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 Photo call Wittmund:


Sun bathing at JG71s home base

On the 4th of August Jagt Geschwader 71 organised a day for aviation photographers just like last year. Unlike last year the weather was more than good. Under a blue sky and temperatures running upto 30 degrees Celcius they dished up an excellent static display of German Air Force, Army and Navy aircraft. In addition to this, also a based Skyhawk form BAE Systems Flight Systems was on display.

Some 200 enthusiasts showed up for the event. After the check in at Wittmund barracks we were taken to the base by four coaches. These coaches stuck with us during the entire visit, driving on and off from the static display to the tower. This resulted in shots from different spots. Besides the mentioned static aircraft we could also take pictures from the aircraft taxying to the treshold for departure. This was also the spot for touch down pictures from landing Phantoms.

The static display consisted of a UH-1D, a CH-53G and an EC-135 from Buckeburg, a Br1150 and a Lynx from the Navy. Of course two JG71 Phantoms and one of the four based Skyhawks. Furthermore two special coloured Tornados, one from JBG38 and one from JBG33 with a brand new colour scheme. During the morning hours some 10 F-4Fs flew a local mission. Short missions, only lasting for half an hour. This all resulted in a variety of photo oppertunities. A big thank you for everyone on base who made this all possible, great job!

Dispite all the good work and intentions from the organisation, there was one thing which was kind of dissapointing. For shots towards the runway, we had to face the sun all the time. When the visit ended at 13.15 hours, we were transported back to the barracks again. From there we decided not to go home yet but to spend some time near the fence outside the base.

Just like Hopsten, the fence is parallel and very close to the runway (200-300mm!). But the major difference with Hopsten is that Wittmund has a east-west runway which makes it good for photography the entire day. Hopsten has a north-south runway, that allowes pictures only during the morning hours.

So we spend a few more hours along the fence. There was lots of activity in this holiday period. Another 12 Phantoms went out for a 30 minute mission while also two Skyhawks departed not returning after a mission of one and a half hour! Shortly after they arrived, the last two F-4s of the afternoon missions landded. This was the moment to pack our gear and head for a 350 kilometer journy home again. Looking forward to next years event at Wittmund!




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Fred & Maurice 2001-2008