Saturday, August 16, 2014

July 29th: Tuesday's Airshow (or most of it!)

Even though the airshow was just about to start when Dave and I got to the flight line, we still managed to grab front row seats. We hadn't bothered to go back for our chairs, so we plopped down in the grass and a few minutes later, the show began.

A P-51 was part of the showcase at the beginning. These will always be one of my favorite warbirds!

Sean Tucker was one of the first people to fly. He is really fun to watch; at one point he did some sort of crazy forward flip that seemed impossibly small. I'd love to know what it took to do that!

I missed the ribbon cut, but at least got a nice picture during his flyby! A little later in the show, Dave and I were clapping for him as he rode by in the convertible and he recognized us from the day before and waved!   :)

A formation of T-6s. We were lucky enough to get to see the military plane showcase!

There were formations everywhere.

Some L-39s waiting to take off.

It wasn't just formations, either...a whole bunch of smaller recon planes (like Bird Dogs) were flying in a lower loop off to one side of the runway while the formations passed by overhead. There were airplanes everywhere! Between all the formations and the smaller planes off to the side there had to be easily 50 planes in the air at the same time.

A formation of T-33s.

There are three formations in this picture alone!

The L-39s were zipping back and forth, too.

At one point, a few P-51s took off and joined the fun...

...and this B-25 did a few passes with the bomb bay doors open.

The warbird display eventually ended (and I bet if you had walked through the Warbird area during that display there would have been lots of empty parking spots!), and some more performers got to fly.

Gene Soucy flew a routine in his modified Ag Cat. It was impressively loud...

...and the smoky taxi back to Boeing Plaza was a nice touch.   :)

We also got to see the SubSonex fly. It's Sonex's new microjet. I really like this tiny jet trend!

We also got to see the 4ce, an aerobatic formation team consisting of Matt Chapman, Jack Knutson, Rob Holland, and Bill Stein.

They're all really good on their own, but it was really fun to watch them as a team.

The V-22 did another demo, too. No wonder they can't land in airplane mode...those props are HUGE!!

I had been keeping an eye on the weather as the day went on since the forecast called for afternoon storms. I checked the radar on my phone after the V-22 wrapped up and saw that there was some pretty, um, colorful stuff headed our way, so Dave and I started to slowly wander back toward the North 40.

It would have been nice to stay for the whole show, but I'd rather not try to run a mile and a half in pouring rain to get back to the plane!

We did take a few minutes to watch Matt Younkin's Beech 18 routine.

The more I see these planes the more I kind of want one. You know, if I ever got my multi engine rating and had gobs of money that I didn't mind throwing at maintaining a vintage twin.

The clouds were getting closer, but we did take the time to check out the P-38s in the Warbird area.

It was already looking dark and gloomy by the time we got back to the plane. I tied the plane down as tight as I could and we both made sure our tent stakes were jammed into the ground. The wind started to pick up, and there wasn't much else we could do except duck into our tents and wait it out.

Just before it started pouring at the plane. The showers were already moving over the west side of the field.

I have to say, the two-person tent that I picked up at Target years ago sure does a good job standing up to high wind gusts. I wish I had thought to check the METARs for an exact reading, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few gusts up near 40kts. It was nuts. It rained really hard, too, and with the way the wind was blowing it didn't take very long for it to start coming in under the rain fly. I spent most of the time in the tent either trying to gather all of my stuff into the middle to keep it as dry as I could or hoping that the Maule a few planes away wouldn't break free and flip over on top of us. It was really that crazy.

After a while the storm did eventually die down. I had been watching it on my phone and saw that it had mostly moved to the south, so I poked my head out of the tent.

There was a rainbow!

As far as I know everyone made it through the storm ok, even the crazy people who were still departing in the torrential rain. Dave and I grabbed dinner over at the North 40 cafe before grabbing showers and heading to bed. I had looked at the weather a bit during the storms and based on the forecasts, it looked like it made the most sense to fly back to Virginia all in one shot on Thursday. I knew it would be a long day, but as long as we could make it back by Thursday night it would be worth it...that meant we would have a whole extra day (and night) at Oshkosh!

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