Ray Hanna 28 August 1928 - 1 December 2005

Those who photograph aeroplanes for pleasure will be all too familiar with the difficulty of capturing the air show debutante which is constantly surrounded by admiring spectators. On the rare occasion when the light is perfect and the aeroplane is unimpeded, the simple act of raising one's camera will cause spectators to gravitate from every corner of the aerodrome. Such was my predicament at Warbirds Over Wanaka in April 2004 when I was attempting to photograph the magnificent Lavochkin La-9. Having waited patiently, I was finally rewarded with that rare opportunity. On raising my camera to seize the moment, although the anticipated stampede did not eventuate, one solitary gentleman did walk around from behind the aeroplane - and stop between subject and camera. I was about to resume my patient waiting when I realised that this was not your average air show spectator. This was Ray Hanna and he was patiently waiting for me to take his photo. Ray Hanna touched many lives. This is how he touched mine. Thank you Mr. Hanna.