46 Tons of Fun


Yield to500_MG_1157

I had been looking forward to Saturday for a while.

Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of partnering with the Special Olympics of New Jersey and the Port Authority of New Jersey/New York to shoot a “plane pull.”

What’s a plane pull you ask? Well, teams of up to 20 individuals grab a thick yellow nylon rope and try to a pull a 93,000 lb (46 ton) Continental 737 12 feet.

You would think that this would take hours, maybe days. Nope. Concentrated individuals working together manager to do it in eight seconds or less. Think the winners of the “fastest pull” did it in like five seconds.


It was a really cool event and I was happy when Lyn Schindel, Director of Law Enforcement Marketing at Special Olympics New Jersey, contacted me to do this. I first met Lyn back on January 1, at the Polar Bear Plunge in Asbury Park. Then she kindly let me shoot the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge run in April. But I knew this plane pull would be super cool to shoot.

First, how many times do you get to see normal size (well, except for one dude), try to pull a 737? Second, how many times do you get to hang out on the runway of Newark Liberty International Airport? Third, it’s for a great cause. ‘Nuff said.

Lyn, bless her heart, has a knack for getting me up early on a Saturday morning and putting me and my camera in cool situations to shoot.

This was a great event with a great turnout. Over 40 teams participated, and I think they raised over $75,000 for the Special Olympics of New Jersey. Standing O for all of them.

Granted, it got challenging for me though. Over 40 teams kinda doing the same thing…pulling a plane. Lyn gave me free reign to just rove and shoot. I decided to do it photojournalistically…look for the expressions, the details, the things that would make this one special.

Ended up shooting over 500 frames and I’m still going through them. But I think I caught some good ones…




Just trying to get my camera in a new place as best as I could. Also still getting to know the 50D a bit, and seeing how it performs. I’m liking what I see though.


Still, for as fun as it was for me, the real hightlight of the day was watching how some of the most special athletes performed. They stepped up, grabbed that yellow rope and yanked for all they were worth. That’s who this event was all about, it was really special to see so many people get up early on a chilly tarmac and give it their all for them. I was just proud to be small part of it. There’s a lot of good out there in the world.

young boy smile500_MG_1135

© Mark V. Krajnak 2009 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 or PSE6 and Nik Software

6 thoughts on “46 Tons of Fun

  1. Knew we were lucky to have you on our team pulling for us through the lens of your camera. Your photos are just as I had hoped they would be: fresh, creative, spirited. Great job, Mark. Glad you enjoyed the experience. Thanks so much for making the time.

  2. The guy in the kilt is great.

    I am not brave when it comes to shooting like this. I always worry that people will get mad or self-conscious, which is totally how I feel when I see a photographer around. Unless I’ve been specifically asked to shoot something, I am still pretty timid when it comes to this.

  3. Pingback: Pictures That Move « JerseyStyle Photography Blog

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