A Photographer’s Story: What It Was Like Being Up in the Air Watching Mount St. Helens Explode

Posted by photographer Brad Zucroff, a member of the United Press International friends:

Forty years ago today, at exactly 08:32 a.m. PDT, Mount St. Helens exploded, directly killing 57 people, changing the lives of thousands, and changing the landscape of the Pacific Northwest forever. The volcano’s explosion has been estimated at the force of 24 million sticks of dynamite. Everything, natural or artificial, within an 8 mile radius was ether vaporized, obliterated or carried away. About 20 minutes after the initial explosion, this was the view through a 35mm f/2 lens on a motorized Nikon F out the missing door of the Bell 206 I was flying in as a staff photographer for United Press International, as we initially approached the volcano from the southwest.