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  1. All fair points - I guess I should have said that the broader DoD has competent, capable, and eminently experienced air to air photographers available for a sortie like this even if it’s not Senior Airman Timmy from the 69th Combat Camera squadron. Edwards and Eglin have multiple civilian and military professionals who do air to air work full-time and would frankly have killed for a chance to shoot photos like this.. With their technical ability and know-how already as a given I’m certain they would have come back with better results from this once-in-a-lifetime flight. The behind the scenes video made it fairly clear that the civilian PAO who chose Blain for this flight was a fan of his - I think we all know that’s the way the real world works, and I have no issue with that. Over bake as many static photos of a U-2 as you like (“those who can do, those who can’t oversaturate their shots in Photoshop”), but he clearly had/ has zero experience in air to air photography which is the only skillset that actually matters here. When we (DoD) burn cool opportunities like these with influencer types there’s very little gain in the long run, but it also makes it immeasurably harder for the actual professionals to do good work in the future. I guess that’s my frustration.
  2. On the active-duty side there are enlisted Combat Camera photographers; when I was in Bahrain flying the MH-53E in 2022 we had an Air Force CC photographer that came out on det and got some great air to air and air to ground images. Additionally, the USAF flight test locations (Edwards and Eglin specifically) have full-time civilian flight test photographers that specialize in air to air documentary photo and video. To fly a ‘celebrity’ photog with no background in air to air photography is sort of a slap in the face to the professionals who work incredibly hard day in and day out to share the mission of the Air Force, at least in my humble opinion.
  3. Maybe an unpopular opinion here: those images are absolutely terrible. Obviously style is highly subjective and we all like what we like, but it’s such a shame the Air Force wasted such a unique and special opportunity when there are civilian and DoD professionals that specialize in taking air to air photos literally on the payroll. Hopefully this at least opens the door for one of those pros to do it right one day soon..
  4. So few “content creators” (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit..) on YouTube do mishap videos right, but this is as close to ‘right’ as we will likely get. Good on Gunny for asking questions and (mostly) getting out of the way so Mark could tell his story, and what a story is was..
  5. Not sure where that specific altitude figure came from, but beware if it was part of the aforementioned WC video. He straight-up makes things up, to include having definitively stated that the AIM-9X that took out the Chinese balloon had no warhead. His videos recently have become fiction at best, embarrassing self-promoting drivel at worst..
  6. “Known facts” lol The problem with Juan (and anyone in this space who doesn’t wait for the final mishap report to be released before speculating/ drawing conclusions on it) is that those “known facts” aren’t really known yet. I am certain that neither of these gentleman were in the brief, have any airshow experience at all, etc. So when they take the data that they have found on the internet as gospel and treat it as fact then the conclusions they draw, however minute or inconsequential, are therefore fruit of the poisoned tree. An example: there is a reason the FAA does not reply upon FlightRadar24 ADS-B position data to issue flight violations - it’s known to be just inaccurate enough that no inspector is going to hang their hat on its fidelity. But from many of these video’s aircraft airspeed airspeed/ heading/ altitude/ ground track is “known” because look at this fancy screenshot I found online. Nope.. Anyway, maybe I’m being a snob about all of this, but if feels absolutely scummy to sell one’s poorly-informed speculation as fact (on a fatal mishap, mind you) and then in the next breath mention Patreon and all the ways your are digitally begging for money from your viewership. If these individuals truly care about flight safety and respecting the memories of the fallen then I believe they would wait until the final report is issued (in a year or more, the horror) and then they can break down that report to their hearts content. Anything less than that is a disservice to all involved.
  7. I think it’s legitimately possibly Gryder is mentally ill; if I’m being charitable, struggling deeply with profound personal issues and this is all an elaborate cry for help..
  8. Recommend avoiding anything Juan Brown/ Dan Gryder related if you are looking for meaningful knowledge or analysis.. I have absolute faith that the professionals will get the appropriate information out in due time, but I know it’s certainly hard to avoid speculation. CAF will come out of this tragedy a better and safer organization - still an absolute tragedy this mishap occurred.
  9. Stalin is a great aviator who will (continue) to do the Navy proud - she’s prior enlisted maintainer to boot! An excellent choice.
  10. KODAK

    Safe on deck

    That’s a great idea, had not considered it! A friend actually set up that base, but he’s out of state now..
  11. KODAK

    Safe on deck

    Definitely interested in some AFSOC/ AF flight test stories! If anyone is ever interested, please feel to DM or reach out at safeondeck@gmail.com directly. For clarity, this isn’t project for money/ likes/ clicks/ etc. I don’t make a penny (if fact the recording gear gets expensive!) and have zero plans ever to. My goal is to professionally share those cool stories we have all heard around the squadron bar/ wardroom with folks who don’t otherwise have the opportunity to be there.
  12. Not sure if this is the right place, but in what little spare time I’ve got on my (Navy) shore tour I started a podcast! The idea is to capture unique military aviation flying stories and share them with a wider audience that appreciates them. Since this audience is uniquely suited to poke holes in the idea, I really do appreciate any and all feedback to continually improve: Available on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/safe-on-deck/id1615450730 And on YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCI6ty4FeKpM3p14acae-AjQ For those interested in some USAF content, the two interviews with John Miller (F-105F/ F-117 pilot) were especially interesting to me. I’m based aboard NAS Pensacola and interested in capturing USAF stories as well. If you are interested or know someone who might be please feel free to reach out. If you have made it this far, thanks for reading and blue skies! Gemma
  13. Just as a point of reference, the specific job that you are referring to (VT-86 T-45C advanced SNFO flight instruction at NAS Pensacola) is considered a good place for Navy jet guys; plenty of students and flight time. So those few spots, active duty and FTS/ reserve, are coveted. I’ve heard of several Navy jet guys successfully transitioning to the ANG but I don’t know of any Air Force folks here. All that said, stranger things have certainly happened. Good luck!
  14. God bless them and all our forces in country right now. I fear this will only get worse in the coming hours.
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