Aviation photos you have never seen before…

On 07/08/2012, in Interesting people, by steve

Not so long ago we presented here Sam Chui’s wonderful new book, Air2. Many readers who saw his striking aviation photography had been wondering: how does he do it? In this exclusive interview Sam reveals some of his secrets and plans.

Sam, you are making some of the most fantastic aircraft pictures on the planet…. How did you start your career as a photographer and how did you get into aviation photography?

I grew up in Hong Kong, my fascination with airplanes stemming from regular visits to Kai Tak airport after school as a teenager. My first flight was aboard a United Airlines B747 from Hong Kong to Tokyo. Since then my fascination with airplanes and air travel has taken off. I got hold of an SLR camera in 1998 and started to photograph airplanes to produce both slides and prints. I have developed a deep and heartfelt passion for plane spotting and collect various airplane die-cast models. The endless photographic opportunities, the surprises while shooting, the friendships formed through this hobby and the opportunities to travel and share with others are the things I enjoy the most.

The views in your photographs reveal that you are using some very special techniques. Will you tell our readers how you do this?

I always have a passion for extraordinary photos of airplanes. I determined to strive for something different rather than making those conventional types of photographs. To make a standout photo, I realize you need to do it differently. Standing side by side with another photographer will make your photos look much alike, without able to differentiate. Click here to read the full article

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There is life beyond aviation

On 18/03/2011, in Interesting people, by steve

It is often said that aviation is a bug… once you get it, there is no cure. Of course those of us who have been bitten by this particular bug do not really mind and bear the consequences happily. The momentum often takes us further down the well trodden path even after retirement… A lucky few will however finally have the time to realize projects, even dreams that had to take second place while they were fully committed to aviation’s demands.

One of those lucky individuals is Mike Russo. Mike retired from ARINC after a life-time of engineering work that demanded as much knowledge of and sensitivity for the human aspects of aviation as it did for radars and other electronic wizardry.

He moved to Florida and loves it there, not least because of the weather. While temperatures can and do drop below freezing even in the Sunshine State, there is no snow and the cold spells tend to be short lived.

Mike’s particular dream has been to work with horses and he is now realizing this with dedication. He is practicing the Parelli technique of natural horsemanship. If you are interested, check out Pat Parelli’s videos here. But more to the point, click here to watch a Clint Anderson demo of what Mike is up to with his horses.

Click here to read the full article

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Interesting people, unusual flight plans…

On 11/03/2011, in Interesting people, by steve

David Allen – Raised in an aviation family in an aviation town

Dave was Chief Engineer, Crew Information Systems at Boeing

What were you dreaming of becoming when you were a kid?

I was raised in an aviation family in an aviation town. I was born and raised for 16 years in Wichita, Kansas. My father was an Industrial Engineer for Boeing, one uncle was a factory manager for Boeing in Philadelphia (previously a P-40 pilot during WWII), another uncle was a Boeing purchasing agent, and another uncle was a B-25 mechanic during WWI. So, I was raised listening to how airplanes were built at the dinner table. I remember going to the Wichita airport when I was around 10 to see my dad off on a trip to Seattle. I got to meet Bill Allen in the airport. So I have always been around aviation whilst growing up. We moved to Seattle for 10 months while my father worked on the TFX program (became the F-111, which Boeing lost). In 1968, we moved to Seattle where he became Director of Industrial Engineering for the new 737.

I digress some here. As I was growing up, my mother always brought up a complaint about one trip my father took right after my little sister was born. He was sent to Seattle for one week. That turned into two weeks, and slowing turned into 6 weeks. I listened to this many times over the years. A couple of years ago, after my mother brought it up again, my Dad asked me if I knew what he did during that time. He was sent up to do an analysis of the Renton plant to figure out how they would build the 737. After a week, he told the VP that there was not enough factory floor space to build the 737. That caused a great panic and he brought some other folks from Wichita. They figured out how to build the fuselage in Wichita and send it by train to Renton. They developed the complete plan and gained approval in that six weeks. Pretty amazing.

However, like most kids, I had no real career plans other than going to college.

If it was not aviation, what moved you to become part of the aviation family?

Click here to read the full article

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Interesting people, unusual flight plans…

On 25/02/2011, in Interesting people, by steve

Eric Platteau – A gourmand communicator

Eric is the communications chief of the SESAR Joint Undertaking

What were you dreaming of becoming when you were a kid?

I wanted to become a cook, a chef. I am quite a gourmet and greedy. It is also linked to a family habit of long and friendly family dinners. Everyone was and is still cooking in my family: grand-mothers, father, mother, sister, brother in law, etc. I was surrounded by gourmets! My specialty as Belgian is of course Chocolate cakes…

If it was not aviation, what moved you to become part of the aviation family?

A total coincidence. During my studies, I had to make a traineeship in a company and I managed to get a 6 weeks traineeship in the press office of SABENA, the former Belgian national airline. When I finished my studies in 1995, my ‘previous boss’ informed me that they were recruiting a French-speaking press officer. I was not totally interested as I wanted to go abroad to improve my language skills but I registered to do the recruitment tests. I thought that it was a good exercise for me as a fresh graduat. After the 3 rounds of tests, I was selected… and decided to join Sabena! Spokesman at 23 years old of a 12.000 employees company was an amazing challenge as you can imagine.

What were the most significant sideways jumps in your professional life?

Click here to read the full article

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Who is the winner of the 2010 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy?

On 08/01/2011, in Interesting people, by steve

Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, Juan Trippe, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Harrison Ford…

What is common to all these names? Well, all those gentlemen were winners of the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.

What is not common to all these names? Except one they were all iconic figures in aeronautics or astronautics… and of course only one of them is a movie star.

By now you will have guessed. The winner of the 2010 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy is Harrison Ford, of Indiana Jones fame.

The trophy was established by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) in 1948 to honor the memory of Orville and Wilbur Wright. The trophy is awarded annually to a living American for “significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.”

The award is made possible by a trust fund established in 1936 by Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston, a former president of NAA. The first trophy was awarded to William Frederick Durand for his many accomplishments including developing the basic theories for aircraft propeller design and acting as a primary force in the establishment of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

Ford started flying only at age 52 and he has now a license for both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Aviation has become a real passion for him. He was awarded the trophy for his contribution to aviation in part as chair of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s “Young Eagles” where he led an effort to get 500 000 children aged between 8 and 17 into the cockpit of a light aircraft and generally educating them about aviation. He also flew his Cessna Caravan to Haiti hauling relief supplies after the catastrophic earthquake. He also transported athletes to the Special Olympics in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Well, what else would you expect from someone who has played Indiana Jones with such relish?

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Getting Knighted for merits in navigation -Theo van de Ven

On 25/11/2010, in Interesting people, by steve

Those who have met Theo van de Ven of KLM will remember him as a gentle guy who nevertheless knows full well what he is about. Always ready to help and to explain things he is the ultimate teacher who is always remembered by his pupils and colleagues alike.

He is currently working at KLM’s ATM Strategy and Charges department which is a part of Flight Ops in Amsterdam.

18 November Theo was giving a presentation to the CROS (Schiphol Regional Coordination Commission) and when he finished, to his huge surprised, the Mayor of Haarlemmermeer, acting on behalf of the Queen, elevated him to the title of Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau. He was awarded this honor for his extraordinary contribution to the progress of aeronautical navigation.

Click here to read the full article

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Interesting people, unusual flight plans…

On 21/09/2010, in Interesting people, by steve

Marissa Colclasure – The sky is not the limit, it is the beginning

Marissa is a mom, pilot, sky-diver and co-founder of Wings over Hawaii

What were you dreaming of becoming when you were a kid?

I dreamt of flying. In some form or fashion. I’ve never said I wanted to fly for the airlines or flight instruct , just I wanted to be happy flying.

What moved you to become part of the aviation family?

Oh I was bit from the bug early on, my father was a pilot. He was one of those dads that had 5 odd ball jobs to support my mom being a stay at home mom of five kids. I am the second in the lineup. I would tag along to anywhere my dad would go. Especially the airport. He was a flight instructor and jump pilot.

What were the most significant sideways jumps in your professional life?

Sideways jumps would have to be my pin pong like career. I know a little about a lot in aviation. FBOs, corporate flying , airline dispatcher, flight instructor, jump pilot, international trip planner I’ve sought out a lot of different jobs, just to know, and learn. What has brought me back to the beginning is that while I could do quite well at those things, there was always something more to my being.

What were the most significant event(s) that influenced your professional life?

Click here to read the full article

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Interesting people, unusual flight plans…

On 29/06/2010, in Interesting people, by steve

Mike Russo, take 2

Not long after we published the interview with Mike Russo in the “Interesting people, unusual flight plans” series, Mike was presented with a 2010 Volare Special Award by the Airlines Avionics Institute (AAI) at the 2010 AMC/AEEC.

Mike with Daphne and Dawn

Each year, AAI encourages the contribution of ideas, leadership and innovation by allowing individuals to be nominated for Volare Awards prior to the annual AMC. These awards recognize individuals in airline and supplier organizations for outstanding personal achievement. The criteria for nomination are:
The candidate should be well known within the industry and should have a history of actual industry improvement and/or active involvement in a recognizable category such as but not limited to the following examples:
a) New products
b) Better methodologies
c) Working in various technical committees
d) New technologies
e) Be the industry “go to” person for particular products or services
f) Have a history of outstanding service to their customers
g) Have personally served our industry in some contributing capacity for example by active involvement in its organizations, activities and/or functions

The AAI process requires that the nomination be seconded before it is considered by their awards committee.

The Volare Award has become world-renowned as the avionics industry’s highest recognition for individual achievement. The Awards offered at the AMC allow individuals to be nominated in the categories of Airline Avionics Maintenance and Avionics Product Support. In addition, AAI presents a Pioneer Award and a Chairman’s Special Award on an as deserved basis.

Over the past 41 years, Volare Awards have been presented to outstanding members of the avionics maintenance community and it is with pleasure that we at Roger-Wilco announce that Mike has now joined their ranks.

Click here to read the full article

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Interesting people, unusual flight plans…

On 26/03/2010, in Interesting people, by steve

Christophe Hamel – Always listen to the inner voice!

After many years in aviation, Christophe is also an entrepreneur in the wellness and lighting industries.

What were you dreaming of becoming when you were a kid?

I was thinking of becoming a pilot and at age 15 or so, of being the owner of a night club or a recording studio: I am passionate about sound and music. But my real passion has always been designing things, you know, creating something new, whether, a lamp design, new sound equipment, new way of managing major programs, new strategies in the CNS/ATM area, new technologies, making something new that was never seen before.

What moved you to become part of the aviation family?

My dad was a geologist and he had to travel far and wide, as people of his profession do. On one occasion, the plane he was on had to make an emergency landing in the Sahara and they waited 3 days to be rescued. From then on he was really terrified of flying but his interest in the development of aviation and in particular the creation of l’Aeropostale remained. He read everything he could find about Saint-Exupery, Mermoz, Gullaumet and of course he told us all about those great aviators and this left a deep impression in me. This connection to l’Aeropostale stayed with me also a little… I delivered their first 737-300 cargo aircraft!

When I got my electronic and computer engineering degree I went to work in industry but soon after specialized in aeronautical engineering sealing my fate… I finally got an FAA private pilot license in 2005.

What were the most significant sideways jumps in your professional life?

Click here to read the full article

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Interesting people, unusual flight plans…

On 03/03/2010, in Interesting people, by steve

Mike Russo – Looking back on a lifetime in aviation

Mike, lead principal engineer and Executive Secretary of the AEEC has recently retired from Aeronautical Radio Incorporated (ARINC).

What were you dreaming of becoming when you were a kid?

I grew up in a rural family with limited means and there were not that many people around me who could have served as examples for choosing a profession. But I did want to find a respected profession, doing respected work. At one point I took an aptitude test and it showed that I would make a good mechanical engineer. My focus from then on was on science subjects. An uncle was a tool and die maker and I got a lot of support from him.

What moved you to become part of the aviation family?

I went to Lake Michigan Community College for an associates degree as a technician and then Michigan Technological University where I got my Bachelor’s Degree… Afterwards I got a job with Westinghouse and in 1971 they sent me to the FAA Academy to learn about the principles of ILS. On my return, I worked on various ILS projects including ground site design and field work for ILS installations including flight testing with the FAA.

Click here to read the full article

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