Stephen told us a few weeks ago about an air show in D.C. that was scheduled for Saturday the 16th. We began making plans to attend and inviting others to go with us.
Two children from the Romney Kid's Club went with us and one of the boys' friends from church. With too many things on our plates, we got a late start. The journey took longer than we expected. We stopped for a picnic lunch on the way. By the time we got to the parking field we were turned away and told to "come back tomorrow".
Waves of despair, disbelief and shock rolled over us. All that effort for nothing? Then we recalled how we had been watching the show as we traveled. Surely there would be some parking lot closer to the show where we could see at least something!
We consulted Google maps and found places right close to the air field where we thought we could sit to watch. We chose a McDonald's across from the air field entrance. A lot of other people had the same idea. All the parking lots along that stretch filled up with people watching.
Small planes climbed high, straight up in the air and fell down backward before throttling their engines to climb again. Or they would twirl as they fell nose down, all the while pouring smoke out behind. We wondered how a pilot could remain sane while continuously twirling straight forward through the sky. Parachutes dropped from high overhead and then let out trails of color as they came down.
A bevy of six planes kept bumbling along in the background, flying in formation. They reminded me of geese in flight. Finally they flew straight over the field, streaming smoke trails out behind.
We loved every minute of it. Even, or especially, I. The boys thought it strange that I wanted to go. Wasn't this a guy thing? But as a child I would watch air shows from my front porch. We lived just across the fields from the Farmville Municipal Airport where there were occasional shows. Never anything big like the Thunderbirds but "small" things were thrilling as well. (Is it a small thing to fly smaller planes in such crazy maneuvers?) This brought back many memories for me.
The grand finale was a performance by the Thunderbirds. We couldn't see all of the performance but what we could see was quite impressive. Stephen was well read on their performances so he kept us informed on what was happening. He thought such and such a place was where the "sneak pass" would happen. It didn't happen exactly there but we knew what it was when we saw it.
While the "diamond" was doing their show, another of the jets came "sneaking" in down low where it was unexpected. We could only imagine what was happening on the field behind the wall of trees that blocked our view. The roaring jet engines were as thrilling as the view. Such precision!
|I didn't get many pictures but I did get this succession of photos |
showcasing all six of the Thunderbirds in formation.
Have you been to an air show?
Have you ever watched one from your front porch/lawn?
Do you thrill to the sight of metal birds?