Blues, Breitlings, Birds of Prey: Ocean City, Maryland

Blues, Breitlings, Birds of Prey: Ocean City, Maryland

Postby sylvancatharsis on Fri 19 Jun 2015, 7:49 am

Guess it's that time of year, time to emerge from hibernation.

In between viewing the splendid images from Cosford, Biggin Hill, etc. and managing to procure a new photo editing laptop after the old one kicked the bucket (Toshiba and I are not friends right now), I thought I'd share with you some images from the Ocean City Air Show, held in the titular beach resort in the state of Maryland, right along the buzzing boardwalk. Not that I wish to brag or anything (read: I totally wish to brag), but these images were all taken from the balcony of my hotel room, which was awesome (drunk twenty-somethings next door screaming and yelling at 5am on the Sunday notwithstanding), since I didn't have to jostle for space on the crowded beach, could take a leak at my leisure without queuing for a stinking port-a-john and throw some cold cuts on a fresh roll and make myself a nice hoagie instead of hemorrhaging cash on overpriced coronary depth charges falsely labeled "hamburgers," and instead of sitting in traffic and ripping my hair out, had the option of plopping down on a nice, soft bed after the final show on Sunday and being completely useless until the Game of Thrones finale started (although we ended up leaving Sunday night due to incoming weather, but after everyone else left).

We arrived on Friday during rehearsals. Believe it or not, it's quite difficult to find your way around a popular tourist trap when there's an F-22 cavorting above, drowning out the sultry voice emanating from your nav system. Checked into the hotel just in time to catch the Blue Angels' rehearsal, with only five jets for some reason. Weather was beautiful all weekend, with the best conditions on the Sunday, warm but not too hot, clear skies with plenty of humidity for vapor, threatening clouds becoming visible on the horizon just as the Blues were finishing up. Saturday was mostly clear with a few high clouds, and it was brutally hot and hazy, making the shade offered by the balcony above our room wholly welcome - not to mention the air conditioning three steps away from where I was sitting.

Anyway, on with the photos...

Blues
They were superb both days of the show. This selection draws from both main show days.

1.
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Diamonds are Forever by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

2. Saturday's sneak pass...
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Saturday Screamer by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

3. ...and Sunday's, for comparison.
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Sunday Drivin' by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

4. In case you missed it:
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So fast I almost missed 'I'm! by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

5. The Coast Guard cutter USCGS Finback was on hand all weekend, and made a nice backdrop.
Image
Salute by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

6. And the echelon pass-in-review on its own:
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Blue Angels by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

7.
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Blues Over the Beach by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

8.
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Raw Power by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

9.
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Barrel Roll Break by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

10. Final break, Saturday
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The End by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

The Friday practice was missing the slot pilot, but interestingly featured two F/A-18Ds taking the place of Blues #2 and #3. Numbers are a little out of order, though...

11.
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Erm... where's the other guy? by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

12. Another oddity during the rehearsal: instead of the trademark dirty loop, the three aircraft performed a formation barrel roll in carrier landing configuration. Can't recall ever seeing that before.
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Well, that's new... by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

And, of course, you just can't have the Blues without Fat Albert! The pilot in command is the Blues' first female pilot, and also a Maryland native.

13.
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Parade Pass by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

14.
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Heroes Rising by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

Breitlings
Surely the highlight of the 2015 air show season in North America is the Breitling Jet Team's tour. I've seen them a few times at RIAT, and honestly, I don't get the consternation on this forum. I'd take these guys over most military display teams. Anyway, they performed at 1pm each day, when the sun's position was still making photography slightly challenging.

On a related note, I'm striking out with the Breitling tour; an abscessed tooth made me cancel my trip to Rhode Island for the show there at the last minute, and this weekend's show in Dayton isn't looking too promising (one generally doesn't equate a forecast calling for "tropical rain storms" with ideal air show weather). So it was nice to catch them at least once...

15.
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Breitling Jet Team by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

16.
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Gallic Precision by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

17.
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From France with Love by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

18.
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Keep it Tight by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

19. The flare release at the end of the display really got the crowd fired up!
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Fireworks by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

Bird of Prey
These photos, aside from the Heritage Flight, are all from Sunday's performance, as the moist air made the Raptor all fuzzy!

20.
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Fluffy Raptor! by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

21.
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Clouds of War by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

22.
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Disturbances by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

23.
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Fever Pitch by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

24. Hard to describe in words having a Raptor fly directly over your hotel room and pitch up like this. You hear it, then... zoom! Forking epic.
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Agility by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

25. And of course, the Heritage Flight.
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Ageless Warriors by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

Bits 'n Bobs
There were a few other items on the schedule besides the trio of headline acts, foremost of which was the Coast Guard MH-65C Dolphin from Atlantic City. The aircraft's operational purpose for being at the show was to act as a rescue ship for the Blue Angels, but the crew kindly performed a search & rescue role demo each day. Winds on the Saturday required the crew to point the aircraft northward, meaning the side door was facing away from the crowd, so we didn't see the rescue swimmer until his flippers popped out from underneath the belly. Sunday's winds were more favorable to having the swimmer face the crowd.

26.
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United States Coast Guard by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

27. Geronimo! Saturday.
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Swimmer Away! by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

28. Nice swim; Sunday.
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A Vital Mission by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

29. High-speed pass
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Rescue Ship by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

30. The P-51 "Bald Eagle" performed before the Heritage Flight.
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Big Pony by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

31. Further warbird action came from the B-25 "Panchito," based not far away.
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Good Ol' Panchito by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

32. There's even a bomb in the bay!
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We're On to Tokyo by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

33. I have a hell of a time photographing aerobatic aircraft...
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ANG Acro by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

34. And let's not forget the stars of the display, the Banner Tug Formation Team!
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Let Our Banners Fly by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

There were a few other acts, such as Michael Wiskus flying a modified Pitts Special, a group of skydivers, a very quiet and distant L-39 solo display by a local pilot (so quiet and so distant that most of the folks around me didn't even notice it was displaying!), and the local flight school. Regarding the latter, one must question the entertainment value of two Cessna 172s (three on the Sunday) making individual flat passes up and down the display line for upwards of 15 minutes. Overall, though, good show; watching from a hotel room at roughly show center has a drawback or two, such as being that much further from the displays, but I wouldn't do it any other way :grin:
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Re: Blues, Breitlings, Birds of Prey: Ocean City, Maryland

Postby jonny7 on Fri 19 Jun 2015, 7:42 pm

The sight of this set, blew away any lingering thoughts about todays lovely drab, grey cold Summer weather :sad: :grin: So its without dismay, enough to say :smile: Thank-you
for your post today...cheers :clap: :rock:
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Re: Blues, Breitlings, Birds of Prey: Ocean City, Maryland

Postby timuss on Fri 19 Jun 2015, 7:44 pm

Lovely shots would love to see the Angels someday :clap: :cool:
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Re: Blues, Breitlings, Birds of Prey: Ocean City, Maryland

Postby riffraff on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 11:18 pm

Beautiful shots!! But am I mistaken, or does #11 not have a B,C and D model Hornet?
riffraff

Re: Blues, Breitlings, Birds of Prey: Ocean City, Maryland

Postby st24 on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:40 am

riffraff wrote:Beautiful shots!! But am I mistaken, or does #11 not have a B,C and D model Hornet?


No, all legacy Hornets (C/D).

Nice selection of images. I don't really like the Raptor but it's an excellent airshow machine and cloud maker! :rock:
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