Funny you should ask! Giant Killer or what we like to call "SA killer" is Naval ATC that deals with the multiple Warning Areas off the coast along the eastern seaboard. These pics were taken in their airspace. They are often very hard to get a hold of and after multiple freq's and establishing contact, they still won't provide you with a good clear picture of all the activity in these areas (which is a lot!). My crew was talking about it last night and figure they put their new students as controllers here to gain experience.
Ill have to check into that lens. Your pics inspired me to lug the equipment on the jet. I was having trouble exposing both inside and out as well as you did. I had to wait until almost sunset to get the right lighting. I'm sure as a novice, I just didn't know the right settings to try.
Interesting. I tried contacting them once for some reason or another and couldn't get a reply. I figured they were ignoring little ole me, but it seems that you guys have to deal with it too.
As for the pictures, try manual settings. I notice you used Auto mode. For your Canon, go to M on the dial. Set your aperture to something like f8, or if the light is fading, go to something closer to 4. Don't go less than 4. You'll notice that certain parts of the panel are out of focus because the Auto mode selected f4 for you. The smaller the f number, the narrower your depth of focus. You focused on a certain point, and as you get further away from that point, things begin to blur.
After you have that set, point the camera outside very near the brightest part of your subject; the sky and the sun in this case. Press the shutter half way down and get a light meter reading. Thats the little dashed horizontal line on the bottom of the viewfinder. Adjust your shutter speed so that the pointer is near the middle of the scale. In bright sunlight, it'll probably be upwards of 1/1000. In low light, it may approach 1/15. Unfortunately, you're not ready to fire the shutter yet...
The challenge you'll face most of the time is the speed at which your flash output will sync with your camera settings. Obviously, for the same light conditions, the faster your shutter speed, the more light you'll need from your flash to fill the dark areas. Most flashes won't sync at shutter speeds any higher than 1/250. So, if you meter the outside light and you need anything higher than 1/250 to center the light meter, your flash will not know that it needs to put out enough light to fill the shadows. The way to fix that is to use a smaller aperture (larger f number) so that you get the shutter speed you want. Smaller aperture means less light entering the sensor and you need a slower shutter speed to compensate.
After all that is set, make sure the flash is in ETTL mode (I assume you have a 430 or 530 EX flash). This will take the guesswork out of the output of the flash.
Lastly, the ISO is another method of controlling the light meter. In good light, you'll want to use ISO 100 or 200. In fading light, ISO 400 or 800. When it is just about dark, you may have to bump it up to ISO 1600 or 3200 (if your camera has it). Unfortunately, the higher the ISO, the more digital noise you will see in the image. However, IF you get the exposure right, the noise may be less noticeable. There is also software that will run algorithms on the image to reduce the noise and retain the image. As you can imagine, upping the ISO is the last thing you want to do to get a shot. However, the old saying is that "a noisy shot is better than no shot at all".
Something to consider:
Say that you have metered a scene and determined that you need a shutter speed of 1/500 at f8 and ISO 200.
You can get the EXACT same exposure by changing the shutter speed to 1/250 and changing the aperture to f11.
Starting back at your original settings, you can again get the exact same exposure by changing the ISO to 400, increasing the shutter speed to 1/1000, and keeping the aperture at f8.
The pictures I snapped the other day started at f8 and 1/100 but as the sun went down, I first opted for a slower shutter speed. With the wide angle lens, you can hand hold down to about 1/40 without worrying about camera shake. As I approached that number, I started stopping down the aperture toward f4. By the time we landed, I was down to f4 and 1/30. Most of those, however, turned out slightly blurry and without a lot of detail away from the focal point due to the narrow DOF. I was a little too busy with landing checklists to really worry though.
Hope this helps, and sorry if you already knew all this. Be prepared for this to become a slight addiction.