A chat in the TROOPER room backstage in Cape Town signalled a 48 hour maelstrom for several committed individuals to pull off a dramatic air-to-air photo shoot of Ed Force One over the stunning backdrop of Table Mountain.
Professional photographer & journalist David ‘Devo’ Oosthuizen was explaining just how excited he was at the opportunity to photograph Maiden on stage that night in his home country of South Africa when he casually mentioned his collaboration with Cape Town Aviation photographer Justin De Reuck could result in the ultimate photo of what is fast becoming the most photographed Boeing 747 in the world!!
After several phone calls a planning meeting with (most importantly) Capt. Bruce Dickinson, his colleagues on the flight deck and the pilot of the Piper Seneca II that would shadow us was pulled together and the logistics were worked out for capturing the flight to Johannesburg the next day.
Justin’s team took the doors off their plane for better visibility and comms were set up with Bruce & the flight deck on Ed Force One
FlightRadar24 quickly asked what was happening to flight CCC666 as it was mapped it circling Table Mountain more than once en route to Jo’burg.
Now we can reveal the photo that was taken that day along with a shot of all the people (& the plane) involved in making a little bit of history on the back of Maiden’s first trip to South Africa in 21 years and indelibly stamped Bruce’s first ever visit to the country. “The photos look stunning”, agreed Bruce viewing them on the ground in Jo'burg ahead of the show at Carnival Lawns, “it was a great experience for me & the flight deck! Obviously the most important element was safety and we conducted a very thorough briefing the night prior to the flight with all the integral parties. I was very happy to have 3 crew on the flight deck with me - one who had comms with the Seneca & then 3 pairs of eyes to look at every angle! I have to tell you that I can’t take any credit for the piloting of manuevres as auto-pilot was engaged throughout the shoot and the bank angle never exceeded 30 degrees at any point! Add to that we were both in touch with Cape Town Radar at all times. It was very professional from start to finish and was a real thrill for me. Next time I’m down there though I want the guys to see if that Lightning is still operating – I’d love to fly that & have Justin & David capture it!”.
Ed Force One by Table Mountain.
Justin De Reuck and pilot Andre Groenewald in the Piper Seneca II.
Ground Control! L-R Captain Magnus Magnusson (Air Atlanta), pilot Andre Groenewald (CFI Cape Town Flight Training Centre), Justin De Reuck (aviation photographer),
Bruce(!), David ‘Devo’ Oosthuizen (photographer & photo-journalist)
Courtesy of FlightRadar24