Saturday, January 18, 2014

MV-22 Stop-over

 An MV-22 Osprey from VMM-161, the "Greyhawks" out of Miramar, California, stopped by the Yakima airport a couple days ago(?).  Apparently there was some sort of equipment casualty and a part was trucked from Spokane to Yakima to repair it.

 As a matter of luck I discovered its presence.  I took the daughter and drove over to see it.

As a further matter of luck, I discovered from some passersby that it was scheduled to leave at 1pm.  We got there about noon.  So, we grabbed a bite to eat and then came back to tail gate!

About twenty minute before one, they started the APU, which was remarkable loud, then, after that had stabilized, about ten minutes later they began start up procedures.  That blue smoke is from the APU start if I remember right.
 After they got it going, you could tell the crew chief unplugged his mike and ran over to the rapidly multiplying crowd.  He pointed to a couple of kids next to the fence, which, the mother said, freaked them out, then he handed them each a squadron patch.  If I had a little less decorum, I would have rushed the fence and begged for one, too.
They ran the engines up once to a towering crescendo and then dropped the throttles again.  Then finally, with the entire crew, which, if my count was correct, was five, the crew door forward was closed, throttles ran up again and breaks released and it moved out.

It rotated outside of my vision.  I was hoping for more of a vertical lift off, but alas it was not to be.

Still, for a Saturday afternoon around here, it was great excitement!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tides Change

About 11 years ago, I volunteered at the McClellan Aviation Museum.  I really enjoyed my time there.  Shortly before we returned to Washington State, and near the end of my time volunteering, the museum personnel were invited to watch the preview of "Fighter Pilot."

The story went that an Air Force general had been touring the National Museum of the United States Air Force, in Dayton, Ohio.  When they arrived at the IMAX theater, the only movie available was one about the Navy's Blue Angels, "Magic of Flight."  This rankled the general and set in progress the idea of "Fighter Pilot," because he thought it ridiculous that the USAF did not have its own IMAX movie.  Apparently, he felt it poor form to recruit for the Navy.

My wife and I showed up, along with several of the museum's staff, and enjoyed a really good movie that took advantage of the IMAX viewing experience.

Ever since then, though, I have always remembered the story about the general and his wanting a USAF movie in the USAF museum.  Well, the tides have changed.  I happened to be looking at the information about the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.  When I scrolled across the IMAX theater offerings, I had to chuckle.  There, in the center, next to the "Magic of Flight" was "Fighter Pilot."  The story of what it's like to fly an Air Force F-15 at Red Flag.

Whom ever that general of the Air Force was, I hope he's chuckling over the fact that his movie is on view in the US Navy's hall of aviation history.   

You can visit the Navy museum's theater page here, and the USAF museum's theater offerings here.