PDA

View Full Version : CAF 29/24 - Meacham Field, TX



jerslice
07-14-2011, 01:13 AM
Had an opportunity to do some work for the Commemorative Air Force B24/29 Squadron over the fourth of July down at Meacham Field outside Ft Worth. I fully intend to write up an experience on flying aboard, but I don't have the time I thought I would lately.
I did get the approval to put a few small pics out though (an otherwise NYCA exclusive - not even on my flickr) - hope you like 'em!

Night shoot!
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6012/5936125410_823a99fdbf.jpg

Tours in between flights to the public:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6125/5935566465_244760c7be.jpg

Head on taxi-shot I'd been dreaming about...thanks to Meacham Field's airport ops guys for helping us out:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6005/5935566561_392f463483.jpg

And the view from the tail gunner somewhere over the Ft. Worth suburbs:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6029/5935566383_84b88bceff.jpg

Before my first flight - and first time in a legit flight suit:
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/jerslice356/260542_2179353131258_1469810598_32417838_1619029_n .jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/jerslice356/262257_2179349251161_1469810598_32417835_4529797_n .jpg

flyboy 28
07-14-2011, 06:44 AM
Yeah yeah yeah, we're jealous.

Freakin' amazing shots, Jeremy! Certainly the experience of a lifetime!

steve1840
07-14-2011, 07:03 AM
Absolutely phenominal Jeremy! I can only dream about an experience like that!

jerslice
07-15-2011, 01:03 AM
Thanks guys!
And the story:
I went down to Texas for the second time this year to do some promo photo work for the Commemorative Air Force 24/29 Squadron with another photog. Due to an 11th hour incident before our last visit we were unable to complete the full cadre of shots, so we had to go back (shame, I know). This time everything went beyond well - each of us got in two flights (which completed my goal of flying in every major American bomber type still flying) in addition to some great access on the ground.
My first flight was on the first day, in the early evening. I was placed in the aft compartment along with five passengers and three crew members. In order to access the rear you climb up this tiny little ladder and through a fairly small doorway. Upon entry you turn right and climb through a hatch not unlike that of a submarine to get into the compartment. Then you sit down, buckle up, and wait.
The cabin was stifling warm, and, a product of being semi-crew-ish, I was to wear nomex flight suit. This was my first time wearing one, and I could not have picked a worse day (though with Liberty Belle fresh in all of our minds, no one was exactly complaining about it). It had been hovering just above 100 since 11am, and the aircraft is all metal - so it was extremely warm in the cabin by the time we boarded around 6:30 that night. They keep a cooler full of ice water and a box of rags to wet and place around your neck, which I gotta say made a big difference. Being in Seattle for the past three years I have long forgotten what truly hot weather and sweat are like - and I have to say becoming reacquainted was not especially fun. During start up and taxi I could feel sweat dripping off my nose and chin and down my back - a sensation I hadn't experience in awhile. The other passengers, most of whom were not in flight suits, weren't faring much better and the scanners had a few extra layers on beyond me - though they didn't seem too bothered. I discovered that start up takes a fairly long time; each of the engines is started individually with everyone already on board, followed by some warm up time - then taxi. We got under way about ten to fifteen minutes after boarding plus another five to ten minutes of taxi and run up.
Departure was pretty straight forward - very gradual climbout with a gentle turn to the left to prep for a flyover of the field. Just after the flyover we were cleared to get up and mull around. Since my job was to take pictures I make a beeline for the tail and worked my way forward through the aircraft getting it done. I received approval to cross from the aft to forward compartment via the tunnel, which was pretty cool though a bit harrowing the first time. It was still pretty hot in the tunnel, but a few vents connected to the bomb bay about half way through provided some much need fresh, cool air. The front office is very spacious, especially in comparison to the other WWII era bombers. On my first flight I had the privilege of flying with a gentleman (in the bombardiers seat below) who flew the last B29 wartime mission over Japan. Quite a privilege to fly with him for sure - one of those humble moments.
After spending about 10 minutes or so up front I made my way back through the tunnel and prepped for landing. The seats in the rear are sideways, so to photograph the scanners doing their thing I had to lean over the armrest. That was a bad idea. When we touched down the armrest impacted my chest pretty good, and it hurt. After touching down the cabin quickly warmed up again, and I was happy when the engines shut down to get out of the heat of the cabin into the cool 90 degree Texas evening. But not before I got a good pic of myself coming out of the tunnel :cool:.
It was a fantastic ride, and the second one equally so...I hope they aren't my last.

Again, a big thanks to the folks at the CAF for having us!


And two more:
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6012/5939206500_b6d9cda789_z.jpg

In the tunnel after the flight, popping into the aft compartment!
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6028/5938858443_6efa607733.jpg

billv
07-17-2011, 06:26 AM
Great write-up and images Jeremy. Kudos for enduring that heat and small spaces. No way could I do that, lol.

gonzalu
07-17-2011, 08:02 AM
Awesome work Jeremy... but for me, photographically, this is my fav comp

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6125/5935566465_244760c7be.jpg

love it!!

Derf
07-17-2011, 08:29 AM
There is not a weak picture in that set...very well done

jerslice
07-18-2011, 12:08 AM
Thanks guys!

benji
02-14-2012, 06:39 AM
wow your night shot is amazing. I really like the back lighting. She looks in incredible form thanks to all the hard work of very talented engineers