A quiet morning …
The morning didn’t announce any special event. I went to the airfield as planned; we had to paint the runway markings in white to be visible from up in the air. So, the day would be scorching, with a lot of hard work in the sun…
Do you have your camera with you? asked Catalin.
Of course, I do! I replied.
Good. You will be flying with the moto-glider, and I will fly the glider to take some inaugural pictures!
Total surprise for me! What was I to say that I wasn’t flying?! Or did it matter that I hadn’t taken air-to-air photos in my life?! This air-to-air photography is something! The light, the sun, the lenses, how you work with your subject…it’s a whole story!
So, we’re ready, the flight plan is approved …. Hurry, hurry…at the restroom, of course. What would I do up there? I cannot tell them out of the blue that I have to land because of my physiological problem. You cannot do this when you are flying! I empty my pockets, put the sunshade on my camera…and off we go! The engine is humming gently now that it won another fight with the gravitational pull.
Suddenly it’s all so quiet…just the wind in our hair as if it wanted to make us slow down a bit; I look around, upwards, downwards… I can feel my stomach twitching… I had flown before, but to be aware that your life is hanging on a bunch of steel bars, a cloth, and underneath…the abyss. Fear started creeping up my spine…but there was no time for such thoughts.
Then, Catalin began ascending, and we had to keep up. He is flying around us at 90-100 kilometers per hour, then up, then down, but never above us. We are trying to lose him at 70 kilometers per hour. The helmet visor is bugging me; it keeps falling over my camera; I would have never thought taking an aerial photo could prove that difficult. And why would they make such a long camera strap?! It’s all tangled in my mike and kind of strangling me. Next time I’m getting a harness for my camera!
We descend slowly, and the pilot gently puts the flying machine on the ground. I hope that I took at least 50 good pictures. This remains to be seen…