I went to my birthplace Nw. Nickerie today. It’s a 3,5 hour drive from Paramaribo where I live now. It’s been more than 6 years since I last went there so it was about time. I stayed for about 5 hours and then came back to Paramaribo. I had to go for work related stuff. While I was there, I used the opportunity to visit the local airstrip in the afternoon. They have some Ag-Cats (agricultural aircraft first built by Grumman, now by Schweizer) there and I was planning to take some pictures. As we were nearing the airstrip, I saw one of the planes landing in the distance, and I got all excited. I didn’t expect them to be working at that time, but this meant I could take even better pictures.
You have to understand that I am crazy about the Ag-Cat. I grew up with some kind of obsession with them. I love airplanes and flying in general, but I have additional special feelings for the Ag-Cat. You probably know the feeling a kid in highschool gets when he sees the girl he has a crush on walk up to him. Multiply that by at least 10, and you have the feeling I get when I see a real Ag-Cat in front of me.
So seeing one of the planes land in the distance, I went absolutely crazy. As soon as we arrived I got out of the car, grabbed my camera and ran up to the plane. They were busy loading it up again with fertilizer or rice seeds (I didn’t really pay attention to what it was because I was too busy admiring the plane).
- Ag-Cat — The design is just beautiful. You can see the pilot and the workers looking at me wondering who I am and why I’m acting so crazy. While it may not look that way in the pictures, the engine was on and idle all the time.
- Ag-Cat — Busy loading up the plane.
- Ag-Cat — Still loading. The pilot seems to be relaxing and enjoying the break.
- Ag-Cat — A peek at the dashboard.
- Ag-Cat — After about 10 minutes it was loaded up and ready to go. The pilot is looking around making sure all is clear and applies thrust. The sight and sound made my heart beat so much faster.
- Ag-Cat — Turning around and heading for the runway.
- Ag-Cat — Taxiing to the end of the runway. (I actually followed the plane on to the runway.)
- Ag-Cat — Turned around and now applying full thrust.
- Ag-Cat — Picking up speed quickly. The noise was incredible as I backed away from the runway.
- Ag-Cat — Simply awesome.
- Ag-Cat — Beginning to lift up from the ground.
- Ag-Cat — And away he goes. Beeee-youtiful!
- Ag-Cat — Another one that’s being worked on in a hangar nearby.
- Ag-Cat — Even more Ag-Cats with the most common colors (yellow/gray).
This alone made my trip worth it. For the next few minutes I was totally high from the experience; my driver must have thought I lost it. I want to go back soon and spend more time there and take more and better pictures.
And that’s it. I’m still very high from all of this, so I think it’s best if I go lie down right now and take some rest.
Update: If anyone from Microsoft reads this, please get this plane into the next version of Flightsimulator!
Update: We now have a very realistic Ag-Cat model for Flight Simulator!!
Update July 10, 2010: If you want to see the exact same airplane above in action right where I made these pictures, check this video on YouTube!