I was driving home from Fresno this afternoon, and as I was coming down Hwy 99 towards Bakersfield, I happened to look out and see what looked like a DC-9 departing. It piqued my curiosity because I don't know of any jet service still at BFL, so I watched it recede into the distance and I noticed that it wasn't climbing. So I thought that maybe it was going to do a go around.
Well, i got off the freeway and headed over to Meadows Field, and sure enough, I saw it coming back. As it flew by, I saw that it was the house colors 717!!!! I guess it was doing a touch and go session there because it took off again.
If only I had my camera with me.....
I went inside the terminal hoping to catch a closer glimpse of it (BFL has one of the best obs areas I've seen at any airport. Too bad nothing interesting goes there) and waited for about 20 minutes. No sign of it. I thought to myself "well the SOB must've gone home to Long Beach". So I got in my car, and left. As I got back on the 99 towards LA, sure enough, out of the grey (it's very hazy up there today), it showed up again.
Anyway, seeing it raised a few questions that I hope that some of you can answer.
First, it had a different tail cone. It wasn't exactly a beaver tail, and it wasn't exactly a bullet tail. It was something in between. What is the purpose behind the different tail design?
Second, what was that long string with something dangling from the end of it attached to the top of the tail?
Third, what exactly WAS it doing at BFL doing touch and go's anyway?
Fourth: Since this is already a certified and in service aircraft, what kinds of tests would it need to be doing anyway?