June 03, 2007

AirFest Sunday

The day began with lousy weather, and flip-flopped between lousy and great. It rained, there was blue sky, there was thunder... very weird.

All of which made me decide to stay inside for most of the day. But not for the Blue Angels, oh no. 320pm, I was out in the middle of the field.

There was almost no wind, and the sky was blue... over the airport. Where I was standing, though, it was dark, and further towards the east it was almost black. I figured that the Angels would fly their "low" show (yesterday was the "flat" show)... and I was right. Almost everything they did was higher today than yesterday. I heard them take off (from almost five miles away), and got ready...
...all all hell broke loose.
How a fighter jet can sneak up on you is entirely beyond me, but this one did... and he was on a speed run towards the airport. I'm actually happy to have gotten this picture, because he wasn't in sight very long.

Clicky for more! A few minutes passed, and while I could hear them flying around nearby, they were further to the north, behind trees and apartment buildings. It was about time, though... and sure enough, here comes one of the solos. He's banked, and I realized "Hey, this guy is going to be going directly over me!"

And he did! In a 90 degree bank, he goes right over me, low, at high speed. And I mean RIGHT over me! I had a perfect side profile of him, and I could even clearly see the pilot in his cockpit. A perfect camera shot.

I missed it. A fastball right over the plate, and I whiffed on it. I did get this, though:
Consolation Prize...

As he flew away with a deafening roar, every car alarm in the apartment complex went off... not mine, though. I had turned mine off, as I remembered what happened when the Thunderbirds did their "low" show last year.

Most of the rest of the performance was out of sight, I'm afraid. And then I heard them: The Diamond was coming. Curving behind a row of trees to my south and heading towards me.

...and the sun came out. It was as if everything was conspiring to give me a chance to redeem myself after peeing the earlier gift down my leg.
The shutter was at 1/50sec, and they still blurred... velocity + low altitude = blur. But, oh, it was so cool!

And the car alarms went off again. *snerk*

Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:55 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 I've had the chance to see them during Fleet Week here in San Francisco. My boss lives in a tall apartment building (there are two towers in his complex) and the Angels use the buildings as a marker for their show. In fact the commentary going out over the radio to the public comes from a pier right below his building. They kept telling us on the radio that they never get closer than "X" number of feet to any spectators (can't remember exactly).. but we were on the roof of the building and one of the jets came over inverted, fast, and so close I hit the deck (along with the 60 odd other people on the roof) and little kids started crying! To this day, I swear I could see the pilot's face he was so close. The only thing that went through my head... I'm glad they're ours! I can't imagine what it's like when that flies over your city in anger. It was breathtakingly awesome.

Posted by: madmike at June 05, 2007 03:15 PM (lIt6a)

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