07/17/2010 Dayton Air Show


In a regular year, I and my wife go to Dayton air show.  We stay in a hotel in Springfield for two or three nights and watch both Saturday and Sunday shows.  However, this air show scales down once every a few years, and this year was a scaled-down year.  Dayton is 5 hours away by car from Pittsburgh.  If I take a few breaks, it takes 6 hours.  We have spent in Chino air show already, so we decided not to go to Dayton air show this year.

But, I wanted to go there anyway because I bought a new camera last December.  I wanted to take pictures of Blue Angels with my new camera.  Also, the sun is behind the audience almost all day in Dayton air show unlike Pittsburgh air show.  The condition is good for photography.

Another special thing about this air show is it allows a general aviation airplanes to fly in for visiting the air show.  It is possible because Dayton airport has two big parallel runways.  The air show uses north runway, and they are able to open the south runway even during the show.  So I decided to fly there with my instructor and one of my pilot friends.  I have already uploaded an article about the flight here.  At one time, the air traffic controller forgot about our airplane, but we made it in one piece.

In fact, we were able to get there before the opening ceremony.  We saw a parachute jumper carrying a huge U.S. flat, and a replica of Wright Flyer B, which we can see only in the Dayton air show.

Parachute jump in the opening ceremony. Wright Flyer B.  Dayton exclusive. DC-3.

It was humid in the morning and I was hoping to see a shock cone around the F-18 during its high-speed pass, but I didn't see it this time.
F-18F showing a roll-on-take-off. Greg Poe.

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. I think their skill level is high. T-6 Texan.

One of the things I wanted to take with my new camera was the moment that Sean D. Tucker cuts the ribbon with his airplane.  But, this time I forgot carrying my stool, and I missed the opportunity.  Then two B-17s took to the air.  It was a nice demonstration, and I wanted to see them fly in a formation, but they flew individually.  It would be a spectacular formation to see two big airplanes fly in a formation.
Aviation Hall-of-Famer, Sean D. Tucker. One of the two B-17s The other B-17.

Kyle Franklin.

The air show was concluded by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.  Due to scattered cloud, they flew a flat show.  But, it was a nice opportunity for me to see how my new camera performs on fast-flying airplanes.  The sun comes to behind the airplanes toward late afternoon in this air show, and in some pictures Blue Angels F-18s appears dark.  I could have corrected by setting positive exposure factor, but it will make the background plain white.  I like to keep blue background, so I kept zero exposure factor.

I liked to see all pilots in a picture.  I believe a good airplane picture captures pilots, ground crews, and people involved in the flight.  Of course, ground crews are not visible in a picture of a flying airplane, but a good picture would make you think about them.  I'm not at that level, yet, but I want to be able to take such a picture.
Blue Angels' C-130 Fat Albert. F-18s took off.  By the way, I'm curious when they are going to switch to F-18E/F.
Echelon parade.  I can see all four pilots in this picture. Line abreast pass.  I can see all pilots in this picture, too. Last Delta Low Pass.

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