Reserve Citizen Airmen cross the moon

Melbourne, Florida photographer Michael Seeley spends a ton of time looking at the moon, but says it's the first time he happened to catch an airplane-lunar transit early in April 2018. After capturing the shot, he got in touch with the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office to share the photo. Upon close inspection you can see the loading ramp was open while the Reserve Citizen Airmen piloting the HC-130N on a local training mission crossed the moon. (Photo courtesy Michael Seeley)

Melbourne, Florida photographer Michael Seeley spends a ton of time looking at the moon, but says it's the first time he happened to catch an airplane-lunar transit early in April 2018. After capturing the shot, he got in touch with the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office to share the photo. Upon close inspection you can see the loading ramp was open while the Reserve Citizen Airmen piloting the HC-130N on a local training mission crossed the moon. (Photo courtesy Michael Seeley)

Melbourne, Florida photographer, Michael Seeley, loves shooting the moon. One night, he got an unexpected surprise when Reserve Citizen Airmen seemingly photobombed his moonshot as they crossed its path during a local flight training mission.

Using a 100-400mm L-series Canon lens, Seeley was out taking photos of the moon early in April 2018, like he does on many nights from his backyard. When he looked to the north and saw a 920th Rescue Wing HC-130N King aircraft 'a good 90 seconds away'. He said he thought about running into the house to grab a different camera for a closer shot, but was afraid he'd miss it. He wasn't sure it would cross the moon so he just stood there watching with his 3-year-old daughter whose middle name happens to be Luna. When he got the shot, she and him were so excited they high-fived. "I couldn't believe it!" said Seeley. "It was just amazing to see."

Reserve Citizen Airmen from 920th RQW operate six HC-130N King refueling aircraft from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, and train locally, day and night, in preparation for worldwide combat-search and-rescue missions. The aircraft are used to refuel the wing's HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters on long-range rescue mission, as well as to insert Guardian Angel Airmen into remote locations to perform life-saving rescue missions. 

Upon close inspection, one can see the loading ramp is open as Seeley pointed out. "I was just trying to shoot the 89% illuminated waxing gibbous moon through the trees."