An aerial photo from INCOG captured a great shot of a U.S. Air Force plane flying low over Tulsa.
Tulsa attorney Tom Ferguson was studying an INCOG photo when he noticed a U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry AWACS plane near the center of the picture.
The Indian Nations Council of Governments is an association of local and tribal governments in and around the Tulsa metropolitan area. Kurt Bickle, who manages maps and graphics for INCOG, says the organization has aerial photos taken of Tulsa County every two years.
Bickle says several government agencies pay for the photos, which the groups use for all kinds of purposes, including keeping tabs on development and for legal issues. This batch was taken in March.
Military jets come to Tulsa often to practice landings and takeoffs. As News On 6 has reported numerous times over the years, Tulsa International Airport is popular with crews of large military jets because it has a 10,000-foot runway and its airspace is uncrowded.
The military flight crews have to get a certain number of landings and takeoffs every month in order to stay in practice, so they come to Tulsa and do a lot of touch-and-goes in a short period of time.
INCOG says the airplane that takes its aerials photos usually flies at 4,600 feet, which is relatively low and also explains why the AWACS jet is so clear in the shot.
The photo was taken by EagleView under its trademarked pictometry imagery.
AWACS stands for Airborne Warning and Control System. The airplane is a Boeing 707 fitted with all kinds of electronic sensors, including a huge radome which is the large disc that resembles a Frisbee on top of the fuselage.
In the INCOG photo, the airplane has just crossed 61st Street between Sheridan and Memorial as it heads north to Tulsa International Airport. The image also captured the old Shadow Mountain Racquet Club building being demolished behind the QuikTrip.