In a conversation with The Aviationist, Filip Modrzejewski who is the editor-in-chief of the foto.poork website, said that the organization of an air-to-air photo-shoot is quite challenging. First of all, the track needs to be placed at a proper altitude, and it needs to be planned in detail, which would make it possible to achieve high level of safety. Second, the weather conditions need also to be taken into account – since photography is very much weather-dependent.
Pre-flight briefing is equally important – during such shoots there is no place for spontaneous maneuvers – both the photoship (Lithuanian C-27J Spartan in this case) and the fighters need to know exactly what flight-path will be used. Formation flying skills are equally important.
Safety of the pilots is one thing – safety of the photographers should also be taken into equation. Each of the photographers uses a special safety harness, in order not to fall out of the photoship during the shoot. When it comes to the photo-taking process itself – it may be challenging due to the fact that people on board may be subjected to g-forces.
Camera batteries are also an issue here, due to the low temperatures. It is not recommended for the photographers to switch the lenses or memory cards during the flight, for safety reasons.
Here’s a backstage photo, depicting the tough work conditions on board of the Spartan.
Fortunately, the mission was flawless and the results, amazing!
An Italian Air Force MQ-1C Predator A+ escorted the ships involved in the repatriation of Italian nationals from Libya.
On Feb. 15, Italy announced the closure of the Libya embassy and the orderly repatriation of nationals from the North African country as a consequence of the IS advance.
The 100 Italian citizens were ferried to the port of Augusta, in Sicily, by the Maltese ferryboat “San Gwann”, which was escorted by the Italian Navy “Carlo Bergamini” FREMM (European multipurpose frigate) and by a Predator A+ of the Italian Air Force.
Belonging to the 28th Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) based at Amendola, in southeastern Italy, the MQ-1C Predator A+ acted as “On Scene Eye” and filmed the entire operation, monitoring any suspect activity in the vicinity of the ships and near the convoy which brought the Italians to the Tripoli harbor.
Here’s the footage recorded by the Predator.
The Italian Air Force operates a mixed force of 6 MQ-9 Reaper and 6 MQ-1C Predator A+ both assigned to the 28° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) at Amendola airbase.
The Italian drones have flown ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions) as well as MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation), support to TIC (Troops In Contact), IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) monitoring and Convoy Escort in Iraq and Afghanistan; they have supported Operation Unified Protector in Libya, Mare Nostrum operation in the Mediterranean Sea near Lampedusa (where they have monitored the migratory flows and consequent tragic ship wreckage off the island) and they are also currently deployed in Kuwait (to support the US-led anti-ISIS operation in Syria and Iraq) and Djibouti, where they are used to monitor the seas off the coast of Somalia in anti-piracy missions.
Leveraging their persistence on the target area (up to 20 hours), the drones will now enable Police forces to monitor major events and support anti-crime and riot-control operations.
The Brazilian Air Force operates about 50 such aircraft, based at Santa Cruz, near Rio de Janeiro, and Santa Maria, to the west of Porto Alegre, and upgraded to the A-1M variant, that features a glass cockpit, advanced avionics, a Mectron SCP-01 Scipio radar, Embraer BR2 data link, FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red), and support for the DASH IV helmet mounted display.
The aircraft, flying with the 1 Esquadrão/16 Grupo de Aviação Esquadrão “Adelphi”, 1 Esquadrão/10 Grupo de Aviação Esquadrão “Poker” and 3 Esquadrão/10 Grupo de aviação Esquadrão “Centauro”.
Still, the air policing mission marks the first intercept mission by the Italian F-2000s (as the Typhoons are designated within the Aeronautica Militare) on Russian planes since the Italian Air Force took over the lead role of BAP on Jan. 1.
Photos emerging on social networks seem to suggest the aircraft may have hit the flightline: two Italian Air Force AMX jets seem to be quite close to the burning wreckage of the Greek two-seater F-16D. However, more aircraft are believed to be involved, since several explosions were heard following the impact of the HAF fighter jet.
Screenshot from rtve.es website
Spanish media outlets have been issuing updates since the incident occurred around 3.00 PM LT: according to the latest reports, 2 people were killed and 10 injured as a consequence of the crash.
Update 18.30 GMT
10 casualties and 13 injured people, according to the latest reports from the crash scene. At least one French Alpha Jet seems to have been hit by the F-16D; U.S. F-15E aircraft appears to be parked close to wrecked Fighting Falcon.
According to the Italian MoD 9 Italian military injured in the Greek Air Force F-16D crash at Albacete in Spain. The Italian contingent taking part in TLP includes 2 AMX jets from 51° Stormo (Wing) of the Italian Air Force from Istrana airbase and 5 AV-8B+ Harrier II of the Italian Navy from Grottaglie airbase.