CFIcraigAPA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 223 posts, RR: 4 Posted (9 years 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1602 times:
Let us not forget the T-Birds will be flying at the AFA graduation this week. There should be a practice show on Tuesday, and the actual ceremony on Wed. Time for the show Wed should be 1300 hrs. Tues should be somewhere around there as well. I'm going to head down there early, around 11 or so. There is a decent place just east of I-25 across from the stadium at Interquest Blvd (exit 153). I may try to find another location more to the SW of there, but CSP and AF MP's will be crawling the area moving you along if you park roadside.
F9Widebody From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1604 posts, RR: 11 Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1574 times:
I was thinking of starting a thread on this. Last year the practices were "closed" to the public. Is it still going to be that way? I remember a few years ago they invited people to come and sit in the stadium to watch them practice. I remember sitting on the side of the stadium that faces I-25 and it was completely silent. All of the sudden the thunderbirds come roaring above us from behind the hill. The performance was one of the most amazing things I have seen and best of all there were about 50 people there.
CFIcraigAPA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 223 posts, RR: 4 Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1568 times:
Yep, they will depart from Peterson AFB about 30mins to an hour before the show. In the last few years, they have hooked up with a tanker before the show while holding quite a distance from the AFA. It should be a full show, wx permitting. If there are higher clouds, they do have a "low-show" they will run, but it's not nearly as exciting as the full show. Let's hope for the best.
I'm not sure about the practice being open to the public. I had never heard about that. That would be cool, though. If any of you have scanners, they talk on 141.85 AM mode for the 1-4 aircraft, and 143.85 AM for the solos. Also, throw in the mil-air freqs for COS (don't have them on me right now). Lots of fun!
F9Widebody From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1604 posts, RR: 11 Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1523 times:
Well, I called the AFA and they said that it is open to the public and to enter via the north gate. Hopefully they allow people to sit in the stadium again. Perhaps not best location for photographing, but it is quite an experience. If everything goes according to plan, I will be down there on Tuesday.
F9Widebody From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1604 posts, RR: 11 Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1474 times:
We arrived down there at about 11:40 or so, thinking that the practice would be at noon. It ended up being at 2. We tried to get down to the stadium but we were cut off by MP who told us that we could not get any further w/o a military ID. We saw a jet swooping overhead flying solo and leaving a smoke trail over the academy. Looking back on it, I think this was the raptor. I saw it that once and that was it. We cruised around looking for spots and more or less you need to stay on the main road that you enter on. When you get to the Visitor Center, they again have a checkpoint just past the exit allowing you to go no further. It appeared that you could get nowhere near the stadium without mil ID, and I assume it would be more or less the same tommorrow, because those going to the graduation have tickets. On the way are two overlooks that a cadet advised us of that we realized would have been GREAT for photos. You can see them on this image:
They are on the main road in the center of the picture, circled in red. (Checkpoints are listed in orange) That, along with the that spot at Interquest Blvd (the place where I spent the day today) were/would be very good for photos. The interquest location allows you a view of the jets with the eentire campus as a backdrop. Hopefully that will help any of you who are going down tommorrow. Unfortunately I got no A.net quality pictures because my new camera has still not arrived so I had to bring my 2MP P&S.
CFIcraigAPA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 223 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1468 times:
I'll be at the Interquest parkway area around 11:30 or so. If anyone is there, look for a silver Saturn coupe with a magmount antenna on the trunk. I'll have the radios going listening to the chatter before and during the show.
Looking forward to a great showing!
JeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 53 Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1468 times:
I went down. The Raptor flew at about 10:30 for the parade with an F-16 photo bird in trail. Got a belly shot or two of it, but I won't upload a shot like that. Really bad light for where it was at the time.
I sat in the bleachers at Falcon Statium for the entire show. Good thing that was a practice, quite an embarassment otherwise. I went up on the roof with the MP's for a bit as well, but no better then in the stands. Weather sucked as I thought it would.
Closed to the public tomorrow unless you have a ticket. Unless you can get into the stands, I would not bother, as they will be so far away, unless you just want to watch.
JeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 53 Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1453 times:
Here is a map of where you might go, where show center is, etc. "
The red X is where they were turning people out, so that is probably as far in as you can get. But, that is close to the B-52, and that is near where they made their turns after passing the stadium, so you might get a shot or two there.
The blue lines are the main flight paths for the majority of the show, and the Green dot is pretty much show center. It is really far from I-25 which is near the horizon in this shot, the red circle is show center :
My shooting locations during the show.:
One of my F-22 shots...It made a pass or two for the parade today, so I am not sure if it will flyby again tomorrow. But it made it's pass from south to north, and if you go west on Woodman Rd. far enough, you might be able to snag a shot or two. Damn I hate belly shots..:
And a sample from the show. :
The clouds really killed a lot of opportunities as the planes were in and out of their shadows frequently, in them more then out. But, an airshow is an airshow, so enjoy the view if you can.
Jcxp15 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 996 posts, RR: 5 Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1453 times:
The T'birds came around and practiced twice, once around 7:45 and the other around 2.
The one at 7:45 was a lot weaker, almost like a warm-up. They kept flying north and south and didn't hit the afterburners too much. They flew between the mountain and the chapel quite a bit too.
The show at 2 was somewhat better. They performed more aerial stunts, although I will admit it still seemed pretty weak. Weather started getting worse, so maybe that played a part in some of the stuff they did.
Towards the end of the 7:45 practice though, they came ripping full afterburner about 100 feet right over me. What a feeling!
You should have sat in parade field stands at least for the parade, or been over by the chapel overlook. There was a DA-20 (like a cessna), C-21, a 4 ship of A-10's, 2 ship of F-16's and then the F/A-22 with the F-16 in trail. The F/A-22 used the thrust vectoring after passing over the field, and then hit the burners and climbed.
Also, between the parade flyover and photography flyover the F/A-22 and F-16 were refueled overhead by a KC-135.
The F/A-22 then flewover the Academy again like 6 times followed by the T'bird F-16, alternating north and south, for photography purposes. This is the first time the F/A-22 has ever flown over the Academy.
Lighting would have probably been bad for all of these though, except for the 7:45 practice. Seems like awesome shots with the chapel and T'birds in the background would have been possible.
If you guys are coming out tomorrow, I'd recommend getting here early as the President will be here and it may be a mess (even though he's flying in via helicopter). Also, I believe the shoulders to I-25 are going to be closed off, as might the viewing area off of 25, so factor that in.
There's also supposed to be anti-Bush protestors at the South Gate, and pro-Bush ralliers at the North Gate.
On normal days, the north gate is open to the public from 0630-1830, but because of graduation, and the President being here, it may be only open to those holding military ID's. If it's open you'll only be able to make it as far as the Visitors Center. You can park there and walk to the cadet chapel where there is an overlook of the Cadet Area. You may be able to get some good shots there.
There is also an overlook north of the academy (keep going straight on the North Gate road) that is elevated and looks over the whole Cadet Area etc.. May be able to get some head on shots there if the sun isn't an issue.
I dunno how the show will be tommorrow. I imagine most of it will be over Falcon stadium, so if you don't have a ticket to graduation, you may be out of luck. That being said, a lot of the turnaround and "re-formations" will be over the springs and the rest of the Academy, so you may still be able to get good shots.
If you guys had posted this thread a little earlier or something, I probably would have been able to hook you up with graduation tickets, or get you into Falcon Stadium today. If any of you are planning to hang out by the chapel or anything, lemme know. I've got prior commitment till about 12, but may go watch em from there around 1...
JeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 53 Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1441 times:
In my top photo, the green dot is show center, not the red circle. Sorry about that.
Good info jcxp15, I have not decided if I want to mess with the traffic on base or not. It was nice today with no traffic to deal with. With all those people trying to get out of two gates, secret service, etc,... hmmm.. most likely not.
I will probably just hang up here, maybe go get some shots of AF1 out at Buckley, unless they moved it down to Peterson.
Next opportunity won't be until AFA Football starts...
CFIcraigAPA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 223 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 1427 times:
AF1 leaves Buckley at about 0900 heading to Pete Field, then Marine One will take the Prez to Falcon Stadium.
I'm not planning on getting any amazing pics from the show. I think sometimes we just need to watch and enjoy rather than trying to get a shot for the database here. Enjoy life a little. No need to live your life around a.net.
Jcxp15 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 996 posts, RR: 5 Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1409 times:
Yes there were a bit sloppy, although nonetheless, it was still an awesome sight. Hopefully today they'll be better. Clouds are starting to roll in though, so hopefully they won't get too thick or too low...
I'll be down by the chapel watching!
Jcxp15 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 996 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1391 times:
Unfortunately, thunderstorms starting moving into the area right as the end of graduation approached, and the show was pretty weak. They did their low show, and it was not much more than a flyover in tight formation with some high speed passes. Anyone else out there?
Jcxp15 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 996 posts, RR: 5 Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1378 times:
Yea it's unfortunate the weather got bad, although some good shots of the planes with the smoke in a black background may have been possible. Airshow was extremely dissapointing. Navy game next year should be awesome though!