Some of the Best People at SAR 2006

Airplanes are what air shows are all about, but it takes people to get them together. I enjoyed working with and watching some fine hummin' beans at SAR, and here are some of the best. Am sorry to report I was so busy elsewhere that I did not photograph some really good people: the Howard DGA-15 owner, the helicopter ride folks and most of the flight crews, especially Jeff MaHinney, eagles every one.  

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1. Dave and Herb were the primary announcing team. Dave has a local radio program, and Herb flies Boeing 747-400s for a major US airline.
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2. Herb talks with F-18 pilots from Beaufort, NC. Look for more pictures of Herb here and a gallery of Hornet pictures at this site soon.
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3. Dave at the announcer's table.
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4. Pauline Buis and precious cargo announced during her husband Roger's terrific performance with Otto, the Amazing Helicopter. She was a sunny delight at the announcing stand and everywhere else.
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5. Pauline Buis and the person in charge of food service in the chalets pose with the Grumman F-14  late Saturday afternoon.
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6. Pauline and Aileron.
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7. Here's a good reason why, when there's a photographer around, caps are not your friends.
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8. Moments after arriving at KSPI (Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport) Pauline Buis,   poses with Aileron, named with permission from the Scholl family, for Art Scholl's famous pooch.
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9. Aileron poses well.
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10. George Hinds is the artist who created the terrific front cover for the SAR Official Souveninr Program. I photographed him earlier in the year in his studio. .
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11. As I was chatting with friends outside the air show ops trailer, I was asked to photograph a Springfield Police officer who was about to go for a ride with Lima Lima. I was happy to oblige. Here's a broad shot showing him in the back cockpit of the restored Beech Mentor . . .
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12. Here he is posing for the camera guy. Thanks to him and all the ladies and gentlemen who serve in law enforcement!
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13. SAR Coordinator Kim Curry poses with the gentleman who's in charge of family assistance and outreach for the 183d Fighter Wing, Illinois Air National Guard.
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14. This hearty gent engaged me at the chalet Saturday, smiliing and claiming that he could take as fine a picture of me with his $8 drugstore camera as I could of him with my expensive Canon.
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15. So #22 & #23 are what I can do with my camera. He promised to email me the picture he took of me, and I look forward receiving it. When it arrives, I will post it at this page.
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16. When Kim asked me to take pictures of the presentation of commemorative SAR license plates to the US Jet Team pilots . . .
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17.. . . I was happy to respond. Here she is with team leader Todd Schaufenbue as she presented plate #1.
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18. SAR volunteer
___________ posed with Johnny Hutchison
. . .
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19. . . . and presented him with plate #2.
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20. Another hard working SAR volunteer presented  Rob Hutchison with #3.
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21. The group poses for camera guy.
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22. Something for the office wall; aye Kim?
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23. The US Jet Team pilots autographed USJT tee shirts for the ladies.
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24. Don Taft and webmeister go way back to the days of the Heritage in Flight Museum. Here he poses with one of only two warbirds (restored, ex-military airplanes ) on static display this year.
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25. This gentleman relaxing in the general aviation aircraft display remembered me from an earlier time. Could have been the cell block I shared with Merle Haggard, hard to say. He kindly posed for this picture when I mentioned his sunglasses were interesting.
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26. This picture has been slightly retouched
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27. Reflections of phtographer and air show.
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28. These are the champions. US Jet Team pilots   head over to talk with the Air Boss. An FA-18E blew a tire landing (nobody was hurt), and this required some changes to performer flight patterns for the rest of the day's events.
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29. Here they discuss the situation.
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30. Pilot and WSO of the Grumman F-14 shortly before departing. Their appearance at SAR was an historical milestone: the last time an F-14 will fly from KSPI, and these gentlemen were generous with their time, taking a few monents to post for a few pictures.
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31. Coincidentally, they fly with Navy Fighter Squadron VF-31. Unless something changes in the meantime, there will be no more F-14s flying ops with the US at the end of September 2006.
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32. Jason ______ is a CJ-6 pilot I met during lunch Friday. When I mentioned Mike George and Air Combat Museum, he explained years ago, he had helped polish Mike's beautiful P-51 nicknamed "Worry Bird." So it was great fun to drive Jason over to the ACM and give him a tour of this remarkable collection. Sorry to report, there was no trace of Mike George or his wonderful airplanes at Springfield Air Rendezvous 2006.
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33. Jason poses by his Nanchang CJ-6.
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34. This picture has been slightly retouched for the fun of it.
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35. Jason and Nanchang.
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36. State Journal-Register reporter Shannon Kirshner poses for webmeister/ne/flyboy before I entered the Fouga for my ride.
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37. Todd Schaufenbue and Job Conger pose so that Shannon Kirshner, SJ-R reporter extraordinare can take this picture with Job's camera. Thanks again, Shannon!
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38. A tuckerd out jet jockey relaxes during the Friday night performer reception. Johnny Hutchison might have imitated the wrong end of a horse when I appeared and snapped this picture, but he allowed me to get away with it. Besides, what kind of a papparazo would be lame enough to post a picture like this on the internet?
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39. Late Saturday, the two spectators in the SAR chalet wave to the pilots as the F-15E Strike Eagle and Vlado Lenoch's P-51D Mustang taxi by following their memorable Heritage Flight performance.

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40. In the final moments of Saturday's show, these two 20-somethings wandered into the SAR chalet, and we spent close to 45 minutes in convivial repartee discussing airplanes, air shows, public radio (NPR), public television (PBS) and the war. It was the most engaging conversation I have shared with people I didn't already know in almost 25 years of attending SAR.
     Gentlemen, wherever you are, blue skies and happy landings.

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