I met David Williams and Sam Swift in 2014 when I visited Tullahoma, Tenessee to write an article on a stunning Fairchild 71 in vintage Pan American colors. We did an air-to-air shoot, and I discovered that these two gentlemen are true aviators, eager to get behind the controls of just about anything that flies. No sooner did we land after our photo mission then we began planning to organize another one.
It took nearly three years for the stars to align again and we were able to get together for another shoot, this time in nearby Lebanon, Tennessee. We were joined by Robert Langford, whose Nanchang CJ-6A I photographed at Sun 'N Fun and who happens to hangar his bird at Lebanon. Our plan was to photograph Sam's Pitts Special and Swift. (That's right, Sam Swift owns a Swift. Even more ironic, his plane shares the hangar with a Piper Cub owned by, that's right, a gent named Piper. I couldn't make this up!) David Williams flew my photo platform, a Maule with the rear door removed. Unfortunately, shortly after takeoff, we ran into a little problem that forced us to return to base. I managed a few photos of both the Pitts and CJ-6 against the sun before we landed back at Lebanon. The air-to-air shots are okay, but far from the best we can do. We're planning another get-together in the near future.