2006/09/03 Cleveland Air Show



Annual Cleveland air show has been held during the labor day weekend three days in a row from September 3rd to 5th.  Cleveland is about two and half hours drive from Pittsburgh and the Cleveland air show is a convenient air show to go from my place.  Particularly this year, F-22 fly-by was scheduled for the first day, and I was really looking forward to it.  However, ironically, remnant of Hurricane Ernesto bombarded Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, and all the flight demonstrations apparently have been cancelled on the first day.  The weather looked so bad, and I didn't bother going there.  Considering that anyone who had a ticket for the first day was granted a free admission for the second day, I suppose the weather on the first day was really bad.

On the second day, the weather was supposed to recover.  However, the recovery came a little later than the forecast.  It was not supposed to rain, but some showers passed the airport.  Nonetheless, fly-bys started in the morning, and we could enjoy the show through the day despite the weather.  Below photos are taken during the morning session.

The show was started by the fly-bys of the Metro Life rescue helicopters.

followed by Ohio National Guard's C-130, and B-25 Panchito of (probably) Commemorative Air Force

When the C-130 and the B-25 came back, the sun briefly came out of the cloud.

According to the air show official web site, a Spitfire and a F-4U Corsair were supposed to show flight demonstrations.  However, they were not even on the static display.  I suppose the bad weather prevented them from flying-in to the Burke Lakefront Airport.  But, B-25 did the best in that weather condition.

The following pictures were taken around noon.
Red Knight T-33.  The weather had not yet recovered then.
Canadian version of P-3C, called CP-400.  Still dark.  You can see the low cloud behind the airplane.
A-10 showed some aerobatics, but still dark.
P-38 Lightning.  Made a fly-by after showing a formation with the A-10.
B-1B Lancer showed two fly-bys. 

F-117 fly-by was planned, but it also was cancelled unfortunately.  But, B-1B filled the absence of F-117.

And, the main performer of the show was the Blue Angels!  The weather was almost clearing up.  I was hoping a full-show, which includes all the vertical maneuvers.  However, there was a layer of clouds apparently around 5000 to 6000ft, and they chose to show a low-show.  It included mid altitude maneuvers, such as delta-roll, and was better than a flat-show, which only consists of formation fly-bys.
The Blue Angels show started with the rocket red glare of Fat Albert.
Fat Albert making a fly-by.
And the assault landing.

And, the formation took off, but the #2, right wing airplane, had a landing gear trouble; the left main landing gear was not retracted.  #2 made an emergency landing, and until the stand-by airplane joined, #4 filled the place.  So, a diamond became a delta.

Anyways, I was trying to take a close-up look of the formation when it makes a photo pass.  If I aim at the vertical tail wing of the #1, I was suppose to be able to get all four (actually, three this time) pilots in one picture.  But, the below is what I got.
C'mon.  It's too far.

You can see how far it was by comparing a photo taken at Wings Over Pittsburgh.

I took this photo on the first day of the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show.  I was using exactly the same lens.

I don't know if the difference was intended or not intended.  A little disappointment.

Nonetheless, the low-show includes some photo opportunities that are not included in the full-show, which are close-up look of the formation.  In the full-show, the formation makes a loop or a barrel roll, and it is very high or far away when it comes to the show center.  However, in the low-show, the formation makes many fly-bys (the Blue Angels call it 'flat-passes'), so we have opportunities to take nice close-up photos of the formation.

Delta Dirty Flat Pass.  It was supposed to be Diamond Dirty Flat Pass.
#6 flew into the show center from behind the audience after #5 showed 360 degree tight turn.
Double Farvel.  You can see that #4 airplane was taking #2 position.
In the low-show, two solo airplanes surprise the audience after Diamond 360 degree turn (in full-show after Echelon Roll).  The stand-by airplane (#7) took off in this timing.

Line Abreast Flat Pass.  Taking a close up look of a line abreast formation is an opportunity of the low-show.

Delta Flat Pass, instead of Bomb Burst Downward.

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