Belly-flop photo wins award

The Timaru Herald - - Local And National -

A Marl­bor­ough Ex­press pho­tog­ra­pher’s dra­matic pho­to­graph of the Ti­maru to Welling­ton plane mak­ing a belly-flop land­ing at Wood­bourne Air­port has won in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion.

Derek Flynn’s pho­to­graph was named avi­a­tion pho­to­graph of the year at the an­nual Aus­tralia/New Zealand Avi­a­tion Press Awards in Syd­ney at the week­end.

Mr Flynn’s pho­to­graph showed an Ea­gle Air Beech 1900D skid­ding along the run­way with 17 peo­ple on board on June 18 af­ter its land­ing gear failed to come down. The photo cap­tured pieces of pro­pel­ler and other shrap­nel be­ing flung from the air­craft.

Te­muka wo­man Natasha Frisby who was go­ing to Welling­ton for a con­fer­ence said the land­ing was not too bad and the pilot han­dled it very well.

‘‘We had to get into the brace po­si­tion be­fore we landed and there was a huge bang and some­thing broke off and we were down.

Within an hour of the land­ing, Mr Flynn’s photo ap­peared on Fair­fax Me­dia’s Stuff web­site. It soon graced the front page of seven New Zealand news­pa­pers and ap­peared in in­ter­na­tional me­dia in­clud­ing the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald and the BBC in the United King­dom.

Mr Flynn said where he was stand­ing at the air­port was a long way from where the plane did the wheels-up land­ing and he used a 300mm tele­photo lens to zoom in.

‘‘From there it was just a ques­tion of wait­ing for it to come in to land, and keep­ing a fin­ger on the shut­ter,’’ Mr Flynn said.

‘‘There was only that split sec­ond when the props sheered off that re­ally made the pho­to­graph.’’

Mr Flynn and Marl­bor­ough Ex­press chief pho­tog­ra­pher Scott Ham­mond were the only two me­dia pho­tog­ra­phers present dur­ing the land­ing.

‘‘It’s one of those things where you’re in the right place at the right time. It was ob­vi­ously good that it made a nice pic­ture and ev­ery­one got out safely,’’ Mr Flynn said.

Mr Flynn said he and Do­min­ion Post pho­tog­ra­pher Andrew Gorrie, who re­ceived a com­men­da­tion for his photo of a glider, were the only New Zealand pho­tog­ra­phers to be recog­nised from 32 en­tries.

The pho­to­graphs were based on their orig­i­nal­ity, com­po­si­tion and im­pact and abil­ity to tell a story.

Fair­fax Welling­ton

AWARD WIN­NER: The belly land­ing pho­to­graph of the Ti­maru to Welling­ton flight has won in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion.

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