I haven’t posted much on my blog recently. Pretty much because of some changes in my life and a few disturbing things which have caused me to reflect on life, the things I do and see, and how I handle them. One of the more dramatic things that has happened recently occurred during my visit to the Vectron Dayton Air Show.
It was a pretty hot day, over cast/cloudy, and I wasn’t that excited to be going because of the lack of military air power at the show (no Blue Angles, etc.) due to govt. cuts and so forth. However, I was offered press credentials in exchange for photos, and shared a ride with some other local photographers, so, it was going to be a fun day. I started out touring the grounds and viewing the static displays.
As I walked around, I was totally oblivious to the drama that was about to unfold. I walked about and saw a few things I had not seen before, such as the American Airlines “Flagship Detroit” DC3, a pretty impressive display of history. I also watched the U.S. Army giving helicopter rides. That was kind of cool.
American Airlines “Flagship Detroit” DC3
U. S. Army “Huey” UH-1H MEDIVAC helicopter
U. S. Army AH1 Cobra Gunship
Some of the flying displays were really outstanding, such as the F-86 and the Wright Brothers replica, which flew very close by to our location in the press area.
Wright “B” Flyer replica
Korean War Era North American F-86 Sabre Jet
There were a lot of great displays, the company was good and the flying was great. Everything seemed to be going along swimmingly and I was watching the wing walking and flying of wing walker Jane Wicker and pilot Charlie Schwenker as they maneuvered their vintage biplane close to the crowd.
It’s not often in our lives that we personally witness true tragedy and death. Standing in the shadow of darkness and bearing witness to the ending of a vital and vibrant life is not easily digested. It’s hard to watch and it’s hard to relate what happens to those who are not witness, so sometimes, maybe, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. In that spirit, I offer these meager photos. They are of persons who loved what they did and who performed with zeal to fascinate those of us who live more mundane lives. They are of Jane Wicker, (wing walker),and her pilot, Charlie Schwenker, who tragically died in a crash, while performing at the Dayton Air Show. I stood close by as they made their final pass, raising my camera to catch them as they flew past, but paused in horror as I witnessed their end. I pray they are now flying with the angels. RIP Jane and Charlie.