Instrument Approaches: 2009
Instrument Approach #1, Runway 36R, Wind Calm
Instrument Approach #2, Runway 36R, Winds from 133 @ 8 Knots
Instrument Approach #3, Runway 36R, Winds from 090 @ 15 Knots Gusting to 20 Knots
Instrument Approach #4, Runway 36R, Winds from 080 @ 17 Knots Gusting to 30 Knots
Toned Silver Gelatin Prints, 3"x3"
These silver gelatin prints were derived from a reenactment of an instrument approach into Runway 36R at Charlotte/Douglas International by a flight piloted by my father on January 5th, 2009. I replicated the ILS procedure four times in a flight simulator in four different weather conditions ranging from calm to rough with heavy variable winds (similar to the conditions of my fathers actual flight). The activities were filmed and then imported into the computer for further processing. Screen captures of the instrument panel were made in ten second increments, and the Omni-directional Bearing Selector was further cropped in each frame. This instrument is a critical indicator of the planes position vertically and horizontally in space while navigating to the ground in the blind. When the cross hairs remain centered, a successful approach to landing is assured. The mapping of the fluctuation of the indicator needles while flying each approach became the source material used to create the respective photographic abstractions.
This highly procedural activity, involving total reliance on the interpretation of mechanical instruments, may be merely routine, or it may require emotional composure, undivided focus, impromptu decision-making, and delicate hand and foot movements. Due to the procedural qualities of such exercises, it is fitting their latitude be interpreted, through these four photographic representations, as somewhat narrow. However, the required emotional composure and delicacy of judgment is maintained through soft abstraction.
Watch a video depicting the omni-directional bearing selector of one flight. These screen shots were used to create darkroom printing masks which were the guidance for light exposures made in the darkroom.