The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Air Line Pilot, April, 2017

Today I have some exciting news to share with you dating back almost a year ago!

Early March of last year, in partnership with the Air Line Pilots Association, I helped commemorate Captain John Prater's final commercial flight before retiring by photographing his arrival landing to Dulles from Paris.  Captain Prater began his aviation career in 1978, going on to be elected President of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) in 2006.

This was an event photoshoot I coordinated with Dulles Airport Operations to capture several key shots desired for the article being written in Air Line Pilot magazine about Captain Prater's retirement; OPS ensured I had speedy access to the airfield to capture the planned shots of the United 787 Dreamliner's landing on R/W 1C, ceremonial water arch in front of the historic Main Terminal Building, and subsequent ceremonial events in anticipation of capturing a cover image.  Unfortunately, even though it was a scene I've captured at previous photoshoots, I wasn't able to capture the image planned for the cover this time due to weather interference; since that was the case, and I never heard any other information after the photoshoot, I thought I'd missed the cover shot and my images would just be included in the article, and didn't think much more about it, moving on to new projects.

Flash forward to December, while assembling my annual "Best of" for 2017, I decided to check for a press release on ALPA's website after coming across my portraits of Captain Prater in the 787's cockpit.  I found the article which included some of my pictures, and on a whim decided to check if there was online access to the magazine so I could see how it looked in a print layout.  What I found caught me completely by surprise.

Air Line Pilot magazine's April, 2017 issue features my photograph of Captain John Prater landing his United 787 at Dulles.  I had my first-ever magazine cover and didn't even know about it until nine months later!


When I found this, I reached out to my contacts at ALPA to see if I could get any paper copies of the magazine.  I was worried it would be impossible 9 months after publication, but sure enough, they sent me a whole stack of them a week later!

Air Line Pilot has a circulation size of 78,000; that is a lot of magazines and a lot of people who saw my photograph!  I couldn't be happier or more honored!  I say go grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some some aviation!  Thank you so much to my friends at ALPA, and at Dulles Airport Operations who helped make my first-ever cover image possible.

Warmer in the Winter: Winter of 2017

The Retirement of Captain John Prater

This past Thursday, I was honored to help commemorate Captain John Prater's retirement, greeting him for his final flight arriving at Dulles from Paris.  Captain Prater began his aviation career in 1978, going on to be elected President of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) in 2006.

Captain Prater has flown cargo and commercial airlines, including DC-8s, DC-10s, A300s, 727s, 757s, 767s, and 777s, but would retire flying the 787 Dreamliner.  I was on the runway's hold short to welcome him on his final landing and ceremonial water arch (which the high winds caught, misted, and totally drenched me for!).

Thanks to all the fine folks in Dulles OPS who were so helpful in coordinating the logistics of this event with me and ALPA - as always, it would never be possible without all your help.

ALPA Prater 1.jpg

Etihad Airways 787 Dreamliner Inaugural Flight to IAD

This evening marked Etihad Airways' inaugural flight of their new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner beginning service from Abu Dhabi to Washington Dulles International Airport.  Etihad Airways Officials were joined by Dulles Airport Manager Chris Browne to celebrate the arrival of the new, energy efficient aircraft, embarking upon the Dreamliner's longest non-stop flight path.

Airport Photography
Airport Photography
Airport Photography
Airport Photography