Earlier this month we made a trip down to Dover, DE to spend the day with Lyndsay’s brother, Zach, before he was deployed to Afganistan. Luckily Zach isn’t out on the front lines risking his life for our country, but that doesn’t mean his job isn’t important. He is what is referred to as a Aircraft Loadmaster. Whether carrying passengers or cargo, his job as an Aircraft Loadmaster is to make sure the contents of the aircraft he loaded and escorted arrives safely. In particular ensuring that cargo is properly loaded and secured and passengers are comfortable and safe. Zach has traveled all over the globe while in the Air Force but for the past several months he has been in Delaware awaiting his next deployment.
We didn’t go just to wish him well, we made a whole day together out of the trip. My in-laws also met up at Zach’s place for the family get together. We started with some tag in the parking lot until Chase and Zach’s daughter, Cora Belle, were tired out. Then after we all arrived we headed out for lunch. We ate at a nice Italian Restaurant for lunch. I forget the name of the restaurant but it was maybe a 10 minute drive from the base area. Some dishes were better than others but my chicken parm over spaghetti was above average.
After lunch we ventured to the Air Mobility Command Museum. The museum is located off of the base, but close enough that you could throw a rock and hit a runway. The museum is completely free to the public and runs solely off of donations from visitors. We threw our loose change and a few bills in the donation missile inside the entrance. While we were still dropping coins in a veteran gave each of us a plastic silver coin as a memento of our trip. Cora Belle quickly walked over the the donation area and slipped her’s inside. We had to get her another one and let her know that these were for us to keep. I wonder how many of those coins are found when they empty out the donations… Anyways the museum was really cool to say the least. There were 20 or more air crafts outside. If you are really interested in the types of planes they have then give their website listing a look. There is also exhibits inside of the hangar with some interactive displays for kids to have fun with. We didn’t have much time to spend inside because of their closing time, but we spent plenty of time outside. It was neat to slip in and out of the different planes that were opened up for viewing. Some of the plans even had the cock pits open for guests to take a seat and imagine what is like to be a pilot.
I took plenty of photos during the visit. It was a beautiful day with some nice wispy clouds. I took some HDR photos of some interiors, and also some regular shots of the exteriors. You don’t realize how large these machines are until you are inside of them. The shot above is my favorite from the trip and shows just how large they really are. This is a 3 exposure (-2, 0, +2) HDR image. I really liked how all the wiring laid inside of the body of the plane and the red accents leading toward the retired fire engine inside. You can’t see it from this image but a car was also behind the fire engine, and there was plenty more room for other vehicles if they really wanted to fill it up. I combined the three shots using Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 an then cleaned it up and tweaked some more once I was back in Lightroom.