It was hard to narrow down the pictures to use for this post after spending the better part of last Saturday at McGuire Air Force Base for their air show: Power in the Pines.
Our day started with waiting in line to walk through a metal detector and ended with waiting in line for the better part of two hours in our car to leave.*
*One thing the military is not efficient in is directing traffic, at least, directing traffic fairly. Andrew left about forty minutes later than us and was already home when I started texting him about the traffic we were sitting in only a half mile from where we had parked.
But don’t let my misery over the traffic and all the waiting fool you.
We had a perfectly fantastic time which started in a transport aircraft (C-5M Super Galaxy, to be exact).
It was a magnificent spot to get a momentary relief from the sun.
But unfortunately, it was also out of sight from what was happening in the sky.
During this hour, the Breitling Jet Team was out and about in the sky causing those roaming the displays of military aircraft and vehicles to stop dead in their tracks to stare.
After grabbing some fresh mini doughnuts and a smoothie, we walked around, enjoying a closer view of things we often only see from afar or in movies.
The man in charge of this pretty little plane asked me if I knew what she was and, of course, I told him I was clueless. I learned that she is an air coupe from the 1940s. A good beginner plane that, incredibly enough, still works.*
*I do not think I want to learn on her though.
Some of the warnings worried me just a little…
…while others made me wonder the purpose of their existence.*
*When do you ever want to shut off oxygen? Never where humans are concerned, I hope.**
**If there is ever a question of shutting off my oxygen, the answer is always ‘no’.
Can we pause for a moment to talk about how stinkin’ adorable this little guy is?
Being an air show virgin, I was a little uneducated about the true headliner of the air show. I thought people just came out and watched different planes flying all day and then when they were done, they were done.
The Thunderbirds are what everyone is coming to see. The Thunderbirds are the ones that draw in the crowd. The Thunderbirds are what make the food vendors’ lines die down and cause everyone to hold their cameras breathlessly towards the sky, waiting to be entertained.
This area didn’t look like this until it was Thunderbird time.
Mere pictures cannot convey the skill and high levels of ability these airmen possess. Their eye for symmetry and balance in the air is phenomenal. In addition, the speed and ease with which they fly makes this clearly difficult task appear like second nature to them.
Even despite the wait to get in and the awaiting traffic jam to get out, seeing a show of this nature up close was worth it. Though I could have caught a glimpse in the distance at my home, it isn’t quite the same as being in the thick of it all with the roar of the engines zooming past your right, then your left. Anticipating the described alignment of the jets and joining in with the crowd as they crane their necks to be wowed by the sight of an upside down jet over a right-side up one.
It’s entertainment that you simply cannot get at home.*
*That is, unless you live on base. Then, you definitely can get it at home.