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Two Stratotankers

Fri, 23 Dec 2011, 12:25 AM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

I looked out across the runway and saw five Stratotankers sitting in a row. And a sixth in a hanger. They quietly sat there on the far side of the airfield as commercial planes came and went.

As I stood at the window of the terminal, two of the jets began to move.

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Together they left their parked positions and taxied slowly to the end of the runway. As commercial jets landed, they waited to take off.

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And when they were next on the runway, they turned and began to roll toward the terminal.

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But KC-135s are big planes, and they need a lot of runway, so I figured that from where I was standing, they would just roll by, and I would miss them climbing into the air.

So as the first one turned, I dashed to the other side of gate 12 to another set of floor-to-ceiling windows. And lo, the first jet came roaring past and pulled its nose into the air, just as a Southwest 737 taxied by.

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And then the second one followed the first.

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Snap. Snap. Snap. My camera fired off rapid shots, catching them as they took off.

Am I allowed to do this? Is someone going to tap me on the shoulder and tell me to stop? Is this a breach of security? Don’t laugh. I’ve been told to put my camera down before as I took pictures out the window of a plane.┬áSo I’m wondering and half expecting a reprimand.

But none comes.

The jets take off. I take my pictures. An elderly man several seats down talks to a friend about KC-135s and points out the window. And I put my camera away.

My father took me to the airport, I am told, when I was very young. He took me to watch the airplanes, and I suppose my future was determined from those moments. I have always loved watching airplanes and being in airport terminals with great, broad windows looking out on the airfield, permitting a luxurious view of the takeoffs and landings.

And today was no exception. I stood there at the window watching the airplanes as they rolled by and took off and landed. As others around me ate hurried lunches or listened to music or watched the overhead television sets, my attention was directed outside.

My dad is responsible for this.

But I feel like I did something wrong taking those pictures as those tankers took off. I feel as if there was some kind of rule that I broke.

How sad is it that?

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License