TOUR AMERICA 2019: FLORIDA PANHANDLE

Home Is Where We Park It:  Blackwater River State Park

Date:  May 7, 2019

Blue Angels 

Oh yes!  Today was the day.  We’ve been looking forward to this day for oh so long.  Time was awasting so we were up and at it.  We had a bit of a ride before us so we were out the door bright and early.  What had us so exited?

This!

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Today was a practice show for the Blue Angels and the show is free and open to the public.  We were cautioned to get there early and we soon found out why.

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Soon enough we were at the entrance gate.

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As we moved out to the flight line we discovered thisThe Blue Angels maintenance and support crew travel aboard a similar C-130 aircraft known affectionately as Fat Albert.  The aircraft is flown by an all-Marine crew consisting of three pilots and four enlisted crewman.

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Out at the flight line we grabbed a couple of chairs and joined the multitude of others waiting for the show to begin.

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Now for the star of the show the F/A-18 Hornet.  This is a high performance aircraft designed to operate from aircraft carries.  As you view the pictures that follow keep in mind that each aircraft is flying at 700 mph and often no more than eighteen inches apart.  Do they sometimes touch?  Brush wings?  They train to avoid this but last year during a show two planes did brush wings.  Fortunately, that’s all that happened.  That’s why they practice, practice, practice.  These two are at our end of the field.  Four others are at the other end of the field.

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Here are the other four coming past us just after take off.

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Up in the air and coming back the other way.  We’re down to five aircraft.  One developed landing gear issues and when resolved came in for a landing.  Usually, four fly in formation and the fifth and sixth perform solo maneuvers.

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Coming at us right over our heads.

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Look closely, flying at 700 mph, two are inverted and two are right side up.  Think about it, if you are inverted every movement you make with the stick has to be the opposite of what you are used to.  Talk about concentration.

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Close formation flying.  Again only eighteen inches apart.

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Watch closely, straight up.

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Then they each peel off and go in separate directions.

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Again up as a group.

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Over the top and back down as a group.

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Then they break off.

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And finally reform as a group.

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They start off as a group again but then watch what happens.

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Coming again right at us as a group.

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Watch what they do.

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Coming at us from the left and this is where it gets interesting.

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Here they are after the show and back on the tarmac.

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What a thrill this was.  This was an absolutely awesome show.  If you ever have the chance to catch a show do go you will be glad you did.

From here we moved to

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And here.

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But those are stories for another day.  In fact, we figure we will not be able to see all that the museum has to offer without spending at least another three to four days there.

That was our day on The Road of Retirement.  What a picture perfect day.  What a fantastic experience.  W’re so thankfully for this life that the good Lord has blessed us with.  Oh, before I forget we also had the privilege of meeting and talking with so many wonderful people today.  Not to mention being able to meet and talk with  so many exceptional men and women who have stepped up to the plate and decided to serve their country as a member of the Armed Services.  I call these experiences  the icing on the cake.

Thanks again for joining us on our journey.  I hope through the pictures – though no picture can do the show justice – that you were able to experience a bit of what we saw and what got us all excited.  Till tomorrow, have a good night.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before

See you on down the road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “TOUR AMERICA 2019: FLORIDA PANHANDLE

  1. Wow!!! That looked like an amazing show and your pictures really captured it. We had seen a show in Maryland several years ago and it was breathtaking. Very talented pilots. The weather looked great also. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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