Wednesday, August 31, 2016

July 24th: Airplanes, Arrivals, and Buddies!

 Holy monkeys, was it hard to get moving the next day.

We were able to sleep until about 12:40am, a whopping 3ish hours of sleep. Then the storms hit the airport and just wouldn't leave for hours. Thankfully the winds never got crazy and there wasn't any hail (that I know of), but the lightning was pretty darn close. Try sleeping through that in a tent! Our new tent held up fairly well, though, and we eventually fell asleep for a few more hours after the storms moved off.

Mark ran down to the North 40 cafe and brought back some coffee, and we hung out under the wing for a little while and watched a couple arrivals sneak in under the low clouds. One of my friends, Sue, had been able to fly in the day before, so we made plans to meet her for breakfast at LaSure's. Mark decided to hop on the North 40 bus that went to Target to pick up a few things first, so I hung out at the plane while he went out for supplies (including tent glue...turns out we had a slight leak in the storm. Oops.)

I had been watching the radar, though, and there was another storm rolling in. If I could put sound on this picture you'd hear a LOT of thunder. I texted Mark and told him to wait it out at Target...

...while I hid in the tent again. Sue and I spent the whole storm texting back and forth; she and her friend John hid in the cafe while the storm rolled through. Mark eventually made it back to the plane, and we hopped on a North 40 bus, where we met up with Sue and John a few minutes later when they hopped on the bus at the cafe. I forgot to take any pictures at breakfast, but we had a really good time! Sue and John both fly for the airlines (United, I think), and we had a lot of fun talking shop and flying stuff over breakfast before making our way back to our planes. Mark and I sunblocked up, then made our way into the airshow grounds.

Hi, Brown Arch!

We spent a little while watching some of the arrivals. It was still a little quiet with the lower ceiling, but airplanes were starting to trickle in.

We wandered back through some of the displays, too. Lots of people were still setting up their booths. Ford already had a bunch of cars out on display.

We eventually made our way back to Kidventure, where we met up with our friend Jen. She was spending the week working for NATCA (our union) at the event, and they had a couple tower simulators set up for the kids to play with. They needed a few pretend kids to practice on, so Mark and I both got to play with the sims a bit. Jen and I did a simulation for Baltimore, while Mark and one of the other NATCA guys did a simulation for Patuxent. At one point I looked over and their simulator was spinning around like crazy and several airplanes had crashed on the runway.

Oops. Good thing it's pretend!   :)

Jen had to do some other stuff to get ready for her week, so we said goodbye and made our way back to the airshow grounds. We grabbed some lunch, wandered around a bit more, then grabbed our chairs from our campsite and set up near the flightline to watch some arrivals.

I'm not sure what kind of plane this was, but it looked really cool!

We hung out for a while watching all of the planes. There were some pretty crazy moves and a few go-arounds, but everyone eventually wound up on the ground. The weather cooperated pretty well, so it got pretty busy for a while.

We eventually wandered back to the campsite through the Warbird area. It had really filled up and there were a lot more planes to see. We grabbed dinner at the North 40 cafe, then hung out and watched some Runway 27 arrivals for a little while. It didn't last long, though...after a few minutes we heard over the frequency that the airport was closed! Usually that only happens if someone crashes. We walked back out to the other runway, where a few planes were shut down in place along the runway and taxiways, but couldn't see anything. We grabbed some slushees for dessert, then made our way back to the plane.

They eventually reopened the airport... we made our way back to the flightline to watch for a while.

This tiny seaplane was really cool! The pilot couldn't quite figure out where the marshallers wanted him to go, but the plane was really neat looking.

We eventually wandered back to the plane for some tasty drinks.

The earlier storms were worth it for that sunset!

So pretty!

I was sitting at the plane when Mark wandered back over with one of our camping neighbors that was parked across the row. Turns out Hector had a secret stash of rum in his Mooney! He pulled up a chair and we had a really good time talking airplanes, rum, and whiskey. Hector lives down in Florida, so if we ever make it down that way we'll definitely hook up with him for drinks! We eventually said goodnight, grabbed showers, and went to bed. The airshow officially started the next morning!

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