Each time I fly I have at least one camera with me. Doesn’t matter if I’m in a B747-400, an MD-80 or a Siai 208. I like to take as many pictures as possible from the windows and for this reason my camera is always with me. I have even two ones when I fly in a military jet because, reflex aside, I need a smaller one in one of the lower pockets of the flightsuit in case of failure of the “primary” camera. Fortunately I have never used the “spare” so far…
I have discussed a lot about my air-to-air photography experiences in many other posts on this website (among them I suggest having a look at the following ones: Airborne pickup (rejoining with an F-104) and Air to Air photography even if you can search using the box on the upper right coloumn of this page for some others).
After watching the pictures I took from the backseat of a military aircraft or reading my posts describing the difficulties of shooting intense under G forces, many aviation enthusiasts have asked me if I have ever taken any video during one of those flights. The answer is no. I have never taken any video when flying a fighter. Maybe it was because I’ve always used the pictures for my articles on magazines and websites or just because I simply like photography more than video, but my experiences with the handycam are extremely rare. I have a couple of DVDs with the videos of some flights in the cockpit of a B707 tanker or inside the AB.212AM and some footage of the Italian F-104s operations in Grazzanise dating back to the 2003, and nothing more. However, at least I know someone who has a huge experience with the television camera and videos. His name is Simone D’Ascenzi, an indipendent Italian videomaker whose tv format “Voglia di Volare” (Italian for “Eager to fly”) is an interesting program dealing with the flight. On the contrary of what I’ve done so far, Simone always take a videocamera with him and produced many interesting professional footages. With the precious contribution of the Troupe Azzurra (the Italian Air Force team producing videos and images of the Aeronautica Militare) he recently produced an episode of Voglia di Volare in which he flies in the backseat of an MB.339 of the 61° Stormo. In a sort of in-flight documentary Simone talks with the pilot on the front seat during the mission, discussing the maneuvers, commenting his experience and describing its emotions as passenger of a military aircraft during a 5 ships formation flight from Lecce-Galatina.
The episode, divided into three parts is available on Youtube (in Italian language) and it provides an interesting point of view focused on the backseater: a perspective comprising chats, comms and sounds that my pictures don’t provide.