5th Anniversary Post – Views from Above!

Today is ReviewBeforeFlight‘s 5th birthday; and that’s amazing if you ask me! I spent quite some time trying to determine how I was going to mark the occasion, but not long ago I was searching through pictures from my years of flying looking for an image to use with a particular blog post and it hit me! During my search one thing that kept coming to mind was, “Wow, look how many cool views I’ve had while flying…” This kept happening, over and over, and then finally it hit me, I should put together a blog post with some of my most memorable “views from above” pictures.

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Today ReviewBeforeFlight is 5! Somewhere along the way we watched the opening of the new & improved Runway 5 at EWB during my time as the Assistant Airport Manager at the New Bedford Regional Airport!

 

This particular topic, “views from above,” is very fitting for our 5th anniversary because one of our first blog posts was actually about taking pictures while flying… Fast forward 5 years and we’re taking a look at some of the unique views I’ve been able to enjoy while flying.

There is in no particular order to these pictures, and I’m going to say right off the top that some of the pictures aren’t the best quality, for a lot of my flying I was working with an old digital camera and a BlackBerry, it wasn’t until five or six years ago that I switched to an iPhone and then got a better digital camera to capture the views from above…

Fireworks!

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As regular readers of ReviewBeforeFlight may remember one of my favorite flights is watching 4th of July fireworks from above, this picture is above Plymouth (MA) Harbor.

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Another picture from a 4th of July fireworks show over Plymouth Harbor.

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This image is from a flight over Gillette Stadium and their annual fireworks held on July 3rd each year…

 

Airports!

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This view of Mansfield Municipal Airport is from on of my last few flights as a flight instructor for KING Aviation-Mansfield (1B9).

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This view of the T. F. Green Airport (KPVD) is complete with an aircraft on climb out from a Runway 23 departure!

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An airport in the dunes… The Provincetown Airport (KPVC).

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The fall colors were in full effect in this image that was taken while on base for a landing on Runway 32 at the Mansfield Municipal Airport (1B9).

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This airport in Ohio is the “Washington Courthouse Airport” (I23), taken during a practice session for the 2006 NIFA National SAFECON event.

 

Airports Under Construction!

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This image shows the site of the Marshfield Municipal Airport (KGHG) during a complete airfield reconstruction including the runway and parallel taxiway!

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During my time as a CFI flying from 1B9, I happened to notice that runway 12-30 at KTAN was closed and marked with large (though they appear very tiny in this picture) yellow Xs, likely for short term airport maintenance. Not having planned a stop there I hadn’t checked the NOTAMs and thus didn’t know the runway was closed. Good thing we weren’t trying to land there…

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If I’m being honest, I was planning to land at CQX for breakfast at the fantastic on-field restaurant. Imagine my surprise when we arrived overhead the airport and the runway was closed due to being resurfaced, very recently too as the markings hadn’t even been painted yet! We skipped our on-the-fly idea of breakfast at CQX and continued our planned scenic tour of Cape Cod…

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This picture shows the progress of the Runway 5/23 reconstruction and extension project at EWB during my time as Assistant Airport Manager at the New Bedford Regional Airport. All pavement work had been complete and painting was in progress at the time at the time when Peter and I made this survey flight to take in the progress from above.

 

Tornado Remnants…

The following are a series of planned pictures. After tornados hit Central Massachusetts during 2011, my friend Sean and I decided to fly out and survey the damage from above. I was shocked at the magnitude of the damage from the tornado. The Southbridge Airport sustained a direct hit and suffered significant damage to aircraft and facilities…

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A T-hangar at 3B0 totally destroyed by the tornado.

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If you look closely you can see the trees laid were down in a circular pattern by the tornado.

Partial tornado path

The damage swath stretched from the Sourthbridge Airport through some forest and across a neighborhood.

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Another view of the tornado track…

 

Former Airport…

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Something I pointed out to almost everyone I flew with when we passed by, the site of the former Middleboro (MA) Airport. The runway stretched from the house on the hill to the right beyond the cul-de-sac pictured to the left. The long, wide driveway stretching from the cul-de-sac to the house on the hill is still the pavement from the old runway, other other half has been removed or resurfaced to serve as a residential neighborhood road.

 

Views from Alaska…

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The tallest Mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley or Denali as it’s again known now.

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Moon Shadow Lake with Denali in the background.

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Moon Shadow Lake, beautiful colors and a perfectly clear reflection surface.

 

A crashed airplane?

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A Boeing 727 crashed in Bridgewater, MA… Except it didn’t crash there, it was trucked in to the site. Have you ever seen the movie Knight and Day? Well the plane crash sequence was filmed in Bridgewater, MA so naturally I had to scope out the set ahead of time…

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This view of the Boeing 727 crash site shows all of the production trucks and equipment used for the production of Knight and Day!

 

An airplane that’s flying and a…?

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Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a quick picture of my friend Jeremy flying a Warrior in formation with me in a Cessna 172 while we were on the way to drop the 172 off at a radio shop in Worcester, MA for some work.

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Another odd ball, as I was flying along one day I looked down and a hot air balloon caught the corner of my eye, not the best picture but it was very cool to see as we zipped by overhead.

 

So maybe we were on the ground…

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This would have been better with a clear windscreen and less sun glare, but after landing at Clermont County, we took our own “Sporty’s Poster” picture!

 

Airplanes on ice…

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This picture was taken from a Piper Archer, a friend of mine Tom and I heard that some folks were landing their airplanes on Long Pond in Massachusetts, not a place where you’d expect this to occur. The unusually cold winter provided enough ice for an impromptu ice airport fly-in event. We didn’t land but I was excited to capture a shot of the planes on the ice before we headed off to Sanford, ME for some cross country time building.

 

Airplanes waiting…

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On one flight with friends a passenger snapped this picture of the KING training fleet holding short waiting for our landing on Runway 14 at 1B9…

 

Other Scenic Views…

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One summer day Peter and I stretched the wings of his new (at the time) Challenger and flew from 1B9 to PSF & AQW to explore the Western part of the state. Between the two Western MA destinations we circled the summit of Mt. Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts.

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I don’t recall the context of this image, but the fall foliage of downtown Mansfield, MA was beautiful that day…

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The first sunrise of 2014 from an airplane over Plymouth Harbor.

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On a night flight back from IJD the beacon lit up the wing and Route 1 to Providence provided a trail of lights…

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Sometimes wanna-be clouds pass by under the wing during a flight lesson…

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Then there’s times when everything is obscured by clouds when your flying IFR, but able to break out and cruise on top. Not long after this picture was taken we were actually “lost comms” in IMC, quite an experience… But that’s a story for another day!

 

Cities…

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During a flight I made in Florida I flew by the Tavares Seaplane Base to get a birds eye view of my facility. To the left is a jet ski racing event and the yellow Piper Cub water taxiing is hard to miss!

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The unmistakable green dome of the Bristol County Courthouse in my hometown, Taunton, MA.

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The Boston skyline highlighted by a setting sun’s rays on a flight back to 1B9 from LWM.

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Between the Plymouth Airport and 1B9 is my alma mater Bridgewater State University. This area is almost completely different now, but the building the runs left to right just below the open green space was East Hall, my dorm for three years of college.

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I managed to capture this shot while competing in the short field landing contest during the 2009 NIFA National SAFECON, needless to say I wasn’t “in it to win it.” I was more interested in safely capturing a skyline picture with the St. Louis Arch, unfortunately the sun glare got in the way a little bit…

 

Fishing Spots!

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The Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal, somewhere (not to be named) along the canal is a family-favorite fishing spot…

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Scortons Creek from above while cruising the North shore of Cape Cod. Many family fishing memories from my childhood were made there…

That’s just a small sample of some of the interesting things I’ve been able to experience from the unique vantage point of flying small airplanes. The pilot seat provides a unique vantage point to observe life, and it’s something that no pilot should take for granted! Think about it, I’m sure you’ve seen some cool views too…

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Taken shortly after Runway 5 was opened at EWB during my time as the Assistant Airport Manager at EWB, standing right on the big number 5!

No annual summary/ anniversary post would be complete without a look back on the past year, and what a year it has been!

2018 Highlights:

  • Served as emcee and event organizer for the City of Tavares SEAPLANE-A-PALOOZA event that partnered with Sun ‘n Fun as their official seaplane splash-in component.
  • Ended my tenure as the first-ever Aviation Manager for America’s Seaplane City and Emily and I relocated to my home state of Massachusetts.
  • I accepted the position of Assistant Airport Manager at the Barnstable Municipal Airport, Cape Cod’s regional translation hub, served by various airlines including jetBlue!
  • we passed 25,000 page views during 2018, our best year ever!

My favorite pictures from 2018:

What I’m the most proud of over the past five years, our reach:

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The global reach of ReviewBeforeFlight during 2018!

 

All time through 2018 views RBF

The all-time global reach of ReviewBeforeFlight since launching on December 30, 2014!

 

If you asked me 5 years ago where I thought ReviewBeforeFlight and I would be now, I don’t think I’d have guessed that we’d be here having taken the path we did… It’s been a great ride and I’m looking to continuing to share aviation content for years to come.

-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9

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