaissance squadronNorth American B-25 Mitchell Simply Wicked!Simply Wicked!Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21F Fishbed

After the museum it was time to hit the road and head back to Phoenix, Arizona.  Another awesome road trip in the bag!

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(Ottosen Photography) arizona burgers & beer california chino ea-6b el centro flo's airport cafe grumman kc-130j little corona del mar beach lockheed martin marine corps mcas yuma naf el centro navy newport beach palm springs palm springs air museum phoenix planes of fame prowler super hercules the art of war wti yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/11/small-town-warbirds Sat, 25 Nov 2017 18:45:21 GMT
Ottosen Photography: 10th Anniversary | 2007 - 2017 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/8/ottosen-photography-10th-anniversary-2007---2017

Welcome to Ottosen Photography, featuring the photography and art of Matt & Rylan Ottosen.

 

In 2007 Ottosen Photography was launched with our original logo, as shown above, and started providing professional photographic services including portrait, wedding, fashion & glamour, architecture, landscape, wildlife, and aviation. Our original logo was derived from a photo that Matt took of Camelback Mountain.

 

In 2009 Matt Co-Founded the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP). AzAP has grown steadily over the years, and it has opened many doors for Matt, both personally and professionally, and has allowed him to support military aviation.

 

Matt & Rylan met in 2010 and were married in 2011, they have been working together ever since and their love for both aviation and photography has continued to grow. Today their main focus is with aviation photography, but custom photography of any kind is available and can be arranged.

 

There was a time when we were thinking about relocating up to the Seattle, Washington area. Obviously, we have not made this move, but we did create a logo for if/when the move did take place. This logo was derived from a photo that Matt took of the Seattle skyline.

 

Over the years, we have had two more logos, both of which were created through the hard work of our great friend, Vance. The first one, our main logo, depicts a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress.  The B-17 has a special place in Matt's heart, as it is one of his favorite aircraft and he has had the opportunity to crew and pilot our local B-17, Sentimental Journey.  The other logo was created to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, and it depicts the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  The USS John C. Stennis was the aircraft carrier that Matt embarked aboard for his Distinguished Visitor embark.  These two opportunities show that anybody can achieve their dreams, as both of these opportunities were at the top of Matt's bucket list.

 

 

We may be based in Phoenix, Arizona, but our work is available worldwide online.

 

As Always, thank you for taking the time to view our collection, and we hope you enjoy our passion!

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(Ottosen Photography) 10th anniversary arizona arizona aviation photographers azap b-17g boeing camelback mountain cvn 74 flying fortress ottosen photography phoenix seattle sentimental journey uss john c. stennis washington https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/8/ottosen-photography-10th-anniversary-2007---2017 Thu, 31 Aug 2017 02:20:43 GMT
Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/7/arizona-aviation-photographers-azap north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellMaid in the Shade In 2009 I Co-Founded the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) with my good friend Joe Copalman, and AzAP has been growing strong ever since.  There are currently over 150 members and over 14 MILLION page views.  It's awesome to be part of such a great group of photographers, and I have made many amazing friends.  It's even through AzAP that Rylan and I first met.  With AzAP growing steadily over the years, and it has opened many doors for us, both personally and professionally, and has allowed us to support military aviation.

 

 

AzAP was established in June of 2009, and has become the most renowned and largest group of aviation photographers in the State of Arizona.  AzAP provides a means for Arizona-based photographers to record and preserve the southwest’s rich aviation heritage, both current and historical.  And AzAP also serves as an aviation-media resource for news media, museums, military, and the aerospace industry.

 

AzAP’s membership is composed of Arizona-based photographers with a shared interest in aviation. Many members are veterans of the armed forces, others work in the aerospace field, some work as full-time professional photographers, some are pilots, and others are aviation enthusiasts with a passion for photography.

 

AzAP has also published a book, The Out-of-Towners: NAF El Centro Through the Lenses of the Arizona Aviation Photographers.  The Out-of-Towners takes the reader on a visual tour of Naval Air Facility El Centro, covering everything from the Blue Angels' winter training to the sailors and contractors who keep the base running to the Navy, Marine, and allied training detachments that visit the base on a regular basis.  At 60 pages in length and available as a softcover, hardcover, or eBook, the book features the work of twenty-nine AzAP photographers and documents four years worth of visits to NAF El Centro.  All the proceeds from the sale of The Out-of-Towners is used to directly benefit the sailors aboard NAF El Centro.

 

Source: http://azaerophoto.com/

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(Ottosen Photography) arizona arizona aviation photographers azap b-25j maid in the shade mitchell naf el centro north american the out-of-towners https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/7/arizona-aviation-photographers-azap Sun, 30 Jul 2017 21:02:13 GMT
The Art of War https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/6/the-art-of-war Wee Willy IIWee Willy IINorth American P-51D Mustang In the past year, we have started two new collections here on Ottosen Photography.  One of these new collections is The Art of War.  This collection was a complete accident, we never had any intention of creating this one and it only came about through a recent visit to Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.  During this visit we were able to tour their Restoration Hangar as see two Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors that they had recently received and were getting ready for display.  They both had the Punisher logo painted on them and I wanted to get a photo of the helicopter with the Punisher logo, but I was struggling to get a good angle on the entire aircraft.  In all honesty, I always seem to struggle when taking photos in a museum, I always have trouble finding that great angle that reduces background clutter.  This time I decided to get in close to capture the Punisher logo and I just let everything else fall into place.  The following image is the result, and it's the image that started this new collection.

 

PunisherPunisherBell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior
10th Aviation Brigade
C Troop 6-6 CAV “Outcasts”

After seeing this image come to life and the response it received, I decided that The Art of War was something that I wanted to pursue.  Like I said, it all started at the Pima Air & Space Museum, but it has now taken us to the Commemorative Air Force's Airbase Arizona, Planes of Fame, the Palm Springs Air Museum, Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.  Since we don't want to limit this collection to museum displays and warbirds, we will also be adding more current military aircraft in the future.

 

StangStangNorth American P-51D Mustang MAID in the SHADEMAID in the SHADENorth American B-25J Mitchell Invasion StripesInvasion StripesDouglas C-47B Skytrain Betsy's Biscuit Bomber HANGOVERHANGOVERMedium Tank, M4 Sherman
D-DAY DOLLD-DAY DOLLDouglas C-53D Skytrooper Pacific PrincessPacific PrincessNorth American B-25J Mitchell BOISE BEEBOISE BEENorth American P-51C Mustang VMF-214 Black SheepVMF-214 Black SheepVought F4U-4 Corsair
BLACK ACESBLACK ACESGrumman F-14A Tomcat VP-61VP-61Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina VF-21VF-21McDonnell F-4N Phantom II VMAT-203VMAT-203McDonnell Douglas TAV-8B Harrier II

 

This collection not only displays the art on these aircraft, but hopefully it can help preserve the art in the future.  Some of these aircraft will disappear and some of the art will fade over time, and when that happens these markings could be lost forever.  For now, this collection is just something to have fun with, but we're hoping that down the road, as the collection builds, we can possibly turn it into some kind of book or other large display project.

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(Ottosen Photography) Airbase Arizona Arizona B-25J Bell Black Aces Black Sheep Boise Bee C-47B C-53D CAF California Catalina Chino Commemorative Air Force Consolidated Corsair D-Day Doll Douglas F-14A F-4N F4U-4 Grumman Hangover Harrier II Invasion Stripes Kiowa Warrior Maid in the Shade McDonnell McDonnell Douglas Mesa Mitchell Mustang North American OH-58D P-51C P-51D PBY-5A Pacific Princess Palm Springs Palm Springs Air Museum Phantom II Pima Air & Space Museum Planes of Fame Punisher Sherman Skytrain Skytrooper Stang TAV-8B The Art of War Tomcat Tucson VF-21 VMAT-203 VMF-214 VP-61 Vought Wee Willy II https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/6/the-art-of-war Sun, 25 Jun 2017 18:06:45 GMT
2017 Planes of Fame Airshow https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/5/2017-planes-of-fame-airshow douglas ad-4na skyraiderdouglas ad-4na skyraider

The 2017 Planes of Fame Airshow was another amazing event, and Rylan and I were happy to be there to catch the action.  We weren't able to attend both days, but Saturday's show was outstanding.  For as long as I can remember, I have had a love for aviation.  But it's warbirds that hold a special place in my heart, and it's aviation and warbirds that brought Rylan and I together.

 

This year's show was to be a celebration of Planes of Fame's 60th Anniversary, and it's sad to think that it almost didn't happen.  About a month prior to the show a handful for airport tenants filed a lawsuit against Planes of Fame to stop their airshow.  But thanks to overwhelming support, the show did go on.

 

Rylan and I arrived at Chino Airport early Saturday morning so that we could beat most of the crowd and take some photos of the static aircraft.  I am currently working on a new collection that I have given a working title of "The Art of War," and getting out early was the perfect time to add some more photos to this collection.

 

Invasion StripesInvasion StripesDouglas C-47B Skytrain Betsy's Biscuit Bomber Wee Willy IIWee Willy IINorth American P-51D Mustang HANGOVERHANGOVERMedium Tank, M4 Sherman
 

Arriving early also gave us a chance to get out to the aircraft on the flight line to photograph the warbirds that would be flying later in the day.

 

grumman f7f-3p tigercatgrumman f7f-3p tigercat

 

The weather was cool and the skies were cloudy, and the show officially kicked off with a gaggle of Planes of Fame's own warbirds flying in formation to celebrate their 60th Anniversary.  Here's what Planes of Fame had to say in their Air Show 2017 Recap:

Planes of Fame Air Museum was proud to present Planes of Fame Airshow 2017, May 6 & May 7. This year’s airshow featured over 40 historic aircraft performing for your enjoyment and saluting our veterans. We thank you for coming to the airshow to celebrate the history, contributions, and sacrifices of our veterans. Planes of Fame Air Museum is also celebrating its 60th Anniversary!

Performers included: F-35 Lightning II Heritage Flight, B-25 Mitchell, F4U Corsair (5 of them!), P-51 Mustang, Pacific, European, Korean & Vietnam flight displays, Sanders Sea Fury Aerobatics, Rob Harrison the Tumbling Bear, Gregory Colyer T-33 Aerobatics, Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet, N9MB Flying Wing demonstration, military vehicles, Kids Zone!, static displays, food & vendors, and more! In addition to many other fantastic airplanes that performed and were on static display, there was a special panel discussion with some of our honored veterans. It was a resounding success!

 

It was incredible to see all of the different warbirds performing during the airshow, such a history lesson just in watching the aircraft fly.  You can truly see the love for these warbirds in the aircraft themselves, in the pilots that fly them, the mechanics that keep them airworthy, and in all those in attendance.  And the mission of Planes of Fame really comes to life during their airshow; To preserve aviation history, inspire interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans.  After the airshow, Rylan told me that she loved seeing the Lockheed P-38 Lightning take to the sky and make her way around the airfield.  I loved watching the bomber flight, it was awesome to see the Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer struttin' her stuff in the skies above Chino Airport.  It was also great to see old friends and to meet some new ones.  We enjoyed our time and the airshow so much, that we are already planning a trip back, later this year, so that we can explore their museum and see the other aircraft in their collection.

 

vintage paradevintage parade catch me if you cancatch me if you can corsiar radialscorsiar radials kittyhawkskittyhawks
vought f4u-4 corsairvought f4u-4 corsair north american p-51d mustangnorth american p-51d mustangSpam Can douglas sbd-5 dauntlessdouglas sbd-5 dauntless consolidated pb4y-2 privateerconsolidated pb4y-2 privateer
consolidated pb4y-2 privateerconsolidated pb4y-2 privateer north american p-51a mustangnorth american p-51a mustangMrs. Virginia douglas ad-4na skyraiderdouglas ad-4na skyraider north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellPacific Princess

 

This was my second Planes of Fame Airshow and Rylan's first, and we couldn't agree more with Planes of Fame, it was a resounding success!  Planes of Fame overcame all the obstacles put before them and put on another outstanding airshow.  Rylan and I can't wait to attend the 2018 Planes of Fame Airshow.

 

Source: planesoffame.org

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(Ottosen Photography) #WeSupportPlanesofFame 2017 AD-4NA Airshow B-25J C-47B California Chino Consolidated Corsair Curtiss Dauntless Douglas F4U F4U-4 F7F-3P Grumman HANGOVER Kittyhawk Lightning Lockheed Mitchell Mrs. Virginia Mustang North American P-38 P-40 P-51A P-51D PB4Y-2 Planes of Fame Privateer SBD-5 Sherman Skyraider Skytrain Spam Can Tigercat Vought Warhawk Wee Willy II https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/5/2017-planes-of-fame-airshow Mon, 29 May 2017 18:53:19 GMT
We Support Planes of Fame https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/4/supporting-planes-of-fame north american p-51d mustangnorth american p-51d mustangWee Willy II I have always been fascinated with warbirds, there's just something special about a World War II fighter or bomber struttin' its stuff in the air!  I grew up with a B-17 based only about 20 minutes from my parent's house, and I fell in love with her at a very young age.  I'm sure that this was the seed that grew into my love for warbirds.

 

Last year I was finally able to make it out to Planes of Fame for their 2016 air show.  This was my first time visiting Chino, California, and I was hooked right from the start.  It was amazing to see so many warbirds in the air at the same time!  With this being my first visit to Chino, it was cool to learn that the Yanks Air Museum was located at the same airport.  Every day of the 2016 air show we parked out by the Yanks Air Museum and had to walk past Yanks to get to the air show's entrance.  Walking along their fence line you could see a few of the aircraft in their collection.  This made me very interested in Yanks, and I told myself that one day I would want to go visit them.

 

Rylan wasn't able to go to the 2016 Planes of Fame Air Show, so we have been making plans to attend this year.  We already have our hotel rooms booked and our Planes of Fame Media Credentials should be arriving within the next week or two.  We are really looking forward to this trip, not only to see the aircraft, but to also see many of our friends that tend to gather at these events.  During this trip we were planning to visit Yanks Air Museum and also the Palm Springs Air Museum.  But then, last night on Social Media, it came to my attention that the Yanks Air Museum, along with a few other parties, has field suit against Planes of Fame to stop their annual air show.  The suit claims that the annual air show causes financial hardship for the parties that filed.  Now I'm not an expert on the subject, but I just don't see how one weekend per year can cause enough financial hardship that these parties felt the need to file this suit.  One would actually think that the annual air show would actually drive traffic to these places.  But again, I'm not an expert.  I feel that this is a petty attempt to stop something great, something that we can feel proud about and learn something from.  Because of this, Rylan and I will never visit Yanks and we will never give them any sort of support.

 

Once I saw the news about this suit, I felt the need to support and stand behind Planes of Fame.  I have shared their petition on our Social Media outlets to help get the word out and to bring awareness to this issue.  Here is the information and a link to the online petition to show your support to Planes of Fame.

 

DON'T LET THEM STOP YOUR SHOW!

A lawsuit has been brought against the Planes of Fame Air Museum by the Yanks Air Museum, Flying Tigers Aviation, SOCAL MRO, and Zangeneh Aeronautics with the sole intent to stop the 25th Annual Planes of Fame Air Show at Chino Airport slated for May 6 & 7, 2017.

 

The annual Air Show is one of the few remaining events in Southern California where visitors from around the world can enjoy the sights and sounds of aircraft from the Golden Age of Aviation flying overhead.  Each year the Air Show attracts thousands of families, aviation enthusiasts, and others who come together to witness rare and historic aircraft, as well as some of the most talented aviators take to the skies.  The Planes of Fame Air Show at Chino Airport is considered one of the top five air shows in the country.

 

As a non-profit, 501c.3 organization, the annual Air Show serves as the primary fundraising effort for the Planes of Fame Air Museum.  Revenue from the annual Air Show helps us to carry on our mission to preserve aviation history, inspire an interest in aviation, education of the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans.  And as this year’s Air Show marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Planes of Fame Air Museum, we have seen how our mission has impacted multiple generations of families, and is introducing aviation to entirely new generations.

 

For the local community, the annual Air Show provides an economic stimulus to local businesses and entrepreneurs both on and nearby the airport.  For the City of Chino and the County of San Bernardino, the Air Show provides increased visibility as thousands of visitors flock to the Chino Airport for the show.

 

In response to the inquires regarding the nature of the lawsuit, the allegations involve the experience of economic hardship over Air Show weekend and an inconvenience to operations.

 

PLEASE RESPOND ASAP AND SHARE THIS PETITION ON ALL OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL.  Help us save the Air Show!  We are asking our friends, visitors, community, and colleagues to join together to support the Air Show.  Please send us a note or letter indicating your backing of the Air Show and be sure to include your thoughts on why it needs to continue. Your letters and comments need to be received by April 4, 2017.

 

Please send all comments, concerns and questions to letusfly@planesoffame.org

 

Please take a moment, if you haven't already, to sign the petition and show your support to Planes of Fame.

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(Ottosen Photography) #WeSupportPlanesofFame California Chino Planes of Fame Yanks Air Museum https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/4/supporting-planes-of-fame Sat, 01 Apr 2017 22:41:00 GMT
Aluminum Overcast https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/3/aluminum-overcast boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressAluminum Overcast

Aluminum Overcast is a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress owned and operated by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).  She is currently on tour and recently made a visit to Marana Regional Airport (AVW, KAVQ, AVQ) just outside Tucson, Arizona.  Rylan and I were already in Tucson for the weekend, so we decided to make a quick visit to Marana Regional Airport to check out this beautiful aircraft.

 

The morning we arrived, Aluminum Overcast was already being prepared to take some lucky passengers on a flight, so we didn't have much time before we would be required to leave the ramp.  We had just enough time to walk around, take a few photos, and chat with one or two of the EAA volunteers.  While I have a special love for the B-17 and have spent a lot of time with the CAF's Sentimental Journey, this was my first time seeing Aluminum Overcast and getting to learn a little more about the EAA.

 

The EAA is a growing and diverse organization of members with a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds.  EAA was founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes.  EAA expanded its mission of growing participation in aviation to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights, helicopters, and contemporary manufactured aircraft.  Today they operate one of the few airworthy B-17s left, a Boeing B-17G-VE Flying Fortress with serial number 44-85740.

 

Aluminum Overcast was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945.  Although delivered too late to see action in World War II, the airplane has an interesting history.  Purchased as surplus from the military inventory for a mere $750 in 1946, the airplane has flown more than one million miles.  It has served as a cargo hauler, an aerial mapping platform and in pest control and forest dusting applications.  The airplane's return to its military roots began in 1978, when it was purchased by a group of investors who wished to preserve the heritage of the magnificent B-17.  The group, "B-17s Around the World," was headed by Dr. Bill Harrison.  Their goal was to return the B-17 to its former glory.  The economic reality of simply maintaining a vintage bomber, let alone the cost of restoration, prompted the group to donate the B-17 to EAA in 1983.  Since that time, an extensive program of restoration and preservation was undertaken to ensure Aluminum Overcast would be a living reminder of World War II aviation for many years to come.  The restoration has taken more than 10 years and thousands of hours by dedicated staff and volunteers at EAA’s headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Aluminum Overcast proudly carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi-held territory during the war. Aluminum Overcast commemorates B-17G #42-102516 which was shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manior, France, on August 13, 1944.  Veterans of the 398th helped finance the bomber's restoration.

 

Visiting Aluminum Overcast was an awesome experience, to be reminded of the great history of the Flying Fortress and to learn about the history of this Flying Fortress and what she is a flying historical reminder of.  If you have the chance to get out and see her on tour, I highly recommend it.  It will be an experience that you will never forget.

 

Source: https://www.eaa.org/

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(Ottosen Photography) 398th Bomb Group 42-102516 44-85740 AVQ AVW Aluminum Overcast Arizona B-17G Boeing EAA Experimental Aircraft Association Flying Fortress KAVQ Marana Marana Regional Airport https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/3/aluminum-overcast Sun, 26 Mar 2017 18:44:55 GMT
Naval Air Facility El Centro: 2017 Winter/Blue Angels Photocall https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/2/naval-air-facility-2017-winter-blue-angels-photocall boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators"

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, Naval Air Facility El Centro hosted approximately 50 photographers during their annual Winter/Blue Angels Photocall.  With missing the last two NAF El Centro Photocalls, this meant this this was going to be a long day.

 

Up at 3am and on the road by 4am, we made good time to NAF El Centro.  We stopped briefly at MCAS Yuma, but there wasn't much going on.  When we arrived at NAF El Centro there were already many photographers out in the field at the end of the runway getting their gear and positions ready for that morning's practice.  I decided that I would once again climb the hay bales for a higher vantage point, and this spot never disappoints.  It's always awesome to watch the Blue Angels from a vantage point that the public normally doesn't get to see them from, the end of the runway.

 

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After the Blue Angels' morning practice it was time to make our way onto the base for briefing and to get into position for the Blue Angels' afternoon practice.

 

blue angelsblue angels

Once the Blue Angels' afternoon practice was over, it was time to head out to the LSO Shack and the east end of the runway.  We had the next few hours to photograph all the comings and goings at NAF El Centro.  This spot is such an amazing place to photograph, and during photocalls it's great to see old friends that you don't get to see very often.  We saw a lot of action by Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators" that went well into the evening.

 

mcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkmcdonnell douglas t-45c goshawkTraining Squadron 7 (VT-7) "Eagles" mcdonnell douglas f/a-18d hornetmcdonnell douglas f/a-18d hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators" boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators" boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) "Gladiators"

 

Per tradition, after the photocall the members of the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP), some close friends, and NAF El Centro's Public Affairs Officer all met for dinner at our favorite post photocall spot, Burgers and Beer.  This provides some great conversation, review of photos, and contagious laughter.  This is the perfect end to every photocall.

 

Once dinner was over, it was time to hit the road back to Phoenix, Arizona.  After four hours in the car, it was nice to crawl into our own bed around 2:30am.  All-in-all, it was just over 500 miles and 21 hours of awesomeness!

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona Aviation Photographers AzAP Blue Angels Boeing Burgers and Beer Eagles El Centro F/A-18D F/A-18F Gladiators Goshawk Hornet McDonnell Douglas NAF El Centro Naval Air Facility Strike Fighter Squadron 106 Super Hornet T-45C Training Squadron 7 VFA-106 VT-7 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/2/naval-air-facility-2017-winter-blue-angels-photocall Tue, 28 Feb 2017 03:05:40 GMT
2016 Year in Review https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/1/2016-year-in-review north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellBetty's Dream 2016 has been an awesome year for Ottosen Photography, and we are happy to publish our 2016 year in review.

 

The first trip of 2016 was in March and was a long weekend out to California to attend the NAF El Centro Air Show, and then back to southern Arizona for the Davis-Monthan Air Show.  Now we have attended the NAF El Centro Air Show for many years, and it is always a lot of fun.  But, we have never been to the D-M Air Show before, and we were very excited to attend this one.  It was an awesome weekend, and a great kickoff to the 2016 air show season.  Credit is owed where credit is due, and I must give a huge shout out to Mr. Ross Dinsdale for being our partner in crime for this trip and providing the transportation.

 

blue angelsblue angels sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75 (HSM-75) "Wolfpack" westland sa.330e puma hc.1westland sa.330e puma hc.1No. 33 Squadron
Royal Air Force (RAF)
douglas c-47 skytraindouglas c-47 skytrainWhat's Up Doc?

NAF El Centro Air Show

 

thunderbirdsthunderbirds lockheed martin/boeing f-22a raptorlockheed martin/boeing f-22a raptor94th Fighter Squadron "Hat in the Ring Gang" lockheed martin hc-130j combat king IIlockheed martin hc-130j combat king II fairchild-republic a-10c thunderbolt IIfairchild-republic a-10c thunderbolt II357th Fighter Squadron (357 FS) "Dragons"

Davis-Monthan Air Show

 


A couple of weeks later we attended the Luke Air Show and had the opportunity to fly with the US Army's Golden Knights, this was an amazing air show and we had an awesome experience.

 

fokker c-31a troopshipfokker c-31a troopshipUS Army Golden Knights
USAPT Black Demonstration Team 2016
golden knightsgolden knightsUSAPT Black Demonstration Team 2016 golden knightsgolden knights flying fortressflying fortressSentimental Journey

 


In April we made a special visit out to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to meet with a few of the pilots with VMA-311 "Tomcats."  Rylan made this one happen, working with friends and contacts down at MCAS Yuma.  One of Rylan's favorite aircraft is the AV-8B Harrier II, the this was a special day for her.

 

mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats"


Mr. Ross Dinsdale were back at it again on a weekend road trip out to Chino, California for the Planes of Fame Air Show.  I had never been to Planes of Fame before, but I knew that with my love for warbirds that this was going to be an awesome weekend.  It did not disappoint, the flying and friends made for a truly incredible weekend!

 

north american f-86f sabrenorth american f-86f sabreJolley Roger curtiss p-40n warhawkcurtiss p-40n warhawkParrot Head memorial daymemorial dayTexas Flying Legends devotiondevotionVought F4U Corsair


We also made a return to one of our favorite aviation exercises, the WTI 1-17 HA/DR in Yuma, Arizona.  It is always awesome to watch Marine Corps helicopters using a city park as a Landing Zone to hone their flying skills.

 

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We aren't able to make it out to the monthly Coolidge Breakfast Fly-in very often, but we did make it out to one of them and we had a great time with friends and photographing the aircraft.  In the future, we really must make time for bacon!

 

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We started working with Luxury Auto Collection in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Their normal business is selling exotic cars, but they occasionally sell business jets and that's where we come in.  We have been working to provide photos for their aircraft sales.

 

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This was also the year that Rylan and I started our Sentiment d'Amour Collection.  Creating these shoots has been a lot of fun, and we look forward to continuing this collection.

 

 

2016 was an awesome year, and we cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for us!

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(Ottosen Photography) 177A 2016 A-10C AV-8B Air Force Air Show Arizona Army B-25J Bell Blue Angels Boeing C-130 C-31A C-47 CH-53E California Cardinal Cessna Chino Citation II Citation X Combat King II Corsair Curtiss DHC-4T Davis-Monthan Douglas El Centro F-22A F-86 F/A-18 F4U Fairchild-Republic Fat Albert Fokker Golden Knights HC-130J Harrier II IAI Israel Aircraft Industries Jet Linx Lockheed Martin Luke Luxury Auto Collection MH-60R Marines McDonnell Douglas Mitchell Navy North American OH-13E P-40N Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Planes of Fame Puma Raptor Sabre Seahawk Sentiment d'Amour Sikorsky Sioux Sky Hrbor Skytrain Super Stallion Swift Aviation Texas Flying Legends Thunderbirds Thunderbolt II Tomcats Troopship Turbo Caribou UH-1Y VMA-311 Venom Vought Warhawk Westland Westwind II Yuma de Havilland Canada https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2017/1/2016-year-in-review Sun, 29 Jan 2017 17:22:42 GMT
WTI 1-17 HA/DR https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/12/wti-1-17-ha/dr sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 (HMH-464) "Condors"

Students and instructors participating in Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS-1)'s Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-17 conducted a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) exercise in Yuma, Arizona on October 14, 2016.


In past years, WTI students would practice non-combatant evacuation training at Kiwanis Park to help students prepare for real world incidents that require a quick reaction force to extract U.S. and allied personnel from hostile situations.  In an effort to broaden WTI students’ understanding of how to respond to natural disasters and how to assist people who are displaced from their homes due to hostilities or catastrophic weather, this year’s exercise in Yuma will show how Marines can provide essential aid to those in dire need around the globe.  The HA/DR exercise is used to practice the delivery of medical personnel, supplies and vital natural resources to help sustain people displaced from their communities after a natural disaster.


Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Marine Corps took part in a HA/DR assistance operation to support Japan in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  The Marine contribution to the relief effort, designated Operation Tomodachi, included CH-53s from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) operating from the Navy’s forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, the USS Essex.  The 31st MEU delivered more than 164,000 lbs of food and supplies to five cities, one island, and one Japanese ship.

 

sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 (HMH-465) "Warhorse" sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallion bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) "Vipers"
super stallionsuper stallion venomvenom wti 1-17wti 1-17 wti 1-17wti 1-17

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona Bell CH-53E Corps HA/DR MAWTS-1 Marine Sikorsky Stallion Super UH-1Y Venom WTI Yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/12/wti-1-17-ha/dr Mon, 26 Dec 2016 17:05:00 GMT
Luxury Auto Collection https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/11/luxury-auto-collection cessna citation Xcessna citation X

Luxury Auto Collection is your premium source for premium luxury and exotic cars, but for the better part of this year I have been working with Luxury Auto Collection photographing business jets. These business jets have been included in their inventory for sale. So now they are not just in the business of premium luxury and exotic cars, but also business jets.  Rylan has been a big help with these photo shoots, she has been doing a lot of the coordinating to make sure that they go off without a hitch.  Rylan has worked closely with line service technicians, A&P mechanics, and pilots to make sure the aircraft are in position and ready to go.  Working with the Luxury Auto Collection team on these projects has been a lot of fun, and I look forward to our continued partnership.

 

cessna citation IIcessna citation II cessna citation Xcessna citation X cessna citation Xcessna citation X

 

If you're looking for your next exotic vehicle, then look no further because they boast an exclusive inventory of premium luxury and exotic cars with the ability to deliver throughout the U.S. Luxury Auto Collection has an extensive selection of luxury vehicles in stock, each of which has been hand-selected to make sure it’s in peak condition both cosmetically and mechanically. They’re located in Scottsdale, Arizona, but they will happily deliver the vehicle of your choice as far as Los Angeles, Miami, or anywhere in between.

 

With desirable name brands like Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Land Rover, and Maserati to choose from, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at Luxury Auto Collection. If you’re unable to find what you want on their lot, they’ll be happy to help you find any specific model you’re looking for.

 

Luxury Auto Collection has been in the luxury auto business for 27 years. In that time, they have cultivated a dedicated team with a passion for premium luxury and exotic cars, and the knowledge to help you find exactly what you need. Discover their entire selection online, and they will look forward to helping you find your next exotic vehicle!

 

Source: luxuryautocollection.com

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(Ottosen Photography) Airport Cessna Citation II Citation X IAI Israel Aircraft Industries Let Linx Luxury Auto Collection Phoenix Scottsdale Sky Harbor Swift Aviation Westwind II https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/11/luxury-auto-collection Tue, 01 Nov 2016 17:00:00 GMT
2016 Planes of Fame Airshow https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/10/planes-of-fame douglas sbd-5 dauntlessdouglas sbd-5 dauntless On Thursday April 28, 2016, my good friend Ross and I hit the road for Chino, California and the 2016 Planes of Fame Airshow.  I was really excited for this weekend for two reasons.  First of all, this would be the first time that I would be visiting Planes of Fame in Chino, California and attending their airshow, and second, I absolutely love warbirds and with Planes of Fame's aircraft collection I was sure that this weekend would not disappoint.  With media credentials for the entire weekend in hand and a smile on our faces, we set off on another aviation adventure.  I really didn't know what to expect, other than a lot of warbirds and many that I had never seen before.  It turned out to be an awesome weekend that resulted in many photos and some great times with many friends!

 

On Friday, Ross and I arrived at the airport early so we could have breakfast at the legendary Flo's Airport Cafe.  After breakfast we got over to the museum so that we could check out the exhibits and attend their afternoon/twilight show.  I figured this show would be very similar to the rest of the weekend, but there were many aircraft that flew during the Golden Age of Flight demonstration that didn't fly again all weekend.

 

boeing p-26a peashooterboeing p-26a peashooter boeing stearman model 75 kaydetboeing stearman model 75 kaydet boeing stearman 4-d junior speedmailboeing stearman 4-d junior speedmail lockheed martin f-16cm fighting falconlockheed martin f-16cm fighting falcon2016 F-16 Viper Demo Team

 

On Saturday and Sunday the shows were pretty much the same, with the exception of weather, Heritage Flight formations, and a few different aircraft.  This year's theme was the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  They had two original Mitsubishi A6M Zeros and multiple Curtiss P-40 Warhawks.  The museum's Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero is the only fully authentic flyable example in the world, and is still powered by its original Nakajima Sakae 31 engine.

 

curtiss p-40k warhawkcurtiss p-40k warhawkAleutian Tiger mitsubishi a6m5 zeromitsubishi a6m5 zero

 

On Sunday morning Ross and I attended the sunrise photo shoot, this was an opportunity to get out on the ramp and take photos of the aircraft during sunrise.  With all the great aircraft that were attending this airshow, this was an opportunity that we could not pass up.  This opportunity would give us a couple of hours out on the ramp before the show opened to the public.  We arrived early a mulled about with the other photographers looking for that perfect sunrise photo.  I'm not sure it's the perfect sunrise photo, but I'm very happy with it.

 

north american f-86f sabrenorth american f-86f sabreJolley Roger

 

In addition to all of the World War II aircraft, they also had aircraft for a Korean War demonstration.  Because I had just finished reading 'Devotion' by Adam Makos, I was excited to see this portion of the show. 

'Devotion' is the amazing true story of the US Navy's most famous aviator duo, Tom Hudner and Jesse Brown.  Tom was a white New Englander from the country-club scene, and Jesse beat back racism to become the Navy's first black aviator.  When Jesse is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, Tom faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most courageous one-man rescue mission.

 

devotiondevotionVought F4U Corsair

 

After Sunday's show was over, it was time to hit the road and head back to Phoenix, Arizona with another incredible aviation road trip under our belts.

 

curtiss p-40e kittyhawkcurtiss p-40e kittyhawkSneak Attack memorial daymemorial dayTexas Flying Legends north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellPacific Princess
north american p-51d mustangnorth american p-51d mustangWee Willy II douglas c-47b skytraindouglas c-47b skytrainWilla Dean grumman tbm-3e avengergrumman tbm-3e avenger north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellBetty's Dream
douglas ad-4na skyraiderdouglas ad-4na skyraider grumman f7f-3p tigercatgrumman f7f-3p tigercatHere Kitty, Kitty! hawker sea fury fb.11hawker sea fury fb.11 northrop n9mbnorthrop n9mb"Flying Wing"

 

Source: planesoffame.org and adammakos.com

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(Ottosen Photography) 2016 4-D A6M5 Airbnb Airshow B-25J Boeing California Chino Corsair Curtiss Dauntless Devotion Douglas F-16CM F-86 F4U Fighting Falcon Flugzeugbau Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-9 Junior Speedmail Kaydet Kittyhawk Lockheed Martin Mitchell Mitsubishi Model 75 Mustang North American P-26A P-40E P-40K P-47G P-51D Peashooter Planes of Fame Republic SBD-5 Sabre Stearman Texas Flying Legends Thunderbolt Viper Vought Warhawk Würger Zero ad-4n avenger c-47b douglas f7f-3p fb.11 flying wing grumman hawker n9mb northrop sea fury skyraider skytrain tbm-3e tigercat https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/10/planes-of-fame Sat, 01 Oct 2016 17:50:44 GMT
Escadron d'hélicoptères 1/67 “Pyrénées” https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/9/pyrenees eurocopter ec 725r2 caracaleurocopter ec 725r2 caracalArmée de l'Air (French Air Force)
Escadron d'hélicoptères 1/67 "Pyrénées"

The Escadron d'hélicoptères 1/67 “Pyrénées” is based at Cazaux Air Base (Base aérienne 120 Cazaux), France and is part of the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air).  The squadron operates the Eurocopter EC 725 Caracal, which is a long-range tactical transport helicopter that can carry up to 28 seated troops along with three crew.  The helicopter is designed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties (CSAR), and has a full glass cockpit, two 7.62mm machine guns for self-protection, and has the ability to perform air-to-air refueling from a KC-130.  The 1/67th is the only unit whose sole purpose is Personnel Recovery (PR) in France.  Since CSAR is a joint mission, they are a joint unit (they have pilots from different armed services: Air Force, Navy, and Army) and the chain of command remains with the French Air Force.  At the time they also had two exchange pilots: one USAF HH-60G pilot coming from unit the 66th Rescue Squadron (66 RQS) and one German pilot coming from a UH-1 unit.  The unit has about 250 service members and flies both the SA 330 Puma and the EC 725 Caracal.

 

In 2014, the 1/67th had one of their EC 725 Caracal helicopters at the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport in Flagstaff, Arizona where they were taking part in Angel Thunder 2014.  The Caracal is a very capable platform for CSAR missions.  According to Lt Col Guillaume VERNET who is the Deputy Commander, 1/67 RQS, Cazaux AFB, France, “This airframe was specifically designed for CSAR.  For that reason, we have all the systems that allow us to go pick up an isolated individual deep into the ‘bad guy’s zone’."  According to Lt Col VERNET, the aircraft has many types of insertion/extraction devices, a self-protection system with LASER, RADAR, missile in flight warning receiver, two side-mounted, crew-served machine guns, forward looking infra red camera, (FLIR), enhanced redundant navigation system with a full glass cockpit and a moving map display, digital automatic flight control systems that allow the crew to be off the controls during any part of the flight, room in the back for 28 seats, power supply & embedded systems for tactical and medical gears, and most important to us as of today, an air-to-air refueling capability to have a higher endurance and combat radius.  Lt Col VERNET discussed the standard crew for the CSAR mission in the Caracal, he said, “This is going to be mission related (Threat, terrain, endurance ...).  Basically, we're a crew of 2 pilots, 1 gunner/flight engineer, another gunner and a bunch of PJs. We also can bring medics if need be.  Our crew is specially trained for water ops and our gunners are also safety divers.”

 

Angel Thunder is the largest and most realistic joint service, multinational, interagency CSAR exercise designed to provide training for personnel recovery assets using a variety of scenarios to simulate deployment conditions and contingencies.  Personnel recovery forces will train through the full spectrum of personnel recovery capabilities with ground recovery personnel, air assets, Special Forces teams, and federal agents.  Angel Thunder 2014 was conducted in May 2014 and executed training scenarios from the Pacific Ocean to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.  Angel Thunder provides personnel recovery and combat search and rescue training for combat aircrews, pararescue, intelligence personnel, battle managers and joint search and rescue center personnel.  Lt Col VERNET mentioned the objectives for the French Air Force during Angle Thunder 2014, and they were, “We intend to enhance our partnership with our American sister units within the CSAR/PR missions scope.  Thanks to a long term exchange program, we have shared our tactics, techniques and procedures for seven years (I was the lucky 1st exchange pilot, for a 3 year tour, deployed twice in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan within the 41st RQS and really had a blast over there...).  The US tends to focus more and more on Africa, which was the scenario for Angel Thunder 2015. Our French forces have had boots on the ground in Africa for dozens and dozens of years.  It is a win-win partnership.  As of right now, we'd like to create opportunities and compare the way we do the job in the terminal area of ops.  CSAR/PR is a top level mission that demands extreme expertise from stick shakers, backenders and PJs.  Most of the procedures are standardized, to allow us to work as a joint task force down the range.  A handful of tactics make the difference when things don't go as planned.  The USAF experience is extremely valuable to us for that reason.  Eventually, Davis Monthan's playground gives us the opportunity to work with all the PR players in a nutshell (A-10 for escort and C-130J for helicopter air-to-air refueling, ...) and in a challenging environment (Brown out approaches, high temp/density altitude...).”  Lt Col VERNET went on to say, “Angel Thunder is the biggest CSAR/PR exercise ever designed worldwide.  This is the place to be!  We've been invited three times in a row but we never managed to make it due to our deployment schedule.  This year, we made things happen to eventually show up.  Participation to this exercise is our chief of staff top priority because it matches with all our training requirements: work within specific assets and chains of commands. The USAF motto is ‘train as we fight’.  This is also one of the FAF core values.  Owning CSAR/PR units is a key strategic advantage for one country.  Not a lot of countries worldwide are able to own specific units solely designed for CSAR/PR missions.  We're willing to maintain this specific advantage.  USAF is the leader when it deals with PR missions.  We are proud to be your [USAF] guest!”  Training in Arizona has many different advantages that the 1/67th was able to use in their training.  Lt Col VERNET said, “Arizona's playground is outstanding with high temperatures and density altitudes, dusty challenging landing zones, and wide searching areas.  When you train for a mission, you want your training to be as valuable as possible, with rock solid scenarios.  Arizona definitely suits to these requirements.  Davis-Monthan AFB also gives us the opportunity to perform helicopter air-to-air refueling on a daily basis, which is one of our objectives too!”  But, there have been challenges too, for most of the crews; the biggest challenge has been the language barrier.  Lt Col VERNET said, “We're used to speaking English with all our partners.  The American accent can be pretty challenging when it is heard over a radio!  However, our TTPs are definitely close so we speak the same language.  We are predictable to our USAF comrades as they are to us.  But we still have to manage coordination issues due to our technical differences.”  Also, the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport in Flagstaff, Arizona is over 7,000 ASL and as with most helicopters, the power margin is deeply based upon temperature and density altitude, but the Caracal was the one helicopter that had the best payload during this training.  The 1/67th brought their operational chain of command to Angel Thunder 2014, along with their maintenance team and their intel guys, including electronic warfare specialists.  They also brought their French PJ team: the Commando parachutiste de l'Air N° 30 (CPA 30).  Lt Col VERNET said, “They come everywhere we go, we are stationed 30 minutes apart and work together on a daily basis.  We also have our French tactical communication support team and our French Public Affairs/combat camera team.”

 

The Caracal crews perform many different missions in the French Air Force.  Lt Col VERNET said, “The Caracal airframe serves both the French Air Force and the French Army (and secret services FAF pilots).  The 1/67th "Pyrénées" has been performing CSAR since the early 90's (Ops Deny Flight), moreover we are a SAR unit since the early 60's. In our mission spectrum, we also have been part of the Special Ops command, providing helicopter support for training and combat purposes down the range.  We use the Caracal for Personnel Recovery. Moreover, our expertise in this particular field of missions allows us to provide Combat rescue support everywhere we deploy troops (recently : Afghanistan, Africa ...).  We deployed our first Caracal a couple of weeks after it was called fully operational: Indeed, in 2006, we deployed for Non combatant Evacuation in Lebanon (Ops Baliste), then, we deployed it in Afghanistan (2006-2013) in support of ISAF forces in RC-C (Kabul). We did participate to ops EUFOR Tchad (2007-2008, Special Ops Forces).  We also deployed it in support of the joint ops in Lybia (Ops Harmattan).”

 

The lessons they learn during Angel Thunder 2014 are extremely valuable to the Escadron d'hélicoptères 1/67 “Pyrénées,” and they will be updating their publications and training procedures to reflect what they have learned.  Lt Col VERNET mentioned some of his favorite things about Angle Thunder, and said, “First and foremost, individual exchanges with our US comrades is a very exciting experience.  I loved working with a full PR package as it reminded me of what I've done here for three years.”

 

eurocopter ec 725r2 caracaleurocopter ec 725r2 caracalArmée de l'Air (French Air Force)
Escadron d'hélicoptères 1/67 "Pyrénées"
eurocopter ec 725r2 caracaleurocopter ec 725r2 caracalArmée de l'Air (French Air Force)
Escadron d'hélicoptères 1/67 "Pyrénées"
eurocopter ec 725r2 caracaleurocopter ec 725r2 caracalArmée de l'Air (French Air Force)
Escadron d'hélicoptères 1/67 "Pyrénées"

 

It was an honor to be escorted out to the squadron’s Eurocopter EC 725 Caracal, and to be given such an up close look around their amazing aircraft.  It was also a pleasure to discuss the squadron’s mission with Lt Col VERNET, we appreciate the time and information that he gave us.

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(Ottosen Photography) 1/67 Angel Thunder Arizona Armée de l'Air CSAR Caracal EC 725 Escadron d'hélicoptères Eurocopter Flagstaff French Air Force Pulliam Airport Pyrénées https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/9/pyrenees Thu, 08 Sep 2016 04:06:59 GMT
Marine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/6/marine-attack-squadron-311-vma-311-tomcats mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats"

Marine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" currently employ the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, and are a part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.  During a recent visit to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Rylan and I were able to spend some time with a few of the pilots and take photos as they prepared to depart on another training mission.

 

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing's mission is to provide combat ready expeditionary aviation forces capable of short notice world wide deployment to Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), fleet and unified commanders.

Our mission to provide well trained, organized and equipped combat ready forces remains our number one priority.

The Third Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW) is comprised of Marines, sailors and civilians. We enjoy a climate of trust and cohesiveness that makes our combat organization greater than the sum of its individual parts. As a combat team, we focus on excellence and mission success. We accept nothing less than superior performance, for mediocrity has no place in aviation.

Our high standards of professional excellence are apparent in our conduct and preparation for combat. We are the epitome of professionalism in everything we do: in our work ethic, our grooming standards, in our daily behavior, and while we are enjoying well-earned liberty. We remain combat ready to conduct any mission assigned. We stay fit for duty – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our posture for success sustains us in combat.

We are representatives of the United States of America, of our service, and of our families. Our personal interaction sets the standard by which 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is judged. We always maintain the highest standards of professionalism and human dignity.

The action, or inaction, of any one individual plays a critical role in our preparation for combat.

Our leadership is proactive, never abusive. We thrive on challenges, seek solutions, and produce positive, timely results. We are always accountable and accept responsibility for our actions. We know the rules and regulations and abide by them. Integrity is our cornerstone, honesty is our guide, and respect for our fellow man is our creed. We will not waiver in our mission to defeat terrorism and destroy those extremists who threaten our way of life.

Excel, demand excellence, set the example, be responsible, contribute to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing success and we will make a difference as we defeat the enemies of our great country.

 

Marine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats"

World War II

Marine Attack Squadron (VMA)-311 was initially commissioned a fighter squadron on Dec. 1, 1942, at Cherry Point, N.C., flying the SNJ Texan trainers. In April 1943, they received the new Vought F4U-1 Corsair and entered the Pacific Theater where they served with distinction until the end of World War II.

On Oct. 6, 1943, the squadron catapulted from the deck of the USS Nassau to Samoa Naval Air Station, in one of the earliest catapult operations of the F4U. Two days later, VMF-311 flew to Wallis Island and remained there until January 1944.

During America's "Island Hopping" campaign across the Pacific, the squadron's mission was to isolate Japanese forces on the bypassed islands, deny their escape and prevent their use of airstrips. The squadron continued strafing and bombing missions until moving to Okinawa in March 1945, and was the first Marine squadron to use fighter aircraft for dive bombing missions. The squadron, now flying the F4U-1C (a modification which include four 20mm cannons and pylons for 5-inch rockets), downed its first aircraft on April 7, 1945. Combat air patrols were the predominant mission until the war ended.

After the war, VMF-311 moved to Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the occupational forces. The nickname "Hell's Belles" was adopted by the squadron during World War II but was seldom used.

In April 1948, '311 received the first jet aircraft to be introduced to Marine aviation, the F-80A Shooting Star, followed in September by the F9F2 Panther. It was during this time that the squadron acquired the letters "WL" as its tail designator, or “William Love” in the phonetic alphabet used at the time. The evidence suggests that it was this nickname which inspired the heart on the squadron insignia.

 

Korea

With the outbreak of war in Korea, the squadron moved to Pusan, where it flew the first Marine jet combat mission on Dec. 10, 1950, providing close air support for 8th Army units near the Chosin Reservoir. Similar missions were flown despite inclement weather, maintenance problems, and enemy antiaircraft fire. In two and a half years, the squadron amassed 18,851 combat sorties.
Even after the armistice was signed, VMF-311 continued to fly training missions to maintain readiness. It was early in 1957 that VMF-311 began to be referred to as the "Tomcats." This period also brought the new Grumman F9F-8 Cougar, thus upgrading the squadron's capabilities.

On June 1, 1957, the unit was redesignated Marine Attack Squadron-311. This didn't create any organizational problems as the emphasis was simply placed on a mission the squadron had so aptly performed during World War II and Korea. In the summer of 1958, VMA-311 began receiving the Douglas A4D2 Skyhawks, later redesignated the A-4B. The Tomcats began receiving the new A-4Es in mid-1963 and in March 1965 deployed to Japan with 20 A-4Es.

 

Vietnam

During April 1965, VMA-311 was alerted to prepare to deploy to the Republic of Vietnam. In Vietnam the tempo of operations was intense. Operating from the air base at Chu Lai, the squadron flew 240 sorties flown from May 5-8, 1968, and by September the Tomcats had logged 25,000 combat sorties and were the undisputed pacesetter in what was believed to be a record number of combat sorties for any fixed wing squadron in a single conflict of war.

The squadron relocated to Da Nang air base in the summer of 1970. For VMA-311 the war ended on Jan. 29, 1973, with a total of 54,625 combat sorties flown and 105,000 tons of ordnance dropped in support of troops throughout Southeast Asia.

The squadron flew the A-4aircraft until its return from Iwakuni, Japan, in June of 1988, and was moved to MCAS Yuma along with other MAG-13 squadrons. Prior to its transition into the new AV-8B aircraft, VMA-311 was the proud recipient of the coveted Lawson H.M. Sanderson Award, qualifying the squadron for the 1988 Marine Attack Squadron of the Year by the Marine Corps Aviation Association.

 

Southwest Asia (Operation Desert Storm)

On Aug. 11, 1990, the Tomcats were ordered to Saudi Arabia in support of I Marine Expeditionary Force units deployed for Operation Desert Shield. Operating from the King Abdul Aziz naval air base, VMA-311 was the forward-most fixed wing aircraft unit in theater.

On Jan. 17, the Tomcats became the first Marine squadron to employ the AV-8B Harrier in combat, striking Iraqi positions in southern Kuwait in preparation for the coalition ground offensive. During the Persian Gulf War, the squadron flew 1,017 combat sorties and dropped 840 tons of ordnance on enemy targets. The Harrier was recognized by Secretary of Defense Cohen as one of the three most significant weapon systems in Desert Storm.

Returning to Yuma in April 1991, the squadron was awarded the Marine Corps Aviator Association's Attack Squadron of the Year for
1991. On April 9, 1992, the Tomcats received their first Night Attack AV-8B’s and were formally assigned as a night attack squadron. In May of 1996, Marine Attack Squadron 311 became the sole provider of Harrier support to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The Tomcats continued their proud history and met the challenge by providing six back-to-back detachments, with the last returning in August of 1999. This commitment is unmatched by any Marine Attack Squadron.

 

Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom)

Continuing the Tomcat's tradition of firsts, on 3 November 2001, VMA-311 Harriers attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked aboard the USS Peleliu and became the first Harriers to fly combat missions in Afghanistan during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

 

Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom)

In true Tomcat fashion, the Marines of VMA-311 again answered the nation's call as they deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf in January 2003. Almost 59 years to the day, after VMF-311's first combat sortie in World War II, the Tomcats flew their first combat sortie of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 21 March 2003. During the war they dropped 77 tons of precision ordnance destroying or neutralizing 132 Iraqi targets.
VMA-311 deployed three more times in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in subsequent years, with deployments from November 2004 to May 2005, January to May 2007, and March to October 2008.

 

Global War on Terror

The Tomcats continue to deploy in support of the Global War on Terror.  As part of Marine Expeditionary Units, VMA-311 is an integral force in the nation’s forward presence around the globe.

 

mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II plusMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats"

 

3rd MAW and VMA-311 info provided by the US Marine Corps.

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(Ottosen Photography) 3rd MAW 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing AV-8B Harrier II MCAS Yuma Marine Attack Squadron 311 McDonnell Douglas Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Tomcats VMA-311 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/6/marine-attack-squadron-311-vma-311-tomcats Wed, 29 Jun 2016 03:14:44 GMT
Boeing, "We’re turning 100 years young!" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/5/boeing-we-re-turning-100-years-young

 

Since July 15, 1916, The Boeing Company has been making the impossible, possible. From producing a single canvas-and-wood airplane to transforming how we fly over oceans and into the stars, The Boeing Company has become the world's largest aerospace company. And they're just getting started.

 

boeing 787 dreamlinerboeing 787 dreamlinerBoeing
787 Dream Tour

 

Join them this year with events, activities, and commemorations that celebrate not only their first century of innovation but also the people and moments that inspire us to live by their founder's, Bill Boeing, philosophy -- “build something better.”


They’re ready to write our next century’s history. Come along with them for a breathtaking flight.

 

William E. Boeing left Yale University in 1903 to take advantage of opportunities in the risky and cyclical, but financially rewarding, Northwest timber industry. That experience would serve him well in aviation.


Under his guidance, a tiny airplane manufacturing company grew into a huge corporation of related industries. When post-Depression legislation in 1934 mandated the dispersion of the corporation, Boeing sold his interests in the Boeing Airplane Co., but continued to work on other business ventures.


He became one of America's most successful breeders of thoroughbred horses. He never lost his interest in aviation, and during World War II he volunteered as a consultant to the company. He lived until 1956, long enough to see the company he started enter the jet age.


William E. Boeing was a private person, a visionary, a perfectionist, and a stickler for the facts. The wall of his outer office bore a placard that read: "2329 Hippocrates said: 1. There is no authority except facts. 2. Facts are obtained by accurate observation. 3. Deductions are to be made only from facts. 4. Experience has proved the truth of these rules."


According to his son, William Boeing, Jr., Boeing was a fast and avid reader and remembered everything he read. He was also a perfectionist. While visiting his airplane building shop at the Duwamish shipyard in 1916, Boeing saw a set of improperly sawed spruce ribs. He brushed them to the floor and walked all over them until they were broken. A frayed aileron cable caused him to remark, "I, for one, will close up shop rather than send out work of this kind."

 

During the last 100 years, humans went from walking on Earth to walking on the moon. They went from riding horses to flying jet airplanes. With each decade, aviation technology crossed another frontier, and, with each crossing, the world changed. Browse the products from Boeing and its heritage companies that crossed those frontiers: the hundreds of passenger airplanes, military aircraft, space capsules, rockets and more.

 

boeing 747-123 shuttle carrier aircraft (sca)boeing 747-123 shuttle carrier aircraft (sca)Space Shuttle Endeavour boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" boeing 787 dreamlinerboeing 787 dreamlinerBoeing
boeing 787-8 dreamlinerboeing 787-8 dreamlinerAmerican Airlines boeing 737-8h4boeing 737-8h4Southwest Airlines phoenix, arizonaphoenix, arizona boeing 747-436boeing 747-436British Airways
boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
steam bathsteam bathBoeing EA-18G Growler
Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

Source: The Boeing Company

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(Ottosen Photography) 100 1916 2016 737 747 787 Boeing Boeing: The Centennial Dreamliner EA-18G F/A-18E F/A-18F Growler SCA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Super Hornet https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/5/boeing-we-re-turning-100-years-young Tue, 31 May 2016 02:37:22 GMT
2016 Luke Air Force Base Air Show https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/4/2016-luke-air-force-base-air-show

Celebrating 75 Years of Airpower

 

Luke Air Force Base was proud to present to the Arizona community the "75 Years of Airpower" airshow on April 2-3, 2016.  Attendees were able to experience exciting aerial acts, an array of static displays from both the past and present, and have the chance to interact with the Airmen who carry out the Luke mission of "Training the World's Greatest F-35 and F-16 Pilots."  The Airmen at Luke were excited for the chance to say 'thank you' to the community for the incredible support they give their mission each day.

 

Rylan and I had been looking forward to this air show for months, and just a few days prior we got even more excited.  I received an email stating that I would be flying (not jumping) with the US Army Golden Knights during their first jump on April 3.  This would be the jump that would kickoff the air show for the day.  While I was up in the air with the team, Rylan was on the ground catching all of the action.

 

golden knightsgolden knights

 

Prior to taking off, I was able to watch the team prep for their jump.  Packing their parachutes and getting all of their gear ready, and watching them practice their jump during what they call a "dirt dive."

 

fokker c-31a troopshipfokker c-31a troopshipUS Army Golden Knights
USAPT Black Demonstration Team 2016
fokker c-31a troopshipfokker c-31a troopshipUS Army Golden Knights
USAPT Black Demonstration Team 2016

 

We had been told to dress warmly, but I honestly wasn't prepared for how cold it was going to be.  Up at 12,500' it had dropped to around 30°F, and I was absolutely freezing.  When they jumped, I was so cold and unprepared for how fast things were going to happen, I completely missed all of the photo opportunities of the team jumping from the aircraft.

 

Unites States Parachute Team

"Golden Knights"

ABOUT
For over fifty-seven years members of the U. S. Army Parachute Team have been marking the milestones of achievement and an evolution of excellence serving as “Ambassadors” of the Army’s only official Demonstration team. The Golden Knights portray the image of being the most formidable parachuting competitors and demonstrators in the world today.

If you mention the name “Golden Knights” to someone today in any of the fifty states, and most likely what comes to mind is a phenomenal demonstration they watched in past years at an air show or sporting event. But if you mention it to a sport parachutist, they will most probably think of the competitors they jumped against or heard about in parachute meets across the country or abroad.

HISTORY
The Strategic Army Command Parachute Team, or STRAC, was formed in 1959 by nineteen “Airborne” Soldiers from various military units. Brigadier General Joseph Stilwell Jr. was responsible for gathering these Soldiers with the original intent to compete during the Cold War effort. This new U.S. All-Army team swept the international competition circuit, in what was then the Soviet dominated sport of skydiving. Later that year, on November 1st, this newly formed team performed their first demonstration in Danville, Virginia.

In 1961, the Department of Defense announced on June 15th, that the STRAC team would become the United States Army Parachute Team. The team is one of three authorized DoD aerial demonstration teams, along with the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels.

On October 15, 1962 the team earned the nickname the “Golden Knights” on the competition field of battle. Golden, signifying the gold medals the team had won; Knights, proving that they were world champions and the fact that the Team had “conquered the skies.”

MISSION
As the Army Ambassador; the USAPT conducts worldwide parachute demonstrations, competitions and a tandem orientation program to connect the U.S. Army with the American public and enhance the Army’s recruiting efforts, while simultaneously providing technical expertise in support of military free fall programs.

Missions of today’s Army are still the same as 239 years ago when the Army was established to Prevent, Shape and Win against our advesaries.

By request, the team will test and evaluate new parachuting equipment and techniques that assist in improving operations and safety for the military free fall teams.

The Team has increased its support of the operational force for military freefall Soldiers with personalized coaching and assistance in maintaining and improving military freefall infiltration skills and techniques, while preparing for deployment and rotating teams in support of the Special Operations Headquarters.

 

Once we were safely back on the ground, and starting to thaw out, it was time to enjoy some of the show.  We were able to watch the CAF's Tora! Tora! Tora! demonstration, one of my favorite air show demonstrations.

 

curtiss p-40n warhawkcurtiss p-40n warhawk#48 "Tex Hill" nakajima b5n katenakajima b5n kateCommemorative Air Force
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Replica
flying fortressflying fortressSentimental Journey

mitsubishi a6m zeromitsubishi a6m zeroCommemorative Air Force
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Replica

 

We also were able to watch the first official F-35A US Air Force Heritage Flight with a Lockheed P-38J Lightning and a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.  It was awesome to see these two Lightnings fly in formation!

 

luke 2016 heritage flightluke 2016 heritage flightLockheed P-38J lightning
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

 

Special thanks to all the men and women of the US Air Force, and for the US Army Golden Knights for letting us fly along.

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(Ottosen Photography) #Luke75 A6M Army" B-17G B5N Boeing C-31A CAF Commemorative Air Force Curtiss F-35A Flying Fortress Fokker Golden Knights Kate Lightning Lightning II Lockheed Lockheed Martin Luke AFB Mitsubishi Nakajima P-38J P-40N Sentimental Journey Tora! Tora! Tora! Troopship US US Air Force Warhawk Zero https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/4/2016-luke-air-force-base-air-show Fri, 22 Apr 2016 03:44:31 GMT
2016 Air Show Season Kickoff Weekend https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/3/2016-air-show-season-kickoff-weekend thunderbirdsthunderbirds The time had come, the kickoff to the 2016 air show season, and it was time to hit the road to see two of the biggest demonstration teams in the United States.  The US Navy Blue Angels would be performing at the Naval Air Facility El Centro Air Show, and the US Air Force Thunderbirds would be performing at the Davis-Monthan Air Show.  The trick was that these two shows were happening on the same weekend.  The answer was that my good friend Ross and I would be making a weekend road trip out of it.

 

Friday evening, after work, Ross picked me up and we hit the road for El Centro, California.  We unfortunately weren't going to make it in time for any of the evening festivities, but we did make it to Burgers & Beer in time for dinner and a few drinks with friends.  We were up early the next morning so that we could get on base when the gates opened.  We wanted to get there early so we could get some static shots of aircraft before the crowd got too big.

 

bell p-63a kingcobrabell p-63a kingcobraPretty Polly douglas c-53d skytrooperdouglas c-53d skytrooperD-Day Doll douglas c-47 skytraindouglas c-47 skytrainWhat's Up Doc? sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75 (HSM-75) "Wolfpack"

 

The show itself was very good!  I have attended the last four NAF El Centro Air Shows, and this one was my favorite so far.  It was great to see the warbirds, and awesome to see an F-86 again!  Once the Blue Angels were done, Ross and I stuck around to let the crowd thin out to get some more static shots and hopefully catch some of the departures.

 

navy leap frogsnavy leap frogs f-86 vs mig-15f-86 vs mig-15North American F-86F Sabre
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
mustang vs zeromustang vs zeroNorth American P-51D Mustang
Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero
blue angelsblue angels

 

Once we left the show, it was time to hit the road and head to Tucson, Arizona.  After a long drive, we arrived in Tucson just after Midnight.  Again we were up early for the show, but this time we decided to photograph the show from off base.  I discussed locations with another friend that is very familiar with the area, and we picked our location.  We ended up watching the show with our new friends, an aviation buff and his two sons that just loved everything there was about military aviation.  The were awesome to spend the day with, a lot of fun!  Hopefully we'll be able to see them again sometime, maybe during the next Davis-Monthan Air Show.

 

There was one part of this show that I was really looking forward to, the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) demonstration.  I had never seen it before, and I was really looking forward to it.  The skies over D-M would be filled with C-130s, A-10s, and H-60s demonstrating what they do during these operations.  It was also great to see an F-22 demonstration again, the F-22 is such an amazing aircraft.

 

lockheed martin hc-130j combat king IIlockheed martin hc-130j combat king II fairchild-republic a-10c thunderbolt IIfairchild-republic a-10c thunderbolt II357th Fighter Squadron (357 FS) "Dragons" lockheed martin/boeing f-22a raptorlockheed martin/boeing f-22a raptor94th Fighter Squadron "Hat in the Ring Gang"

 

I would like to thank Ross for being my partner in crime on this trip, and for spending all the time behind the wheel.  I'm looking forward to our next aviation related road trip!

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(Ottosen Photography) 357 FS 94 FS A-10C A6M3 Air Show Arizona Bell Blue Angels Boeing C-47 C-53D California Combat King II D-Day Doll Davis-Monthan AFB Douglas Dragons El Centro F-22A F-86F Fairchild-Republic HC-130J HH-60G HSM-75 Hat in the Ring Gang Kingcobra Leapfrogs Lockheed Martin MH-60R MiG-15 Mikoyan-Gurevich Mitsubishi Mustang NAF El Centro North American P-51D P-63A Pave Hawk Pretty Polly Raptor Sabre Seahawk Sikorsky Skytrain Skytrooper Thunderbirds Thunderbolt II Tucson US Navy What's Up Doc? Wolfpack Zero https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/3/2016-air-show-season-kickoff-weekend Sat, 26 Mar 2016 17:59:00 GMT
BattleHerk https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/2/battleherk lockheed martin kc-130j super herculeslockheed martin kc-130j super herculesMarine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) "Sumos"

The KC-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine transport aircraft used for aerial refueling, medical evacuation, combat-assault transport and battlefield illumination.

 

The KC-130J is the global leader in aerial refueling for tactical and tiltrotor aircraft and helicopters. It is also capable of conducting rapid ground refueling operations for armor/tactical vehicles. The KC-130Js assigned to U.S. Marine Corps units have more than 20,000 hours of flight in Iraq. The KC-130J is battle-tested and delivers capabilities that enables fleets around the world to keep flying. The KC-130J aerial refueling (AR) tanker is the latest in a long lineage of combat proven KC-130 Hercules tanker technologies. The new KC-130J builds on proven tanker designs while taking full advantage of tremendous technological and performance improvements inherent in the basic C-130J aircraft. Several international operators also fly the KC-130J.

 

To achieve the global reach and rapid deployability our nation requires, Marine Aviation must be able to deliver Marines, fuel and cargo where needed. Answering the call is the Marine KC-130 Hercules. A tactical tanker/transport aircraft that stretches more than 90 feet in length and 130 feet wing to wing, the KC-130 Hercules can resupply austere battle zones, provide battlefield illumination, insert ground troops and perform medevac operations. It is during the mission of tactical aerial refueling, however, that the Marine KC-130 has earned the reputation for being best in the world.

 

Able to carry more than 12,000 gallons of fuel and simultaneously refuel two aircraft at 300 gallons a minute, the Hercules has been called the workhorse of Marine Aviation. With air delivery and multisensory imagery reconnaissance capabilities, Marines in the air now have another way to support Marines on the ground.

 

The KC-130J Hercules supports U.S. Marine Corps 21st century expeditionary operations by providing air-to-air refueling, rapid ground refueling and logistic support to operating forces. Tactical transportation of personnel or cargo includes aerial delivery or austere landing zone operations.

 

As a multi-sensor image reconnaissance and close air support platform, KC-130J aircraft equipped with the Harvest HAWK modular roll-on, roll-off weapons system utilize an AN/AAQ-30 target sight system with infrared and electro-optic sensors to employ four Hellfire missiles mounted in place of the left hand air-to-air refueling pylon and standoff precision-guided munitions, such as Griffin and Viper Strike missiles, launched from the cargo compartment.

 

lockheed martin kc-130j super herculeslockheed martin kc-130j super herculesMarine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) "Raiders" lockheed martin kc-130j harvest hawklockheed martin kc-130j harvest hawkMarine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) "Raiders"
lockheed martin kc-130j super herculeslockheed martin kc-130j super herculesMarine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) "Sumos" lockheed martin kc-130j super herculeslockheed martin kc-130j super herculesMarine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) "Raiders"

 

Information provided by:

  • Lockheed Martin
  • US Marine Corps
  • Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)
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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona BattleHerk Harvest HAWK KC-130J Lockheed Martin MCAS Yuma NAVAIR Naval Air Systems Command Raiders Sumos Super Hercules US Marine Corps VMGR-152 VMGR-352 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/2/battleherk Wed, 24 Feb 2016 04:02:11 GMT
Great Green Fleet https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/1/great-green-fleet The other day I published a post here on our blog about the recent deployment of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  Stennis is the nuclear-powered flagship of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG), which will also deploy as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in waters around the world.  As of today, CVN 74, JCSSG, and Carrier Air Wing NINE (CVW-9) are all now underway to the US 7th Fleet area of operations.  One thing that was being mentioned was that this deployment was being called the Great Green Fleet.  Well, I wanted to know more, here's what I found:

 

Today in Coronado, California, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack kicked off the Great Green Fleet Jan. 20, with the deployment of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG) during a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island.

 

The Great Green Fleet is a Department of the Navy initiative highlighting how the Navy and Marine Corps are using energy efficiency and alternative energy to increase combat capability and operational flexibility. At the close of the ceremony, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) left the pier to begin its deployment, becoming the first U.S. Navy ship running on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations.

 

"When it comes to power, my focus has been about one thing and one thing only: better warfighting," said Mabus. "The Great Green Fleet shows how we are transforming our energy use to make us better warfighters, to go farther, stay longer and deliver more firepower. In short, to enable us to provide the global presence that is our mission."

 

The blend fueling the JCS CSG's surface ships contains alternative fuel made from waste beef fat provided by farmers in the Midwest. It was purchased at a cost-competitive price through a partnership between the Department of the Navy and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aimed at making alternative fuel blends a regular part of the military's bulk operational fuel supply.

 

With the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and Stockdale in the background, Mabus and Vilsack explained why this milestone alternative fuel purchase is important to the Navy and Marine Corps, and how it supports America's farmers, ranchers and rural manufacturing jobs.

 

Mabus said, "Diversifying our energy sources arms us with operational flexibility and strengthens our ability to provide presence, turning the tables on those who would use energy as a weapon against us."

 

"The Navy's use of renewable energy in the Great Green Fleet represents its ability to diversify its energy sources, and also our nation's ability to take what would be a waste product and create homegrown, clean, advanced biofuels to support a variety of transportation needs," said Vilsack. "Today's deployment proves that America is on its way to a secure, clean energy future, where both defense and commercial transportation can be fueled by our own hardworking farmers and ranchers, reduce landfill waste and bring manufacturing jobs back to rural America."

 

JCS CSG, the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet, deployed using energy conservation measures (ECMs), including stern flaps, LED lights and energy efficient operational procedures, and alternative fuel in the course of its normal operations. Other ships, aircraft, amphibious and expeditionary forces and shore installations using ECMs and/or alternative fuels in the course of performing planned mission functions will be part of the Great Green Fleet throughout 2016.

 

Stockdale is the first surface combatant to receive alternative fuel as part of its regular operational supply. Following the ceremony, Mabus and Vilsack flew out to the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) to witness it replenishing its tanks with alternative fuel from fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200). The remainder of the CSG's surface ships will receive fuel from fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7), which will take on over 3 million gallons of the alternative fuel blend in Washington state before joining the CSG on deployment.

 

The advanced fuel blend was produced by California-based AltAir Fuels from a feedstock of beef tallow - waste beef fat - provided by Midwest farmers and ranchers, and traditional petroleum provided by Tesoro. Pursuant to Navy requirements, the alternative fuel is drop-in, meaning it requires no changes to ship engines, transport or delivery equipment, or operational procedures. The Defense Logistics Agency awarded a contract to AltAir Fuels for 77.6 million gallons of the alternative fuel blend, at a cost to DLA of $2.05 per gallon, making it cost competitive with traditional fuel.

 

Through the Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA is able to partner with the Navy to help diversify its fuel supply and simultaneously support America's own farmers, ranchers and rural economies.

 

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) are part of the JCS CSG.

 

Sailing the Great Green Fleet (GGF) in 2016 was one of the five energy goals Mabus set in 2009 for the Navy and Marine Corps. It was named to honor President Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, which helped usher in America as a global power on the world stage at the beginning of the 20th Century. The GGF will usher in the next era of Navy and Marine Corp energy innovation.

Information provided by the US Navy

 

On April 30, 2015, I was able to take part in a 24-hour, Distinguished Visitor (DV)/media embark aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  The Navy flew me to and from the ship in a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, and we made an arrested landing upon arrival and a catapult launch when we departed the next day.  I was able to see much of the ship, and also spend many hours taking photos on their active flight deck.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!

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(Ottosen Photography) 74 Aces Black Boeing C-2A CVN Chargers E-2C EA-18G Embark F/A-18E F/A-18F Golden Great Green Fleet Greyhound Growler Grumman HSC-14 HSM-71 Hawkeye Hawks Hornet Knighthawk MH-60R MH-60S Northrop Providers Raptors Seahawk Shot Sikorsky Super Tophatters USS John C. Stennis VAQ-133 VAW-112 VFA-14 VFA-41 VRC-30 Warhawks Wizards https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/1/great-green-fleet Thu, 21 Jan 2016 02:27:23 GMT
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Deploys https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/1/uss-john-c-stennis-cvn-74-deploys boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departed their homeport of Naval Base Kitsap - Bremerton for a regularly scheduled deployment, Jan. 15.

 

Stennis Sailors manned the rails as the ship sailed away from the pier at 8:30 a.m. and began the transit through the Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.

 

While it is hard to say goodbye to loved ones, Sailors are keeping a positive attitude and looking forward to all of the experiences.

 

"Deployment is bittersweet," said Logistics Specialist Seaman Miguel Torres, from Tacoma, Wash. "I hate having to leave my family behind, but I get to see the world. I'm excited to see all of the sites that people only get to see on TV. I get to experience the real thing."

 

For a quarter of the crew this is their first deployment. For other Sailors, this isn't their first rodeo. "This is my second deployment, but I'm still really excited," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Ryan Blackwell, from Crystal Lake, Ill. "My first deployment was a great experience, and I learned a lot. I'm mostly looking forward to port visits and experiencing all of the cultures I've never seen before."

 

Stennis' crew has spent 56% of the past year underway preparing for this deployment to the Western Pacific area of operations. They expect to participate in a number of exercises; training, integrating and building capacity with allies in that region.

 

"Deploying is the culmination of our training," said Capt. Mike Wettlaufer, Stennis' commanding officer. "This crew has attacked every challenge thrown their way, and as we leave to answer our nation's call, I couldn't be any prouder of them. We are ready."

 

Stennis is the nuclear-powered flagship of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG), which will also deploy as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in waters around the world.

 

The strike group will be the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet, a year-long initiative highlighting the Navy's efforts to transform its energy use to increase operational capability. JCSSG will use energy efficiency measures, to include technologies and operational procedures, and alternative fuel in the course of its normal operations.

Story by USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Cole C. Pielop

 

On April 30, 2015, I was able to take part in a 24-hour, Distinguished Visitor (DV)/media embark aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  The Navy flew me to and from the ship in a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, and we made an arrested landing upon arrival and a catapult launch when we departed the next day.  I was able to see much of the ship, and also spend many hours taking photos on their active flight deck.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!


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(Ottosen Photography) 74 Aces Black Boeing C-2A CVN Chargers E-2C EA-18G Embark F/A-18E F/A-18F Golden Greyhound Growler Grumman HSC-14 HSM-71 Hawkeye Hawks Hornet Knighthawk MH-60R MH-60S Northrop Providers Raptors Seahawk Shot Sikorsky Super Tophatters USS John C. Stennis VAQ-133 VAW-112 VFA-14 VFA-41 VRC-30 Warhawks Wizards https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/1/uss-john-c-stennis-cvn-74-deploys Mon, 18 Jan 2016 17:00:00 GMT
2015 Year in Review https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/1/2015-year-in-review northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
2015 has been an awesome year for Ottosen Photography, and we are happy to publish our 2015 year end review with our top five favorite photos.

 

On January 1st, I was finally able to catch the Alaska Airlines "Make-A-Wish" Boeing 737-400, this was an airliner that I had been after for around five years.  I knew at that time that 2015 was going to be a phenomenal year!

 

boeing 737-490boeing 737-490Alaska Airlines
Spirit of Make-A-Wish

 

On February 17th, Rylan and I attended the Naval Air Facility El Centro 2015 Winter/Blue Angels Photocall.  It's always incredible to see the Blue Angels practicing at NAF El Centro, and we were also treated to some excitement out at the NAFEC CALA.

 

blue angelsblue angels viperviper

 

On February 28th, Rylan and I attended the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma 2015 Airshow.  We both love attending the MCAS Yuma Airshow, and this one was no disappointment.

 

bell/boeing mv-22b ospreybell/boeing mv-22b ospreyMarine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (VMM-166) "Sea Elk" lockheed martin f-35b lightning IIlockheed martin f-35b lightning IIMarine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) "Green Knights"

 

In March, we chased many of the American Airlines 787-8 test flights that arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.  It was a lot of fun to catch their brand new aircraft while their pilots were learning to fly them.

 

boeing 787-8 dreamlinerboeing 787-8 dreamlinerAmerican Airlines boeing 787-8 dreamlinerboeing 787-8 dreamlinerAmerican Airlines

 

On March 13th and 14th, I was back at Naval Air Facility El Centro for their 2015 Air Show.  I was finally able to attend their night shoot, something that I had missed the previous year.  The air show is always awesome, but I usually don't get to photograph much of it as I am there trying to promote AzAP's 'The Out-of-Towners.'

 

sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35 (HSM-35) "Magicians"

 

On March 17th, I was able to tour and photograph a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), No. 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron, de Havilland Canada CT-142 Dash-8 "Gonzo."  I had photographed them a couple of years earlier, and the said that when they came back that I could take a closer look at their airplane.

 

de havilland canada ct-142 dash-8 "gonzo"de havilland canada ct-142 dash-8 "gonzo"Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
No. 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron

 

On April 16th, I was finally able to catch a Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post when it arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

 

boeing e-4b advanced airborne command postboeing e-4b advanced airborne command post1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron (1 ACCS) boeing e-4b advanced airborne command postboeing e-4b advanced airborne command post1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron (1 ACCS)

 

On April 12th, I went up to Scottsdale Airport to photograph The Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom tour.  I always love to see warbirds in the air.

 

boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressNine-O-Nine consolidated b-24j liberatorconsolidated b-24j liberatorWitchcraft north american tp-51c mustangnorth american tp-51c mustangBetty Jane

 

On April 17th, Rylan and I went down to Yuma, Arizona to spend the day covering the WTI 2-15 HA/DR exercise held at Kiwanis Park.

 

sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 (HMH-466) "Wolfpack" bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 (HMLA-467) "Sabers"

 

On April 30th, I arrived on the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) while she was underway in the Pacific Ocean.

 

boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (HSM-71) "Raptors"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

September 10th-13th was Marine Week here in Phoenix, and there was activity all over the city.  Rylan and I were able to catch some of the action out at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

 

bell ah-1w supercobrabell ah-1w supercobraMarine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) "Atlas" mcdonnell douglas f/a-18c hornetmcdonnell douglas f/a-18c hornetMarine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323) "Death Rattlers"

 

In September we were excited to announce that Ottosen Photography had become an official military aviation photography vendor to Bell Helicopter.

 

bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 (HMLA-467) "Sabers" bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 (HMLA-269) "The Gunrunners"

 

On October 16th, Rylan and I made our way back down to Yuma, Arizona to cover the WTI 1-16 NEO exercise at Kiwanis Park, we also spent some time photographing the aircraft around MCAS Yuma.

 

boeing/northrop grumman e-8c jstarsboeing/northrop grumman e-8c jstars116th Air Control Wing (116 ACW) sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (HMH-461) "Ironhorse"

 

On October 24th, I attended another Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) night shoot at Pima Air and Space Museum.  These are always a lot of fun, and a great way to spend an evening with friends.

 

lockheed l-049 constellationlockheed l-049 constellationTrans World Airlines (TWA)
Pima Air & Space Museum
fairey aew mk.3 gannetfairey aew mk.3 gannetRoyal Navy
Pima Air & Space Museum

 

And finally, on November 17th, Rylan and I made it back out to Naval Air Facility El Centro for the Fall 2015 Photocall.

 

mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackMarine Attack Training Squadron 203 (VMAT-203) "Hawks" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings"

 

As you can see, 2015 was an incredible year for Rylan and I, and we feel very blessed to have been able to have so many awesome experiences.  We also felt like we should do something to give back, so we made donations to two aviation crowdfunding campaigns.

 

 

And now, it's time for our top five favorite photos from 2015:

 

No. 5

boeing 787-8 dreamlinerboeing 787-8 dreamlinerAmerican Airlines

 

No. 4

lockheed l-049 constellationlockheed l-049 constellationTrans World Airlines (TWA)
Pima Air & Space Museum

 

No. 3

bell ah-1w supercobrabell ah-1w supercobraMarine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) "Atlas"

 

No. 2

sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (HMH-461) "Ironhorse"

 

No. 1

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

Thanks for joining us on all of our adventures, thank you for an absolutely incredible 2015, and cheers to an equally incredible 2016! We couldn't do it without all y'all, thanks again and Happy New Year!

-Matt & Rylan Ottosen

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(Ottosen Photography) 787 Air Show Airshow Alaska Airlines American Airlines Bell Helicopter Blue Angels Boeing CVN 74 Consolidated Constellation Dash-8 Disneyland Dreamliner E-4B Fairey Flying Fortress Gannet Genie Gonzo Growler Grumman Harrier II Hawkeye Hornet JSTARS Liberator Lightning II Lockheed Lockheed Martin MCAS Yuma Make-a-Wish Marine Corps Marine Week McDonnell Douglas Mustang NAF El Centro Navy North American Northrop Grumman Osprey Seahawk Sikorsky Super Hornet Super Stallion SuperCobra USS John C. Stennis Venom Viper WTI de Havilland Canada https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2016/1/2015-year-in-review Sat, 02 Jan 2016 01:41:09 GMT
Naval Air Facility El Centro 2015 Fall Photocall https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/12/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2015-fall-photocall boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" Tuesday, November 17, 2015, started out like most typical days, except we woke up much earlier than normal and we had a lot of driving ahead of us.  This day we would be heading to Naval Air Facility El Centro for another Photocall.  This would be a longer than normal day, usually I stay the night in El Centro, California the night after the Photocall.  Unfortunately, our work schedule dictated that we must return home to Phoenix, Arizona the same day.  That meant that we would be spending around eight hours on the road, and be driving around 510 miles.  None of this mattered to us, it was a day to spend next to the runway with some great friends and military aircraft.

 

We arrived early, and met many friends outside the fence near one of the farm fields.  It was great to catch up on what everybody has been doing, and this provided us with a view of aircraft returning to base after their morning training flights.  Right from the start, we could tell it was going to be a good day!  We could see that Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" was in town with their Boeing EA-18G Growlers, Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) "Flying Eagles" was there with their Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, and the one everybody was especially excited to see, Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 (VMAT-203) "Hawks" was there with their McDonnell Douglas T/AV-8B Harrier IIs.

 

Once on base we had our briefing given by the PAO, and we were also able to hear from the base CO and XO.  It's always great to hear that they love hosting us out there and appreciate all that we do to support Naval Aviation.  We then split into two groups, this Photocall had around 100 photographers attending and they had to make two trips to get everyone out to the runway's LSO Shack.  Once out at the LSO Shack, things got busy very quickly with aircraft arriving and departing almost nonstop the entire afternoon.  There were a few surprise aircraft arrivals too, aircraft that just came in for fuel or other training.  There was a Grumman C-2A Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) "Providers" beating up the pattern early in the afternoon, and there were multiple Bell AH-1Z Vipers from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) "Vipers" that came in for fuel.  Shortly before it was time to go, most of the aircraft that were out returned to base.  The late afternoon sunlight was awesome, and it was great to see the aircraft arriving back to base in the gorgeous light.

 

mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackMarine Attack Training Squadron 203 (VMAT-203) "Hawks" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) "Vipers" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 130 (VAQ-130) "Zappers"
boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) "Vikings" grumman c-2a greyhoundgrumman c-2a greyhoundFleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) "Providers" mcdonnell douglas tav-8b harrier IImcdonnell douglas tav-8b harrier IIMarine Attack Training Squadron 203 (VMAT-203) "Hawks" boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 130 (VAQ-130) "Zappers"

Matt's Photos

 

greyhoundgreyhound goshawkgoshawk harrier IIharrier II harrier IIharrier II
harrier IIharrier II growlergrowler harrier IIharrier II growlergrowler

Rylan's Photos

 

 

After the Photocall was over, it was time to head over to Burgers and Beer for our traditional post-Photocall Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) dinner.  It's always a perfect way to end the day and enjoy some great conversation just prior to the drive home.

 

It was another awesome Photocall, and any day at NAF El Centro is better than any day in the office!  Our sincere thanks to everybody that helped in putting this Photocall together, especially the PAO shop, the CO, and the XO of NAF El Centro.

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(Ottosen Photography) AH-1Z AV-8B Arizona Aviation Photographers AzAP Bell Boeing C-2A California EA-18G El Centro Electronic Attack Squadron 129 F/A-18 Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Flying Eagles Greyhound Growler Grumman HMLA-169 Harrier II Hawks Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 NAF El Centro Photocall Providers Strike Fighter Squadron 122 Super Hornet TAV-8B VAQ-129 VFA-122 VMAT-203 VRC-30 Vikings Viper Vipers https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/12/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2015-fall-photocall Tue, 15 Dec 2015 03:20:47 GMT
Night at the Museum: Photography of the History of Flight https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/11/night-at-the-museum-photography-of-the-history-of-flight lockheed l-049 constellationlockheed l-049 constellationTrans World Airlines (TWA)
Pima Air & Space Museum

The Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP), the photography group that I co-founded, has formed a great relationship with the Pima Air & Space Museum (PASM) in Tucson, Arizona.  Through this relationship we have the opportunity to schedule night photo shoots, where we arrive as the museum is closing and we have the entire museum grounds for our own personal photography use well into the night.  These night shoots usually start around 5pm and end around 10pm, this allows us the opportunity to photograph their amazing collection in both the golden hour and in the dark.  Our group of photographers/friends is always a fun bunch to be around, and because of all this, this has become one of my favorite group activities.

 

The most recent AzAP night shoot at PASM took place on the evening of October 24, 2015, and was another very successful night shoot.  One thing that I was reminded of, during this night shoot, was that I still need to buy a flashlight.  Lighting is one place that I really don't have any equipment for.  I have always embraced the ambient light of the night, and I have done fairly well in the past, but I have really suffered during the Naval Air Facility El Centro night shoot, earlier this year, and during this night shoot at PASM.  You'll notice that most of my photos from this PASM night shoot are from the golden hour.

 

Another area that I have been working on is in the artistic framing of my museum photos.  I have always really struggled with the clutter of a museum.  What I mean is that museums usually park aircraft and exhibits all over the place, and much of that ends up in the background of your photographs.  I have never liked this, and therefore I have always been looking for a way to take pleasing photos that cuts out the clutter.  The problem is that I usually don't like tight crops of aircraft, so the entire issue has been a struggle on both ends.  I have usually found myself taking photos of aircraft that only reside along the fence lines, but this time I decided that I was going to find that elusive tight crop and I feel that I am starting to accomplish this.

 

fairey aew mk.3 gannetfairey aew mk.3 gannetRoyal Navy
Pima Air & Space Museum
boeing eb-47e stratojetboeing eb-47e stratojet376th Bombardment Wing
Pima Air & Space Museum

 

It is thanks to the amazing group of photographers, that I call friends, that make-up AzAP, that I have been able to feel more comfortable with my photographs of airplanes in museums.  The lesson was to take a photo of a tightly cropped airplane and keep the background clutter out of the photographs.  I have learned a lot from these guys and gals, by seeing what they take photos of and how they crop their subjects, I have been able to grow as a photographer.  I have also had the support of my wife, Rylan, who is always encouraging and can see the beauty in a photograph even when I cannot.

 

 

With another successful night shoot at PASM under my belt, and many lessons learned, I am already looking forward to the next one!

 

To learn more about Pima Air & Space Museum: http://pimaair.org/

To learn more about the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP): http://azaerophoto.com/

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(Ottosen Photography) 305th Bombardment Wing 376th Bombardment Wing AEW Mk.3 Arizona Aviation Photographers AzAP B-58A Boeing Columbine Constellation Convair EB-47E Fairey Gannet Hustler L-049 Lockheed PASM Pima Air & Space Museum Royal Navy Stratojet TWA Trans World Airlines VC-121A https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/11/night-at-the-museum-photography-of-the-history-of-flight Sun, 01 Nov 2015 17:00:00 GMT
WTI 1-16 NEO https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/10/wti-1-16-neo sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallion

During times of dissension in foreign countries, civilians and medical personnel, from groups such as “Doctors Without Borders,” could be in danger and may require immediate evacuation. Because of their training during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course held at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, the U.S. Marines are ready for the task.

 

The WTI course is held every six months, and part of the WTI course is the Noncombatant Evacuation Training exercise which simulates and provides training for Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEOs). The most recent exercise was held on Friday, October 16, 2015 at Kiwanis Park in Yuma, Arizona.

 

super stallionsuper stallion

 

According to United States Military Joint Publication 3-68, Noncombatant Evacuation Operations:

 

“Noncombatant evacuation operations (NEOs) are conducted to assist the Department of State (DOS) in evacuating noncombatants, nonessential military personnel, selected host-nation citizens, and third country nationals whose lives are in danger from locations in a host foreign nation to an appropriate safe haven and/or the United States.

 

NEOs usually involve swift insertions of a force, temporary occupation of an objective, and a planned withdrawal upon completion of the mission.

 

During NEOs, the US Ambassador is the senior authority for the evacuation and is ultimately responsible for the successful completion of the NEO and the safety of the evacuees. The Ambassador speaks with the authority of the President and serves as direct representative on site.”

 

Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) has said that the purpose of the exercise is to practice all the tasks Marines would have to do to conduct a short-notice, orderly evacuation, including the transportation, identification, and securing of evacuees.

 

This exercise simulated the evacuation of civilians and medical personnel, and was held simultaneously from 4:00pm to 9:30pm in Yuma, Arizona and in Twentynine Palms, California. It was conducted in three phases:

  • Phase 1 will be the insertion of the security forces and the establishment of the evacuation control center.
  • Phase 2 will be the actual evacuation, with waves of helicopters flying in to pick up the evacuees and taking off again.
  • Phase 3 will consist of the extraction of the security forces and evacuation control center.

 

None of the Marine aircraft carried live ordnance and the aircraft, which flew in groups of two, operated at a minimum of 500 feet above ground level over the city, except when landing. There was also a strict adherence to all Federal Aviation Administration regulations, and both military police and Yuma Police Department were on site, as well as Military Crash Fire Rescue.

 

sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (HMH-461) "Ironhorse" bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venom

 

The learning objectives for the MAWTS-1 training exercise are as follows:

  • Conduct operations in two different cities.
  • Conduct operations in a realistic urban environment.
  • Offer real world training that may be used in conditions like the ones that have occurred in Libya and Egypt.
  • Phased simulated non-combatant evacuation.
    • Security forces inserted.
    • “Civilians” evacuated via helicopters.
    • Security forces extracted.

 

The actual exercise consisted of more than 120 marines, and the use of Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallions and Bell UH-1Y Venom helicopters landing at the park and dropping off Marine infantrymen to secure the Landing Zone (LZ) and establish the evacuation control center.

 

bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 (HMLA-467) "Sabers" sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 (HMH-361) "Flying Tigers"

 

MAWTS-1 did an amazing job with this highly detailed and well planned exercise.

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona Bell CH-53E Flying Tigers HMH-361 HMH-461 HMLA-467 Ironhorse Kiwanis Park MCAS Yuma Marine Corps Marine Corps Air Station Yuma NEO Noncombatant Evacuation Operation Sabers Sikorsky Super Stallion UH-1Y Venom WTI Weapons and Tactics Instructor Yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/10/wti-1-16-neo Sat, 24 Oct 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Bell Helicopter https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/10/bell-helicopter bell ah-1w supercobrabell ah-1w supercobraMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 (HMLA-469) "Vengeance"

In September 2015, Ottosen Photography became an official military aviation photography vendor to Bell Helicopter.  This means that we now have an agreement with Bell Helicopter to supply military aviation photography images for their use in publications and media.  We have  been photographing Bell Helicopter products for many years, so this is a great fit for us and we are very excited for this partnership.

 

Bell Helicopter was founded in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation, they continue to set the pace for the industry and expand the scope of vertical lift. Now an industry leader with unmatched name recognition, Bell Helicopter was the first to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter. Over its rich history, Bell Helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to their customers around the world.

 

With forward thinking in advanced concepts, Bell Helicopter invented tiltrotor aircraft. These unique aircraft lift like a helicopter and then fly like an airplane with twice the speed, three times the payload, and five times the range of traditional helicopters. Because of tiltrotor, aerospace and aircraft will never be the same.

 

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell Helicopter has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Canada. They maintain key logistics supply and service centers in Europe, Canada, and Singapore as well as in the United States. As the world’s premier provider of vertical lift aircraft, Bell Helicopter continues to provide every customer with products, service, and support second to none.

 

Their mission, to change the way the world flies with superior vertical lift that saves lives, preserves freedom, and provides customers with exceptional value.

 

Here are some of their current aviation products and a few of our photos to illustrate.

The Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey combines the speed of a plane and the hovering ability of a helicopter, the V-22 Osprey is a true multi task aircraft. Whether the job is transporting troops, delivering cargo, or flying Special Forces operations, the V-22 brings more capabilities to the mission than any other aircraft on the market.

bell/boeing mv-22b ospreybell/boeing mv-22b ospreyMarine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 764 (VMM-764) "Moonlight" bell/boeing mv-22b ospreybell/boeing mv-22b ospreyMarine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (VMM-166) "Sea Elk"


            

The Bell UH-1Y Venom is the legendary Bell UH made better. It has all the effectiveness, safety, and reliability of the original UH. Like its predecessor it operates in the most extreme environments, from Arctic cold to desert heat. But the UH-1Y is an upgrade from the legend. Bell Helicopter has incorporated the latest aerospace technology into the UH-1Y, outfitting it with airframe improvements, twin General Electric T700 engines, an ultramodern glass cockpit, and many more advanced systems. The original Bell UH set a very high standard. The Bell UH-1Y sets that standard even higher.

bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) "Atlas" bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 (HMLA-269) "The Gunrunners"


            

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is capable, flexible, multi-mission, and the ultimate in attack helicopters. The powerful AH-1Z delivers state of the art dynamics, weapons, and avionics to incorporate the latest in survivability. With anti-armor capability, it engages and defeats the broadest array of threats at standoff ranges that defy imagination.

bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers" viperviper


            

The Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is proven in combat all over the world, the Bell OH-58D offers everything your mission requires in a scout helicopter: long-range day and night target acquisition, multi purpose quick-change kits, and multiple armaments with low infrared and acoustic signatures. And it can be armed and ready to fight less than 10 minutes after being off-loaded from a C-130. If the mission calls for truly exceptional war-fighting capabilities, the Bell OH-58D is always ready to answer the call.

bell oh-58d kiowa warriorbell oh-58d kiowa warrior

 

 

This is a huge step for Ottosen Photography, and we are very proud to be associated with Bell Helicopter and to help them by supplying military aviation photography for their publication and media needs.

 

For more information about Bell Helicopter, please visit their website at bellhelicopter.com.

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(Ottosen Photography) AH-1W AH-1Z Aviation Bell Bell Helicopter Bell/Boeing Kiowa Warrior Military Military Aviation Photography Vendor OH-58D Osprey Photography SuperCobra Tiltrotor UH-1Y V-22 Vendor Venom Vertical Lift Viper https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/10/bell-helicopter Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:40:32 GMT
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/10/vaw-112-golden-hawks northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks" is the Grumman E-2C Hawkeye squadron aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). While I was embarked aboard CVN 74, during my DV/Media Embark, I was able to capture them in action. The E-2C has always been at the top of my list of aircraft to photograph, but they have always seemed to remain elusive to me. Until now, it seems if you are lucky enough to embark aboard a bird farm, that you don't have as much trouble photographing these seemingly elusive aircraft.

 

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

I feel that sharing my photography with the military is a small way for me to give back and support the men and women that serve our country, and put their lives in harm's way to protect our freedoms. I always try to share my aviation photography with the squadrons, whenever I have the opportunity, and VAW-112 was no different. After seeing the photographs they said, "These pictures are amazing thank you so much for taking them and making them available to us. We will most definitely put them to use. If you ever need anything from us please don't hesitate to ask." It's always good feeling when they like your work and plan to use it to help show the public what they do.

 

VAW-112 has had a long and amazing history of flying Grumman E-2 Hawkeyes in Carrier Air Wing 9 (CVW-9), their history dates all the way back to April 1967. I thought it was important to share their story, so here it is (history provided by VAW-112):

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

HISTORY OF CARRIER AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING SQUADRON ONE ONE TWO

The squadron was established April 20, 1967 and assigned to Carrier Air Wing NINE (CVW-9). The squadron made three combat deployments operating the E-2A in the western Pacific in support of the Vietnam conflict aboard the USS ENTERPRISE, CVAN 65.

 

In May 1970, the squadron was temporarily disestablished and placed in a “stand down” status until reactivated on July 3, 1973. The Golden Hawks, now flying E-2Bs, were assigned to CVW-2 and made three Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployments on board the USS RANGER, CV 61, before assignment to CVW-8 aboard the USS NIMITZ, CVN 68, for a Mediterranean and Indian Ocean deployment.

 

In May 1979, the squadron transitioned to the E-2C and again became part of CVW-9 in February 1981. As part of CVW-9, VAW-112 made three Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployments on board USS CONSTELLATION, CV 64, USS RANGER, CV 61 and USS KITTY HAWK, CV 63. During this period, VAW-112 was awarded the Battle Efficiency (Battle “E”) award for 1979 and 1985. During 1989, VAW-112 deployed aboard USS NIMITZ for NORPAC 89, and in August 1989, they became the first West Coast squadron to transition to the E-2C Plus aircraft.

 

In February and March of 1990, VAW-112 deployed aboard USS CONSTELLATION “Around the Horn” of South America to Norfolk, Virginia. Then in September 1990, the squadron deployed to Howard Air Force Base, Panama, for a Joint Task Force Four counter narcotics operation. The squadron finished the year and entered 1991 with the CVW-9 workup schedule on board the USS NIMITZ.

 

In March 1991, the squadron departed for the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Northern Arabian Gulf cruise in support of Operation DESERT STORM aboard the USS NIMITZ.

 

In December 1991, VAW-112 deployed again to Howard Air Force Base, Panama for a Joint Task Force Four counter narcotics operation. The squadron participated in joint and combined exercises in 1992 including JADO/JEZ in March and Roving Sands in May 1992.

 

In February 1993, VAW-112 deployed aboard USS Nimitz to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, flying more than 1,000 hours. Upon returning, VAW-112 transitioned to the E-2C Plus Group II. In November 1993, VAW-112 deployed to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

 

The year of 1994 was a year of numerous detachments for VAW-112, due to the USS NIMITZ dry dock period. These included Red Air and Red Flag exercises during February; JADO/JEZ trials in March; Roving Sands and Maple Flag in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada in June; and another Joint Task Force Four counter narcotics operation detachment in August. Following a rigorous work-up cycle in 1995, the squadron departed San Diego for the Arabian Gulf aboard the USS NIMITZ in December.

 

After remaining on station for three months, VAW-112 departed the Arabian Gulf to support United States foreign policy off the coast of Taiwan. After returning home in May, the squadron then headed for Puerto Rico in mid July for counter narcotics operations at NAVSTA Roosevelt Roads.

 

During a 1997 work-up cycle for an “Around the World” deployment in late July, the squadron participated in a Pacific Fleet Surge Exercise. The squadron provided unparalleled battle space command and control to the battle group for more than 96 continuous hours. It was during this time that VAW-112 also surpassed a safety milestone – 27 years and more than 57,000 mishaps-free flight hours. They departed San Diego in September 1997 on another “Around the World” deployment. In 1997, the Golden Hawks were presented the Battle “E”, the CNO Safety “S” Award, and the coveted Airborne Early Warning Excellence Award.

 

The Golden Hawks deployed in July 1998 for a short detachment to Hawaii aboard the USS KITTY HAWK and later transferred the newest E-2C Plus Group II Navigation Upgrade aircraft to VAW-115 home based at NAF Atsugi, Japan.

 

The “Golden Hawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) moved from MCAS Miramar to Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, California in July 1998. Following a work up period in 1999, the Golden Hawks deployed aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS, CVN 74 in January 2000 for a Western Pacific/Indian Ocean cruise that included flight operations in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH over Iraq. The squadron wrapped up 2000 with counter narcotics operations in Puerto Rico in September and a carrier qualification detachment to Mazatlan, Mexico in December.

 

In 2001, the Golden Hawks executed several aircraft control detachments including detachments to NAS Key West, Florida; NS Norfolk, Virginia; and NAS Fallon, Nevada. While still continuing their workup cycle leading to a 2002 deployment, the Golden Hawks also participated in Fleet Battle Experiment India, providing air control services to the battle group participating in the highest profile Navy exercise in many years.

 

In July of 2001, the Golden Hawks left for Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA). This was the first underway workups since the previous cruise. The Golden Hawks then pulled in Seattle for four days and left again for Comprehensive Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). The squadron was called to defend the country after the September 11th terrorist act on the World Trade Center in New York City and on the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Around the clock, the Golden Hawks stood alerts and flew combat missions for the air defense of the entire western coast of the U.S. in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE.

 

Immediately following their actions in Operation NOBLE EAGLE, the Golden Hawks left for Air Wing Fallon in Fallon, Nevada. The squadron finished an accelerated training schedule and deployed two months early in mid-November 2001 along with the rest of CVW-9 aboard the USS JOHN C. STENNIS. After an expedited transit across the Pacific, including port calls in Hong Kong and Singapore, the squadron commenced arduous combat operations over Afghanistan in mid-December. The squadron accumulated over 2,095 hours, 500 sorties, and logging 666 arrested landings in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. The Golden Hawks returned home to Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu at the end of May, 2002, enjoying port calls in Australia during the transit home.

 

Upon returning home, VAW-112 completed training to transition to the Mission Computer Upgrade and Advanced Controller Indicator Set (MCU/ACIS) Navigation Upgrade version of the E-2C Plus. This new version of the Hawkeye featured new display scopes and interfaces for aircraft controllers and mission commanders, along with a new, more powerful mission computer. In addition, the aircraft’s navigation system is significantly more reliable.

 

After four short months at home, VAW-112 was called upon again to ready itself for the possibility of an early deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In October of 2002, the Golden Hawks commenced an unannounced, compressed inter-deployment turnaround cycle and left for Fallon, Nevada to complete both Strike Fighter Advance Readiness Program (SFARP) and Air Wing Nine Fallon Det in a record span of three weeks. The Golden Hawks returned home for three weeks and readied themselves for COMPTUEX PLUS on board the USS CARL VINSON, CVN-70. Following the completion of this accelerated IDTC, in January 2003 the Golden Hawks deployed to the Western Pacific on board USS CARL VINSON, seven months ahead of schedule to serve as a deterrent force in the global war against terrorism. During the West Pac 2003 cruise the Golden Hawks visited Hawaii, Guam, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Perth, and Hong Kong. When CVW-9 returned home in November 2003, it had been deployed, embarked, or detached for twenty-one of the previous twenty-seven months making the air wing the most deployed Naval Aviation unit since the events of 11 September, 2001.

 

Following West Pac 2003, VAW-112 finally got some well-earned time at home. During this period, various exercises continued to keep the squadron’s skills sharpened. In January 2004, the Golden Hawks departed once more on the USS Carl Vinson for a three-week Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA) exercise. This was repeated again in June 2004 and served as the beginning of the next workup cycle in preparation for deploying in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). Following TSTA the squadron again detached to Fallon, Nevada on two different occasions – first for three weeks to complete SFARP and again two months later for Air Wing Fallon for four weeks. The workup cycle also included a three-week return to the USS CARL VINSON for the carrier’s Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) which brought the entire strike group together into one cohesive fighting unit in preparation for actual combat operations.

 

In January 2005, VAW-112 prepared for an “Around the World” deployment on board the USS CARL VINSON and after a three week Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX), promptly headed west in support of OIF. After port calls in Guam and Singapore, the USS CARL VINSON and CVW-9 arrived in the Arabian Gulf where VAW-112 immediately began flying missions over Iraq. The Golden Hawks served as an airborne battlefield communications relay for the troops and convoys in country. VAW-112 carried out over 480 sorties , accumulating nearly 1,500 hours with a 98 percent sortie completion rate.

 

The Golden Hawks returned from their “around the world” deployment in August 2005. With the end of their deployment, VAW-112 and CVW-9 transferred to the USS JOHN C. STENNIS as the USS CARL VINSON entered a complex overhaul cycle at Newport News, Virginia. In November 2005, the Golden Hawks became the first squadron on the West Coast to incorporate the NP2000 eight blade modification for its propellers. In April 2006 the Golden Hawks began work ups for their scheduled 2007 deployment. Beginning with the Hawkeye Advance Readiness Program (HARP), 112 honed their skills in the aircraft in preparation for that May’s SFARP, Strike Fighter Advance Readiness Program, at NAS Fallon. The Golden Hawks returned to sea that June onboard the USS JOHN C. STENNIS for Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA). Following CSG-3’s Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX), the Golden Hawks returned to Pt. Mugu for the holidays and prepared for their upcoming January deployment.

 

In January, 2007, VAW-112 again deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. The Golden Hawks served as an airborne battlefield communications platform coordinating close air support and tanking missions. VAW-112 carried out over 950 sorties, accumulating over 1,800 hours with a 98 percent sortie completion rate. After five months in the Northern Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf, the Golden Hawks returned to NAS Point Mugu, California to complete a seven month deployment. For their efforts and superior performance both in the air and on the ground, VAW-112 was awarded the Battle Efficiency Award or ‘Battle E’ from Commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

 

Upon return from deployment, VAW-112 received four new Hawkeye 2000 aircraft. This platform incorporates new electronic and flight systems increasing the Golden Hawk’s ability to provide accurate and timely airborne command and control. This capability was displayed as VAW-112 performed well above standards during the first two phases of workups in 2008. During both Hawkeye Advanced Readiness Program and Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program, the Golden Hawks employed the newest tactics against capable adversaries with resounding success. This work up cycle led to a successful Westpac deployment from January to July of 2009. The squadron conducted ongoing maritime security operations in the Seventh Fleet AOR.

 

From July 2009 to August 2010, VAW-112 was in a squadron maintenance phase, after many years of demanding duty.

 

From September of 2010 through June of 2011, VAW-112 found themselves in another demanding work up cycle. The goal of this cycle is to ensure the battle readiness of navy units. This began with Hawkeye and Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Programs (Harp and SFARP). In January 2011, VAW-112 returned to the high seas for TSTA, once again aboard the USS John C. Stennis. In February 2011, VAW-112 supported the Centennial of Naval Aviation flyover with two E-2C Hawkeyes. VAW-112 spent May and June of 2011 participating in Composite Training Unit Exercise and Joint Task Force Exercise to ensure that they, and all of Carrier Strike Group Three, could continually project power from the sea.

 

From July of 2011 to March of 2012, VAW-112 was again deployed in support of OPERARTIONS ENDURING FREEDOM and NEW DAWN. During this time, VAW-112 flew 1,671 hours and had a 99% combat sortie completion rate. It was a Golden Hawk E-2C, on an airborne battle field command and control flight, that flew the final US Navy combat sortie over Iraq.

 

When not under way, the Golden Hawks of VAW-112 are stationed at NBVC Point Mugu, California.

 

Immediately after returning from cruise, the Golden Hawks were informed that as part of the surge carrier, they would begin a condensed work-up cycle for an eight-month deployment, again in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. After two weeks of Air Wing Fallon and two weeks of Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX), VAW-112 set sail in September 2012. After supporting OEF and Operation SPARTAN SHIELD, the Golden Hawks finally returned in May 2013.

 

From May 2013 through present day, all VAW-112 aircraft have undergone a transition to the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system, in addition to a weapons system software upgrade, which enhances the ability to carry out our mission. Maintenance and Aircrew have completed multiple training sorties, aircraft transfers and acceptances, and detachments to different parts of the country.

 

To learn even more about VAW-112 and their mission, please visit their website at: http://www.cacclw.navy.mil/vaw112/

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(Ottosen Photography) Bird Farm CVN 74 Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 E-2C Golden Hawks Grumman Hawkeye USS John C. Stennis VAW-112 https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/10/vaw-112-golden-hawks Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:17:54 GMT
Marine Week Phoenix https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/9/marine-week-phoenix mcdonnell douglas f/a-18c hornetmcdonnell douglas f/a-18c hornetMarine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323) "Death Rattlers" The United States Marine Corps celebrated community, country and Corps with the greater Phoenix area as more than 600 Marines flooded the "Valley of the Sun" from September 10-13, 2015. Your Leathernecks performed band concerts, showcased equipment and aircraft, such as the MV-22b Osprey and AH-1Z Viper, and engaged in community service events.

 

Part of Marine Week Phoenix were two Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstrations held out at the University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals). The Marines were gracious enough to invite Ottosen Photography out there as part of the media, but I chose to avoid the crowds and head over to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport instead. This is where the Marines were staging their aircraft for the MAGTF Demo, and it allowed me to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to launch and recover these aircraft. The Marines brought a Lockheed Martin KC-130J Super Hercules, three McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornets, three Bell/Boeing MV-22B Ospreys, two Bell UH-1Y Venoms, and two Bell AH-1Z Vipers for these demos.  One of the Hornets and one of the Ospreys were extras, just in case there were any mechanical issues with one of the other aircraft. It was incredible to see all of these aircraft start and move into action all at the same time. All of the planning done in their preflight briefing, and their training as pilots, could really be seen as the aircraft moved individually in their element, and as a whole group preparing to depart the airfield.

 

The MAGTF is specifically designed for swift deployment of Marine forces by air, land, or sea. The MAGTF provides our nation with a broad spectrum of response options when our nation's interests are threatened. Coordinating a balanced team of ground, air, and logistics assets under a central command, these self-sustained, combined arms forces conduct the full range of operations. MAGTFs can be tailored in size and capability to meet the needs of each mission.

 

Being "First to Fight" is just as important in the air as it is on land and at sea. As America's expeditionary force in readiness, the Marine Corps requires a flexible, responsive aviation combat element.

 

Air to Ground
There is no better integration of air, ground, logistics assets into one unit than the MAGTF.  Whether the mission calls for the rapid insertion of ground units or for providing close air support, the Marines on the ground can count on the Marines in the air.  There are more than 80 active squadrons in the Marine Corps made up of Rotary-Wing, Fixed-Wing, Tilt-rotor, and Unmanned aircraft. It is the task of Marine Aviation to provide six functions: assault support, anti-aircraft warfare, offensive air support, electronic warfare, control of aircraft and missiles and aerial reconnaissance.

 

Marine Aviation provides MAGTF commanders with six essential functions: Offensive Air Support, Anti-Aircraft Warfare, Assault Support, Control of Missiles and Aircraft, Aerial Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare. One example of a Marine aircraft that can provide many of these functions is the four-bladed Marine UH-1Y Venom.

 

bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) "Atlas"

 

Marine Aviation's ability to deploy rapidly and take off and land from makeshift airfields is another of its distinctions. The ability to provide support from the air is predicated on the ability to bring airpower as close as possible to the fight. There isn't a force more capable of responding quickly in any environment around the world than the MAGTF, and it is the adaptable, rapidly deployable nature of Marine Aviation that makes this possible.

 

The term Close Air Support (CAS), has become synonymous with Marine Aviation because Marines have always considered it to be the most significant contribution provided from the air. No other aviation force in the world puts so much importance on close air support and, because of this, no ground force is as capable as the Marine Corps.

 

It was the introduction of airpower that allowed the Marine Corps to become the quick reaction force our nation required, and demanded. What sets Marine Aviation apart is how it fits within the framework of a combined arms force. This structure is the vital piece of the dilemma the Marine Corps presents to its enemy: To counteract one element is to become vulnerable to another. To take cover from our infantry is to present a target for our close air support. To run from our bombs is to become exposed to our riflemen.

 

bell ah-1w supercobrabell ah-1w supercobraMarine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) "Atlas" bell/boeing mv-22b ospreybell/boeing mv-22b ospreyMarine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 764 (VMM-764) "Moonlight"

 


Ship to Shore
As global natural resources become scarcer and competition for these resources increases, migration to coastal areas will rise.  Add to this scenario the fact that many of these regions are undeveloped, and the conditions for conflict ripen. Fortunately for our nation and world, these emerging threats align with the Marine Corps' foremost area of expertise. Marines have the amphibious capabilities to reach areas traditional forces cannot and are able to operate without ports, airstrips or significant infrastructure. This ability to project power from the sea, whether to provide aid, defeat an oppressor or re-establish order, is one of our most significant areas of difference from the other services. It isn't enough to get Marines ashore, however. Marines must have the firepower to carry the day upon arrival. Deployed aboard amphibious assault ships that include a flight deck, hangar deck and well deck, Marines hit the beach with the full support of every logistics and aviation asset in a MAGTF.

 

I have never seen a MAGTF demo in person, but after seeing some of the aviation action this week and reading more about the MAGTF, I can honestly say that I would love to see the MAGTF demo in action. I know they do the demo at the MCAS Miramar Air Show, maybe it's time to start making some reservations in San Diego, California.

 

Information provided by: marines.mil

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(Ottosen Photography) AH-1Z Bell Bell/Boeing Community Corps Country F/A-18C Hornet KC-130J Lockheed Martin MAGTF MV-22B Marine Air-Ground Task Force Marine Corps Marine Week Marines McDonnell Douglas Mesa Osprey Phoenix Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Super Hercules UH-1Y Venom Viper Willie https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/9/marine-week-phoenix Mon, 14 Sep 2015 04:55:31 GMT
InSight: Revealing the Heart of Mars https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/9/insight-revealing-the-heart-of-mars

Have you ever wanted to blast off on a NASA rocket and travel to Mars?  Well, now you have exactly that opportunity!  Well not exactly, but your name can ride the fire into space for you. I originally came across this on NASA's website prior to Orion's Flight Test on December 4, 2014.  Rylan and I both registered for boarding passes for that flight, and now you can register for a boarding pass to have your name fly to Mars aboard InSight.  Just click the link at the bottom of this page to register for your own.  But hurry, registration closes on September 8th.

 

 

Once you have registered for your boarding pass, you can also check your Mars Frequent Flyer Club account.

 

InSight is scheduled to blast off from Vandenberg AFB, California, Earth on March 4, 2016 aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket, and its destination is Elysium Planitia, "Plain of Ideal Happiness," Mars.

 

InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior.

 

But InSight is more than a Mars mission - it is a terrestrial planet explorer that will address one of the most fundamental issues of planetary and solar system science - understanding the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than four billion years ago.

 

By using sophisticated geophysical instruments, InSight will delve deep beneath the surface of Mars, detecting the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation, as well as measuring the planet's "vital signs": Its "pulse" (seismology), "temperature" (heat flow probe), and "reflexes" (precision tracking).

 

InSight seeks to answer one of science's most fundamental questions: How did the terrestrial planets form?

 

Credit: nasa.gov | http://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/insight/

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(Ottosen Photography) #JOURNEYTOMARS Boarding Pass California Earth Elysium Planitia Frequent Flyer Club InSight Mars Martian NASA Plain of Ideal Happiness Vandenberg AFB https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/9/insight-revealing-the-heart-of-mars Sat, 05 Sep 2015 17:57:12 GMT
US Navy: A Case For Aircraft Carriers And Air Wings https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/8/us-navy-a-case-for-aircraft-carriers-and-air-wings boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
Because of my recent Distinguished Visitor (DV) embark out to the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), I receive regular email updates about the US Navy and US Naval Air Forces.  I received another one of these emails just the other day, and it says, Thank you for your past participation as a Distinguished Visitor (DV) aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier.  As a DV, you were afforded a very rare, first-hand look at shipboard life and were witness to the pride and professionalism displayed by the young men and women who serve in our Navy today.  As part of Naval Air Force's ongoing outreach efforts, we thought we would share with you a recently-published Editorial, by Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, the current Commander, Naval Air Forces.

 

Now, I know that you can find this Editorial published elsewhere, especially since I have seen it posted on Facebook, but it is so good that I wanted to share it again, with you, here on Ottosen Photography and include my photos (see slide show at bottom), from my recent DV embark, to illustrate Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker's points.  After all, bringing awareness to the US Navy and US Naval Air Forces is exactly why I embarked aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), while she was underway in the Pacific Ocean with her Air Wing.

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

A Case For Aircraft Carriers And Air Wings, by Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Naval Air Forces

Today, more than ever, U.S. national interests require the speed, endurance, flexibility and autonomous nature of the U.S. Navy's nuclear powered aircraft carrier, which deploys, operates and is prepared to fight as part of a Carrier Strike Group (CSG).

 

The CSG provides our national command authority with options, access and forward presence that allows for a rapid response to a wide spectrum of threats or natural disasters. Even when faced with contested waters and airspace, the composition and maneuverability of a CSG ensures survivability of the carrier while its embarked carrier air wing uses its integrated capabilities to project power, thus enabling the U.S. to continue its role as a key guarantor of peace and stability around the world.

 

CSGs, typically comprised of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier (CVN) and its embarked air wing, one guided-missile cruiser , a couple of guided-missile destroyers , and a supply ship, train and deploy as a team with well-established integrated tactics, techniques, and procedures that allow for freedom of maneuver in the global commons. Operationally, the combined strength of the CSG remains vastly greater than the sum of its parts. As a complex, joint force multiplier, with command and control and organic logistical capabilities, there exists no comparable way to quickly generate the effects crucial to American diplomatic and economic interests that carrier aviation offers.

 


Carrier Strike Groups provide access - access often denied or diplomatically slow to attain through other military and civilian channels. CSGs afford options to deny an adversary's objectives, preserve freedom of action, and assure access for other joint and coalition forces. While political dynamics and host nation sensitivities can restrict the use of land-based aircraft in the initial stages of conflict, CVNs and their embarked air wings can reach nearly any spot on the globe without having to ask permission. We continue to live in a turbulent and unsettled world, and the strategic options and flexibility our CSGs provide remain in high demand by our Combatant Commanders around the world.

 

When the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant suddenly and viciously expanded across the Middle East in the summer of 2014, and the President needed immediate options to curb ISIL's advance, the George H.W. Bush Strike Group was on station in the Arabian Gulf and ready within 30 hours of being tasked. The Bush CSG was the only strike option on station for the first 10 days of the conflict and remained there for a total of 54 days as the only viable U.S. option until the order was given to conduct air and cruise missile strikes. Since the beginning of Operation Inherent Resolve, in fact since well before 9/11, CSGs continue to be present in that region of the world, with seamless transitions among those strike groups as they rotate in and out.

 

The continuous forward presence carriers provide around the world comes with a cost. After nearly 14 years of sustained combat operations, Naval Aviation forces must reset and recapitalize in an effort to ensure readiness in the future. The frequency and extended durations of carrier strike group deployments has accelerated the wear on the force and has led to increased maintenance and repair requirements, resulting in lengthened maintenance availability periods. Deliberate planning and resourcing has Naval Aviation on a path to recover our readiness in the coming months and years, ensuring the carrier force is where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.

 


The value of stability and security operations is often manifested in what does not occur - such as tensions that are quietly defused and do not escalate into armed conflict. In April 2015, while on station in the Arabian Gulf, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transited the Strait of Hormuz to the Arabian Sea, joining other forces conducting maritime security operations off the coast of Yemen to ensure vital shipping lanes remained open and safe. Following Theodore Roosevelt's move, an Iranian convoy transiting toward Yemen reversed course, underscoring the stabilizing effect the carrier force can have overseas. As an agent of American diplomacy, CSGs communicate our nation's commitment to maritime security, regional stability and the uninterrupted flow of goods and services that is critical to continued economic prosperity for all nations.

 


The value of forward presence acts not only as a deterrent, but also enables rapid response to disasters as demonstrated by USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) immediately following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. The carrier produced and delivered potable water for thousands of displaced families, airlifted tons of food and supplies ashore, and conducted search and rescue operations. CVNs, working with allies and partner nations, remain ready to save lives, provide immediate relief, and set the conditions for effective civilian response without relying on damaged or inaccessible ports or airfields ashore. In the next few months, Ronald Reagan will return to Japan, replacing USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the centerpiece of our Forward Deployed Naval Forces in northeast Asia and delivering our most capable Nimitz-class CVN to that critical region of the world.

 


The Future Of Naval Aviation.

Naval Aviation continues to evolve to out-pace threats. A truly innovative ship, the Gerald R. Ford-class CVN will be the nucleus for our future carrier strike groups and a critical enabler of U.S. naval power for the 21st century. A major redesign of the Nimitz-class, Ford incorporates visionary advances in technology resulting in significantly improved combat capability and enhanced service life. Rear Adm. Mike Manazir recently released an article describing the unmatched value of the Ford-class, explaining the carrier's often overlooked return on investment over a lifespan of 50 years, and the ability of the ship to remain survivable, sustainable and relevant while its embarked air wing continues to evolve to keep pace with technological advances and incorporate future capabilities - a characteristic of Naval Aviation that cannot be overstated.

 

The Ford-class design enables the Navy to operate the carrier with less manpower, saving more than $4 billion in total ownership costs over the life of the ship when compared to today's Nimitz-class CVNs. CVN 78, the first in the Ford class, is on track to deliver next spring. Historically, the first of any class of ship or aircraft costs more than follow-on platforms, and the significant leap in combat capability, growth capacity for new technologies and life cycle cost reductions that were built into the Ford-class came with an associated initial cost. CVNs 79, 80 and the rest of the Ford-class ships will continue an acquisition strategy that will further drive down cost while delivering unmatched capability for the future. USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the most recently inactivated U.S. CVN, served the nation for 51 years, supporting generations of new aircraft while remaining at the forefront of national defense and providing decades of power projection options to our nation's leaders.

 

The carrier air wing, as the CVN's "weapons system," must also continue to transform to pace the future threat capabilities of potential adversaries. In order to project power we must first be able to understand the operating environment through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) efforts and establish local air superiority for our forces to operate. Investments in platforms, payloads, sensors and communications are required to assure access, project power, and enable sea control in the future fight. Each platform assigned to the future carrier air wing will contribute to overall mission effectiveness and lethality by accomplishing a variety of missions.
 UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike) will be the next step in the Navy's revolutionary integration of unmanned air systems into the CSG and will provide the strike group commander with persistent ISR plus time critical targeting and precision strike capability. The real advantage this system brings to the fleet is its ability to operate in anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) environments and provide increased situational awareness of potential threats ahead of the CSG, essentially serving as the commander's initial "eyes and ears" in contested air and water space.

 

F-35C Lightning II will be an absolutely critical addition to the CSG's integrated warfighting package with stealth advantages that allow it to penetrate threat envelopes, the ability to detect and fuse information from many sources, and link that fused picture to other CSG aircraft, ships and decision-makers. F/A-18 Super Hornets, with the ability to carry large payloads of advanced weapons will continue to provide lethality and flexibility, and complement the F-35C to provide a very capable high/low mix of strike-fighters that can deliver responsiveness and firepower across the range of military operations.

 

EA-18G Growlers will dominate the electromagnetic spectrum, providing advanced airborne electronic attack capabilities, screening CVW and CSG assets conducting their missions, and protecting joint forces operating ashore by disrupting enemy communications. E-2D Hawkeyes have new radars that significantly improve their ability to search for and track targets while providing critical CSG command and control, and coordination of a range of missions, including integrated air and missile defense, and long range anti-air and anti-surface warfare. MH-60R and S helicopters remain a potent combination for defense of the CSG, with MH-60Rs acting as the primary anti-submarine platform in close proximity to the carrier.

 

Finally, the critical, future logistical connector for the CSG, CV-22 Ospreys will provide organic re-supply and transport services, as well as the flexibility to support other mission areas as required. Although external to the CSG, the integrated capabilities of P-8A Poseidons, working with Triton MQ-4C UAVs, will be key to successful strike group operations, enabling access, providing maritime ISR and conducting critical anti-submarine operations.

 

Through judicious application of resources and a focused, evolutionary investment strategy, the CVN and carrier air wing of the future will continue to be the primary platform called upon to deliver assured access, power projection and sea control well into the future. Absolutely critical to national security and stability in the 21st century, future CSGs will have the right platforms and new capabilities to operate in highly contested environments when required, while continuing to provide a persistent, flexible, forward-deployed force that will remain a stabilizing presence where it matters, when it matters, in an all too uncertain world.

 

Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker,
Commander, Naval Air Forces

 

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Air Wing Aircraft Carrier CSG CVN CVN 68 CVN 74 CVN 78 Carrier Air Wing Carrier Strike Group DV Distinguished Visitor Ford Class Naval Aviation Nimitz Class US Naval Air Forces US Navy USS John C. Stennis Vice Admiral Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/8/us-navy-a-case-for-aircraft-carriers-and-air-wings Sat, 15 Aug 2015 16:07:46 GMT
RedStar Pilots Association https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/7/redstar-pilots-association redstarredstarRedStar Formation Clinic The RedStar Pilots Association is an international organization with members throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany.  The RedStar Pilots Association's mission is to promote and preserve the safe operation, display, and enjoyment of all aircraft -- jet to prop, aerobatic, sport, warbird and utility -- and especially those originating in the current and former communist block nations.  The RedStar Pilots Association strives to function as the primary clearing house for information related to the maintenance and safe operation of their aircraft.  They are an FAA-sanctioned signatory to the Formation And Safety Team (F.A.S.T.).  This allows them to train, qualify, and manage civilian formation pilots in the United States and Canada for the safe conduct of formation flight.  Pilots the world over benefit from formation training, at all levels, while the public's interest is maintained through their efforts to reinforce safety of flight.

 

I have been lucky enough to take part in a couple of their formation clinics, which are held multiple times each year in many different locations.  This allows pilots from all over the opportunity to take part in these clinics and hone their formation skills.  I have participated as a photographer in two of their mass formation clinics that have been held at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona.  The participants work on their flying skills in smaller two or three-ship formations, with the weekend culminating in the mass formation.  They always brief, fly, and debrief so they are able to learn from every aspect from the flight, right or wrong and good or bad.

 

The day of the mass formation starts early with pilots arriving at the hangar and signing in.  The mass formation is scheduled for sometime in the afternoon, usually incorporated with some sort of aviation event or fly-in.  The morning allows the pilots time to hang out and discuss formation techniques, and to get up into the air and practice the smaller two or three-ship formations.  After lunch the entire group briefs the afternoon mass formation, discussing every aspect of the formation including the flight plan, call signs, positions, timing, radio frequencies, and emergency procedures.  The mass formation is made up of smaller four-ship formations, and after the entire group briefs they break into their smaller, individual formation groups to go over the mass formation info again along with any additional information pertinent to their smaller formation.  Once both briefs are completed, it is time to go fly.

 

The first mass formation I did with the group was to fly over the Cactus Fly-In that is held yearly in Casa Grande, Arizona.  During this formation I was in the back seat of a North American T-6 Texan, and we were located within the formation itself.  This meant that I was able to experience the formation, but my photos would be of individual aircraft or smaller formations within the mass formation.

 

nanchang cj-6ananchang cj-6a beechcraft t-34a mentorbeechcraft t-34a mentor beechcraft t-34a mentorbeechcraft t-34a mentor nanchang cj-6ananchang cj-6a
nanchang cj-6nanchang cj-6 north american t-6 texannorth american t-6 texan north american t-6 texannorth american t-6 texan  

 

The second mass formation I did with the group was to fly over the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Open House.  During this formation I was in the back seat of a Nanchang CJ-6A, and we were one of two designated photo ships.  This meant that I was able to watch and photograph the entire formation, but it also meant that I didn't have as many photos at the end of the day.

 

nanchang cj-6ananchang cj-6a redstarredstarRedStar Formation Clinic

 

Both of these flights were amazing experiences and I would like to give a huge thanks to Scott Andrews for all the help, and to the amazing pilots of the RPA.  For more information about the RedStar Pilots Association, please visit their website at http://flyredstar.org.

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona CJ-6A Falcon Field Formation Clinic Mesa Nanchang North American RPA RedStar RedStar Pilots Association T-6 Texan Warbird https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/7/redstar-pilots-association Sat, 25 Jul 2015 16:53:56 GMT
Oral History: Major Paul Greer (Retired) https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/6/oral-history-major-paul-greer-retired boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressTraining flight over Tampa, Florida.
1944

Major Paul Greer (Retired) turned 17 the same day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  After the attack on Pearl Harbor, guys his age all figured that they were going to get called into service one day soon, so he took some electronics courses hoping to do something with electronics if he were ever to be called into service.

 

When he was younger, Paul was always interested in airplanes, building model airplanes and flying them in national contests.  Due to sheer luck, when he was a senior in High School, he got his first ride in an airplane.  On a trip to St. Louis, his dad, he, and a few friends made a stop at Lambert Field where a friend of theirs took them up in a Beech Staggerwing, and boy did he love it.  When they got ready to land, the sound of the landing gear cycling down made him jump, as he wasn’t used to the sounds of an aircraft.  This was the only flying he did prior to his time in the service.

 

Over the next year, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Paul got all of his papers together for the Army Air Corps Cadet Program, only to find out the Army Air Corps put the program on hold.  He then found out the Navy still had a similar program, so he got a few extra papers together and was getting ready to submit everything to the Navy when the Army Air Corps reopened their Cadet Program.  On his 18th Birthday, in 1942, a year after Pearl Harbor, he signed up for the Army Air Corps’ Reserve Program.  In this program they called you when they needed you, and Paul waited until April 1943 when he received the call to join the Cadet Program.

 

Basic Training was at Sheppard Field, Texas and this was also where he started his ground school.  He was then sent to Minnesota for college courses, meteorology, and they got 10 hours in a Piper Cub, but they couldn't solo.  A lot of guys decided they didn't like to fly.  This was because they didn't like the Piper Cub, but Paul, he liked it.  He was then sent to Santa Ana, California for a lot of tests for senses, flexibility, and eye sight.  After the testing you were classified as a Pilot, Bombardier, Navigator, or wash-out.  Paul made Pilot, he then started his training at Ryan Field near Tucson, Arizona where he soloed.  He then went to Marana, Arizona for Basic Pilot Training, and then to Douglas, Arizona for Twin-Engine Advanced Training in the Cessna AT-17 Bobcat.  When he graduated from Twin-Engine Advanced Training, he was hoping to move on to fighter aircraft.  He had originally asked for a fighter assignment, and was hoping to be sent to Williams Field, Arizona to train on the P-38, as that was what he was really after.  He had fallen in love with the P-38 while training in Santa Ana, California, there was a nearby Army Air Corps Base that was training pilots on the P-38s.  He would watch the aircraft performing different maneuvers, and that's when he decided that he wanted to fly one of those.

 

But when he was sent to Advanced in Douglas, instead of Williams Field, he knew his chances of being a fighter pilot were slim.  He still kept telling the Army Air Corps that he wanted to fly fighters, but at the end of his training most of the guys were being sent to B-17 training with a few going to Williams Field for fighters.  At that time there weren't any fighter openings for Paul.  They told him that if he could stay in Douglas for a while there's a possibility of a Night Fighter opening flying the Northrop P-61 Black Widow.  Meanwhile he was flying maintenance checks in the AT-17 to wring them out to make sure everything was still stuck together.  What was interesting was, while he was still in Douglas, they grounded all of the AT-17s due to the main wing spar glue crystallizing.  Some of the instructors volunteered to fly them back to Wichita, Kansas to the factory for repairs.  After about three weeks he was told that there wasn't a Night Fighter opening available, and if he wanted to fly it would have to be the B-17 or B-24.  He was then sent down to Plant Park, Tampa, Florida for B-17 training.  Paul often wondered how could he fly something as big as a B-17.  He eventually got used to it and enjoyed it.  Paul said, "The B-17 is a nice, steady airplane that could almost fly itself."  Plant Park was right across the bay from another B-17 base, and the crews competed for various things including an opportunity to fly to Cuba for an overnight.  Here in Plant Park he learned to fly the B-17 as a Co-pilot.

 

boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressTraining flight over Tampa, Florida.
1944

Training flight over Tampa, Florida. 1944

 

After completing his training his crew went up to New York.  From there, some of the crews got to fly their new aircraft over to England, but some of the crews went by ship.  There was no choice in this, and his crew was sent by ship.  Two of the Officers from each crew had to go up and help load the ship.  There were 10,000 Troops and 500 Army Nurses that had to board the ship and they all had to board very fast.  Paul was one of the loaders, and it was his job to assign bunks as everyone boarded the ship.  The ship was the SS Île de France which was a French luxury liner that had been converted for the war.  The ship was fairly fast, so they didn't have as much escort as some of the slower ships did.  Even with the speed of the ship, they did have a couple of scares where everyone was instructed to put on their life vests and muster to their lifeboats.  Nothing ever materialized in either of these scares, and he always wondered if they were just drills.  The day they landed in Scotland was Paul’s 20th Birthday, and shortly after arriving they boarded a train down to England.  On one of the stops along the way to England, there was another troop train going the other way.  They started talking to the troops on that train, but they could hardly understand them.  Turns out they were Scottish, and their accents were so thick it made communication difficult.

 

Paul was based out of the former Royal Air Force Station (RAF) Thurleigh, located 5 miles north of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.  RAF Thurleigh was transferred to the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force in December 1942 and designated Station 111.  Station 111 was the base of the 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) which was assigned to the 40th Combat Wing. The group tail code was a "Triangle H."  Once in England, when you first get to your assignment, the Pilot flies as a Co-pilot with an experienced crew.  So, he got five missions in, and then Paul started flying as Co-pilot on January 1, 1944.  After flying 30 missions, their Pilot was done and Paul flew the next five as Pilot. Paul recalls lot of exciting times with fighters and flak, low on gas, and three forced landings; one in France and two in Belgium.

 

boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortress306th Bomb Group on bombing mission.

306th Bomb Group on bombing mission.

 

Their B-17 was assigned the slot position, right under and behind the lead B-17, the turbulence from the other aircraft in the formation caused them to burn more fuel.  Because of this there were three times that they didn't have enough fuel to make it back over the English Channel, and during certain times of year you don't last very long in the Channel, even in a Mae West, but they always wore a Mae West because they were always flying over water.  One of times they couldn't make it back resulted in a diversion in France, once on the ground they traded the local French military, who came out on bicycles when they landed, some .50 caliber ammunition for some small pistol ammunition.  They were able to get enough fuel to take off again and make it back home to England.  They did the same thing another time in Belgium without incident.  The closest to not making it was on February 14, 1945.  The target was Dresden, Germany and it had been firebombed by the Royal Air Force the night before.  On the way there the group encountered fighters, but they didn't get to Paul’s aircraft.  The Flight Engineer informed them that they didn't have enough fuel to make it across the Channel, or even much further than their current position.  Paul radioed the Direction Finding (DF) Station for vectors to possible alternates.  They were vectored to a base that they said would be available, a base in Belgium that they had recaptured from the Germans.  They followed their vectors, and while still at altitude, on top of the clouds, a Messerschmitt Me 109 came out of nowhere and headed for them.  They dropped down into the clouds and got rid of him.  They stayed in the clouds and followed the vectors while descending.  Then, they almost got shot down, a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 put a 20mm cannon shell almost into the slots for the twin .50 caliber machine guns in the tail of their B-17G.  All the while the fuel gauge was getting lower and lower.  There is a 0 mark on the gauge and then a pin below that, the needle was below the 0 and almost on the pin.  They alerted the crew, you can have your choice, if the engines start cutting out you can either stick with the emergency landing or bail out.  They were then told that they should be able to see the field.  The clouds were still too thick, and they couldn't see the field.  They really thought they were going to have to bail out or crash land their B-17.  The crew started to get their gear together to bail out, and then the pilots saw an opening in the fog and they could just barely see the runway.  The Pilot told the crew to button-up for landing.  As the Pilot made his approach they realized that he had lined up with the taxiway and ramp that had planes parked all up and down it, so they had to give it power.  They all thought that they didn’t have enough fuel to go-around, but they had to, they didn't have a choice.  During the go-around they saw the runway and were able to make it around and land on the runway.  Paul said, "Due to the weather, we had to stay there three days."  The airfield was Sint-Truiden Air Base, or designated by the Allies as Advanced Landing Ground A-92 or "Saint Trond Airfield."  The base had bombers and fighters there, others that had been directed there for emergency landings.  Paul said, "At night we went into the town and could see the flashes on the hillside where they were fighting, and another night we hitchhiked into Brussels."

 

boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressTail turret with cannon damage.
Belgium
February 14, 1945

Tail gunner showing cannon damage to his tail turret. Belgium, February 14, 1945

 

Paul had to be checked out on the ILS with a Senior Pilot before he could become First Pilot, but he only had to use ILS once or twice on missions.  Paul graduated Pilot training on June 27, 1944.  After becoming 1st Pilot, Paul flew a mission where an engine went out, so he had to fly part of it and land on three engines.  They successfully made it, but he said it was a little scary.  They started with a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, but they ended up getting a fairly new Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress.  Their B-17 never had nose art, but it ended up getting the name "Continental Kid" due to their three fuel diversions.

 

Paul flew his last mission on April 6, 1945, and they returned home around Mother's Day that same year.  Paul was reassigned to AAF Central Flying Training Command at Enid Army Airfield, Enid, Oklahoma where he was to learn to fly the North American B-25H Mitchell bomber and then go to Japan.  After only three or four flights with an instructor, the war ended.  In addition to the training aircraft, B-17, and B-25, Paul also has time in the B-29, B-24, and C-47.

 

His total military career was 30 years, including his time in the Reserves.  He spent time at Luke Air Force Base, Holloman Air Development Center, and Edwards Air Force Base.  While at Holloman Air Development Center he was able to work on their rocket propelled test sled system, and helped develop speed measuring equipment for future tests on that system.  While at Edwards Air Force Base, he was able to watch one of Scott Crossfield's X-15 flights.

 

 

I have known Paul my entire life, but it wasn't until I started getting involved with the Commemorative Air Force that I learned of this exciting and historical chapter of his life.  When I started working with the CAF's Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey," Paul and I would discuss the B-17 at length.  We talked about what a great aircraft they are to fly, and Paul would share with me some of his memories from his days in England and I would share with him my memories of going on tour with "Sentimental Journey."  I interviewed Paul at his home on Saturday, May 17, 2014, and this oral history comes from that interview.  The photos contained within this article are from Paul's personal collection and are used and displayed with his permission.

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(Ottosen Photography) 306th Bombardment Group 40th Combat Wing AT-17 Arizona B-17F B-17G B-24 B-25H B-29 Beech Belgium Bobcat Boeing C-47 Cessna Consolidated Cub Douglas England Flying Fortress Focke-Wulf France Fw 190 Germany Liberator Me 109 Messerschmitt Mitchell North American Pearl Harbor Piper Skytrain Staggerwing Superfortress WWII https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/6/oral-history-major-paul-greer-retired Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:00:00 GMT
US Navy Aircraft Carrier Embark (Part 4 of 4) - Day Two https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-4-of-4---day-two northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
On April 30, 2015, I was able to take part in a 24-hour, Distinguished Visitor (DV)/media embark aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  The Navy flew me to and from the ship in a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, and we made an arrested landing upon arrival and a catapult launch when we departed the next day.  I was able to see much of the ship, and also spend many hours taking photos on their active flight deck.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!  I am now writing a four-part, first person account to tell the story of my embark.

 

Our staterooms were located right under the start of the number 1 Cat, so it was loud.  You could easily hear when a Super Hornet was preparing for launch and went to full power.  Luckily the flight ops were finished around 10:30pm, but that didn't mean the ship would be quite.  There were all sorts of noises happening all over the ship, some of them seemed to be coming right from my own stateroom.  Due to my excitement and these noises, I didn't get much sleep.  Once we were all up, packed, and ready, it was time for breakfast.  We enjoyed our breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, and biscuits and gravy while discussing the previous day and making plans for that morning.

 

After breakfast we went to the Hangar Bay.  Here we watched some of the crew performing maintenance on different aircraft.  The Hangar Bay was like a maze walking around and under aircraft just to get to where you were going.

 

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

We made our way back to the Jet Shop, this is where they repair and test jet engines and they had a few engines on test racks inside the shop.  They took us to the engine test control room, where they can watch and monitor engine tests that take place on the ship's fantail.  They then took us out to the fantail to show us how the racks lock to the ship's deck and where the afterburner would be pointed.  We were all hoping to be able to watch a test run, but they have to be done at night so they can clearly see the afterburner.

 

After the Jet Shop, we made our way down further into the ship to see their weapons hold.  This is where they store the missiles and bombs for the entire air wing, along with any weapons for use to protect the ship.  Our phones had to be turned off or at least on airplane mode to enter this area of the ship.  They were all off anyway, it's not like we had any wireless or data service where we were, but we double checked them anyway.  They reviewed the different pistols and rifles the crew used, and then they showed us examples of all the missiles and bombs they carry.  Some of them are so big that a Super Hornet cannot return to the ship with them.

 

At this point our group split up, I needed to head over to the Ready Room for Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters."  I have a friend that is a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot with VFA-14, and at breakfast I had found out that he was aboard the ship.  Tim and I actually went to the same flight school at Arizona State University, and while I went into aviation photography he went on to fly Super Hornets for the US Navy.  Tim is also a photographer with a passion for aviation photography.  When I first met Tim we were both shooting photos from the same side of the fence, the outside side.  When I got to the Ready Room, I was hoping to surprise him, but he had just received an email from a mutual friend that told him that I was aboard the ship and would probably be stopping by for a visit.  It was good to see Tim in this environment, and to hear that he was doing so good.

 

Now it was time for a quick stop back in my stateroom, I had to get my cranial and float coat before heading up to the LSO Platform to meet the others.  Once up on the flight deck, I could see that there were helicopters on deck refueling and there were two Super Hornets on Cats 1 and 3 in the ready-5 status.  Once the helicopters departed, the purple shirts refueled the Super Hornets and then they launched.  The launch of the ready-5 aircraft started the launches for the day.

 

sikorsky mh-60s knighthawksikorsky mh-60s knighthawkHelicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 (HSC-14) "Chargers"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

For these launches, I moved back up to the ship's Crotch.  I was hoping to catch more launches coming off the waist.  After a Hawkeye launched off Cat 1, my escort had an idea of a place to go.  We went back down into the ship and came out along the catwalk on the starboard edge of the bow.  We were right up at the front of the ship, and when the aircraft were launching from Cat 1 their wings would go right over our heads.

 

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
flight opsflight opsUSS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

After the last launch it was time to head back to the media room and prepare to disembark the ship, our time aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was quickly coming to an end.  Our bags had been brought up to the media room, and were waiting for us.  We turned in our cranials and float coats, and packed our gear away.  At 12:45pm it was time to make our way up for our departure briefing.  We took our bags with us and dropped them outside the briefing room door.  We watched a video that covered our safety gear, horse collars and cranials, and what to expect during the launch and flight back to NAS North Island.  After our briefing it was time to make one last trip up to the flight deck where we boarded our Grumman C-2A Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) "Providers."  We strapped into our rear-facing seats, this time making sure the shoulder straps were extremely tight.  If the straps are not tight they will leave bruises on your shoulders as your are thrown forward during the cat shot.  Once we were all securely strapped in, the doors closed and we began to taxi over to the number 1 Cat.  Once again, about 5 to 10 seconds before the cat shot, the crew would waive their arm over their head and shout, "Here we go, here we go, here we go!"  We pulled into position and were hooked up to Cat 1.  We waited, we heard the engines rev up to full power, and then there it was, "Here we go, here we go, here we go!"  Seconds later we were all thrown forward as we heard the woosh of the catapult launching us off the flight deck.  The stroke lasts about three seconds, but it seems much longer while you are just hanging on for the ride.  You can hear when the catapult reaches the end of its stroke, and at that same moment the 3Gs return to 1G and you are able to sit back into your seat for your flight back to NAS North Island.

 

The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) is the seventh Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier in the United States Navy, named for Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi.  She was commissioned on December 9, 1995, and her home port is Bremerton, Washington.  She has two Nuclear Reactors capable of speeds greater than 30 knots and allowing the ship to steam more than 1,000,000 miles before refueling.  Her Flight Deck is 257 feet wide and 1,092 feet long, equivilant to three football fields in length and adding up to 4.5 acres.  There are four catapults and four elevators accommodating 70 tactical aircraft.  Her height (keel to mast) is 244 feet, as tall as a 24-story building.  Her two Anchors each weigh 30 tons, and the starboard anchor was inherited from the USS Forrestal (CV 59).  She is capable of accommodating 6,200 Sailors and Marines and serving 18,600 meals per day, with 12,000 eggs served at breakfast alone.

 

The mission of John C. Stennis and her air wing (CVW-9) is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward-deployed.  The embarked air wing consists of up to 10 squadrons.  Attached aircraft are US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, MH-60R Seahawk, MH-60S Knighthawk, and E-2C Hawkeye.

 

boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet

Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"

boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet

Strike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"

Boeing EA-18G Growler

Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"

sikorsky mh-60s knighthawksikorsky mh-60s knighthawkHelicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 (HSC-14) "Chargers"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 (HSC-14) "Chargers"

sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (HSM-71) "Raptors"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (HSM-71) "Raptors"

 

My embark aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was truly an amazing experience, one that I will never forget.  I do need to note that while the ship itself and the aircraft operations were incredible to see, it truly is the teamwork of the men and women embarked aboard the ship that make it all come together.

 

For making my embark a possibility, I would personally like to thank the following people:

Commander, Naval Air Forces

  • Steve Fiebing, PAO

USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

  • CAPT Michael Wettlaufer, Commanding Officer
  • CAPT Kavon Hakimzadeh, Executive Officer
  • LCDR Cindy Fields, PAO (2011)
  • LCDR Sarah Higgins, PAO (2015)

Also, my wife (Rylan), my mom and dad (Ellen and Pete), my uncle (Bob), and all my friends at AzAP.  Thank you for always supporting and encouraging my habit of aviation photography.

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(Ottosen Photography) Black Aces Boeing C-2A CVN 74 Cat Shot Chargers E-2C EA-18G Embark F/A-18E F/A-18F Golden Hawks Greyhound Growler Grumman HSC-14 HSM-71 Hangar Bay Hawkeye Jet Shop Knighthawk LSO Platform MH-60R MH-60S Northrop Grumman Providers Raptors Ready Room Ready-5 Seahawk Sikorsky Super Hornet Teamwork Tophatters USS John C. Stennis VAQ-133 VAW-112 VFA-14 VFA-41 VRC-30 Warhawks Weapons Wizards https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-4-of-4---day-two Fri, 15 May 2015 17:00:00 GMT
US Navy Aircraft Carrier Embark (Part 3 of 4) - Day One https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-3-of-4---day-one northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
On April 30, 2015, I was able to take part in a 24-hour, Distinguished Visitor (DV)/media embark aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  The Navy flew me to and from the ship in a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, and we made an arrested landing upon arrival and a catapult launch when we departed the next day.  I was able to see much of the ship, and also spend many hours taking photos on their active flight deck.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!  I am now writing a four-part, first person account to tell the story of my embark.

 

I drove to San Diego, California the day prior to my embark.  I had to be in the visitor parking lot at NAS North Island no later than 8:15am, the day of the embark.  There were only going to be three media photographers on this embark, including me.  The three of us were all there on time, and at 8:15am our escort arrived.  He gave us parking passes and escorted us on base to the NAS North Island Air Terminal.  This is where we would be catching our flight out to the carrier.  We checked our bags and got in his van to head over and see the PAO for the Commander, Naval Air Forces.  The PAO gave us a briefing on Naval Aviation covering aircraft carriers, flight operations, safety, aircraft, and strike groups.  After the briefing it was time for a quick lunch and then head back to the Air Terminal for our briefing with Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) "Providers."  They instructed us on the safety gear we would have to wear and a bit of what to expect on the flight.  We would have to wear a horse collar and cranial during our flight out to the ship.  With our gear on, it was time to head out to our Grumman C-2A Greyhound, or COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery), aircraft for our flight out to the ship.  We boarded the aircraft and strapped into our rear-facing seats.  There are only two small windows, but I was lucky to be sitting near one of them.  The crew told us that when we were about 10 seconds from landing that they would waive their arm over their head and shout, "Here we go, here we go, here we go!"  That was to get us ready for the trap.  It was time, and we were off, we were flying out to the USS John C. Stennis!  We had an overhead time of 1:30pm, and we were a little early.  We circled the ship about five times before it was our turn to land.  We lined up, and we heard them shout, "Here we go, here we go, here we go!"  My heart was pounding, but I was ready.  I could tell the COD was moving around to get the perfect line.  The throttles were moving back and forth (you could hear it in the engines) for the perfect airspeed.  Then, instead of landing, the engines revved to full power and we were waived off.  I don't know exactly why, but we would have to do it all over again.  A minute or so later, the COD is back on final.  My heart is still racing, and we hear them shout, "Here we go, here we go, here we go!"  I look out the window, and this time I can see flight deck, we're landing!  Hook and tires thump, then almost instantly, you're stopped.  You are thrown back into your seat as the COD experiences extreme deceleration from 105 mph to 0 mph in two seconds.  What a rush!  The wings fold back, the cargo doors open, and you taxi over next to the Island.  Looking back, with the doors open, you can see the flight deck, you can see all the different colored shirts, and you can see the ocean.  It's a reality, you have just made your first trap aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier, and the adventure embarked aboard is about to begin.

 

grumman c-2a greyhoundgrumman c-2a greyhoundFleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) "Providers"

Grumman C-2A Greyhound

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) "Providers"

COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery)

VRC-30 1 TRAP patch

 

Once off the COD we were quickly taken off the flight deck and into the ship.  We turned in our horse collars and cranials and were taken to DV Row.  DV, or Distinguished Visitor, Row is where our staterooms were located.  Since there were only three of us, we were each given our own stateroom.  We were given keys to our staterooms and shown the bathroom we were to use, around the corner and down the hall.  Our stateroom keys also worked the bathroom door.  Our bags were being unloaded and would be brought to the media room, which was our next stop.  Our bags were waiting for us when we got there.  Here we were given a safety brief by the ship's Safety Officer, and we were issued cranials and a float coat.  We were also introduced to our escorts.  My escort was on a two-year exchange, he is normally a Lockheed P-3C Orion pilot.  Our escorts were yellow shirts, or shooters.  These guys are the ones that launch the aircraft.  We each had our own escort which would allow us to go anywhere we wanted on the flight deck, we didn't have to stay as a group.  Once suited up and with camera in hand, I followed my escort to the flight deck.  The ship was currently launching aircraft, and once up on the flight deck my escort asked me where I wanted to go.  I decided to start at the ship's Point.  The Point is next to Catapult 1 along the starboard edge of the flight deck.  I was pretty nervous, after all there were those waivers I had to agree to.  There was a Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet under tension and hooked to Cat 1 when we got to the Point.  I stopped in line with the Jet Blast Deflector to photograph this launch, but once the aircraft went to full power I realized this was not the best place.  Since I was being blown by the jet's exhaust I decided to stay put for this launch and just weather the storm.  I moved forward for the second launch.  After these first couple of launches, I lost my nervousness.  I could see that the US Navy did everything in their power to keep everyone on the flight deck safe.

 

boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

After a couple of launches, it was time for recovery.  The launch/recovery cycle runs about every 90 minutes, with around 12 (what we saw) launches and then around 12 recoveries.  As we walked from the the Point to our next location, it was amazing to see how much the ship was pitching in the ocean.  You could see the stern (Fantail) pitch up and down, it was also apparent when looking from the stern to the bow.  When you see how much the ship pitches, you can truly understand how skilled Naval Aviators are at landing their aircraft on the ship.  We moved over to the ship's area called The Street, this area is next to the ship's Island.  The main rule of safety aboard the carrier is; DO NOT cross the red/white foul line.  The red/white foul lines could only be crossed when the launch/recovery cycle is complete.  From The Street we were close to the Arrestor Cables, and it was a great spot to watch recoveries.  From The Street we were easily able to move to the ship's Junk Yard and Patio, which is at the stern of the ship.  These three areas gave great vantage points for the recovering aircraft.  This first recovery had three aircraft that were working problems.  I never found out what the problems were, but only two of the three aircraft recovered to the ship.  The third aircraft diverted back to land.  These problems delayed the entire recovery process.

 

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

After the recoveries were complete it was time for the rescue helicopters to come in to refuel and swap crews.  They do this along the port edge on the ship's Waist Catapults.  There were three helicopters out, and all three of them came in at the same time and then all three departed together.

 

sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (HSM-71) "Raptors"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

After the rescue helicopters departed, it was time for another launch/recovery cycle.  We moved forward to the ship's Crotch.  The Crotch is on the port side of the ship's bow.  From this area you can see launches from both the bow and the waist.  When in this position, the launches from the waist go right past you.  I struggled taking photos from here, I think I ducked for every launch.

 

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

After launches were complete, we went to the ship's Finger.  The Finger is located just forward of the LSO (Landing Signal Officer) Platform.  I was able to watch an entire recovery from here.  It was cool to watch the LSOs working to get every aircraft back safely aboard the ship.

 

boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

It was now time to get the group back together to tour the Bridge and meet the Captain.  The Captain, CAPT Michael Wettlaufer, Commanding Officer of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), was awesome.  He took the time out of his busy afternoon to talk with us, and to make sure that we understood that an aircraft carrier isn't just about the aircraft.  It's truly about the crew working together as a team to make sure the entire ballet is safe and goes according to plan.  CAPTAIN Wettlaufer is very proud of his ship and his entire crew.  While on the Bridge, we were also able to watch more launches and recoveries, and be able to see the aircraft tracking around the ship on their displays.

 

boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

After touring the Bridge, it was time for dinner with the ship's XO (Executive Officer).  CAPT Kavon Hakimzadeh was extremely nice and was more than willing to answer all of our questions and spend some time with us.  He reiterated the importance of teamwork aboard the ship.  After dinner, it was back to the flight deck for more launches and recoveries.  The sun was starting to set, and we were all looking forward to taking photos on the flight deck with the golden light.

 

boeing ea-18g growlerboeing ea-18g growlerElectronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18f super hornetboeing f/a-18f super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

Since the sun was now set, only leaving a beautiful color in the sky, it was time to re-join the group and head up to Vulture's Row.  From here we could look down on the flight deck and watch all the action.  They were preparing the flight deck for a night launch and recovery.  Aircraft were starting, taxiing, and being towed into position.

 

super hornets & growlersuper hornets & growlerStrike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
Strike Fighter Squadron 151 (VFA-151) "Vigilantes"
Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
sikorsky mh-60s knighthawksikorsky mh-60s knighthawkHelicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 (HSC-14) "Chargers"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

 

Once it was completely dark, it was time to meet the Admiral.  RDML Ronald Boxall had wanted to be a Naval Aviator, but that wasn't his destiny.  He was meant for surface ships, and he has done very well there and just loves it.  He has been fortunate enough to fly in just about all of the Navy aircraft, so he sees it as the best of both worlds.

 

It was now time to head back to our staterooms and call it a day, and what a day it was.  As I sat in my stateroom watching the CCTV live-feed of the flight deck, I reflected on what I had seen during day one and looked forward to what day two would bring.

 

Below is a flight deck diagram that shows the locations that I mentioned.

 

Image Credit: US Navy | Flight Deck Awareness: Fourth Edition

 

Up next, US Navy Aircraft Carrier Embark (Part 4 of 4) - Day Two.

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(Ottosen Photography) 1 Trap Boeing C-2A CVN 74 Captain Catapult Crotch E-2C F/A-18E Finger Greyhound Grumman Hawkeye Island Junk LSO LSO Platform Northrop Grumman Patio Port Providers Starboard Stern Super Hornet EA-18G Growler Sikorsky MH-60R Seahowk MH-60S Knighthawk Point Crotch USS John C. Stennis VRC-30 XO Yard" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-3-of-4---day-one Mon, 11 May 2015 17:00:00 GMT
US Navy Aircraft Carrier Embark (Part 2 of 4) - The Approval https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-2-of-4---the-approval

On April 30, 2015, I was able to take part in a 24-hour, Distinguished Visitor (DV)/media embark aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  The Navy flew me to and from the ship in a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, and we made an arrested landing upon arrival and a catapult launch when we departed the next day.  I was able to see much of the ship, and also spend many hours taking photos on their active flight deck.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!  I am now writing a four-part, first person account to tell the story of my embark.

 

The tour of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) at Naval Air Station North Island was awesome.  Out of the three times I have toured US Navy aircraft carriers, it was the first time one of the ships had any aircraft aboard.  It was really cool to see these aircraft aboard the ship, in the true environment they were designed for.  The ship's PAO, LCDR Cindy Fields, was our tour guide for the hour we were aboard, and she was very informative telling us about all the spaces we were visiting.  At the end of the tour, she gave us her business card.  I emailed her copies of the photos I took during CoNA, and she was very thankful for them and happy that I had had such a good time touring her ship.

 

The USS John C. Stennis deployed shortly after CoNA, and I started following them on Facebook to keep up to date on the happenings aboard the ship that I had just toured.  In October of 2011 they were coming home.  On Facebook they announced that when they got home they would be doing a Tiger Cruise.  When I saw this, I pulled out the PAO's business card and decided to write her an email.  In my email I asked her if media could be part of the Tiger Cruise, or if it was just limited to friends and family.  I already knew the answer, but I asked anyway.  In her reply email she confirmed what I already knew, Tiger Cruises are limited to friends and family only.  Then, there it was, she asked me a question that I didn't know if I would ever be asked.  She asked me if I wanted to take part in a media embark.  Well, yes, of course I did!  I replied to her to let her know that I was very interested in a media embark.  She then copied me on an email to the PAO for the Commander, Naval Air Forces.  The PAO for the Commander, Naval Air Forces then replied to me to let me know that I was officially on the list for a 24-hour, media embark aboard one of the four Pacific carriers.  There it was, that's it, I was officially on the list!  It was October of 2011, and I was looking forward to the experience of a lifetime!  The PAO did inform me in his email that it would be at least six months before my embark.  Six months, who cares, I can wait that long.

 

The six months flew by, and I was eagerly awaiting my email letting me know it was time to embark, but that email didn't come.  Six months turned into a year, one year to two, two to three, and three and a half years later, in April of 2015, the email arrives in my inbox.  On April 7, 2015, I received an email asking if I am available to embark on a US Navy aircraft carrier on April 30th.  Well yes, of course I am, I'm available to drop everything to do this.  The following day I received my official invite.  The invite informed me that I would be embarking aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and gave me some of the details of the embark (i.e. cost, program details, embark details, and why the Navy hosts these embarks).  The next step was to go to the Navy's embark website to start the registration process.  The registration process allows the program managers to evaluate/screen my participation prior to the embark.  The registration form asks questions about my contact information, next of kin, health history, and required me to agree to specific waivers.  The waivers basically discussed the dangers of embarking aboard an active aircraft carrier, and made me agree that I understood the dangers.  Of course I understood the dangers (I know a little about how an aircraft carrier operates), but it was worth putting my life on the line to witness aircraft carrier operations firsthand.  After all, I knew the US Navy would do everything in their power to keep us safe during the embark.  About a week and a half later I received an email that stated, "Thank you for submitting your embark profile under the Commander Naval Air Forces Distinguished Visitor Embark program.  This email confirms your participation for the overnight embark aboard the aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)."  That was it, the approval, the final piece of the puzzle.  I was going!

 

Up next, US Navy Aircraft Carrier Embark (Part 3 of 4) - Day One.

 

Source (header photo): US Navy (taken while I was embarked aboard the ship)

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(Ottosen Photography) CVN 74 Centennial of Naval Aviation CoNA Commander Naval Air Forces USS John C. Stennis https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-2-of-4---the-approval Fri, 08 May 2015 17:00:00 GMT
US Navy Aircraft Carrier Embark (Part 1 of 4) - The Dream https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-1-of-4---the-dream 130424-N-TC437-438130424-N-TC437-438130424-N-TC437-438 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 24,2013)
aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, consisting of Stennis, CVW-9, Destroyer Squadron 21 and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53), is returning from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez / Released)

On April 30, 2015, I was able to take part in a 24-hour, Distinguished Visitor (DV)/media embark aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  The Navy flew me to and from the ship in a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, and we made an arrested landing upon arrival and a catapult launch when we departed the next day.  I was able to see much of the ship, and also spend many hours taking photos on their active flight deck.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!  I am now writing a four-part, first person account to tell the story of my embark.

 

As far back as I can remember, I have loved Naval Aviation.  I'm sure this had something to do with the movie Top Gun coming out when I was nine years old.  I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be a fighter pilot, just like Maverick.  Unfortunately, this was not the course my life would take.  I thought about enlisting in the Navy out of high school, but that wasn't meant to be either (that decision is actually one that I regret).  It has always been a dream of mine to be on an aircraft carrier, out at sea, with flight operations going on.  I have always felt that this would be the greatest place to see Naval Aviation take place.

 

Back in the early '90s I was fortunate enough to tour the USS Ranger (CV 61) while it was docked at North Island.  It was right after the first Gulf War, and the USS Ranger would only go on one more cruise after that, before the US Navy retired her.  It was a great tour, and included much of the ship.  But, the ship was tied up to a dock, and there was certainly no flight ops to be seen.  On this same trip to San Diego, California, I was able to see the air show at Miramar.  Back then it was still the home to the US Navy's Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), and I was able to see the Grumman F-14 Tomcat put on an amazing demonstration.  This only fueled my love of Naval Aviation.

 

In 1999, while visiting a friend in Seattle, Washington, I was able to take a tour of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).  There wasn't much to be seen, because the ship was hosting thousands of guests while she took part in Seattle's Seafair that year.  They had many exhibits in the hangar bay, and then they took people to the flight deck on an aircraft elevator.  It was a quick tour of a massive ship, and it only continued to fuel my love of Naval Aviation.

 

In 2005 I decided to get a camera and see if I had any talent as a photographer.  It turned out that I did seem to have an eye for photography, and photography quickly turned into a passion.  I have always enjoyed photography, I had even taken some classes on photography technique and how to develop film and photos.  From 2005 to 2009, as I was developing my passion for photography, I made the decision that I wanted to do more aviation photography.  In 2009 I Co-Founded the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) with my good friend, and fellow photographer, Joe Copalman.  We both have a passion for photography and aviation, mainly military aviation.  In late 2009 AzAP made contact with the Public Affairs Officer, Michelle Dee, at Naval Air Facility El Centro.  I knew that they were hosting large photocalls, and I wanted to get AzAP involved with them.  AzAP has been participating in the NAF El Centro photocalls ever since.  Being able to see Naval Aviation this up close only continued to fuel the fire engulfing my love of Naval Aviation.  Over the years Michelle Dee and I have become great friends.  She has helped open many doors within the Navy for me, allowing me to pursue my love of Naval Aviation and photography.  Our friendship continues even now, although she is no longer the PAO at NAF El Centro.  Joe and I remain good friends, and we are both still very active within the leadership of AzAP.

 

In 2011 I was able to attend the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) at Naval Air Station North Island.  It was awesome to see so many different Navy aircraft all in one place.  During my visit I was able to tour the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).  This was an incredible tour, and I was able to see much of the ship.  A third tour of a third aircraft carrier (and this time I had a camera!), I didn't think it could get much better than this and my love of Naval Aviation continued to grow.

 

sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (HSM-71) "Raptors"

 

centennial of naval aviationcentennial of naval aviation

Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA)

northrop grumman e-2c hawkeyenorthrop grumman e-2c hawkeyeCarrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"

 

 

Even after I attended CoNA I didn't know how I would ever get on one of these awesome ships while she was out at sea conducting flight ops.  I wasn't sure it would ever happen for me.  How was I ever going to be able to realize my dream?  How was I ever going to become "Distinguished" in the Navy's eyes to warrant an embark?  As it turned out, I wouldn't have to wait long to find out.

 

Up next, US Navy Aircraft Carrier Embark (Part 2 of 4) - The Approval.

 

Source (header photo): US Navy

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona Aviation Photographers AzAP C-2A CV 61 CVN 70 CVN 74 Centennial of Naval Aviaiton CoNA DV Distinguished Visitor F-14 Greyhound Grumman Maverick NAF El Centro NAS Miramar NAS North Island Naval Aviation Seafair TOPGUN Tomcat Top Gun US Navy USS Carl Vinson USS John C. Stennis USS Ranger https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/5/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-embark-part-1-of-4---the-dream Mon, 04 May 2015 22:02:57 GMT
WTI 2-15 HA/DR https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/wti-2-15-ha/dr sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 (HMH-466) "Wolfpack"

Students and instructors participating in Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS-1)'s Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-15 conducted a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) exercise in Yuma, Arizona on April 17, 2015.


In past years, WTI students would practice non-combatant evacuation training at Kiwanis Park to help students prepare for real world incidents that require a quick reaction force to extract U.S. and allied personnel from hostile situations.  In an effort to broaden WTI students’ understanding of how to respond to natural disasters and how to assist people who are displaced from their homes due to hostilities or catastrophic weather, this year’s exercise in Yuma will show how Marines can provide essential aid to those in dire need around the globe.  The HA/DR exercise is used to practice the delivery of medical personnel, supplies and vital natural resources to help sustain people displaced from their communities after a natural disaster.

 

Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Marine Corps took part in a HA/DR assistance operation to support Japan in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  The Marine contribution to the relief effort, designated Operation Tomodachi, included CH-53s from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) operating from the Navy’s forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, the USS Essex.  The 31st MEU delivered more than 164,000 lbs of food and supplies to five cities, one island, and one Japanese ship.

 

sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 (HMH-361) "Flying Tigers" sikorsky ch-53e super stallionsikorsky ch-53e super stallionMarine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 (HMH-466) "Wolfpack" bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 (HMLA-467) "Sabers" bell uh-1y venombell uh-1y venomMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 (HMLA-467) "Sabers"

 

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona Bell CH-53E HA/DR MAWTS-1 Marine Corps Sikorsky Super Stallion UH-1Y Venom WTI Yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/wti-2-15-ha/dr Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:42:16 GMT
Wings of Freedom https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/wings-of-freedom consolidated b-24j liberatorconsolidated b-24j liberatorWitchcraft Every year, the Collings Foundation sets out on their massive Wings of Freedom Tour, bringing a variety of World War II aircraft to an airport near you.  The Wings of Freedom Tour recently stopped at Scottsdale Airport where I was able to catch them giving rides.  At each of their tour stops, the aircraft are open to the public to check out and walk through.  To be able to get so up close to these aircraft is a great history experience.  The aircraft are also available for rides, and to be able to fly on these beautiful aircraft is a truly awesome experience.  The Collings Foundation's Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Nine-O-Nine" was the first B-17 I ever flew on, and it was incredible.

 

The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, Educational Foundation (501c-3), founded in 1979.  The purpose of the Foundation is to organize and support "living history" events that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation.  The original focus of the Foundation was transportation-related events such as antique car rallies, hill climbs, carriage and sleigh rides, and a winter ice-cutting festival in the Stow, MA area.  During the mid-eighties, these activities were broadened to include aviation-related events such as air shows, barnstorming, historical reunions, and joint museum displays on a nationwide level.

Since 1989, a major focus of the Foundation has been the "Wings of Freedom Tour" of WWII aircraft.  This tour showcases two fully restored bomber aircraft: a B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress.  The newest addition to the Wings of Freedom Tour is a WWII P-51C Mustang dual-control fighter aircraft.  

The Foundation’s 1944 vintage Consolidated B-24J Liberator is painted as "Witchcraft", an 8th AF bomber that flew a record 130 missions over Europe as part of the 467th BG.  The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress flies as "Nine-O-Nine", an 8th Air Force, 91st BG heavy bomber.  The B-17 was the companion of the B-24 in thousands of wartime, bombing, and reconnaissance missions.  Together they were the backbone of the daylight strategic bombing campaign of WWII.  Joining the bombers is a P-51C Mustang escort fighter “Betty Jane”.  The P-51 was affectionately nicknamed by the bomber crews as their “Little Friends.”  The P-51 Mustang and the pilots who flew them saved countless lives in the skies and on the ground, and helped turn the tide of WWII.  The P-51 is arguably the finest fighter aircraft in the history of aviation.

The "Wings of Freedom Tour" has two goals: to honor the sacrifices made by our veterans that allow us to enjoy our freedom; and to educate the visitors, especially younger Americans, about our national history and heritage.  The Foundation encourages people to tour the planes, talk to the veterans who come to visit the aircraft, and participate in a "flight experience.”  Celebrating 26 years, the tour has made more than 2,900 visits to airports across the United States and Alaska.  While the exact number of visitors is difficult to gauge, it is estimated that over 3.5 million people see these fully restored historic aircraft annually.

 

It is always awesome to see these aircraft in the air, and I'm glad that I made it out to Scottsdale Airport to see them.  If you're interested in seeing these beautiful WWII aircraft yourself, head on over the the Collings Foundation's website to find out when they will be at an airport near you:

http://www.collingsfoundation.org/events/category/wings-of-freedom-tour/

 

boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressNine-O-Nine consolidated b-24j liberatorconsolidated b-24j liberatorWitchcraft north american tp-51c mustangnorth american tp-51c mustangBetty Jane

 

Source: Collings Foundation

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona B-17G B-24J Betty Jane Boeing Collings Foundation Consolidated Flying Fortress Liberator Mustang Nine-O-Nine North American Scottsdale Scottsdale Airport TP-51C Wings of Freedom Witchcraft https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/wings-of-freedom Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Notch Gear https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/notch-gear

Our good friend Marty, from Yuma, Arizona, is friends with Paul Cunningham, the founder of Notch Gear.  After Marty told Paul about Ottosen Photography, Notch Gear decided to send us a couple of their hats.  This was incredibly nice of Notch Gear, and the hats are just awesome.  The hats do exactly as promised, and both Rylan and I love our Notch Gear hats.  You will definitely be seeing us around town in our Notch Gear!

 

"Everything in the world can and will be made better.  The only question is, 'When and by whom?'"
- Jim Jannard, founder of Oakley

 

Notch Gear is based in Yuma, Arizona and was founded by former US Marine, Paul Cunningham.  Notch Gear is a company that takes pride in revolutionizing the way we look at traditional headwear.

At Notch Gear, they make the world's greatest and most innovative hats.  They set out to make one of the most worn pieces of headwear on the planet, the baseball cap, even better than it already was.  One of the weaknesses of traditional headwear is that it doesn't permit you to wear a hat and a pair of sunglasses the way you want to, because the brim of the hat interferes with the rims of your sunglasses.  You can't pull the hat down as far as you would like to.  Until now, there wasn't a better alternative than just putting up with the push and shove match between your hat and sunglasses.  Notch Gear took a very common problem and came up with the most practical, attractive solution possible.  Their patent-pending technology effectively eliminates the interference that commonly occurs between your hat and your sunglasses, and it works with most wrap-around style sunglasses, shooting glasses, and safety glasses.

This innovation blurs the line; where does function stop and form start?  Simple.  Bold.  Effective.  The war between your hat and your sunglasses is over.  From military tactical hats or sports hats, Notch Gear ball caps and sports hats offer everything you could need.

 

For more information or to place an order for your own Notch Gear, head on over to their website: notchgear.com

 

Source (info and photo): Notch Gear

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona Notch Gear Yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/notch-gear Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/boeing-e-4b-advanced-airborne-command-post boeing e-4b advanced airborne command postboeing e-4b advanced airborne command post1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron (1 ACCS) On Monday, April 6, 2015, Secretary of Defense (SecDef) Ashton Carter came to Arizona to give a speech at Arizona State University.  His VIP transport for the day was one of four Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post aircraft in US Air Force inventory.  The E-4B arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport around 9:40am and departed at 1:00pm.  The SecDef and his E-4B departed Sky Harbor for a week-long trip to Asia.  The SecDef will visit Japan and South Korea for meetings with top government officials and also spend time with U.S. troops.  It was truly amazing to finally see one of these awesome aircraft, and to have the opportunity to photograph both the arrival and departure.

 

The E-4B program has the project name "Nightwatch," and the origin of the name "Nightwatch" comes from the richly detailed Rembrandt painting, The Night Watch, that depicts local townsfolk protecting a town.  Early in the E-4s service, the media dubbed these aircraft as "The Doomsday Planes."

 

According to Boeing, the E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post is designed to be used by the National Command Authority as a survivable command post for control of US forces in all levels of conflict including nuclear war.  For more than 25 years, Boeing has been the Prime Systems Integrator for the E-4B fleet providing maintenance, modifications, and upgrades support.  This support assures that the basic aircraft and on-board command, control, and communications systems are ready to support the US Air Force operational needs.  Over a 25-year period, the cumulative mission capable rate for the fleet has never dropped below 99%.

 

The huge capacity of the Boeing 747 made it an ideal airframe for the Advanced Airborne Command Post (E-4).  In 1973, the E-4 took over the mission of the EC-135 flying command post aircraft: to provide safe airborne headquarters for military and civilian leaders, including the president, secretary of Defense, and Joint Chiefs of Staff in times of emergency.

 

The original three E-4As were upgraded to the standard of the E-4B.  The first B model was delivered December 21, 1979, and entered service in January 1980.  By 1985, all aircraft were converted to B models.

 

The four E-4s carry 13 external communications systems and are designed for missions lasting 72 hours.  Their "hardness" features protect the crew from electromagnetic radiation and the effects of a nuclear blast.

 

Secondary missions assigned to the E-4B include VIP travel support and Federal Emergency Management Agency support, which provides communications to relief efforts following natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

 

According to the US Air Force, the main deck of the E-4B is divided into six functional areas: a command work area, conference room, briefing room, an operations team work area, and communications and rest areas.  An E-4B crew may include up to 112 people, including a joint-service operations team, an ACC flight crew, a maintenance and security component, a communications team and selected augmentees.

 

To provide direct support to the president, secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at least one E-4B is always on alert at one of many selected bases throughout the world.  All E-4B aircraft are assigned to the 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

 

boeing e-4b advanced airborne command postboeing e-4b advanced airborne command post1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron (1 ACCS) boeing e-4b advanced airborne command postboeing e-4b advanced airborne command post1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron (1 ACCS)

 

Source: ABC, Boeing, and US Air Force

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(Ottosen Photography) 1 ACCS 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron 55th Wing Advanced Airborne Command Post Arizona Boeing E-4B KPHX Nightwatch PHX Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport SecDef Secretary of Defense Sky Harbor The Doomsday Plane https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/boeing-e-4b-advanced-airborne-command-post Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Luke AFB Flies 1000th F-35 Sortie https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/luke-afb-flies-1000th-f-35-sortie lockheed martin f-35a lightning IIlockheed martin f-35a lightning II61st Fighter Squadron (61 FS) "Top Dogs" According to Lockheed Martin, on March 31, 2015, the 56th Fighter Wing flew its 1000th F-35 training sortie making it the fastest F-35 wing to reach the 1000-sortie milestone in the Department of Defense.


This is the second historic milestone in as many weeks. Just last week, Luke’s first F-35 student sortie was flown marking a significant step forward for the Airmen at Luke in realizing its new mission -- training the world's greatest F-35 and F-16 fighter pilots. That student was the 56th Fighter Wing commander, Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, who is making the transition from the F-16 to the F-35.


The first official class of student pilots is scheduled to begin at the Academic Training Center, a 145,000-square-foot two story state-of-the-art training center, in May.


"I’m extremely proud of the extraordinary work our maintainers are doing to ensure our pilots have mission ready and safe jets," said Brig Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “The F-35 is going to be the backbone of the Air Force's fighter fleet for decades to come and Luke will play a vital role in producing the world's greatest, most lethal F-35 pilots. With initial operational capability scheduled to occur late next year, it's important that we get our training program and process dialed in and as efficient and refined as our F-16 training program is so we can help meet the Air Force's scheduled goal."


Pleus also reflected on the years of work that have gone into the F-35 program putting Luke in position to begin training in May.


“Getting to this point hasn’t just been accomplished over the past few months.  It’s really been done over the last few years.  Lots of amazing Airmen who served before us here at Luke are the reason we are where we are with the F-35 program.  What they did back then to set the base up is the reason why we will be so successful training the world’s greatest F-35 pilots." Pleus said.


There are 20 F-35s assigned at Luke, two of which belong to the Royal Australian Air Force, an F-35 pilot training, partner nation.

 

The photos contained herein are not from Luke's recent milestone, but it has been very cool to see and photograph some of the F-35 flight activity out at Luke Air Force Base.

lockheed martin f-35a lightning IIlockheed martin f-35a lightning II61st Fighter Squadron (61 FS) "Top Dogs" lockheed martin f-35a lightning IIlockheed martin f-35a lightning II61st Fighter Squadron (61 FS) "Top Dogs" lockheed martin f-35a lightning IIlockheed martin f-35a lightning II61st Fighter Squadron (61 FS) "Top Dogs"
  lockheed martin f-35a lightning IIlockheed martin f-35a lightning IIRoyal Australian Air Force (RAAF)  

Information provided by Lockheed Martin.

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(Ottosen Photography) 56th Fighter Wing Air Force F-35 F-35A Lightning II Lockheed Martin Luke Air Force Base Royal Australian Air Force https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/4/luke-afb-flies-1000th-f-35-sortie Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:44:32 GMT
Naval Air Facility El Centro 2015 Air Show https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2015-air-show naval air facility el centronaval air facility el centro

Friday, March 13, would start with an afternoon drive from Phoenix, Arizona to El Centro, California.  I arrived in El Centro around 4:00 pm and checked into my hotel room, which was strategically located next to our favorite burger joint, Burgers & Beer.  After relaxing in my hotel room for a bit, it was time to head to NAF El Centro for that evening's festivities, the Entertainment and Food Festival.  There was to be a night shoot during the festival, which would allow photographers to photograph some of the static display aircraft during the festival's fireworks show.

 

sikorsky mh-60r seahawksikorsky mh-60r seahawkHelicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35 (HSM-35) "Magicians"

 

The day of the air show, Saturday, March 14, and this air show is more work than fun/photography.  Back in 2013, the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) self-published a book about the aircraft operations that take place at NAF El Centro.  All the proceeds from the sale of the book go to helping sailors aboard NAF El Centro.  At the air show we promote the book in hopes of generating sales.

 

The Out-of-Towners: NAF El Centro Through the Lenses of the Arizona Aviation Photographers

The Out-of-Towners takes the reader on a visual tour of Naval Air Facility El Centro, covering everything from the Blue Angels' winter training to the sailors and contractors who keep the base running to the Navy, Marine, and allied training detachments that visit the base on a regular basis.  The book features the work of twenty-nine AzAP photographers and documents four years worth of visits to NAF El Centro.  Proceeds from the sale of The Out-of-Towners will be used to directly benefit the sailors aboard NAF El Centro.

 

According to the NAF El Centro Air Show website, the men and women of NAF El Centro are honored to host this open house event and hope that everyone enjoys the show as much as they enjoy bringing it to you.  This year's show offers a wide variety of aircraft, both military and civilian, that will thrill all aviation enthusiasts.  From aerial demonstrations to static displays, there is something for everyone.

 

I was able to get away from our table for a bit to take a few photos.  One of the demonstrations that I love to see is the British Army Air Corps and their Westland Apache AH Mk 1 demo.  It is always amazing to see what the Apache can do.  I also love to see the Blue Angels' Fat Albert demo.  I am always in awe with the maneuvers they put their Lockheed Martin C-130T Hercules through.  The Blue Angels spend their winters training at NAF El Centro, and their first air show of the season is always the NAF El Centro Air Show.  The Blues put on an awesome performance, and they never seem to disappoint the crowd.

 

westland apache ah mk1westland apache ah mk1British Army Air Corps lockheed martin c-130t herculeslockheed martin c-130t herculesBlue Angels
Fat Albert Airlines
blue angelsblue angels

 

A huge thanks to Commanding Officer CAPT William C. Doster and the entire Public Affairs team, you put on a great air show.  I look forward to seeing you next year for another great air show.

 

Information provided by Navy Region Southwest/Naval Air Facility El Centro Air Show.

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(Ottosen Photography) AH Mk 1 Apache Arizona Aviation Photographers AzAP Blue Ange's British Army Air Corps C-130T California El Centro F/A-18 Fat Albert Fat Albert Airlines Hercules Hornet Lockheed Martin McDonnell Douglas NAF El Centro The Out-of-Towners Westland https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2015-air-show Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:00:00 GMT
de Havilland Canada CT-142 Dash-8 "Gonzo" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/de-havilland-canada-ct-142-dash-8-gonzo de havilland canada ct-142 dash 8 "gonzo"de havilland canada ct-142 dash 8 "gonzo"Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
No. 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron

Back in 2012 I was able to capture the following photo of a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) de Havilland Canada CT-142 Dash-8 "Gonzo," from the No. 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron, departing Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.  I sent a copy of that photo to the squadron, and the squadron loved it so much that they are using it on some of their air show placards and they have presented framed copies as gifts to pilots that have been posted out of the squadron.

 

de havilland canada ct-142 dash-8 "gonzo"de havilland canada ct-142 dash-8 "gonzo"Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
No. 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron

 

According to the Royal Canadian Air Force, The mission of 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron is to fly and maintain the Canadian designed and produced de Havilland Canada CT-142 Dash-8 trainer in support of 1 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (1 CFFTS).  402 Squadron's tasks include the conduct of both Air Combat Systems Officer and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator training flights, the maintenance and management of the Squadron's four CT-142 Dash-8 aircraft and the operational training of Dash-8 aircrew and aircraft technicians.  402 Squadron also provides maintenance support to transient aircraft servicing for visiting and transiting military aircraft.  402 Squadron is a "Total Force" Squadron, comprising a mixture of both Regular Force and Air Reserve personnel.

 

The Royal Canadian Air Force continues with, Navigators from around the world come to Canada to train on the CT-142 Dash-8.  At the Canadian Forces Air Navigation School (CFANS), this twin turboprop aircraft is used to teach students aerial navigation and tactics.  Designed and produced in Canada, the CT-142 is a conversion of the popular Dash-8 airliner.  It was adapted for navigation training by manufacturer Bombardier Inc. in the late 1980s.  Recent software modifications on the CT-142 allow students to operate their own Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS).  The aircraft also features a new Tactical Display System that superimposes information on the students’ radar displays.  At CFANS, located at 17 Wing in Winnipeg, dozens of Canadian and foreign students train on CT-142s each year. CFANS has welcomed navigators from Singapore, Korea, New Zealand, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, and Australia.

 

When they recently came back through Sky Harbor, I was invited out to meet the crew and take a closer look at the aircraft.  It was very cool to be able to see the inside and to learn about their training mission and what the aircraft can do.

 

de havilland canada ct-142 dash-8 "gonzo"de havilland canada ct-142 dash-8 "gonzo"Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
No. 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron

 

Information provided by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the No. 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron.

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona CT-142 City of Winnipeg Cockpit Dash-8 De Havilland Canada Gonzo Interior KPHX No. 402 Squadron PHX Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport RCAF Royal Canadian Air Force Sky Harbor Swift Aviation https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/de-havilland-canada-ct-142-dash-8-gonzo Tue, 17 Mar 2015 17:00:00 GMT
American Airlines' First Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/american-airlines-first-boeing-787-8-dreamliner boeing 787-8 dreamlinerboeing 787-8 dreamlinerAmerican Airlines American Airlines recently took delivery of their first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner from the Boeing factory up in Everett, Washington, where the aircraft was manufactured.  It is currently based at American's home in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and they have been flying it regularly to get pilots and crews ready for its upcoming entry into commercial service.

 

According to American Airlines, American is proud to bring their customers the latest in aviation innovation with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which features a state-of-the-art international onboard travel experience.  American's first Boeing 787 will begin revenue service domestically between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago (ORD) on May 7, 2015.  The Boeing 787 will then shift to their international network to serve their daily nonstop flight between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Beijing (PEK) beginning on June 2 and on their nonstop flight between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Buenos Aires (EZE) on June 4.

 

American Airlines is scheduled to have a total of five 787s before they commence with their international routes on June 2.  To get ready for all of these new routes and aircraft, American Airlines has been flying their new 787-8 Dreamliner daily all over the United States.  It seems that their favorite training flight destinations are Dallas/Fort Worth (home), St. Louis, El Paso, and Phoenix.  The Phoenix portion of their flight testing works well for me, as I don't live too far from the airport and have been able to see her a few times.  Their flight testing has been strange at times.  It has been strange to see such a large aircraft depart Phoenix Sky Harbor for Dallas/Fort Worth, only to fly almost all the way to St. Louis before diverting back to Sky Harbor for a touch-and-go.  Although strange, it does prove the range of the Dreamliner, and it does show that the pilots are getting plenty of practice flying her.

 

At the time this report was published, American Airlines has taken delivery of a second Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.  American's first Dreamliner is N800AN and their second is N801AC, both aircraft are pictured here.  Both aircraft are now flying training flights, and lately have been seen at Sky Harbor about an hour apart.  Their latest route has been Dallas/Fort Worth, St. Louis, Phoenix, and back home to Dallas/Fort Worth.  They have been coming to Phoenix twice per day, once in the morning and once again in the evening.  As of this morning, I heard that these training flights will most likely be ending this week, and American will be sending their Dreamliners on international training flights to London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita.

 

boeing 787-8 dreamlinerboeing 787-8 dreamlinerAmerican Airlines

 

Information provided by American Airlines.

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(Ottosen Photography) 787 787-8 American Airlines Arizona Boeing Dreamliner KPHX N800AN N801AC PHX Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Sky Harbor https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/american-airlines-first-boeing-787-8-dreamliner Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:55:04 GMT
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma 2015 Airshow https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/marine-corps-air-station-yuma-2015-airshow lockheed martin f-35b lightning IIlockheed martin f-35b lightning IIMarine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) "Green Knights"

Saturday, February 28, would be another early morning for Rylan and I.  With the alarm going off at 3:00 am, it was time to get ready to be on the road by 4:00 am en route to Yuma, Arizona and the 2015 MCAS Yuma Airshow.  We have always enjoyed the Yuma Airshow, and this would be our third time attending in four years.  We always look forward to the military displays, especially the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II.  It is always impressive to see what that, and all the aircraft, can do.  This would be an out-and-back trip for us; drive to Yuma in the morning, attend the airshow, and drive home that evening.  It would make for a long day, but it would be worth it.

 

According to the Yuma Airshow website, the Yuma Air Circus, the theme for the 2015 Yuma Airshow, will attract spectators from all over the country.  The event will encompass civilian air acts, modern aircraft displays, live air performances, and more!  This wasn't an aviation event that we were going to miss, and we made it to Yuma with time to spare.  We got in line with all the other vehicles about 30 minutes before they opened the gate.  We patiently waited for the gates to open, and then we were able to park on the MCAS Yuma Combat Aircraft Loading Area (CALA).  They used the CALA for general parking, and bussed everyone to the flight line.  Since we were fairly early we had plenty of time to visit the different vendors and check out some of the static display aircraft before the beginning of the show.

 

The show started with the Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps playing music and the Misty Blues Skydiving Team dropping in with the American Flag.  We were then treated with Shockwave, a jet truck that can speed down the runway at an impressive 375 miles per hour.  We watched the Search and Rescue (SAR) demo, and watched the Marines put their Bell HH-1N Iroquois into action in a simulated search and rescue mission.  Gene Soucy and his Grumman Showcat then put on an amazing performance, and we would see him again later with wingwalker Teresa Stokes.  The MCAS Yuma aggressor squadron, Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 (VMFT-401) "Snipers," did a few flybys in their colorful Northrop F-5N Tiger IIs.  The Bell/Boeing MV-22B Osprey, McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, and Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II all put on very impressive demonstrations showcasing their speed and both vertical and forward flight.

 

After the show was over, we waited around for the crowd to thin.  This allowed us more time to visit vendors and static display aircraft.  Once back in our car it was time for a bite to eat and then to hit the road for our drive back to Phoenix.  But, before we could leave town, we had to visit with our new friend, Marty.  Marty lives in Yuma, and a couple of months ago he emailed me stating that he had been a fan of Ottosen Photography for many years and he would love to meet and visit with us.  We briefly met Marty during the airshow, but we stopped by his home on the way out of town to spend some more time with him.  Marty is the son of a USMC Gunnery Sergeant who served three tours in Vietnam and was active duty for 22 years, he has a sincere love for the Marine Corps, and he is very involved in his community; volunteering both with his church and with veterans.  Marty is awesome, he is now a good friend and we look forward to seeing him again.

 

misty bluesmisty blues shockwaveshockwave   bell hh-1n iroquoisbell hh-1n iroquois
northrop f-5f franken-tigernorthrop f-5f franken-tigerMarine Fighter Training Squadron 401 (VMFT-401) "Snipers" bell/boeing mv-22b ospreybell/boeing mv-22b ospreyMarine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (VMM-166) "Sea Elk" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II+mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II+Marine Attack Squadron 214 (VMA-214) "Black Sheep" lockheed martin f-35b lightning IIlockheed martin f-35b lightning IIMarine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) "Green Knights"

 

Information provided by Yuma Airshow.

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(Ottosen Photography) AV-8B Ag Cat Airshow Arizona Bell Bell/Boeing F-35B F-5N Gene Soucy Grumman HH-1N Harrier II Iroquois Lightning II Lockheed Martin MCAS Yuma MV-22B Marine Corps Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps Marty McDonnell Douglas Misty Blues Northrop Osprey Shockwave Showcat Teresa Stokes Tiger II Yuma https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/3/marine-corps-air-station-yuma-2015-airshow Thu, 05 Mar 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Naval Air Facility El Centro 2015 Winter/Blue Angels Photocall https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2015-winter/blue-angels-photocall blue angelsblue angels 3:00 am came very early on Thursday, February 19, but Rylan and I both shot out of bed with excitement.  It was time to get up, get ready, and be on the road by 4:00 am.  It was time to drive to Naval Air Facility El Centro for the Winter/Blue Angels Photocall!  I had been on the list of photographers attending for a couple of weeks already, but we found out late the night before that Rylan was a possible alternate for a spot that had just opened up.  She was already planning on attending with me, but her plan was to remain outside the fence the entire day.  As luck would have it, we discovered around 8:00 am that she was officially on the list and would be able to attend the photocall with the rest of us.

 

We arrived outside the NAF El Centro fence around 7:45 am and met a couple of friends that were already there.  It was time to stake our claim near the hay bales for a spot to photograph the Blue Angels during their morning practice.  As time got closer to the Blue Angels' launch, more and more photographers showed up all looking for a prime spot to watch and/or photograph the morning practice.  The morning flights started with Fat Albert departing and heading back to MCAS Yuma.  Fat Albert didn't do any if their air show routine, but it was good to see them.  Fat Albert is not normally at NAF El Centro when we are there for the photocall, Fat Albert does their training at MCAS Yuma.  Shortly after Fat Albert's departure, the Blue Angels took to the sky starting with the Diamond and then the Opposing Solos.

 

We met at the main gate around 11:00 am to be checked off the official list of attendees and to be driven on base by the Public Affairs team.  We then were able to talk with the executive officer and go over the safety briefing before being driven out to show center to watch another Blue Angels practice.  After this second practice we made our way over the the Combat Aircraft Loading Area (CALA) where we were able to photograph the Marine Corps and some of their UH-1Y Venoms, AH-1Z Vipers, and a AH-1W SuperCobra.  This was all very exciting, especially since we have never spent any time out at the CALA during previous photocalls.  It was then off to the end of the runway and the LSO Shack to spend the remainder of the afternoon.  The airfield was pretty light with training flights, so the control tower was directing aircraft down their runway to put on a show for the photographers.

 

It was another awesome photocall, and any day at NAF El Centro is better than a day in the office!  Our sincere thanks to everybody that helped in putting this photocall together, especially the PAO shop, the CO, and the XO of NAF El Centro.

 

blue angelsblue angels bossbossBlue Angels
CAPT Tom Frosch
blue angelsblue angels blue angelsblue angels
lockheed martin c-130t herculeslockheed martin c-130t herculesBlue Angels
Fat Albert Airlines
uh-1y venom & ah-1z viperuh-1y venom & ah-1z viper(UH-1Y) Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 (HMLA-369) "Gunfighters"
(AH-1Z) Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers"
bell ah-1z viperbell ah-1z viperMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 (HMLA-267) "Stingers" bell ah-1w supercobrabell ah-1w supercobraMarine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 (HMLA-369) "Gunfighters"

Matt's Photos

 

blue angelsblue angels blue angelsblue angels blue angelsblue angels blue angelsblue angels
viperviper supercobrasupercobra growlergrowler goshawkgoshawk

Rylan's Photos

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(Ottosen Photography) AH-1W AH-1Z AzAP Bell Boeing CALA California EA-18G El Centro F/A-18 Growler Hornet McDonnell Douglas NAF El Centro Photocall SuperCobra UH-1Y Venom Viper https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/naval-air-facility-el-centro-2015-winter/blue-angels-photocall Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:08:52 GMT
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/phoenix-mesa-gateway-airport mcdonnell douglas f/a-18a++ hornetmcdonnell douglas f/a-18a++ hornetMarine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) "Black Knights" Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has a very rich history of aircraft training and flight operations.  Even I learned to fly at the airport when I attended Arizona State University and was flying with Mesa Airlines Pilot Development.  As far as flight operations go, you never know what you are going to discover at the airport.  You can see anything from the NASA Super Guppy, to airliners, to biz jets and private aircraft, to Antonov An-124s and the An-225, to any number of military aircraft visiting for lunch or the weekend.

 

piper pa-28-161 warrior IIIpiper pa-28-161 warrior IIIMesa Pilot Development
Arizona State University

According to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, the former Williams Air Force Base played a strategic role in America's aviation history.  Over a span of 52 years, more than 26,500 men and women earned their wings at Williams.  Gearing up for the combat pilot demands of World War II, the Army Air Corps broke ground in Southeast Mesa, Arizona for its Advanced Flying School on July 16, 1941.  In February 1942, the growing military base's name was changed to Williams Field to honor Charles Linton Williams, an Arizona-born pilot.  The facility was re-designated as Williams Air Force Base (WAFB) in January 1948.  WAFB was the U.S. Air Force's foremost pilot training facility, graduating more student pilots and instructors than any other base in the country and supplying 25% of the Air Force's pilots annually. 

 

The Base was closed in 1993 and officially reopened as Williams Gateway Airport in March 1994.  In 2008, the name of the Airport was changed to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

 

Today, Gateway hosts more than 40 companies, serves more than 35 cities with non-stop service via Allegiant Air, and contributes $1.3 billion annually to the Arizona economy.

 

Gateway is also developing as an international aerospace center with aircraft maintenance, modification, testing, and pilot training.  In addition to the area's skilled labor force, excellent year-round flying weather, three expansive runways averaging 10,000 feet, and access to international markets, Gateway's assets make it a prime location for global-minded companies. Gateway has been designated as a Foreign Trade Zone, as well as a Military Reuse Zone, offering aviation companies a significant financial edge in the global marketplace.

 

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority owns and operates the Airport.  The Authority currently consists of the City of Mesa, City of Phoenix, The Gila River Indian Community, Town of Gilbert, Town of Queen Creek, and City of Apache Junction.

 

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport was certainly a great place to learn to fly, and it has also been a great place for aviation photography and building aviation connections.  I look forward to having a fun and friendly relationship with the airport for many years to come.

 

aero spacelines b-377-sgt super guppy turbineaero spacelines b-377-sgt super guppy turbine antonov an-124-100 ruslanantonov an-124-100 ruslanVolga-Dnepr Airlines boeing b-17g flying fortressboeing b-17g flying fortressSentimental Journey
mcdonnell douglas ta-4j skyhawkmcdonnell douglas ta-4j skyhawkAdvanced Training Systems International (ATSI) lockheed p2v-5f neptunelockheed p2v-5f neptuneNeptune Aviation Services mcdonnell douglas dc-10-30mcdonnell douglas dc-10-3010 Tanker Air Carrier
Tanker 911
boeing 737-4q8boeing 737-4q8Xtra Airways
boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters" mcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackmcdonnell douglas av-8b harrier II night attackMarine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) "Tomcats" boeing ah-64d apacheboeing ah-64d apache1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment "First Attack" boeing c-17a globemaster IIIboeing c-17a globemaster III62d Airlift Wing (62 AW)
446th Airlift Wing (446 AW)

 

Information provided by Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

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(Ottosen Photography) 10 Tanker Air Carrier 737 A-4 A319 AH-64 AV-8B Airbus Allegiant Air An-124 Antonov Apache Arizona Arizona State University B-17G Boeing C-17 DC-10 F/A-18 Flying Fortress Globemaster Harrier II Hornet Lockheed Marine Corps Mcdonnell Douglas Mesa Mesa Pilot Development NASA Neptune P2V PA-28 Phoenix Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Piper Sentimental Journey Skyhawk Super Guppy Super Hornet Warrior Williams Air Force Base Williams Gateway Airport Willie Xtra Airways https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/phoenix-mesa-gateway-airport Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:00:00 GMT
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/uss-john-c-stennis-cvn-74 Four years ago today I was a guest on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) for a media tour while she was in port at Naval Air Station North Island.  It is amazing to be able to stand on the flight deck of a ship like this and to be able to see what goes on during their deployments.  It was an incredible experience that has opened more doors for me within the Navy and Naval Air Forces, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Navy and Naval Air Forces to help support their mission.

 

The mission of John C. Stennis and her air wing (CVW-9) is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward-deployed.  The embarked air wing consists of up to 10 squadrons.  Attached aircraft are navy and marine F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler (at the time of my tour, now EA-18G Growler), MH-60R, MH-60S, and E-2C Hawkeye.

 

The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) is the seventh Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier in the United States Navy, named for Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi.  She was commissioned on December 9, 1995, and her home port is Bremerton, Washington.  She has two Nuclear Reactors capable of speeds greater than 30 knots and allowing the ship to steam more than 1,000,000 miles before refueling.  Her Flight Deck is 257 feet wide and 1,092 feet long, equivilant to three football fields in length and adding up to 4.5 acres.  There are four catapults and four elevators accommodating 70 tactical aircraft.  Her height (keel to mast) is 244 feet, as tall as a 24-story building.  Her two Anchors each weigh 30 tons, and the starboard anchor was inherited from the USS Forrestal (CV 59).  She is capable of accommodating 6,200 Sailors and Marines and serving 18,600 meals per day, with 12,000 eggs served at breakfast alone.

 

grumman ea-6b prowlergrumman ea-6b prowlerElectronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"

Grumman EA-6B Prowler

boeing f/a-18e super hornetboeing f/a-18e super hornetStrike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"

Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet

 

Information provided by Wikipedia and the US Navy.

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(Ottosen Photography) Boeing CVN 74 California EA-6B F/A-18 Grumman NAS North Island Navy Prowler San Diego Super Hornet USS John C. Stennis https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/uss-john-c-stennis-cvn-74 Wed, 11 Feb 2015 17:00:00 GMT
The Phoenix Zoo https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/the-phoenix-zoo scarlet macawscarlet macaw
Rylan and I recently visited the Phoenix Zoo.  We really enjoy going to the Zoo, but Phoenix can be hot on occasion and so we only make it about once per year.  It's always fun to take a camera or two and photograph the animals, and this visit was no exception.  Whenever we visit the Zoo, it is always my goal to photograph the African Lions.  But they never seem to cooperate, and during this visit they were not about to disturb their afternoon nap to pose for me.  We moved over to the Mandrills, but they were too busy hiding in the shade to worry about the photographer begging for them to come out into the sunlight and put on a show just for him.  We then walked next door to the Hamadryas Baboon enclosure, here we found a few females, out in the open, cleaning each other and one big male at the back of the enclosure.  We decided it was time to wait and see what the male would do.  It didn't take too long, and boy did he put on a show for us.  After he was done with his nap, he came out, climbed on top of a large rock, and let out a huge yawn.  The result was our favorite photo of the day.

 

hamadryas baboonhamadryas baboonMale

 

According to the Phoenix Zoo, as a non-profit charitable organization the Phoenix Zoo provides experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.

The Zoo has served more than 42 million people since opening in 1962 and more than 1.5 million people visit the Zoo annually. The Zoo is located on 125 acres in Phoenix's Papago Park, with 40 acres currently developed and is home to more than 1,400 animals including more than 30 different endangered or threatened species from around the world. The Zoo has approximately 100 viewing exhibits on four Zoo trails: Africa, Arizona, Children's, and Tropics; more than 1,200 plant varieties that make up the botanical collection; and participates in 37 Species Survival Plans to breed and maintain endangered species.

 

To learn more about the Phoenix Zoo, or to plan your own visit, head on over to their Website: http://phoenixzoo.org

 

I guess we'll be making another visit in about a year to have another attempt at catching those African Lions.

 

jaguarjaguar hamadryas baboonhamadryas baboonFemale white rhinoceroswhite rhinoceros
african lionafrican lionFemale   spotted-necked otterspotted-necked otter

 

Information provided by the Phoenix Zoo.

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(Ottosen Photography) African Lion Arizona D7000 Hamadryas Baboon Jaguar Nikon Papago Park Phoenix Phoenix Zoo Scarlet Macaw Spotted-necked Otter White Rhinoceros https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/2/the-phoenix-zoo Sat, 07 Feb 2015 04:40:49 GMT
Goodyear's "Spirit of America" https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/goodyears-spirit-of-america goodyear blimp gz-20agoodyear blimp gz-20aSpirit of America With Super Bowl XLIX right around the corner here in Phoenix, Arizona, we are starting to see different aircraft that are not normally in our skies.  The Goodyear Blimp GZ20A "Spirit of America" is one of these such aircraft.  It is well known that the Goodyear Blimps are used mainly for advertising and capturing aerial views of live sporting events on television, so it is not a surprise to see it flying around over Phoenix, Arizona a week before the big game. 

 

Goodyear's "Spirit of America" is one of three blimps in the Goodyear fleet based in the United States.  The model GZ20A was manufactured by Goodyear Aerospace and according to Goodyear, the "Spirit of America" is based in Carson, California.  It was christened September 5, 2002 during a ceremony in Akron, Ohio.  The name of the ship was chosen as a tribute to the patriotic spirit of the United States.  Performing the christening was Mrs. Letitia Driscoll, mother of NYPD Officer Stephen Driscoll, who was killed in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  The Goodyear GZ20A blimps have no internal frame and the internal pressure of the lifting gas (non-flammable helium) and air-filled ballonet bags maintain the shape of the envelope, the airship's polyester fabric skin.  The only solid structural parts are external: the passenger car, the nose battens (hollow aluminum tubes at the nose of the Blimp) and the tail fins.

 

goodyear blimp gz20agoodyear blimp gz20aSpirit of America

 

Information provided by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

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(Ottosen Photography) #SB49 Arizona Blimp GZ20A Goodyear N10A Phoenix Spirit of America Super Bowl XLIX https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/goodyears-spirit-of-america Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:00:00 GMT
NASA's Sherpa https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/nasas-sherpa shorts c-23 sherpashorts c-23 sherpa

NASA's Shorts C-23 Sherpa is part of the NASA Airborne Science Program and is based at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.  This aircraft recently made a stop at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport during a transit to California.

 

According to NASA, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC) Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) Aircraft Office operates the NASA C-23 Sherpa research aircraft to support airborne science research.  The C-23 is used to perform scientific research, provide logistics support on an as-needed basis to other airborne science missions, and can be used as a technology test bed for new airborne and satellite instrumentation. This aircraft is also available to support range surveillance and recovery operations as needed.  The C-23 is a self-sufficient aircraft that can operate from short field civilian and military airports to remote areas of the world in support of scientific studies and other operations.

 

NASA's C-23 is seen here in the CARVE configuration to support NASA's CARVE mission.  According to NASA, the carbon budget of Arctic ecosystems is not known with confidence since fundamental elements of the complex Arctic biological-climatologic-hydrologic system are poorly quantified.  Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is collecting detailed measurements of important greenhouse gases on local to regional scales in the Alaskan Arctic and demonstrating new remote sensing and improved modeling capabilities to quantify Arctic carbon fluxes and carbon cycle-climate processes.  Ultimately, CARVE will provide an integrated set of data that will provide unprecedented experimental insights into Arctic carbon cycling.  CARVE is using the Arctic-proven C-23 Sherpa aircraft to fly an innovative airborne remote sensing payload.  It includes an infrared camera and a nadir-viewing spectrometer to deliver the first simultaneous measurements of surface parameters that control gas emissions (i.e., soil moisture, freeze/thaw state, surface temperature) and total atmospheric columns of carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide.  The aircraft payload also includes a gas analyzer that links greenhouse gas measurements directly to World Meteorological Organization standards.  Deployments occur during the spring, summer and early fall when Arctic carbon fluxes are large and change rapidly.  Further, at these times, the sensitivities of ecosystems to external forces such as fire and anomalous variability of temperature and precipitation are maximized.  Continuous ground-based measurements provide temporal and regional context as well as calibration for CARVE airborne measurements.

 

Information provided by NASA.

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona C-23 CARVE Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment Goddard Space Flight Center NASA NASA Airborne Science Program Phoenix Sherpa Shorts Sky Harbor Wallops Flight Facility https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/nasas-sherpa Sat, 24 Jan 2015 21:38:50 GMT
Air Force One https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/air-force-one boeing vc-25aboeing vc-25aAir Force One On January 8, 2014, Air Force One departed Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after an overnight visit to Phoenix, Arizona by the President of the United States.  It is always awesome to see Air Force One, and this time did not disappoint!  Since the President's visit is always announced ahead of time, along with approximate arrival and departure times, it gives some time to planning photo locations.  On this visit the arrival was after dark, so I decided to skip that.  But his departure was going to be right around Noon, so I was able to plan a location and get the photos.

 

The following are some facts and a brief history about Air Force One, and is found on the White House website; the President of the United States must be ready to travel anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice. Fortunately, modern Presidents have access to a variety of transportation options — including flying aboard Air Force One.

 

Technically, Air Force One is used to describe any Air Force aircraft carrying the President — but since the middle of the 20th century, it has been standard practice to refer to specific planes that are equipped to transport the Commander-in-Chief. Today, this name refers to one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, which carry the tail codes 28000 and 29000. The Air Force designation for the aircraft is VC-25A.

 

Air Force One is one of the most recognizable symbols of the presidency, spawning countless references not just in American culture but across the world. Emblazoned with the words "United States of America," the American flag, and the Seal of the President of the United States, it is an undeniable presence wherever it flies.

 

Capable of refueling midair, Air Force One has unlimited range and can carry the President wherever he needs to travel. The onboard electronics are hardened to protect against an electromagnetic pulse, and Air Force One is equipped with advanced secure communications equipment, allowing the aircraft to function as a mobile command center in the event of an attack on the United States.

 

Inside, the President and his travel companions enjoy 4,000 square feet of floor space on three levels, including an extensive suite for the President that features a large office, lavatory, and conference room. Air Force One includes a medical suite that can function as an operating room, and a doctor is permanently on board. The plane’s two food preparation galleys can feed 100 people at a time.

 

Air Force One also has quarters for those who accompany the President, including senior advisors, Secret Service officers, traveling press, and other guests. Several cargo planes typically fly ahead of Air Force One to provide the President with services needed in remote locations.

 

Air Force One is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, part of the White House Military Office. The Airlift Group was founded in 1944 as the Presidential Pilot Office at the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. For the next 15 years, various propeller-driven aircraft served the President, until President Dwight D. Eisenhower flew to Europe aboard VC-137A, a Boeing 707 Stratoliner, in August 1959.

 

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy became the first President to fly in a jet specifically built for presidential use – a modified Boeing 707. Over the years, several other jet aircraft have been used, with the first of the current aircraft being delivered in 1990 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

 

boeing vc-25aboeing vc-25aAir Force One

 

There are also a lot of support aircraft that arrive prior to the President's visit, they haul the necessary personnel and equipment to support the President while he is in town.  This time included no less than three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft.  These aircraft usually haul a helicopter and the motorcade vehicles, and have everything delivered and ready prior to the President's arrival.

 

boeing c-17a globemaster IIIboeing c-17a globemaster III62d Airlift Wing (62 AW)
446th Airlift Wing (446 AW)
boeing c-17a globemaster IIIboeing c-17a globemaster III62d Airlift Wing (62 AW)
446th Airlift Wing (446 AW)

 

Information provided by whitehouse.gov.

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(Ottosen Photography) 747 Air Force One Arizona Boeing C-17A Commander in Chief Globemaster III Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport President of the United States Sky Harbor VC-25A https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/air-force-one Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Meteor Crater https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/meteor-crater meteor cratermeteor crater Recently, to celebrate our 3rd Wedding Anniversary, Rylan and I made the trip up north to Flagstaff, Arizona to see and photograph some of the local tourist destinations in the area.  One of the places we visited, and our favorite that day, was Meteor Crater which is located approximately 37 miles east of Flagstaff.  I had only been here once before, when I was a little kid, and Rylan had never been.  Since we are both aviation/space geeks, we were really looking forward to this visit.

 

According to the Meteor Crater website, this is the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth.  Meteor Crater is the breath-taking result of a collision between an asteroid traveling 26,000 miles per hour and planet Earth approximately 50,000 years ago.  The crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep.  During the 1960s, NASA astronauts trained in the crater to prepare for the Apollo missions to the Moon.

 

meteor cratermeteor crater

 

Information provided by the Meteor Crater website.

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(Ottosen Photography) Anniversary Apollo Arizona Flagstaff Meteor Crater NASA https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/meteor-crater Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:44:16 GMT
Four Peaks Wilderness Area https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/four-peaks-wilderness-area four peaks wilderness areafour peaks wilderness area On New Year's Eve a winter storm came through Arizona covering much of the state in a blanket of snow.  When this has happened in the past I have always wanted to drive out to the Four Peaks Wilderness Area and take photos of Four Peaks with snow.  We waited a day too long and much of the snow had already melted, but this year we finally did make it out to get the photos I had wanted in years past.

 

On January 2, 2015, Rylan and I drove out to Four Peaks and spent a few hours taking photos as the sunlight went from afternoon through sunset.  It was beautiful, and it makes me wonder why we don't do it more often.  Phoenix, Arizona normally doesn't get any snow, but Four Peaks usually gets a blanket of snow a couple of times every year.  It has always been awesome to live in a city that doesn't get snow, but (on a clear day) to be able to look about 40 miles east and see snow on the mountains.  It helps to make our beautiful days this time of year feel a little more like Winter.

 

According to the US Forest Service, the Four Peaks Wilderness Area was established in 1984 and contains approximately 60,740 acres with a major mountain rising up in its center from the desert foothills.  The Four Peaks themselves are visible for many miles, and are one of the most widely recognized landmarks in central Arizona.  The rapid change in elevation produces interesting and unique plant and animal communities. Elevations range from 1,900 feet to 7,600.

 

four peaks wilderness areafour peaks wilderness area

 

Information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.

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(Ottosen Photography) Arizona Department of Agriculture Forest Service Four Peaks Four Peaks Wilderness Area Maricopa County Saguaro Snow Tonto National Forest US Winter https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2015/1/four-peaks-wilderness-area Tue, 06 Jan 2015 17:48:30 GMT
International F-35A Training at Luke Air Force Base https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2014/12/international-f-35a-training-at-luke-air-force-base By pure coincidence, Rylan and I were out at Luke Air Force Base when the first Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II jet arrived.  This one was F-35A A35-002, and was the second F-35A that Lockheed Martin built for the RAAF.  We had planned to spend that day photographing F-16s and F-35s, but it turned into being something a little more special.  We were able to witness a small part of F-35A history.

 

According to Luke Air Force Base and the 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, the first Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II jet arrived at Luke Air Force Base December 18, 2014. The jet's arrival marks the first international partner F-35 to arrive for training at Luke.

 

Nine other nations will be training alongside the United States on the new airframe. Other partner-nations that will be joining the U.S. and Australia in the F-35A training program here will be Turkey, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands, in addition to Foreign Military Sales countries Japan, Korea and Israel.

 

Luke will be the central training hub for international F-35A training. In the near future, international and U.S. students will be teamed together learning how to effectively employ the fifth-generation strike fighter.

 

Australia's training will be conducted in conjunction with the 61st Fighter Squadron. The 62nd Fighter Squadron is expected to stand-up in June, to be joined by partner-nations Italy and Norway. Flight operations for the 62nd are scheduled to begin in September of 2015.

 

lockheed martin f-35a lightning IIlockheed martin f-35a lightning IIRoyal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

 

Information provided by Luke Air Force Base and the 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.

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(Ottosen Photography) Air Force F-35A Lightning II Lockheed Martin Luke Air Force Base RAAF Royal Australian Air Force https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2014/12/international-f-35a-training-at-luke-air-force-base Wed, 31 Dec 2014 17:13:49 GMT
Aviation in Southern Arizona https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2014/12/aviation-in-southern-arizona grumman us-2d trackergrumman us-2d tracker Recently Rylan and I spent a Saturday and checked out much of the aviation between Phoenix and Tucson.  The day was bookended with meet-ups with the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP).

 

Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08): We started the day with AzAP at the monthly breakfast fly-in in Coolidge.  This is always a fun gathering that offers many different civil and warbird aircraft, and this visit did not disappoint.

 

grumman f8f-1 bearcatgrumman f8f-1 bearcat north american t-28 trojannorth american t-28 trojan lancair evolutionlancair evolution cessna 195cessna 195

 

Eloy Municipal Airport (E60): This was our first visit here, and we didn't take any photos.  Instead, we watched all the skydivers at Skydive Arizona.  We really need to return to photograph the skydivers and some of their jump aircraft.

 

Pinal Airpark (MZJ, KMZJ): I have tried a few times to get in here to photograph some of the stored aircraft, but I am always turned away by the guard at the gate.  This time there was no guard at the gate so we proceeded in, but we turned around when we came to the ABSOLUTELY NO PHOTOGRAPHY sign.

 

Marana Regional Airport (AVQ, KAVQ): There wasn't much going on here, but we still had a look around.  They do have the Lockheed VC-121A Constellation "Columbine II" stored here.  "Columbine II" was used by President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower, and currently she is looking for a new home to restore and display her properly.

 

309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG): While we didn't get into AMARG, we did go around some of the scrap yards adjacent to AMARG.  Through the fence you can see some of the old, stored aircraft that are awaiting their fate.

 

grumman us-2d trackergrumman us-2d tracker

 

Pima Air & Space Museum: We met up with AzAP again here for another night shoot at the museum.  The AzAP night shoots are always a lot of fun, and I especially look forward to the ones held at Pima Air & Space Museum.

 

boeing eb-47e stratojetboeing eb-47e stratojet376th Bombardment Wing
Pima and & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona
nasanasaInternational Space Station (ISS)
Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker
Aero Spacelines B-377-SG Super Guppy
Pima and & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona

 

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(Ottosen Photography) 195 AMARG AVQ Aero Spacelines AzAP B-377-SG Bearcat Boeing Cessna Columbine II Constellation Coolidge E60 EB-47J Eloy Evolution F8F-1 Grumman KAVQ KC-135A KMZJ Lancair Lockheed MZJ Marana North American P08 PASM Pima Air & Space Museum Pinal Stratojet Stratotanker Super Guppy T-28 Tracker Trojan US-2D VC-121A https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2014/12/aviation-in-southern-arizona Sun, 28 Dec 2014 18:18:11 GMT
Holiday Heavies https://www.ottosenphotography.com/blog/2014/12/holiday-heavies boeing 747-47ufboeing 747-47ufAtlas Air

With all the people on planet Earth, Santa Claus needs a lot of help staging all of his presents for the good (and bad) girls and boys.  That's where cargo carriers like UPS and FedEx come into play.  The week before Christmas there is always an increase in cargo traffic at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and I'm sure this increase happens worldwide.  There are always more UPS and FedEx aircraft, and there are also cargo charters to help with the operations too.

 

Every year, the Arizona Aviation Photographers (AzAP) select one day prior to Christmas as the group's Holiday Heavies Meet-up.  In 2014 that day was December 23.  The members of the group, that can make it out, gather around the airport prior to sunrise to catch the morning's cargo operations.  This year seemed especially busy with cargo traffic arriving and departing all morning, from before sunrise to sometime just before Noon.  In addition to the cargo operations, there are always the standard airport operations that fall victim to the camera and lens too.  This year I spent all of my time on the Southwest side of the airport, I wanted to get photos of aircraft taxiing out for departure.  It's always fun to spend time with good friends and take photos of special cargo operations.

 

airbus a300f4-605rairbus a300f4-605rFedEx Express boeing 767-281(bdsf)boeing 767-281(bdsf)ABX Air mcdonnell douglas md-11fmcdonnell douglas md-11fFedEx Express