Belly-flop photo wins award
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.
AWARD WINNER: The belly landing photograph of the Timaru to Wellington flight has won international recognition.