Ever since I’ve watched the Blue Angels on Discover Channel (A Year in the Life of Blue Angels), I’ve always wanted to visit an air show with them demonstrating their aerobatics skills.
A few months back, we found out that the Blue Angels will be at the NAS Oceana down in Virginia Beach for the Ocean Air Show last weekend. So Leah and I decided to drive down there on Friday (with a stop at Annapolis to see the US Naval Academy). The air show was fantastic with non-stop aerobatics displays from 10AM to 4PM with the Blue Angels closing out with an hour-long demonstration. The most memorable display, however, was not when we were at the stands. Rather it was at the beginning of the day we were already in the naval air base but still in our car, in a queue to the parking lot. We were in the middle of the tarmac and a F-16C circled around to make a low-level, fast approach to the stands from the side. The flight path took it directly above us so we were treated with watching the F-16C flying towards us at 400mph+ at around 150-200 feet then passed us at 90 degree from right to left. The sound was deafening but glorious as it flew pass us overhead, its engine exhaust glowing with afterburner shooting flame out.
Knowing that we don’t get many opportunity to see the Blue Angels, I’ve rented a long telephoto lens (100-400mm) from LensRentals.com and managed to get lots of great aerial photos (570+). The best ones are on Flickr but here are a few from the collection.