Friday, September 4, 2009

Air show in the country

A couple of days ago, my husband, son and I took the afternoon off from holidaying around the house and took in the local air show. Without even trying, we managed to find a super location for watching the display. We plopped ourselves down at the edge of a soybean field where we found ourselves in direct line with the flightpath of the departure air strip. Very cool, let me tell you, and for probably the first time this year, the skies were crystal clear.

We really enjoyed the Lancaster Bomber. For any aviation buffs out there, these were built for battle in WWII and there are only two remaining that are still airworthy. This one just happens to belong to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum which isn't far from the old farm house, a hop, skip and a jump away from the airshow, well probably only a hop away. They are loud. If you've watched any war movies set during WWII with any flight scenes of planes flying overhead, they were probably simulating the Lancaster. As it flew overhead I tried to imagine 40 or 50 flying out on a night mission. It gave me goosebumps.

My guys both forgot their hats and sometimes there was a delay while a plane landed and the next one took off, so they rigged up a comfy space in the shade.

This fellow decided to join us; he told us he's seen a lot of planes in his day.

There were stunt planes, parachutists, a stunt glider, amazingly fast and loud jets from Canada and the U.S. but the finale of the show were the Canadian Snowbirds. If you're not familiar with them they're the equivalent to the Thunderbirds in the U.S. Nine jet planes flying together in tight unison. You would swear it was one plane or without glasses a rather large bird. Any air show worth watching is one with the Snowbirds on the bill.

A few years ago, when my son was around five years old, he and I had an unexpected run in with the Snowbirds. We were driving along the expressway, on our way home, when he yelled from the backseat, "Mommy, look at the airplane!" Of course I looked up through the windshield expecting to see a jet far off in the distance. "I don't see anything, honey", I replied. "Look beside you Mommy!" he excitedly screamed. I looked to my left and there, literally right next to us down low was a red and white jet. How the entire highway didn't end up in one large fender bender with this all this happening around us is beyond me. I pulled off at the next exit and we got out of the truck and delightfully watched the remainder of the show. At one point the group of planes split up going in several directions, again they were quite low with one heading across in front of us. Suddenly, it made a tight turn and flew directly overhead. I swear I could see the pilot inside and my son was so startled that he tightened his little arms around my neck as hard as he could. I still have the marks on my neck to prove it.

Ever since then, he's been fascinated with 'his' Snowbirds. Whaddya think?

NB: My video skills, especially with my little digital cam, are limited!


Flat Creek Farm said...

I adore old WWII planes. I don't know where that fascination comes from (really not into planes that much). We used to have an annual airshow here that featured the old planes, complete with the music from WWII era (love that too). It was the best! Great post! -Tammy

Elle Bee said...

I come from a big aviation family (pilots & mechanics) and was drug kicking and screaming to every airshow in a 300 mile radius as a child. Now I love them and want to take my children! I loved your videos.
PS Hello Mr. Snail. You're quite cute.

Dandy said...

I've never seen an air show before and your videos were awesome! I didn't realize how loud they were. It does make you look at the war situations differently.

I really can't imagine driving and seeing a plane that close!

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

We went to a fantastic air show several years ago. My first and I loved it! J is obsessed with planes. He can hear one in the distance and tell you what it is! His dad was in the Air Force and flew in Vietnam. Now he is a mechanic with American Airlines.
We loved the videos!!

Country Girl said...

What a fun post! It even has a close up of a visiting snail!
Thanks for stopping by my place this morning. And PS ~ it took me a long time to learn photoshop and I'm still learning. I was afraid at first, as there was nobody around to explain it to me. That's where video tutorials come in handy. Good luck to you! And if I can do it, you can. Really, I am so inept at times with technology.