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Old May 30, 2005, 4:52 PM   #1
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Saturday started out beautiful, but by the time the Blue Angels finished their routine, well, try to picture 500,000 people running like crazed insects all scurrying back to their cars in the wind and rain. I wish the lighting conditions were better, and I was having trouble getting the exposures I wanted and focusing all day, but I'm still too much a novice to trust myself with the manual controls. Sunday was a much better day, and if anyone out there happened to attend, please post some other pics. Here are the few I was able to settle for after some needed PP (neat image, levels, unsharp mask).

Spec Ops Command Parachute Team
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Old May 30, 2005, 4:54 PM   #2
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USAF F-16C Fighting Falcon ("Viper") in formation with a vintage Korean War era F-86 Sabre.
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Old May 30, 2005, 4:56 PM   #3
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US Navy Blue Angels Support Aircraft, a C-130, performing the short takeoff maneuver with Jet Assist. Pretty amazing to watch a plane that big rocket off the runway practically straight up!!
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Old May 30, 2005, 4:58 PM   #4
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Last but not least, the best shot of the Blue Angels I could muster with the clouds and rain starting to come in hard.
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Old May 30, 2005, 6:12 PM   #5
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Yo, atkins! You live around Philly? That shot of the c-130 is amazing. That's a bigass airplane and it looks like a fighter jet there. Rockets? I guess so! Thanks for posting. Could be the last Willow Grove show. Time flies when you're having a good time and nothing lasts forever.
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Old May 30, 2005, 7:05 PM   #6
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I like shot no.3 must have been something to see.
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Old May 30, 2005, 7:10 PM   #7
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There is something to be said for bad weather...I think all here seem to agree that pic3 is the most exciting with the clouds, smoke and fire! Very nice and exciting shot!
Blue skies are nice of course but soemtimes clouds add that little bit extra?
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Old May 30, 2005, 7:14 PM   #8
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My father was an aircraft mechanic at Willow Grove who retired in '88. Everytime we're in a car and a plane passes by, he looks up and tells me ... that's a C-XXXX whatever... worked on that one in '71. Great plane...

Needless to say, we saw many an air show there. I even got to fool around in the cockpit. Those photos sure brought back memories.

Thanks for posting... and the memories.

PS... what other digital camera - including DSLRs, can get such excellent captures as these?
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Old May 30, 2005, 8:33 PM   #9
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Hey Nick,

Ever since I was a kid, both Willow Grove NAS and the nearby Naval Air Development Center (NADC) were such a huge influence on me, and the reason why I am such an aviation enthusiast today. I grew up in that area, and every time I heard a plane above I was scanning the sky to see what it was. My childhood friend's father was an engineer at NADC working on sonobuoys (small sonar systems that an aircraft will drop in the ocean to hunt submarines). Besides the fleet of P-3 Orions (submarine hunting planes)out of NADC, there were always other test aircraft flying. A-6, F-14, and F/A-18s. Sometimes TA-4s out of Willow Grove when they still trained pilots there, and every helicoptor the Navy operated. If it was a Navy aircraft in the last 20 years, I've probably seen in fly overhead. It'll definitely be sad to see Willow Grove closed down.....nothing lasts forever I guess.

BTW, I forgot to mention above, all pics are from my FZ20, P mode, auto everything.

John
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Old May 30, 2005, 9:55 PM   #10
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Last summer we had the same air show and to watch that C-130 lift off is quite an amazing thing.
They're closing our 440th here, too.
Thanks for the great shots,
Dick
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