Hanna (1928-2005) with the Lavochkin La-9 at Wanaka in April 2004.
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.