May 30, 2004
Inspired by Air
Yesterday our family went to our first major air show together: the Air & Space Show 2004 at NASA Ames Research Center/Moffett Field. I think we'd seen a small one up in Aspen, Colorado several years ago, but too long ago for the kids to remember, so this was a genuinely new experience. Plus, this was a HUGE event. We had to park our car and walk for 40 minutes to arrive at the show! That's insane. Anyway, it was well worth it. Our emotions swelled with the carefully chosen and beautifully orchestrated patriotic music, as we gasped and stared at the impressive feats performed above us. The Thunderbirds thrilled us in their F-16 fighter jets, zooming past each other seemingly inches apart, turning sideways or upside down to avoid collsion.
There were a few even more tense minutes when Thunderbird #6 had a sudden "maintenance issue" in the middle of a stunt. It ended up landing after about 5 minutes of investigation, and the remaining 5 aircraft finished off the show. I wonder how many adjustments they had to make in their program, given the reduction in participating members.
Notes for future air shows: the main elements of an air show are bright glare, walking, walking, more walking, ultraviolet rays, waiting, tastefully executed patriotic hype, wonderful classic rock music we remember from growing up, soaring movie soundtrack-type music, a half-hour auditory buildup to the main attraction, and finally an airborne performance that makes all of the above completely worth enduring. Conclusion: wear good walking shoes. Bring hats, sunglasses and sunblock for everyone again (we were super glad to have remembered those this time). Go.
May 30, 2004 | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Inspired by Air:
K., we were driving home from our home school Gala on this day, and we saw some planes in the sky! Cool.
Glad you enjoyed it! Don't think a 40 minute walk would work for me at this phase ( I HOPE its a phase) of my life, but perhaps some time in the future.
Posted by: Helen | Jun 3, 2004 6:00:10 AM
Hey, I was there -- I even have a photo that looks just like yours, with the 5 (not 6) T-birds! And yes, Trevor & I got badly sunburned.
Posted by: Jon | Jun 4, 2004 8:19:56 PM
That brings back memories - we went to an airshow here in September - we saw the Thunderbirds practice, they were beautiful! Then the next day, one of them crashed - I was glad we missed that (the pilot ejected 0.8 seconds before impact, and just suffered minor injuries)
Posted by: Birgit | Jun 4, 2004 10:53:09 PM
Birgit, I hadn't heard that. Did you check out the in-cockpit video on that page? Wow! Watch the ground come up, too close.
Posted by: Jon | Jun 5, 2004 5:53:43 AM
Jon, sorry about the sunburn; that was some mighty strong sun we felt that day.
But that crash is quite something else... David had mentioned the ejection incident to me after the air show, but I hadn't seen the photos yet, so thanks for that link, Birgit. And I watched the vid after you pointed it out, Jon - did you try looking at it frame by frame at the end, and notice the cockpit window flying away in the background, and the knees and hands of the pilot in the foreground? That is amazing that he survived. I wonder if he still flies T-birds...
Posted by: Katherine | Jun 5, 2004 6:38:49 AM
Nope, he has got a nice desk job at the pentagon ;-)
Check out the bail-out photos here:
And on the main page
there is a link to a ground video, too
Posted by: Birgit | Jun 5, 2004 7:22:37 AM