On Friday I decided to go out and try to capture a few shots of the space shuttle Enterprise as it arrives at JFK Airport. This ended up being an adventure and a lesson all rolled up in one and one heck of a good exercise. For the past week I have been tracking the plans and try to come up with a strategy for getting good pics. I was figuring that they would have to use the longest runway and land into the wind so it was kind of easy to figure out where to go. On Thursday I joined an aviation forum after seeing an article online about the best places to view the shuttle landing.
I really have to thank the guys on the forum for some tips. After chatting with a few guys I found out that the popular place to go was by the Inwood golf course. To me this didn’t make sense as the plane would be going down the runaway and all you would see is the tail. I wanted it from the front so I decided to go to the place near the train bridge on the north side of the runway. To me it just made more sense. I walked about 3 miles to the spot where I thought would be the best for taking pictures.
There were four of us on the beach and it was very windy and a little cold but I knew we were in the right spot. I actually met some guys from the forum. How often does that happen? Join a forum and the next day you meet someone from that forum. I was glad because one of the guys suggested a camera setting which I used to get these shots. I also learned a lot about taking pictures of airplanes from them.
After the plane flew by the JFK airport control tower it continued on almost directly over our heads and made a left bank turn over the train bridge. It was an amazing sight and although I was snapping pictures I took a break and just marveled at what I was seeing. I felt like I could reach out and touch the shuttle it was so close.
After the shuttle landed the pilot opened up a hatch and started to wave an American flag. I had no idea until I was looking at the shuttle pictures on the computer.
The shuttle then turned around and head towards the space they had set up for dignitaries and near its special hangar where it will be until they put it on a ferry and take it to it’s new home on the U.S.S Intrepid.