Friday, September 16, 2011

In Memoriam

Today was the memorial service for Dr. Tom Gehrels, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. I knew Dr. Gehrels as an undergraduate, and when he ran the Spacewatch Project. To mark the moment and begin the ceremony, a fly-by of four F-16 fighter aircraft was scheduled. Below are images from the unique event. Rest in Peace Dr. Gehrels.


Boris said...

Hello David,

I saw your comment on Jim's "Pictures of my Universe" blog. I am one of the Dutch pilots in the flyby. I can assure you that if it were up to us we would have streaked over the campus at a 100 ft, doing 500 knots and had our number three pull a missing man in full afterburner and popping 30 flares to boot.

Unfortunately that doesn't go over well these days, and some people with higher rank than us four pilots are worried about noise complaints and so severely restricted what we could do.

As far as point 3 goes, due to ATC restrictions we did not have much time left before we could form up close, but I assure you it was all under control, just under a bit of time/distance pressure.

I'm sorry to read you don't think much of us, I must say I do think much of your qualities as a photographer, as I found your pictures to be very nice. Thanks for capturing the moment.


David A. Harvey said...

Boris - Thanks for your reply and I apologize if I offended you. I appreciate very much your skill - as a pilot myself I know full well the talent it takes to fly the aircraft you do. I'm somewhat jealous of your abilities and appear snarky about your job.

I also am glad to hear that you respect the U of A airspace - I can tell you for certain that the DM pilots don't - they ROUTINELY buzz the U of A on approach at < 1000 feet and make a hell of a noise. (Although the PA officer at DM will deny this.)

I think that for your demonstration however, a low pass would have been much appreciated by the assembled crowd. Again thank you for your demonstration and for respecting the FAA restrictions - maybe you can give the DM F16 and A10 drivers a refresher.