“He went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8
“Have you ever ‘gone out’ in this way?” is the question asked by Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest (for January 2 in an updated edition edited by James Reimann). I know that many have felt this way. Dwight David Eisenhower observed at the advent of June 6, 1944 allied invasion of France, that “it doesn’t matter how well you plan; nothing ever goes according to plan.” As I heard more recently, (and in April’s ‘Big Move’ from sanctuary to gym), “Life is what happens after you develop a plan.”
This is when you can develop a feel, or sense, for God’s provision in life. Last Friday, three of us made a twelve-hour trip to Columbia River Park in Kennewick, Washington as four Unlimited and a couple GP class hydroplanes were holding a test session on the course before the first race of the season (June 12 at Guntersville, Alabama). My mission was to photograph the boats and trailers so we can design and position structures properly on the lighter weight Unlimited class display boat, which will be light enough to tow with a standard pickup, much lighter than the ‘normal’ 14,000 lbs. of boat and trailer. We did accomplish that mission, and more. I visited with the commercial drone pilot, a multimedia designer with i3Global, who was flying a DJI Inspire over the course, getting great footage on the inside of Turn 1, not to mention several of the owners I’d met on arrival day at an earlier HAPO Air & Water Show at that park, and folks from the Speed Museum in Seattle. Those four F-18D Hornets from MCAS Miramar were taxiing around when we returned to the airport, so after unloading the 2018 Road Trek RV, I drove around to Resort Aviation Jet Center where I photographed the jets and a couple other airplanes pulled out to pose next to the visitors. The manager and two of the line guys were there, and so I got filled in on their cross-country RON (Remain Over Night). Depart the hangar at 0545, return at 1745 and arrive home at 1900 or 7:00 p.m. Long day, and since I didn’t go to school, it felt like a Saturday. More “not knowing where I was going” happened Saturday morning as I walked out on the infield Grass to photograph the F-18s taking off at 10 a.m. A white Airport Office pickup with flashing strobe was out watching (over?) things, and I watched it turn and drive toward me. Phil (Operations Manager) leaned out the window and said, “Hop in!” “That’s great, Phil, but you have to unlock the power doors first.” So we drove out on the parallel taxiway, and I shot the first three as they took off, staying low to build up airspeed as they sucked up the gear and made a right turn out heading south. No, they weren’t very noisy as we were so close that our exposure was very brief.
Wow! I saw a hydroplane running 189 miles per hour Friday, then VMFAT-101 (Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101) F-18D two-seat Hornets the next morning. That’s why I feel like “I experienced ‘Speed Week’ in a day.” You just never know what will happen when you “go out, not knowing…”
Charlie Branch (Training airplanes are used, and look like it!)