Encountering A C-17 Near The Mountain Top

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “C-17 Globemaster III 111419 A” all of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

My big blue truck rolls through the access road to my day job. The road crosses a ridge that’s near the airport and national guard base so I’m used to seeing all types of aircraft in the area. What I didn’t expect was a large military jet that was so close to the mountain top that it was almost in my lane. ( Not really, it was just an optical illusion. ) I quickly whipped the truck off road and jumped out with my lens. The C-17 Globemaster III was low. Really low. For a moment I wondered if it was going to come down in the empty field to my left. Then it turned and was heading straight for me.

Image Titled C-17 Globemaster III 111419 B

It’s an every day occurrence for the massive C-130s to fly over and shake the ground as they thunder along skimming the treetops. But this the first encounter I’ve had with a C-17. The large jet just seemed to float as it banked and began to drop altitude. By the time it was directly overhead it felt like I could just reach out an touch it.


The jet has a 170 foot wingspan, is about 174 feet long and cruises at 450 knots. As close as it was I expected to be in the jet wash but it didn’t so much as shake a leaf as it sailed through over my head.

In the late 70s and early 80s the air national guard would practice maneuvers over the farm and the odd sonic boom would rattle the windows. But this behemoth moved like it was an airborne whale with a graceful purpose as it continued it’s turn and floated down on the base.


As big plane settled below the horizon I knew it was time for the big blue truck to follow suite and proceed to the parking lot to rest while I work.

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8 thoughts on “Encountering A C-17 Near The Mountain Top

    1. My camera that I like the most is my Cannon T5. My EDC camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 that has a lot of mileage on it. In fact, it’s well past it life expectancy and showing signs of wanting to retire. It’s the one I took this photo with. It’s only a 8 megapixel but it’s lica optics are going to be hard to give up.
      I carry it because it’s point and shoot so it’s always ready to go.
      Then some of my photos are taken with my Samsung Galaxy 6 Active. I like it for its HDR function and panoramic ability.

      I have been known to shoot a subject with all 3 then select the best version for publication. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It depends, manual modes are awesome when you are the perfect distance from the subject and have the time it takes to measure the light levels,set the exposure and ISO etc. Great for studio work. But if you’re trying to capture a Cardnial on a branch he’s gonna be gone by the time you snap the shutter. So, I use the automation but try to maintain my skills in manual for those times when I have a specific need to use manual modes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I can see you are right. My main thing with this camera is shooting events and people for work. I handed my camera to an 18 year old when I had my hands full and somehow all of her photos had a brilliance and clarity that mine lacked.

        I’m still smarting over that!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The 130s are prop driven and they really make a racket but the C-17 didn’t seem to be any louder than the civilian jets. Both planes reverse engines when they land and that gets pretty loud. At Christmas the Marines brought in an A-10 to transport the “Toys for Tots” donations and those make a lot of thunder too.


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