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The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Best of 2016

Each year I release a set of photos showcasing the highlights I've photographed over the previous year.  It's a Year in Pictures, similar to how news outlets also compile Year in Review columns which rely almost solely on photojournalism (which is an important and unfortunately underappreciated art, by the way).  This year's "Best Of" is coming a bit late - I usually release this on New Years, but I've been rather busy and distracted upon return from my trip to St. Louis.

So now I present to you the Best of 2016: A Year in Pictures.  Photos are presented in order in which they were photographed, and contain captions and links to relevant articles when applicable.

Janet Echelman's  1.8 Renwick  at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  This photograph of Echelman's woven sculpture is displayed upside down to create additional dramatic discord and illusion to the already intricate landscape of mesh. 

Janet Echelman's 1.8 Renwick at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  This photograph of Echelman's woven sculpture is displayed upside down to create additional dramatic discord and illusion to the already intricate landscape of mesh. 

John Grade's  Middle Fork  at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Viewed from the base, or roots of the molded tree recreated from cedar planks, the natural béziers of organic growth are showcased with a feeling of fluidity.

John Grade's Middle Fork at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Viewed from the base, or roots of the molded tree recreated from cedar planks, the natural béziers of organic growth are showcased with a feeling of fluidity.

Portrait of Dennis Hazell, Customer Service Manager of Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Eero Saarinen's historic Main Terminal Building.

Portrait of Dennis Hazell, Customer Service Manager of Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Eero Saarinen's historic Main Terminal Building.

Rim and caliper of the 2016 Alfa Romea Giulia sport sedan, photographed at the Washington Auto Show.

Rim and caliper of the 2016 Alfa Romea Giulia sport sedan, photographed at the Washington Auto Show.

Cabin crew serve champagne in a First Class compartment aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

Cabin crew serve champagne in a First Class compartment aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

The First Class cabin aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

The First Class cabin aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

Portrait of Scott C. Booth, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Chief of Police.

Portrait of Scott C. Booth, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Chief of Police.

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

The bar inside The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

The bar inside The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Portrait of Sidney Woods, Marketing Director at Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport's Main Terminal.

Portrait of Sidney Woods, Marketing Director at Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport's Main Terminal.

My own Infiniti G37S 6MT photographed in Frederick, Maryland on a day and place reminiscent of the iconic Windows XP background,  Bliss  by Charles O'Rear.

My own Infiniti G37S 6MT photographed in Frederick, Maryland on a day and place reminiscent of the iconic Windows XP background, Bliss by Charles O'Rear.

Wedding portrait of Amy and Brandon.

Wedding portrait of Amy and Brandon.

Wedding portrait of Nina; it rained on their wedding day, pushing the ceremony inside, and rushing the portrait session in Leesburg between bands of drizzle and high winds.

Wedding portrait of Nina; it rained on their wedding day, pushing the ceremony inside, and rushing the portrait session in Leesburg between bands of drizzle and high winds.

A Piper tow plane for Jersey Ridge Soaring takes off from Blairstown Airport (1N7), lifting a glider into the sky.

A Piper tow plane for Jersey Ridge Soaring takes off from Blairstown Airport (1N7), lifting a glider into the sky.

View inside the cockpit of a glider being towed to 2,500ft before release of the tow cable.  The tow plane is visible directly forward, with instrumentation on the console and the red lever which releases the tow cable.

View inside the cockpit of a glider being towed to 2,500ft before release of the tow cable.  The tow plane is visible directly forward, with instrumentation on the console and the red lever which releases the tow cable.

A selfie inside a glider soaring around 2,500ft.  A maximum altitude of 3,500 was reached on this flight using thermal for lift.

A selfie inside a glider soaring around 2,500ft.  A maximum altitude of 3,500 was reached on this flight using thermal for lift.

Aerial view of Blairstown Airport (1N7) from 1,000ft.  The small public use airport in New Jersey is home to Jersey Ridge Soaring, a glider service and school.

Aerial view of Blairstown Airport (1N7) from 1,000ft.  The small public use airport in New Jersey is home to Jersey Ridge Soaring, a glider service and school.

All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8"  Star Wars  777 departing Washington Dulles International Airport after a promotional visit by the aircraft.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority held a Discover Dulles event to mark the occasion, welcoming 50 lucky participants to watch the aircraft's arrival on the runway itself, and providing a tour of Airport Operations and Dulles' Ramp Tower.

All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8" Star Wars 777 departing Washington Dulles International Airport after a promotional visit by the aircraft.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority held a Discover Dulles event to mark the occasion, welcoming 50 lucky participants to watch the aircraft's arrival on the runway itself, and providing a tour of Airport Operations and Dulles' Ramp Tower.

LATAM Airlines begins inaugural service between Lima, Peru and Washington, DC on May 2nd, 2016.  LATAM is the result of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines merging at the same time this inaugural flight took place; the LAN Airlines livery seen above has been discontinued.

LATAM Airlines begins inaugural service between Lima, Peru and Washington, DC on May 2nd, 2016.  LATAM is the result of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines merging at the same time this inaugural flight took place; the LAN Airlines livery seen above has been discontinued.

Portrait of Manuel Rodriguez, Award Winning Chef, photographed making lamb chops in the kitchen of Kapnos Taverna by Mike Isabella.

Portrait of Manuel Rodriguez, Award Winning Chef, photographed making lamb chops in the kitchen of Kapnos Taverna by Mike Isabella.

An American Airlines Douglas DC-3 parked outside the original terminal building at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, formerly known as Washington National Airport.  The aircraft was on site to commemorate the airport's 75th anniversary, after opening it's doors on June 16th, 1941.

An American Airlines Douglas DC-3 parked outside the original terminal building at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, formerly known as Washington National Airport.  The aircraft was on site to commemorate the airport's 75th anniversary, after opening it's doors on June 16th, 1941.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Alyssa McGuire, fitness coach and newborn photographer, photographed atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.

Portrait of Alyssa McGuire, fitness coach and newborn photographer, photographed atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.

Portrait of J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, photographed by Alyssa McGuire atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Photo by Alyssa McGuire, edited by J. David Buerk.

Portrait of J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, photographed by Alyssa McGuire atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Photo by Alyssa McGuire, edited by J. David Buerk.

Portrait of James Dingell, Airport Management Intern at Ronald Reagan National Airport for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, photographed on his last day working for the Dulles Jet Center, where he worked continuously for over 10 years.

Portrait of James Dingell, Airport Management Intern at Ronald Reagan National Airport for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, photographed on his last day working for the Dulles Jet Center, where he worked continuously for over 10 years.

A blue poison dart frog photographed at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC.

A blue poison dart frog photographed at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC.

Royal Air Maroc begins inaugural service between Casablanca, Morocco and Washington, DC on September 8th, 2016.

Royal Air Maroc begins inaugural service between Casablanca, Morocco and Washington, DC on September 8th, 2016.

A limited edition Translucent Pink autographed Lindsey Stirling "Shatter Me" 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable.

A limited edition Translucent Pink autographed Lindsey Stirling "Shatter Me" 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable.

Aerial photograph of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Virginia.  Photographed via helicopter, 250ft AGL.

Aerial photograph of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Virginia.  Photographed via helicopter, 250ft AGL.

"Superman" leads the way at the 23rd annual Dulles Day Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics.  The Special Olympics team is always the first team to pull the FedEx 757 to kick off this family fun charity event which draws 10,000 - 15,000 visitors every year.

"Superman" leads the way at the 23rd annual Dulles Day Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics.  The Special Olympics team is always the first team to pull the FedEx 757 to kick off this family fun charity event which draws 10,000 - 15,000 visitors every year.

Aerial photograph of Washington Dulles International Airport's iconic Main Terminal Building designed by architect Eero Saarinen.  Cranes which are part of the "Silver Line" rail construction project can be seen at the bottom of the frame, as construction of the Dulles Metro Station commences.  Photographed via helicopter, 500ft AGL.

Aerial photograph of Washington Dulles International Airport's iconic Main Terminal Building designed by architect Eero Saarinen.  Cranes which are part of the "Silver Line" rail construction project can be seen at the bottom of the frame, as construction of the Dulles Metro Station commences.  Photographed via helicopter, 500ft AGL.

A promotional image for the Dulles and Reagan concessions program, photographed at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Photographs from this photoshoot were selected to be used as cover images for Shop & Dine guides at Dulles International and Reagan National airports.

A promotional image for the Dulles and Reagan concessions program, photographed at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Photographs from this photoshoot were selected to be used as cover images for Shop & Dine guides at Dulles International and Reagan National airports.

View of the lounge area inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

View of the lounge area inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

A Turkish coffee with Turkish Delight served inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

A Turkish coffee with Turkish Delight served inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Exterior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Exterior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Interior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Interior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Artist Katherine Riedel painting still-life in her Waterford, Virginia studio.

Artist Katherine Riedel painting still-life in her Waterford, Virginia studio.

The tide rolls in on the Chesapeake Bay with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance on a cool Summer day at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland.

The tide rolls in on the Chesapeake Bay with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance on a cool Summer day at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Tire and rim detail on a bagged Ford Mustang at the first Regular Car Reviews car show in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania.

Tire and rim detail on a bagged Ford Mustang at the first Regular Car Reviews car show in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania.

A Translucent Green Lindsey Stirling eponymous LP 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable. 

A Translucent Green Lindsey Stirling eponymous LP 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable. 

Leo surprises Chelsea with a marriage proposal at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

Leo surprises Chelsea with a marriage proposal at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

Leo and Chelsea and their two dogs, upon getting engaged at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

Leo and Chelsea and their two dogs, upon getting engaged at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

2016 has been a great year in my photographic career, bringing me new experiences, introducing me to new faces, and taking me new places.  Here's to 2017 being just as interesting and continuing to take my career to new heights!  Thanks to all of my fans, and especially those who have helped to make my career the career of my dreams!  I'll see you all in 2017!

J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, on Washington Dulles International Airport's R/W 1C high-speed hold-short line while photographing on assignment for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority during the All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8"  Star Wars  777 event.  Photo edited by J. David Buerk.

J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, on Washington Dulles International Airport's R/W 1C high-speed hold-short line while photographing on assignment for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority during the All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8" Star Wars 777 event.  Photo edited by J. David Buerk.

Wings for All

Earlier this year I was brought in on a program which is probably the most meaningful project I have worked on to date.  Wings for All is a bi-annual event at Dulles which seeks to teach and acclimate individuals with autism and other special needs to commercial air travel.

This simulated event is real and authentic in every way except that the aircraft does not push back and take flight.  Participants begin by arriving at the airport and checking in at a United ticket counter, where they check their bags and are given real boarding passes.  Next, they proceed through a TSA security checkpoint, where they are actually screened.  From here, participants must navigate the airport to their gate.  At the gate, passengers (participants) board the Boeing 777 by assigned group number, stow their carry-ons, and prepare to take flight.  Cabin crew give the safety briefing, the pilot speaks over the intercom, everyone buckles in, and the lights turn off for departure.  "In flight," the cabin crew provide refreshments.  Soon it is time to "arrive;" the seatbelt light chimes and turns on again, the pilot announces the weather, and soon the aircraft "lands" and passengers deplane.  Finally, participants proceed to baggage claim to pick up their luggage from the carousel, before luncheon stopping by the luncheon to conclude the morning.

The Wings for All program is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with special needs who wants practice with commercial air travel in a controlled setting with guidance as needed.  It doesn't matter if you've flown 100 times, or never at all, because it allows participants to experience everything about an airline flight except for movement of the aircraft.  It is also beneficial to those in the aviation industry because it provides real world practice with aiding those with special needs, in addition to training and awareness sessions that are provided leading up to each event.

In the Spring Wings for All session, I was called upon to film the event, producing the video below.  This past weekend I also filmed the Fall session, and I will soon be updating the promo video as requested, and creating a 30 - 60 second spot for Wings for All to be further promoted.

Wings for All events can be found at other airports, including locally at DCA and BWI.  At Dulles, Wings for All is organized by The ARC of Northern Virginia in partnership with The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and sponsored by United Airlines and Marketplace Development, among others.

This was also my first foray into videography, which I currently will only undertake for select projects for longstanding previous photography clients.

I am so fortunate to have continued involvement with this rewarding program!

Marketing and Product Photography

Recently I shared some of the portraiture I shoot for professional clients and commercial marketing campaigns.  But what about the other half of that equation?  In addition to portraiture and various press events, I photograph a large volume of product and storefront photography for marketing purposes at both Dulles International and Reagan National airports.

Last week on my Facebook Page, I shared a Behind the Scenes photo of a product shoot featuring Spartina 449 handbags.  These product photographs are quite similar to last year's Save Me, San Francisco Wine Company shoot, however this set is intended for use as dustwall graphics for upcoming stores during renovations periods, in addition to regularly ongoing marketing campaigns.

Marketplace Development

This sort of imagery continues inside many of the retailers; notably, Estée Lauder has an equally bright and modern storefront and display.

Both airports feature luxury brands.  Most have opened in the past year, and my photos are used by both airports for their promotion.

Airport Photography
Marketplace Development

I am not limited to retailers either - restaurants and eateries get just as much attention.

All new concessions and restaurants have ribbon cutting ceremonies; oftentimes the grand opening is a major event, including guest speakers and performances.

 Legal Sea Foods Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Photography by J. David Buerk: 
www.jdavidbuerk.com 
www.facebook.com/jdbphoto

Not only are my photos used for promotional campaigns, but at major events, placards summarizing newly opened and soon to open retailers are on display featuring my photos.

 Legal Sea Foods Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Photography by J. David Buerk: 
www.jdavidbuerk.com 
www.facebook.com/jdbphoto

An airport wouldn't be an airport without newsstands and book retailers, and I take photos of them as well!

It's just further demonstration of why I love photographing for DC's local airports - everyone who asks me about my airport photography simply assumes all I do is photograph aircraft, but upon explaining the body of work above, they always leave surprised and better informed - it's a side of every airport that few people ever think about, yet is so often taken for granted.

2014 Dulles Day Plane Pull and 5K / 10K on the Runway

Summer is just about over, and that means it's time for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's 22nd Annual Dulles Day Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics.  But first, the 2nd Annual 5K on the Runway, with the addition of a 10K for the first time this year.

2nd Annual 5K / 10K on the Runway

This year's 5K and brand new 10K took place in a different location than last year; runners gathered at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in preparation to run on R/W 1R / 19L - last year participants experienced R/W 1C / 19C, meaning that repeat competitors (and there were a LOT of returnees) have run upon half of Dulles' runway offerings.  Running on the runway, taxiways, and airfield offers runners an oppertunity usually only found on purpose built tracks: the ability to participate on a 100% flat, straight course.

Of course a fun event like this brings fun folks... and as it's an Airport and Air and Space Museum, there were aviation fans, like this team of runners dressed as flight attendants.

Runners were treated to a morning run in thick fog under a warm sunrise.  The Southern end of the airport often has fog in the morning due to the climate created between the open fields of the airfield and nearby wooded areas.

United Airlines lent a 777-222 ER for the occasion for runners to pass under as they crossed the threshold and entered the runway.  United's jet was towed through the fog and parked on the end of R/W 1R, as if cleared for departure.

The sun rose just before the 5K's start (and 10K soon after), burning off some of the fog.  Runners began at the Start / Finish line located behind the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and traversed up the access ramp leading to R/W 1R (this is how aircraft are brought to the museum directly from R/W 19L).  Competitors then ran North on R/W 1R; 10K runners ran the full length of the runway before returning down T/W K, and 5K runners turned around at the K7 high-speed.

While out on the "track" I spotted Cedric Givens, a veteran Mobile Lounge driver at Dulles who is famous for running backwards; a talent that has landed him in CBS Evening News and The Washington Post.  I had the pleasure of getting to know Cedric in 2005, the very first year I began my relationship with Dulles.  Here he is today, running, as always, backwards.

10K runners got to experience the vast size of a runway capable of handling international aircraft.  People simply look like ants when placed on a 11,500' long x 150' wide runway.  Most people don't even realize the size of basic runway markings such as the centerline striping, which must be massive to be seen easily from the air.  Another treat participants experienced was seeing the overwhelming amount of rubber left behind in touchdown zones.

Many people also took the opportunity to snag a unique selfie with Eero Saarinen's historic Main Terminal in the background.

Dulles' Airport Manager Chris Browne congratulated Cedric during the 5K / 10K awards ceremony.  After the race, many runners and spectators joined Cedric in dancing to celebrate another great 5K / 10K on the Runway.

Before heading from the race site to the Plane Pull, I caught up with Chris, with whom I continue to work closely through my photography, and Erik, who was my supervisor during my time in the Engineering Department, and continual mentor.  I am very grateful to both these men, who have had incredible influence over the success of my career.  Thank you both, for so much.

22nd Annual Dulles Day Plane Pull

With the conclusion of the 5K / 10K, it was almost time part two of the day to kick off - the 22nd Annual Dulles Day Plane Pull, located on the opposite side of the airfield, where aircraft were already landing and being marshaled to the show space.

Dulles' Plane Pull is a family fun festival with rich history and tradition.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department and Fire Battalion presented The Colors and performed The National Anthem during the opening ceremony.  Police Chaplain Charlie Grant then delivered the invocation prayer, as he does every year, to keep all participants and spectators safe.

After some introductions, it was time to award the check to Special Olympics.  This year a record $275,000 was raised by Plane Pull teams and donated by sponsors.

And with that, it was time for the 2014 Plane Pull's first pull of the day: Special Olympic athletes always get first crack at pulling FedEx's 757-231 SF.

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To start things out, I decided to check out the car show, where I met some friendly faces.  Jeff Meadows and his crew of folks from ANA were helping organize the show, and I also ran into Brandon with his award winning M3, which I have photographed several times at the many weekends I've spent at Katie's Cars and Coffee in Great Falls, Virginia.  This time I got a unique view, from the sky, since I also photographed Brandon's M3, and the entire car show, as I flew by in the helicopter (look for that later on in this post).

Nearby was UDoVooDoo performing for visitors while they grabbed a bite.

After quickly slurping up a blue-raspberry snow cone (giving myself a brain freeze and smurf-tongue), I toured some of the vendor tents.  First was the Silver Line and Dulles Toll Road.

Nearby was Marketplace Development, which had the largest draw throughout the whole day, with balloon animals and face painting for the kids, and a prize wheel for everyone.

You've seen fire trucks before, but most have never seen an ARFF truck, or Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting crash truck.  At the Plane Pull, visitors don't just get to see these purpose built trucks, but they also got to ride in them.  Firefighters gave kids tours of the trucks, explaining the unique needs in an airport work environment, and then took them for rides along T/W Z.  Along the ride, the firefighters pretended to put respond to a real call, taking off at full speed along the taxiway, with lights and siren, stopping to spray the robotic water jets.

Nearby were airfield tours on Dulles' signature Mobile Lounges and Plane Mates.  Lounges also took T/W Z to reach the rest of Dulles' airfield.

At this point it was time for the first of two helicopter flights I was scheduled for.  Pilot Steve Bussman specializes in flying aerial photography missions, and always flies at special airport events including the Plane Pull each year.  I've flown with him several times previously; he is always exactly on point in getting the footage and images needed.  This time I was not only tasked with covering the Plane Pull, but also surveying progress and future sites of Metro's Silver Line.  I am combining the two flights below, without the Silver Line survey photos I needed.

PS: Steve and his crew know how to have fun (while being safe).

While in the air, I also shot some video; this was mostly for fun.  I don't claim to be a videographer, and I shot this handheld with an unstabilized camera / lens.  Bussman Aviation does have a huge outfit of aerial video equipment such as gyros and camera pods, but this is unnecessary for still photography.

Once back on terra firma, I spotted some plane spotters - there's no telling if someone is new or seasoned, because everyone is a plane spotter on Dulles Day.  Visitors are allowed right up to Zulu's taxiway threshold, containing active vehicular traffic; not far away is T/W Y and R/W 1C / 19C, which are both active to ground and air traffic.  This safely brings people within unprecedented proximity to the active airfield, and allows everyone to get very close photographs of aircraft landings and departures.  Air Traffic Control and air carriers all coordinate to try and direct as much traffic onto the center runway adjacent the Plane Pull (without creating disruption to regular air service) for patrons to spectate to their hearts content.

Spotters were treated to an up-close view of Air France's A380 landing, as well as aircraft from Air China, Aeroflot, British Airways, Lufthansa, ANA, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and of course domestic carriers including United, American Airlines, and Southwest.

Of course, the runway isn't the only place to spot aircraft.  Almost 50 modern and vintage aircraft were on display, with many open to the public to hop in and check out for themselves.

22.jpg

Of course there is also Dunk-A-Cop; wildly popular with the kids.  This officer was having a great time.

Kids can pull too!  Get training while young - kids can try their hand at pulling a 123 Junk truck.

Back to the Plane Pull!  I unfortunately *just* missed the 8x defending champions, the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office pulling.  I *saw* them pull, but didn't get there in time to photograph, walking back from my second helo flight - due to other teams being delayed, Chesapeake was moved up 30 minutes from their 4PM scheduled pull time I expected.

If you see just one team pull, this is the team to see.  Spoiler: They successfully defended their title for Fastest Pull (and Heaviest Team) for the 8th straight year.

At the end of the day, after all teams had pulled, it was time for the award ceremony, with trophies for awards such as "Most Money Raised," and superlatives like, "Best Dressed Team."

After the public had left, aircraft began spooling up and departing.  Another wonderful and successful Dulles Day Plane Pull comes to a close.  Here's to another great one in 2015!

Behind the Scenes

Dulles Day is a massive event that takes months of planning and non-stop coordinated logistics.  I have to thank everyone at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority who continually ensures I have the access I need to cover all aspects of detailed airport events.  I especially have to thank my friends in Airport Operations, who are immensely helpful in working hot, and zipping me from one side of the airfield to the other (for those of you wondering, runways do NOT have speed limits).

Furthermore, the hardworking MWAA Police also deserve thanks for keeping everyone safe, and helping organize such a wonderful event.

And of course a big thanks to Pilot Steve Bussman for being so helpful in flying and helping me capture the aerial views of Dulles.  Here he is flying over the 5K / 10K.

Of course flying near an active event gets you attention, so I have to thank photographer Dave Hallock for capturing some great shots of me flying over the event as he was visiting the Plane Pull.  Check out his work here.

Even cooler than my in-flight selfie.

I also ran into John, a fellow photographer and aviation enthusiast with the FAA who has enjoyed many events at Dulles, including several Discover Dulles events such as The Solar Impulse.  Here he is photographing his brother during the 5K.

And finally there's Dennis.  Everyone at Dulles knows Dennis; he's always smiling, and is a customer service whiz.  Here he is trading punches with Marty with Airport Operations.  He and I traded photos as the Plane Pull drew to a close; the trophy is from his son's team, and will be on display in the school's display case.

The 2014 Dulles Day Plane Pull and 5K / 10K was amazing.  Surely nobody can wait until 2015's; I know I can't.

Brussels Airlines at Dulles

Brussels Airlines is proud to announce new daily service to Washington Dulles International Airport. On June 18th, 2013, Brussels Airlines' Inaugural Flight landed at Dulles, and was welcomed with a water arch at the gate.  As the aircraft taxied, the pilots displayed the Belgium and American flags to mark the newly formed air route.

All photos may be viewed here.

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As we were waiting for Brussels' aircraft to arrive, I captured this interesting photo of British Airways departing.

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After the speeches and ribbon cutting, there was a small reception with champagne and cake in the Lufthansa First Class Lounge.

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With just a 6 hour turnaround time, Brussels' first flight out of Washington departed.  Every passenger was presented with a box of Belgian chocolates as they boarded the flight.

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