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The March 2013 issue of the ISnAP (Magazine of the International Society of Aviation Photography)
I ational Socie ty ern nt at h ÂŠ y A vi io n P h otogr ap WELCOME NEW ISAP MEMBERS Matthew Savage Colin Bailie Richard H Upchurch John Stanley Glenn Friedenreich Steven Bigg Ben Montgomery John Stemple Dennis Hughes Aleksandra Morel Fred Cramer Adrian Lang Chris Chapman Jeff Veire Matthew Baker Jason Walle David Redman Luis Sales George Stark Michael Schnell Martin Leddy Alvin Pike Thorbjorn Sund Antonios Tsagkaratos Petrus Van Den Reek Todd Gleb Gary Gordon MacDonald Welcome to the February 2013 issue of ISnAP! ISAP Membership Renewal 2013 In this issue: - Photographing Air to Air on the Wings of History by Jim Wilson You can now conveniently renew your ISAP membership online! - What Coin Is In Your Pocket by John Rinquist - Sharpening in Photoshop by Pascal van Uffelen - Photo Assignment by Jessica Ambats - 10th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards by Hayman Tam - Project Terminated by Erik Simonsen - Sequestration On Air Show Community by ICAS - Red Flag by Glenn Bloore - Mystery Ship by Jay Miller You can view and download this issue, as well as past ISnAP issues, by going to http://www.issuu.com/isaporg. To renew online, simply go to our website: http://www.aviationphoto.org. Renewal information (either online or by mail) is located under the Member’s Area. You do not need to login in order to renew your membership. Memberships will no longer be calendar year memberships, they will be on an anniversary basis, meaning your membership will be up for renewal each year on the date that you signed up. I hope members will continue to get ever more involved with ISAP and take advantage of the opportunities it presents to form, build, and strengthen camaraderie and subject knowledge. Emphasis has been placed on general information, photography events, equipment, and member accomplishments in ISnAP. Your feedback will help us to keep you in contact with each other and ISAP. Put ISAP-XII on your schedule for May 16, 17 and 18 2013 in Seattle, WA. We’re working hard to put together yet another incredible program. More updates will follow soon. Enjoy the issue! Sincerely, Larry Grace,President International Society for Aviation Photography www.aviationphoto.org • www.facebook.com/ISAPorg If you have a problem with the link to download the current issue, copy and paste the link in your browser. Cover: ISAP Vice Chair Jim Wilson captured this image from the open tail of his favorite photo platform, a North American B-25. The crew of Devil Dog, led by Scott “Gunny” Perdue and Miss Beth Jenkins were at the top of their game for this challenging assignment. The value of having a crew that is not only supremely safety conscious and intensely professional, but also understands and anticipates exactly what the photographer is seeking, is immeasurable.” Back Cover: Jim Wilson P H O T O G R AIR TO AIR ON THE WINGS OF HISTORY by Jim Wilson Photo by Jo Hunter My concentration, and the rhythmic crack and pop of the two 1700 horsepower Wright Cyclone engines, are broken by the voice of ATC. “North American B-25 and flight, cleared for departure.” A quick crew check request from Scott “Gunny” Perdue up in the front office is met by a series of affirmative responses as the Wrights spool up to take off power. Like a thoroughbred bucking at the gate the B-25 snarls and shakes, doing it’s best to overpower the brakes, begging to be released into the sky. The most articulate description of the B-25 experience, pales in comparison to the reality, it is virtually indescribable. When the brakes are released you are immersed in deafening thunder and thrust, the kind you feel not just in the seat of your pants, but also in your soul. You become cognizant of the atmosphere in the fuselage, a hint of aviation fuel, oil and exhaust is mixed with 68 years of history and suddenly you feel a profound gratitude to and a kinship with, the men who flew these on missions of much more consequence than the one we undertake this day. Our mission today is to capture a series of beautiful aircraft in their element, hopefully conveying the wonder of these machines and of flight itself to all who view the photographic results of our efforts. You have joined us at the most exciting part of this assignment, but it is just the final segment of a very meticulously planned series of events that will lead us to a successful and safe photographic mission. The causal observer will look at the photographs from an assignment of this nature and think, “cool, you go fly with a bunch of great subjects, take lots of pictures and have a great time!” While there certainly is some truth to that statement, all of us who are blessed to do this type of work for a living know that is a very simplistic view of the work we do. Occasionally that oversimplified view is allowed to take flight, with dire consequences. A P HI N G As Paul Harvey used to say, “Stay tuned for the rest of the story!” The following is a real worldview of the life of an air-to-air photographer. From the moment a request is made for an air-to-air photographic mission, the photographer begins organizing and executing a very carefully orchestrated series of events. He or she must consider a whole host of variables, aircraft performance, the appropriate photo platform, choice of crew, weather, issues relating to the training/experience of subject aircraft crews, backgrounds for the shoot, budget considerations and more. Anyone involved in this line of work will tell you that safety is the number one priority, not just paying it lip service but making certain it is number one from the guy in the left seat of the photo ship through the crew, to the subject aircraft and pilots. When viewed, planned and executed with that perspective, an air-to-air mission is a wonderful experience. Anything less is like playing Russian roulette with the chamber half full. Choosing a photo platform is pretty simple for me. A B-25 works nicely for most everything I shoot. The B-25 speed range works pretty well with anything that can fly in the 160 to 200 knot range. Costs start pretty high and go up as the speed increases. The Mitchell is thirsty at any speed, but at the higher numbers she really has a talent for turning money into noise. The aircraft offers numerous vantage points to shoot from, the absolute best being the tail gunner’s position that offers an unobstructed view of the world and the subject aircraft. The head on “in your face” views captured from the tail are spectacular and difficult, but not impossible, to orchestrate from other mounts. The side emergency exit portal is another great vantage point, although the tail can obstruct some views. This is a good spot for echelon formations. Some aircraft have been modified to allow shooting from the glass nose gunner’s station, allowing unique “trailing” views of the subject. One has to be careful in that position because a June bug at 200 can really mess up your front lens element! One of the most important steps in the successful execution of an air-to-air shoot is the preflight brief. Let’s assume that all the other issues, weather, mechanical, logistics, crew skill, have been navigated, no small feat by the way. The preflight brief is where the rubber leaves the runway, and returns safely. Everyone involved in the assignment is in this brief. The pilot of the photo platform lays out the flight plan, formations, speeds, safety procedures, joining, formation flight, leaving the formation, emergency procedures and code words, radio communication protocol, etc. When this brief is over, no participant should have any question as to what will take place, how it will take place, and what their responsibilities will be. We discuss keeping radio communications to a minimum and what hand signals I will use to make minor adjustments in the subject position. We emphasize that if at any point anyone becomes uncomfortable with any portion of their responsibilities, or anyone else’s performance of the script, they use the code for termination and depart the formation. Obviously the B-25 is generally the least agile aircraft in the formation so allowances are made for that. As the photographer on this mission one of your responsibilities it to analyze the light, sky conditions, etc., and make everyone aware of what it is going to take to use those things to the best advantage. You have determined what the optimum altitudes and headings will be to put your subjects in the best light. Following the brief, we generally go directly to the aircraft, do a mini brief to make sure no loose objects, lens caps, hats, glasses, anything not instrumental to the mission, is secured or left behind. The photographer and crew must take all steps deadly seriously, and this one is no exception. Do you know what a rubber ear cup, an ear plug, a lens cap, any little harmless looking accessory in your camera bag will do when it finds it’s way into the nacelle of a subject aircraft? Unlikely? You would be very surprised. Climbing aboard the B-25 requires a little flexibility, we didn’t build them for comfort, and believe me when I tell you that it exists nowhere in the aircraft. Once in inside, you secure your gear and strap yourself more “on” to than “in” to a tubular seat frame with a canvas sling. This is another stage in the respect and gratitude journey I spoke of earlier. We’re going up for a couple of hours, not heading for Europe! A side note, would it give you pause for thought if you were told your B-25 wasn’t primed, because statistics were proving it probably wouldn’t last long enough to suffer corrosion? You collect your thoughts and look around the fuselage; you notice that you’re surrounded with aluminum channel, sharp bulkheads, control cables and wiring. Quickly you realize that the only sound attenuation material in the aircraft is you. Chances are you will receive a bit of “B-25 Rash” before your wheels kiss the runway again, but you consider it kind of a badge of honor. Amidst all the noise and your thoughts, “Gunny” releases the brakes and you get that familiar feeling of focus, adrenaline, anticipation, you’re on your way. The 25 lifts off and you see and feel the wheels go into the wells as you climb into the predawn or evening light. FAA regulations prohibit anyone from being in the nose or tail for departure or landing, but this is my cue. I unbuckle, grab my gear bag and begin the hands and knees crawl through the narrowing fuselage to the open tail. I don’t care how many times you do it, or how much you love it, this is gut check time, especially if the air is made out of lumps. Approaching the open tail is incredible and sobering. Once you get contorted into your best shooting position and have yourself buckled to the fuselage, you’re ready to go to work. “Shooter, you up?” comes from the front office; another call for subject positions and the game has begun. There’s nothing quite like seeing your subject slip into place behind you, just inexplicable. All the planning, all the meetings, every eventuality that you woke up and stared at the ceiling thinking about, has brought you to this moment. Most of the time you really never are sure whether the shoot will happen, until you are at this point, and it’s wonderful! The setting sun wraps the fuselage, dappling magenta and blue highlights and shadows across the cloud deck just below you. It’s magical and you again realize just how blessed you are to be witnessing it all. Scott Perdue and I have flown together on these missions so many times that he knows exactly what I’m looking for when it comes to light, angles and backdrops. Scott’s expertise at the yoke or stick of anything from a Strike Eagle to Cub is nothing short of awe inspiring, but when you combine that with his God given gift of understanding light and composition, well, it really doesn’t get any better than that. There is a bit of back and forth between Scott and our subjects, an occasional check to make sure I like what I’m getting (I really think Gunny is just double checking that I harnessed in and I’m still there!) My hand signals facilitate most of the positioning tweaks, then a quick transmission here and there to change up the formations or players. Traditional “chimping” is not something that I find myself doing during these assignments. Things are happening too fast to spend very much time looking at the preview screen. An occasional glance to check something and verify that all systems are working correctly is all that is required. Many of the same parameters we use on the ground apply; 1/60th of a second for big slow turning propellers is a sweet spot. Don’t shoot at f/16 and above when you pop up on top because you’ll be cloning minute dust particles out of your images for the rest of your natural days. Manually focus so you can choose your plane of focus, not the camera. I bring lots of bodies loaded with 32/64 GB cards. Once again do you know what a CF card would do to a Gulfstream engine? Ugh! I’ve never asked my good friend Paul Bowen, the hands down B-25 Guru, if it ever gets old. Certainly there are times when the flight is long, the air is rough, it’s cold/hot, you’re exhausted from the preparations and the execution, but I’m sure Paul would say that every time is like the first time. You discover something new on each flight, like his signature vortices, or the shadows of your formation etched in the cloud tops as you drop down to skim them. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, God taps you on the shoulder and shows you something new and breathtaking. Paul, by the way, introduced me to the B-25, and I’ll be forever grateful to him for his kind and generous spirit. So, you and your crew have pulled off another one and you sit there in the tail as your final subject goes wing up and vanishes, mesmerized by the twilight and the images you have just witnessed. The feeling is like that of the Greek “Catharsis” performances, designed to drain the emotion from the viewer and leave them in an exhausted state of euphoria. Roger that! E G N E CHALL D E T P E ACC WHAT COIN IS IN YOUR POCKET? BY JOHN RINQUIST During a recent breakfast meeting, Larry Grace asked me if I knew about challenge coins. “Well, to tell the truth, no.” So I thought it would be a good idea to find out. Here’s what I discovered. hanging him until he produced the medallion. One of the French captors recognized the squadron’s insignia, which was verified to prevent his hanging. A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion. The coins have military tradition with special meaning for those who trade them, collect them, or carry them. Initially, they were used to prove membership in an organization but that expanded to enhancing morale, becoming a collection piece, often presented by unit commanders for special achievement, and exchanged to recognize visits to an organization. It is believed that challenge coins began during the First World War (WWI). The thinking was that it would be used to identify members of a particular flying squadron. The military and other collectors use these coins for different purposes. Unit coins are earned and commander-presented coins demonstrate excellence. According to tradition, if you are “challenged” and do not have your coin: you buy the room drinks! According to one common story, the first use of the medallion was by a young pilot who was shot down behind enemy lines during WWI and immediately captured by a German patrol. The pilot was stripped of all of his belongings except the squadron medallion hanging around his neck in a leather pouch. He managed to escape to a French outpost. Members of the post thought he was a spy and proceeded to begin We’ve included some images of coins with this article. More information is available on the Internet. There are multiple places to purchase coins. Challenge coins have expanded into a multi-million dollar business. Pure silver coins have become an investment during recessions. But for most challenge coin holders, the value is measured by what the coin offers in personal memories. Sources include: Wikipedia and NBC News by Pascal van Uffelen In this document I will explain my sharpening method, using the feature “Unsharp mask”. (Photoshop) For this method I create two extra layers. That looks like a lot of work but Photoshop can record actions, so they can be played automatically, and, when recorded smart, very quickly. The first image shows some problems that show up with the use of the filter while sharpening an image. Noise gets more visible and strange light glow occurs in some places. (Like on top of the engine hull.) But why should I sharpen this much? 500%? Well the answer is: Because I can. How I do it will be explained in this document. If you like it please spread the word. I like to share as much of my knowledge as possible. In this image noise and a strange white glow over the engine hull are visible. The first thing I do is fix the noise. You can do that by applying a threshold. I use, for this camera and ISO-setting, “15” as value. That means the colours have to be 15 steps apart before the program/algorithm will react. Next step is showing only the pixels that became darker, and not the pixels that became lighter. (Thus deleting the light glow on the engine hull.) That is why I use two extra layers. By choosing Next step is adding some brilliance to shining parts. I do that in the middle layer by applying a sharpening of 250%. Also with a threshold, blending mode luminosity, and opacity 70%. This way I get maximum sharpening without the nasty side-effects. This method can also be used when switching to LAB mode. (What I do.) And using the luminosity channel to apply the sharpening to. To finally record the action I make note of the ideal settings first. Than I start recording. I two times make a new layer. Than apply the settings to the layers and make all layers one again. By already finding out the best settings beforehand, the switching and checking before you get the ideal sharpening is not recorded and the action runs faster. I hope this tutorial has been inspiring and helpful. “darker” as blending mode only parts that got darker than the underlying layer are visible. As I thought the effect was a bit to strong I set the opacity of the layer to 70%. ON ASSIGNMENT WITH JESSICA AMBATS 10 th Annual living legends of A different type of aviation photography by Hayman Tam The hustle of the holidays had barely eased when it was time to prepare for one of my favorite photography events. If it’s January, then it’s time to prepare for the glitz and glamour of the Living Legends of Aviation Awards, a black tie gala in which the Legends of Aviation honor significant contributions to aviation. Held this past January, this is considered the most prestigious and important recognition event of aviation. The “Living Legends of Aviation” is a select group numbering 82 people of extraordinary accomplishment in the aviation field. Among the defining criteria used in identifying “Living Legends” are aviation entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, record breakers, astronauts, pilots that have become celebrities and celebrities who have become pilots. As the initial group of Legends evolved, these extraordinary people of aviation nominated others to join them, and the list has gradually grown. As Legends take their flight west, new inductees selected by their fellow Legends replace them. 2013 marked the tenth anniversary of the Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills in the very same ballroom as the Golden Globes. Barron Hilton, also a pilot, aviation enthusiast and “Living Legend” was also in attendance. The event is organized as a fundraiser and my wife (and second shooter) and I have been fortunate to be asked back each year as regular members of the event photography team. It’s now my fourth year and we’re happy to see ISAP’s own Larry Grace make his second appearance at this event. This year the event was covered by a photo team number numbering eight. The event starts off with a cocktail reception, which requires red carpet coverage, and guest arrivals where the Legends mingle and autograph items put up for auction. Our photographer’s table was tucked in a front corner underneath one of the video display screens, where we dined on filet mignon prior to the start of the festivities. Once the lights go down, Larry and I began shooting the podium speakers from various locations among the guest tables, with others covering stage left and a taking care of “green room” shots. Most of the team then prepared to cover the “after party” on the penthouse level of the hotel, providing opportunities to capture the Legends in a more relaxed setting. It should be noted that normal press photography is limited to the red carpet as the guests approach the reception doors. Once inside, other than guests packing iPhones, we are the only event photographers. f aviation awards Shooting conditions during the reception ranges from bright ballroom to candlelight, and is a normal flash setup since you are fairly close to the subjects. I have used a Gary Fong Lightsphere with good results on my Nikon SB-600 mounted on my D300 (w/18-200mm) while my second shooter used a Sto-Fen/SB-600 setup with a D7000 (with 35-70 f/2.8). My normal setup for podium speakers is without flash, shooting handheld with the D7000 with a 70-200 f/2.8 from about 100â€™ back. I had retired my veteran 80 - 200 mm and was anxious to try the 70-200 mm this year and was rewarded with many more keeper shots. This event is a fantastic opportunity to see and even meet some of these aviation heavyweights. It has also been very educational in learning from the acceptance speeches how these folks built their lives around aviation, often starting as childhood dreams. Emcee duties were split between Sean Tucker and Danny Clisham, aided by the host John Travolta. Award Honorees for 2013 are: - Lifetime Aviation Industry Leader Award - James Albaugh- the former President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Aircraft - Aviation Industry Entrepreneur of the Year - John Uczekaj- President and CEO of Aspen Avionics Living Legends of Aviation Inductees this year are: Chuck Aaron - the first and only civilian pilot to be licensed in the US to fly aerobatics in his distinctive Red Bull MBB Bo-105 helicopter. James Albaugh - the former President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Aircraft, was honored for his corporate leadership and impact on technology and engineering. Randy Gaston - Vice President of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. Over 40 years of aviation experience in military and civilian roles, was the chief test pilot for the B-1B bomber. Captain Al Haynes - became a hero for his efforts to land a stricken DC-10 that had lost all hydraulic controls. Manipulating the throttles to control the aircraft, Al and his crew attempted a landing that, while unsuccessful, still allowed 184 people to survive. Fatih and Eren Ozmen - CEO and CFO for Sierra Nevada Corporation, currently developing the Dream Chaser spacecraft to transport cargo and crew to the International Space Station. Tom Poberezny - past President of EAA (1989-2010) and past Chairman of EAA AirVenture (1977-2011). Creator of the Young Eagles program. Louis Turpen - ex-Director of Operations for SFO, developer of new terminal at Toronto airport, now President of the San Francisco Aeronautical Society. - Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy Award - Greg Anderson- President and CEO of Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver, CO. - Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award - David Neeleman- founder of JetBlue, WestJet and Azul airlines. - Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award - David Ellison- Pilot, actor (Flyboys), and movie producer (True Grit, Mission Impossible- Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher, World War Z). - Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award- Roy Morgan- one of the founders of Air Methods Corp, the largest provider of air medical emergency transport services. Started with a Bell 206 and has grown to 400 helicopters and 20 airplanes. - Bob Hoover Freedom of Flight Award - Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11- first man on the moon) & Eugene Cernan (Apollo 17- last man on the moon). Neil Armstrongâ€™s family was present to accept for their late father. The Legends event is produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a non-profit organization that introduces children to aviation. Kiddie Hawk follows the students as they progress; making scholarships available as Kiddie Hawk pilots enter actual flight training. Learn more about the Living Legends of Aviation Awards at www.livinglegendsofaviation.org. For event photos taken by Hayman Tam, go to http://lloa.shutterfly.com. One USAF/NAA F-108A Rapier from the 5th FIS breaks off formation, as a pair of F-108As return home from an Air Defense Command training mission. Project Terminated Famous Military Aircraft Cancellations of the Cold War and What Might Have Been Foreword by Walter J. Boyne By Erik Simonsen 8.5” x 11” 224 pages 200 color and 25 B&W photos Hardcover $39.95 Throughout history production contracts for military aircraft programs have been awarded and then cancelled as political, technological and operational dictates mandated. Many legendary aircraft like the Northrop YB-49A Flying Wing, the Canadian CF-105 Arrow and the Lockheed YF-12A Mach 3 interceptor were actually built and flown successfully before being cancelled. Others, such as the North American F-108A Rapier, never made it past the mockup stage. Ten chapters in Project Terminated explore what might have happened to various canceled designs, as if they had actually entered production and operational service. The book takes a unique tack on history, and features over 200 historic photographs and detailed photo/illustrations of conceptual aircraft. Available March 2013: Crecy Publishing Ltd. (www.crecy.co.uk), and distributed in the U.S. by Specialty Press (www.specialtypress.com). Also available on Amazon.com. Attached are several conceptual aircraft images from the book – short captions are listed below. I included the book information again , which lists the ordering information. A conceptual operational USAF/Northrop RB-49B leaves contrails over snowcapped mountains. Two conceptual SAC B-70Bs carrying two GAM-87A Skybolts head out on a training sortie. A USAF//Lockheed F-12B from the 49th FIS escorts a Soviet Tu-95 Bear during Cold War operations. RED FLAG, a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies, is coordinated at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and conducted on the vast bombing and gunnery ranges of the Nevada Test and Training Range. It is one of a series of advanced training programs administered by the United States Air Force Warfare Center and Nellis and executed through the 414th Combat Training Squadron. RED FLAG was established in 1975 as one of the initiatives directed by General Robert J. Dixon, then commander of Tactical Air Command, to better prepare our forces for combat. Tasked to plan and control this training, the 414th Combat Training Squadron’s mission is to maximize the combat readiness, capability and survivability of participating units by providing realistic training in a combined air, ground, space and electronic threat environment while providing for a free exchange of ideas between forces. Aircraft and personnel deploy to Nellis for RED FLAG under the Air Expeditionary Force concept and make up the exercise’s “Blue” forces. By working together, these Blue forces are able to utilize the diverse capabilities of their aircraft to execute specific missions, such as air interdiction, combat search and rescue, close air support, dynamic targeting and defensive counter air. These forces use various tactics to attack NTTR targets such as mock airfields, vehicle convoys, tanks, parked aircraft, bunkered defensive positions and missile sites. These targets are defended by a variety of simulated “Red” force ground and air threats to give participant aircrews the most realistic combat training possible. The Red force threats are aligned under the 57th Adversary Tactics Group, which controls seven squadrons of USAF Aggressors, including fighter, space, information operations and air defense units. The Aggressors are specially trained to replicate the tactics and techniques of potential adversaries and provide a scalable threat presentation to Blue forces which aids in achieving the desired learning outcomes for each mission. A typical RED FLAG exercise involves a variety of attack, fighter and bomber aircraft (F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, A-10, B-1, B-2, etc.), reconnaissance aircraft (Predator, Global Hawk, RC-135, U-2), electronic warfare aircraft (EC-130s, EA-6Bs and F-16CJs), air superiority aircraft (F-22, F-15C, etc), airlift support (C-130, C-17), search and rescue aircraft (HH-60, HC-130, CH-47), aerial refueling aircraft (KC-130, KC-135, KC-10, etc), Command and Control aircraft (E-3, E-8C, E-2C, etc) as well as ground based Command and Control, Space, and Cyber Forces. Photos by Glenn Bloore A “White” force in RED FLAG uses the Nellis Air Combat Training System (NACTS) monitor this mock combat between Red and Blue. NACTS is the world’s most sophisticated tracking system for combat training exercises and allows commanders, safety observers and exercise directors to monitor the mission and keep score of simulated ‘kills’ while viewing the simulated air battle as it occurs. As RED FLAG expanded to include all spectrums of warfare (command, control, intelligence, electronic warfare) and added night missions to each exercise period, the combination of NACTS, improved tactics, and increased aircraft/aircrew capabilities improved flying safety. All four U.S. military services, their Guard/Reserve components and the air forces of other countries participate in each RED FLAG exercise. Since 1975, 28 countries have joined the U.S. in these exercises. Several other countries have participated as observers. RED FLAG has provided training for more than 440,000 military personnel, including more than 145,000 aircrew members flying more than 385,000 sorties and logging more than 660,000 hours of flying time. This mock battle in the skies over the Nevada Test and Training Range has yielded results that will increase the combat capability of our armed forces for any future combat situation. SEQUESTRATION ON AIR SHOW COMMUNITY FROM ICAS GROWING CONSENSUS THAT SEQUESTRATION CUTS WILL BE IMPLEMENTED ON MARCH 1 Despite dire warnings from virtually the entire senior leadership of the U.S. military, there is a growing consensus among congressional leaders that legislatively mandated budget cuts will not be averted, forcing the Pentagon to make draconian budget cuts beginning March 1. This article reports that making $46 billion in cuts during a seven-month period will result in 800,000 civilian defense employees being furloughed without pay for 22 days, cancellation of scheduled maintenance to 25 ships and 450 aircraft, and other emergency-type steps that would have been inconceivable just a few weeks ago. In a speech on Monday, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia observed that sequestration cuts are a series of spending reductions deliberately designed to be so blatantly damaging that no rational person would allow them to happen. And yet, most politicians believe that the cuts will be made. On Tuesday, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said, “I think sequester’s gonna happen.” Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said, “We’re gonna have a sequestration. We’re gonna have some pain because the politicians on the Hill aren’t going to make cogent, smart decisions about alternatives to this until they start feeling some pain. It’s a stupid way to govern, but that’s the way we’re doing it right now.” The sequestration portion of the 2011 Budget Control Act mandates $500 billion in across-the-board defense spending cuts during the next ten years. The current consensus opinion in Washington is that the sequestration deadline of February 28 will pass, forcing the Department of Defense and other federal agencies to make sweeping, across-theboard spending cuts beginning on March 1. According to that same line of thought, those spending cuts will remain in place as Congress and the country begin to feel the pain, eventually resulting in some sort of compromise that allows the military and other government agencies to “undo” or roll back the expense-cutting steps. Under this scenario, it’s unclear how long it will take to reach a level of pain that forces Congress to compromise. IMPACT OF SEQUESTRATION ON AIR SHOW COMMUNITY As reported in the last issue of Fast Facts, contingency planning by the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps calls for a complete end to all non-essential flying – including air show performances – if sequestration cuts are implemented. ICAS has learned that, if the March 1 deadline is not averted, the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and single-ship tactical demonstration teams will continue to prepare for the 2013 air show season through March 31. If the situation has not been corrected by then, all preparation will cease and the teams will stop flying on April 1. In addition to an abrupt end to air show performances, the military will also stop supporting air shows with static display aircraft. Although specific details about air shows and open houses held on military bases have not been shared, it is likely that these events will also be cancelled. SEQUESTRATION: WHY YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION NOW Although the past behavior of Congress suggests that this latest crisis may be averted at the last second, the growing consensus that sequestration will not be avoided by the March 1 deadline is something that all ICAS members should be paying close attention to. If the current situation is not corrected, civilian air shows will receive no military support of any kind. Military shows will likely be cancelled. In some cases, those cancelled military shows may stay cancelled even if Congress subsequently reaches a compromise to end the sequestration cuts. To be clear, it is still possible that some or all of these problems can be avoided if Congress takes action or reaches a compromise that avoids or delays sequestration, but – because the consequences are so potentially devastating within the air show community – ICAS is encouraging all of its members to begin developing contingency plans. THE SHOW MUST GO ON, RIGHT? To cancel or not to cancel; that is the question. If sequestration is not averted and U.S. air shows are faced with the prospect of no military support, many event organizers will immediately ask themselves if it’s possible to have an air show without the support of the military. Although circumstances will differ from show to show, ICAS would like to suggest that all event organizers begin their deliberations from the premise that, “…the show must go on.” Here’s why: 1. Brand equity is a terrible thing to waste. As many shows have found out the hard way, a year that goes by without an air show can negatively impact your show’s image, reputation and visibility in the community in which it is held. In many cases, that brand equity has been built over many years. It’s unlikely that a single year off will completely exhaust that presence and reputation, but past experience indicates that damage will be done. At a minimum, you will have to reeducate spectators, reestablish your show and its dates, and reconnect with the volunteers who work at your show. 2. It’s an air show; not a military air show. Although every bit of information we have suggests that contemporary military aircraft are the biggest draws at North American air shows, they are not the only attraction. Civilian aerobatic aircraft, warbirds (both in the air and on the ground), civilian formation teams, ground-based performers, parachute acts, sailplanes, wingwalkers, radio-controlled aircraft, and pyrotechnic displays are all attractive and entertaining to your crowds. 3. The last thing you want to do is give people their money back. Obviously, there will be circumstances when – from a financial perspective – it’s better to give money back than suffer a large financial loss. But your “dollars and cents” calculations should include an option that projects lower attendance and accounts for the non-financial repercussions of cancelling your event. Long-term sustainability should be the principal consideration in a go/ no-go decision. If the budget and operational considerations can’t be reconfigured to accommodate an absence of contemporary military aircraft and the possible financial losses associated with having no military support might be enough to drive the show out of business, then cancellation must be an option that is considered. But, before going down that road, it’s best to spend some time with a sharp pencil and a calculator to see if the event can be adjusted and reconceived in such a way that allows the show to go on. BE PATIENT, BUT BE PREPARED Although it’s frustrating to watch the sequestration drama play out like a slow motion car crash in a television movie, it’s important to avoid reacting emotionally or prematurely to the drip-drip-drip of developments (or lack of developments) in Washington. Our advice is to avoid making decisions that cannot be reversed and to make those kinds of decisions only when you have no other option, but to be prepared to execute a well-considered and feasible Plan B should the need arise. Your Plan B will be specific to your circumstances, but remember that options available to you now may not be available if you ignore the problem or if you wait too long to make these contingency plans. CONTINGENCY PLANNING IN A TIME OF LIMITED U.S. MILITARY AIR SHOW INVOLVEMENT Contingency planning does not obligate you or your organization to execute your options, but it does leave you in a more comfortable position should the need arise. Not even the most well-connected DC operative can tell us right now how the sequestration brouhaha will end, but it has become a serious enough threat that all U.S. ICAS members should be considering options available to them if the crisis is not averted. A few ideas to get you thinking: · Schedule other events in conjunction with your show. Running races, car shows, fly-ins, business expositions, plane-pull fundraisers, and flea markets are all ideas that have been successfully “co-located” with air shows in the past. · You can’t replace military participation, but you can redirect your focus. Whether it’s civilian jet demonstrations, Tora Tora Tora, a night show with fireworks and pyrotechnics, Robosaurus, an aerobatic competition “fly-off,” multiple jet trucks or squirrel cage/aerial circus-type aerobatic performances, there are options available to you. · Try a new theme. The Antique Airplane Association has run an antique aircraft fly-in for 60 years each Labor Day weekend in Ottumwa, Iowa. The Watsonville Fly-In and Air Show, also held each year on Labor Day weekend, has a long history of focusing on vintage aircraft. Thunder over Michigan in Ypsilanti welcomes contemporary military aircraft when they can get them, but their focus has always been on World War II-era warbird aircraft. There ARE options if you and your colleagues are willing to consider them. · Mock battles held as part of your event. The World War II Weekend in Reading, Pennsylvania (Air Shows Magazine, Third Quarter, 2012) is perhaps the most successful example of this genre, but event organizers have incorporated dozens of different variations of this theme into hundreds of different shows. There are even associations that can help you find the participants: World War II Historical Re-Enactment Society (http://www.worldwartwohrs.org) and the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (http://www.mvpa.org), to name just two. · Scale back your expectations. Even if contemporary military aircraft are your show’s principal attraction, there are opportunities to reconfigure your show and hold an exciting, entertaining event that doesn’t lose money. It may mean adjusting your own concept of what your show is (or is not), but there are many shows all over the country that have successful events without contemporary military participation. · Find the unnecessary expenses in your budget. Every budget has them and there’s nothing quite like the prospect of losing money to focus your attention on this issue. From parties and t-shirts to golf carts and creature comforts, you’ll find that – particularly on a one-time, emergency basis – you can scale back your expenses and plan a show that costs less and requires fewer paying customers to break even. · Although it’s a bit counter-intuitive, consider raising ticket prices. The truth is that the air show business has been underwritten and subsidized by the U.S. military for decades. Ticket prices in our business are artificially low because the most popular acts are either free or highly subsidized. More to the point, your show’s perception of what it takes to hire quality, entertaining air show acts is also skewed because of this longstanding reliance on the military. As you develop your contingency plan, consider the possibility that you will need to raise your ticket prices to pay for the many outstanding civilian acts that are available for you to hire. In the absence of the most reliable and most popular air show acts, it becomes all the more important that you hire only the very best and most entertaining civilian acts available to you. · Learn to market your event differently. Our reliance on contemporary military participation in our shows has grown to include how we market our events. Put a photo of the Blue Angels in the middle of your advertising or video footage of the F-22 Raptor in your television commercial and you’ve pretty much done all that you need to attract big crowds. As you consider your options for an air show season that might not include those military participants, you should also rethink your approach to marketing your event. Your air show colleagues have demonstrated that an air show that does not include contemporary military jets can draw big crowds, but it requires a more nuanced and sophisticated approach to your advertising and public relations efforts. · Barter more and pay less. It’s been the prevailing trend in our business for the last few years anyway, but the immediacy of sequestrationrelated problems might be additional incentive to get more aggressive and creative about bartering for the goods and services that you normally paid for in the past. Tickets, chalet space, and sponsorship opportunities have value to all businesses in your area, including those to which you would normally pay cash. In addition to being good tools to integrate into your short-term contingency plan, some of these ideas and tactics are tools that you can use whether or not you are adversely impacted by the pending budget cuts. ANTICIPATE THE MOST LIKELY END GAME; WRITE YOUR ELECTED LEADERS TODAY If the sequestration cuts are implemented and the jet teams are forced to stop performing, there’s broad consensus that the dramatic repercussions of these unprecedented and arbitrary spending cuts together with pressure from constituents will eventually force Congress to find a compromise and end the stalemate. ICAS wants to encourage you to anticipate that outcome and begin working now to apply that pressure. Write to your congressional representative in the U.S House of Representatives. Write to your two senators. Alert them now to the fact that sequestration-related cuts have the potential to ruin your air show business. Combined with similar messages from other citizens and constituents adversely impacted by sequestration, our elected representatives will eventually identify compromises. You can send your message after sequestration has already begun to damage our business, or you can send those messages now and do what you can to minimize or even avoid entirely the damage done by these arbitrary budget cuts. Answer to last issue’s mystery aircraft by Jay Miller C-1 In the scheme of all things airplane, three-engines is not a terribly common propulsion configuration. Granted there have been some mighty famous examples, not the least of which was Ford’s precedent-setting late-1920s Trimotor and Boeing’s ubiquitous 727 and Douglas’s DC-10 and Lockheed’s MD11, but these were notable exceptions. How many of you recall the Couzinet 70 or the de Havilland DHA-3 Drover or the Saro Windhover or even the still-in-service Britten-Norman Trislander? Suffice it to say there have been more tri-motors built than most of us realize, but they’re still relatively uncommon. Among the rarest of tri-motored aircraft is the Italian C.A.N.T. (Cantieri Riuniti dell-Adriatico) Z.1012, a light civil transport designed to carry from three to five passengers in reasonable comfort at relatively high speed. The contract to build the Z.1012 was issued during early 1937, and the prototype flew for the first time during May of 1938. Including the prototype, a total of six Z.1012s were built, three being powered by 120 hp Alfa Romeo 110 four-cylinder air-cooled engines and three being powered by 185 hp Alfa Romeo 115 six-cylinder air-cooled engines. The Z.1012 was a single-spar low-wing cantilever monoplane built primarily of wood. The ailerons were balanced and the trailing edge was equipped with slotted flaps. The keeled fuselage was oval in cross-section and built-up using longitudinal members and transverse frames. In the version equipped with 120 hp engines, seating was limited to three plus the pilot. The version with the 185 hp engines could seat an additional two passengers. Standard seating included a passenger seat in the cockpit (starboard side) and a bench seat for two behind. A baggage compartment was positioned aft of the bench seat (the back of which folded forward for access). Though the main landing gear retracted into the engine nacelles, the tail wheel was fixed. The vertical fin served to support the horizontal tail surfaces which in turn were strut-braced to the fuselage. The rudder and elevators were fabric covered and provided with both mass and horn balancing to avoid flutter problems. Used by Italian embassies in Brazil and the US, the type served primarily as a diplomatic transport. Among notables who are known to have used the Z.1012s were Air Marshall Italo Balbo, Benito Mussolini’s son, and select staff members of the Italian airline LATI. Length was 32 ft. 10 in.; wingspan was 49 ft. 2.5 in.; wing area was 269 sq. ft.; height was 11 ft. 11 in.; empty weight was 4,299 lb.; and gross weight was 6,063 lb. Maximum speed was 174 mph (185 hp engines); cruising speed was 149 mph; range was 808 miles; service ceiling was 16,400 ft.; and rate of climb was 469 ft. per minute. The 120 hp engine equipped versions were approximately 30 mph slower in cruise and maximum speed. May 16 - 19, 2013 ISAP Chairman Larry Grace ISAP Vice Chairman Jim Wilson ISAP Secretary Mike Collins ISAP Treasurer Bonnie Kratz ISAP Lawyer Albert Ross ISAP Board Member George Kounis ISAP Chairman Emeritus Jay Miller ISnAP Editor Kevin Hong ISnAP International Editor Mike Green ISAP Webmaster/ISAP Forum Kenneth Strohm The ISnAP is a periodic publication of the International Society for Aviation Photography and is used to communicate news, functions,convention information, and other information of interest on the local, regional, and national scenes. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and should not be construed as the views or opinions of the International Society for Aviation Photography. Please submit photos as a jpg file, sized at 4x6 or 5x7 (200 dpi minimum), and text as a Microsoft Word file as attachments via email to ISnAP@aviationphoto.org www.aviationphoto.org Proudly Sponsored By