Photograph by John Moore—Getty Images
“I sped out to the airport, met up with my charter pilot and we set off in a Robinson R-44 Raven II helicopter into a stiff headwind for the 45 minute flight to the ‘target,’ as he put it,” photographer John Moore tells TIME. He was on assignment for Getty Images on May 14, 2013, tasked with shooting aerial photographs of the iconic JetStar roller coaster in Seaside Heights, New Jersey; now slated for demolition more than six months after Hurricane Sandy had “tossed it in the Atlantic Ocean.”
“I had originally planned to fly later in the afternoon, a little closer to sunset, for the best light,” Moore says, until a tip came in from Getty staff photographer Mark Wilson, who was shooting the scene from the ground, that “the crane was making quick work of it and that I’d better hurry and get up in the air before it was all gone.”
“We flew in circles over the scene for about 25 minutes at varying altitudes, hoping to get a moment when the crane would lift a large piece of the debris from the surf,” he says. The photograph above, featured in this week’s issue of TIME and in LightBox Pictures of the Week, was made “from a height of about 500 feet, shot in the mid-afternoon with a high shutter speed in order to eliminate any possible camera shake from the helicopter.”
“You can see the beach of the Jersey Shore stretching northward, much of it, unlike the jagged pier, restored ahead of the upcoming tourist season, which begins anew with Memorial Day Weekend,” Moore adds. “Local business owners and residents hope the tourist income will help Seaside Heights get back to normal after Sandy’s cruel seas washed so much of their community away.”
See more of this week’s best photos on LightBox.