BZ's SF Fleetweek '10 -- United 747

Photo Gallery

The United Airlines 747 made a repeat appearance at Fleet Week this year, and made an even bigger stir than before! Seems that CNN picked up on some zoomed in video footage and all sorts of people are screaming about how dangerous and reckless it was for the 747 to fly so close to the bridge. It's really just a case of the long zoom lens appearing to compress the distance between the far objects (plane and the bridge). The 747 was never very close to the bridge at all!
Nikon D300 w/ 150-500mm Sigma OS lens - Bernard Zee


United flew their biggest plane, the Boeing 747-400, at the Fleet Week air show.


After the first past, he circled around for another go with the gear down.


Turning in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, the huge 747 looks smallish in comparison. It's probably this view which had people thinking the jet was 'dangerously' close to the bridge and what a 'foolhardy stunt' it was. But really, it's just an optical illusion due to the zoom, and because the plane and bridge are both so far away! Same principle with a big zoom shot of a far away city skyline and the moon. The moon looks much bigger and seems so much closer, but that's not the case.


Yes, sailboat masts for the 747 too.


It's not too often you get a 747 to fly directly overhead like this. At least not in the Bay area!


You only get this awesome view if you're on the water though! Got a note from Merle Silverman identifying the pilot for the Saturday flight as her husband George Silverman. George also flew as the co-pilot on the Friday and Sunday flight.


Here's the side view showing off the United colors.


The westward pass has the plane in a 'clean' configuration and going pretty fast. I really wish it would go lower for a more dramatic picture, but he pulled up soon after. :-)


Here's the head on view from the boat.


And right over.


Then he's off and back to SFO.


BZ SF Fleetweek 2010 Gallery Index