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chrisnh
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Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 7:51 am

I attended the Westover Air Show on Saturday. I picked Saturday because Sunday's forecast was for rain. I was rather disappointed--and I'm sure show organizers were, too--not to see the expected B1 and B2. These and several other aircraft scheduled to be on static display never showed up...apparently scared off by the nasty hurricane weather bearing down on the east coast. The C-17 did a nice demonstration, and Westover's own C-5A did as well. But that was nearly it for demonstrations of modern jet aircraft. I can only recall a couple of A-10s that flew with a C-130. No F-14s, F-15s, F-18s. Westover even put TWO of their C-5s on static display to at least fill up some of the apron. Oh well.

Anyway, the Thunderbirds only flew the four-ship formation and one solo. What happened to #6? Anyone know?

Chris in NH
 
RaginMav
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:08 am

As for the answer to you question, I have no idea.

But all of the above mentioned statics and demonstrations will be in OMA next week, wanna come?

I will be there every minute I'm allowed to be.

If only that a.net shirt I ordered would have been here in time...
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:03 am

Remember the Thunderbirds crash solo crash back in October? Well, the guy ejected safely but was reassigned to flying a desk somewhere in Washington, D.C.. I don't think they had any intention of replacing him either, until the normal change of crew.

They do have a #7 and #8 T-Bird, but one is the coordinator and one is the narrator. They give PR flights to local news, radio and TV personalities, as well as celebrities, but they aren't trained to do the very taxing solo duties.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:40 pm

That's strange, because before the show started I heard radio chatter regarding squawk ID for Thunderbirds 1 & 6. The show absolutely misses something without that opposing solo. And it missed even more today with the low ceiling that kept all manouvers below the cloud deck. I hadn't heard about the accident in October and thought that it was just an aircraft problem that kept it to a five-ship show today.

Chris in NH
 
Sinlock
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 2:23 pm

Thats very odd.

Because at The Ft Lauderdale Air & Sea Show back in May the show was done with a 3 Ship main and a 2 Ship Solo. It's also the same show Ian Groom was killed during the Friday practis show.
 
N317AS
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Mon Aug 16, 2004 5:50 am

I was at Fairchild AFB for SkyFest '04 two weeks ago and #6 was flying. They did however have the B-1 and F-117 do a no show. Bummer. My guess is #6 had mechanical trouble. Don't know for sure though.

Bill
Some people are like Slinkies. They bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
 
usair1489
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:41 pm

I will see the team this week in Atlantic City and will ask about that.
 
maiznblu_757
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:00 pm

Remember the Thunderbirds crash solo crash back in October? Well, the guy ejected safely but was reassigned to flying a desk somewhere in Washington, D.C.. I don't think they had any intention of replacing him either, until the normal change of crew..

Yea sure do remember it. I also remember being at March ARB Airshow in April and all 6 were flying.
 
ulfinator
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:12 am

Another possibilty is that the pilot of #6 got sick. Maybe had a flu bug or something that would keep him from flying. Even the T-birds aren't impervious to sickness.
 
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eksath
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:32 am

Thats very odd.

Because at The Ft Lauderdale Air & Sea Show back in May the show was done with a 3 Ship main and a 2 Ship Solo. It's also the same show Ian Groom was killed during the Friday practis show.



That's very very odd especially since the US NAvy Blue angels were the marquee team for 2004.....here is the proof.. Wink/being sarcastic

Blue Angel #3 was a no-show


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cv63
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:06 am

I was at the Moffet airshow this year when one of TBirds had problem midway through the performace and they continue the performace with only 5 Tbirds.


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The accident had nothing to do with only 5 ship flying. They wouldn't be the Thunderbirds if they only flew 5. I also saw all 6 flying in Riverside for the March Field Air Fest and also saw 6 TBirds at The Millvile Airshow this year.


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JMChladek
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:26 pm

Tbirds flying only 5 ships is nothing new. There were a couple years where they did that after the #6 solo suffered a fatal accident (during the T-38 era) and the #6 plane wasn't returned to the linup until the F-16s began flying. Given the complexity of the aircraft in question, it tends to happen from time to time. In the Blue Angels case, it seems to happen more frequently given that their aircraft are still F-18As rather then C models. The T-birds at least have newer model Cs in their fleet, but even then I doubt they are the latest model aircraft and probably have more then a few years on them of airshow use.

The wildest unplanned Blue Angels show I can remember happened at Offutt either last year or the year before (I am pretty certain it was two years ago but don't recall for certain) during the Saturday display. Aircraft #5 had some sort of problem, so the lead solo pilot did the show in #7. But, when the diamond formation took off and did their first looping manuever, #4 pulled out of the formation and landed soon after leaving the rest of the group to continue the show as a three ship wedge. About halfway through the show, aircraft #5 takes off, with the pilot of #4 at the controls and he links up to perform the last couple of manuevers as part of a 6 ship formation before they break and come back for landing. It was certainly interesting to see. Now on Sunday, all the planes performed their jobs as advertised and there were no mechanical failures.
 
j.mo
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:52 pm

They only had T-Birds #1-4 and #6 at the Offutt AFB show. So we left during the show to beat the rush. Pretty boring without the opposing solo.

Jeremy
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:54 pm

JMChladek, yeah I've seen similiar things myself. I've seen them do the entire show with one of the 4 diamond pilots flying the 2 seater many times. At the Sanford airshow back in the mid 90's one of the formation pilots dropped out mid show, landed, grabbed another plane and rejoined the group. Never heard what that was all about.

Then, at Patricks AFB 2 years ago they had the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds at the same show. I was ecstatic, as seeing them both at the same time was a first for me. Blues went first, and on completing the dirty loop the #3? didn't retract his gear with the rest. Guess there was a problem, because he quickly broke formation and spent the next 20 minutes circling out over the Atlantic... almost out of sight... until the other 5 finished their show. Then the 5 landed... they raised the arresting cable and the #3 guy came in and caught the wire. They then towed him back to the line up with the others. That was pretty odd stuff, and though somewhat embarrassing I'm sure for a Navy demo team at an AFB with their AF counter parts their (and watching I'm sure), I've read they have a healthy respect for each other and perform at least once a year at the same show.. Nevada I think.
 
col
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:41 am

ChrisNH,

I too went to the Air Show at Westover, after the last Barnes show this was very poor. I think you will find that the number 6 fell asleep during the warm up and introduction to the team. The performance was also very average after such a huge build up. We need to have something better from the Thunderbirds, I have seen the French, Canadians, Italians and who can forget the RAF Red Arrows, and we are not in the same ball game.

Disappointed

Col
 
Hamfist
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 2:04 pm

Quite simply, it happens from time to time.

When the T'birds visited my current base in June, the number 2 jet had a nosewheel steering problem on takeoff of their Friday "practice" show. I watched them take off and they all remained at or above approx. 4000 feet for 10-12 minutes. Then, I noticed two of the jets on a formation straight-in approach (fairly standard in emergencies, so a guy in a "good" jet can provide visual assistance for the "problem" aircraft--i.e. check if wheels down, etc). The number 2 jet landed to a full stop and the other simply low-approached to departure. A few minutes later, a bastardized diamond (lead, slot and #3) conducted their first of several subsequent passes.

Also, years ago, I attended a Labor Day show in Jackson, MS. The day I was there, the T'birds flew a 5-jet show. The narrator explained to the crowd that one member of the team had a serious family emergency and apologized for his absence. If I recall, that was in 1996.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Westover: Why No Thunderbird 6?

Mon Sep 06, 2004 11:16 am

The whole Westover show was not 'The Great' show it was billed to be. Indeed, Mother Nature played a role because the tropical storm coming up the coast scared some of the static display planes from coming here...among them the B-2, which I have NEVER seen in person. In other words, it's the very essence of a Stealth Bomber because I've never seen one. Partially making up for this was the rather good display--static AND aerial--by the C-17. Westover had THREE of their C-5s on static to fill some of the voids left by the aircraft that didn't come. I decided to watch the Thunderbirds show from a distance...too far away to hear the PA narration that might have explained the reason for the missing #6.

Chris in NH

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