I have visited Dayton air show on July 18 and 19 with my wife.
On the way from Pittsburgh to Dayton, there is a small mall in Columbus,
OH, called Kenny Centre Mall. There is a Japanese restaurant,
grocery, bakery, and a used-book and gift shop there. We usually
stop by the mall, have some pastry, buy some food on the way to Dayton.
This year, however, I was not able to take a day off and had to stay in
my office late on Friday, and we were not able to reach Kenny Centre
Mall before the bakery closed. But, we were supposed to be there
by 8pm and hoping to reach there before the grocery shop and the
We left Pittsburgh at around 4pm. Soon we were stuck in a
traffic jam. In Washington PA, we were trapped again in a traffic
jam, then hit by a hurricane-force storm. I saw a thin towering cloud
on the left. I am still wondering if it was a tornado (or tornado to be). In West Virginia, we stopped again in a
traffic jam. For some reason, there were road works everywhere.
It was already passed 9pm when we arrived at Columbus. We gave up
going Kenny Centre Mall and had dinner at a Burger King and then headed
to Springfield, where we were going to stay for three nights.
At the hotel, we were told that our reservation had been cancelled
and no room was available for us. What happened was my credit-card
company recently issued a new card (obviously after I made the hotel
reservation) and extended the expiration date by one month.
Everything else was the same. Only because of that single-digit
change, the hotel was not able to verify my credit card, and they
cancelled the reservation. Cancellation itself was a problem, but
the bigger problem is that they did it and didn't tell us! Just one simple
phone call should have straightened everything up. Even if they
had to cancel my reservation, they could have told us before we hit the
road. But, the hotel did not bother making a single phone call to
us. I was so upset and determined to write what happened and give
the lowest review score in all the travel web site I could imagine.
But, later the hotel manager directly called us and apologized.
OK. Apology accepted. I didn't screw up their review score.
At that night, we stayed the hotel next to the one we were supposed to
I was hoping the air show would be a good one especially because of
all the troubles I experienced the day before. On the first day of
the air show, Saturday July 18, the sky was cloudy in the morning.
I was hoping and expecting the sky to clear up before the show started. In fact, I saw some breaking
among the clouds. But, the weather did not recover quickly. The army Golden Knight parachute team was not able to jump for the opening ceremony due to low
overcast. I was looking forward to seeing Brazilian Air Force's
aerobatic team, Smoke Squadron. They did fly, but they had to skip
some maneuvers to stay under the overcast layer.
| Patty Wagstaff
was supposed to circle around parachute jumper in the air-show
opening ceremony, but parachute jumps were cancelled due to
|| Brazilian Air
Force Smoke Squadron.
|| B-2 Spirit fly
In this condition, I was hoping to see shock cone around F-18
during its high-speed pass, but this time, I didn't see a shock cone
Tora-Tora-Tora. These are
all T-6s modified and painted so that they appear to be Japanese
Imperial Navy airplanes.
| Sean D. Tucker.
This time I used 500mm lens. So I was able to take more
close-up look of his airplane.
Then came B-52 fly-by! I have seen B-52 many times as static
display. But, this was my second time to see B-52 in
the air. The first time was when I was an undergrad student.
I was riding a bike to my university from my apartment and saw a B-52
approaching to Atsugi air base for an air show. But, I didn't have
a camera with me then and was not able to take a picture. I wish I
could take a B-52 flying in a clear blue sky. But, the weather was
| It was my first
time to see B-52 in clean configuration.
|| I should have
used a little longer zoom.
You can see in the next picture some blue
openings in cloud, but Dayton International airport was mostly covered
by overcast to broken cloud.
The weather finally did not recover. Thunderbirds flew a low
show, which did not include most of the vertical maneuvers. One
good thing about the low show is that it includes two surprise passes.
First one is after trail-to-diamond roll, and the other after echelon
pass. I had been trying to take a close-up photo of surprise pass,
but I had little success yet.
This time I was trying a different method of aiming at the airplane
from the method I was using in the past.
I used to pay attention to the edges of the frame so that the
airplane fits in a frame with reasonable margin from the edges.
However, during my Japan tour last December, I realized that I rather
should aim at a specific reference point of the target airplane and try
to keep the reference point at the center of the frame. It was a
sort of new paradigm for me.
I had two chances of surprise passes in this flight. And, I
got a first surprise pass not too bad, but I missed the second time
because my camera's auto focus screwed it up. I decided not to buy
a new camera this year, but I definitely want to get a faster one next
year. My K100D gave me a lot of good pictures, but when it comes
to a speed-critical shot, it cannot keep up with the target.
First surprise pass. Much
better than the previous attempts.
The second day. When we left the hotel, the sky was somewhat
cloudy, but it was quickly clearing up.
| Patty Wagstaff
took off for the opening ceremony.
|| Army Golden
Knight team showed parachute jumps for the opening ceremony.
The picture is the airplane used by the team.
|| Wright Flyer II.
By the time AH-64 took off for a demonstration, the sun was out,
and the condition was getting better and better.
| AH-64 showing its
back to the audience.
|| AH-64 performing
a flight demonstration.
Brazilian Air Force's Smoke Squadron flew with blue sky as
background. As I wrote two years ago, this team's skill level is
very high. They show variety of formations, not only one formation
plus two solos, but sometimes like two 3-airplane formations plus one
solo, two 2-airplane formations, and so on. Also, their formation
is very rigid. There skill level was as good as the last time.
Their aerobatics were impressive and spectacular.
Brazilian Air Force's Smoke Squadron.
|| 3 vs.
3 back to back.
up look of the airplane #7.
I wish I could take pictures of a B-2 and a B-52 with blue sky as
background, but unfortunately, fly-bys of a B-2 and B-52 were only for
| Dedication pass
|| Sean D. Tucker.
|| I wish pyro
techniques should be reduced next year. Or, pyro should wait
until one or two passes, and then start. Otherwise, I cannot
see airplanes well.
Patty Wagstaff showed aerobatics, and C-5 Galaxy did some fly-bys
before Thunderbirds. I was expecting the weather to last until the
show is over, but low clouds were moving in to the area. And, the
sky was gradually getting dark.
| Patty Wagstaff.
|| C-5 Galaxy.
A huge airplane.
So, the Thunderbirds flew a low show again, and I had two chances
to take a surprise pass. And, the time has finally come! I
was able to take squarely a close-up photo of the surprise pass!
| Where was the blue
|| The first
surprise pass. Getting even better.
Finally! The second surprise pass. (No trim, just
I missed a little bit of the pitot tube and small portion of the
vertical tail wing. But, with no doubt, it's my best shot of the
surprise pass! I guess what I learned from my last Japan tour
really worked! But, I will continue aiming at the surprise pass
anyway. I wish I can take a nice picture of the surprise pass with
blue sky as background.
The next air show will be Youngstown Air Show, Thunder
Over the Valley. It is a strange air show. Usually, an
air-show organizer wants as many audiences as possible to come.
But, in this one, I need to get a ticket before the show, or I will be
kept out. I managed to secure a ticket to go to the Saturday show.