One of the most fabulous things about being a photographer in an Air Force world is the unique opportunities that come up to work in and around the things that not everyone has a chance to – case in point the A-10, better known as the “Warthog”. Because my husband is in the Fighter Maintenance career field, I’ve been around fighter jets for the last 11 years. I know the basic terminology. I’ve seen the hard work that it takes to fly them and keep them fit to fly. I’ve glanced up in the sky countless times to see if I can identify which jet is rumblingcoursingstreaking through the sky overhead of every Air Force base where we’ve been assigned. But of all the aircraft I’ve had the opportunity to be in and around, it’s the A-10 that seems, to me, to have the most personality. It could be that Moody AFB is the only active duty Wing in the Air Force (the 23rd “Flying Tigers” – tracing back to the WWII) that still bears the painted shark’s teeth on the aircraft. It could be that the people who fly and work on/with the A-10 seem to really love this aircraft because it can be damaged in ways you don’t talk about at parties and still fly home safely. Or it could be the stories I hear from all branches of service indicating that the A-10s are the jets that bring a collective sigh of relief and three cheers among those on the ground when they appear out of the ether, flying steadily into the fray. Or, you know, it could be that I got to get really (really) up close and personal with the jet. I suspect it’s a combination of all of the above. And while I’m not one to play favorites most of the time, I really dig the fact that this jet has teeth. And knows how to use them.
So, thanks to the Hinman family and all those who made this photo shoot possible – from the ones who towed it into the position I requested, to the ones who signed the paperwork to allow me to cross that red line and not get arrested, and to my husband who assisted me in the swampy Georgia heat to capture this jet, this family and these moments.
Here are just a few of my favorites. I am so loving that I had an incredible sky and a full moon at the end. What an opportunity!