Producer Brandon Spends 9/11 At The Capital Air Show In Sacramento, CA
This Sunday, I decided to "celebrate" the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks and remember those that lost their lives by watching a bunch of our war planes fly by my head faster than the speed of sound. That's right, I may be less fun than Dawn for going to the Capital Air Show on 9/11, but it was on the company dime and it's somewhat patriotic. It was my first time going to an air show, and I didn't know what to expect, but it was awesome to see and hear these amazing jets fly right by my face. There was a combination of stunt planes, helicopters, F-15's, F-18's, and a reenactment of the Pearl Harbor attacks complete with explosions (with actual surviving veterans from the attack in attendance). Here are a few pictures from the show. Since fighter jets and stunt planes are kind of fast, and I had front row seats (thanks to Rob), some of these photos are blurry. But I'm just going to blame the cheap equipment and Dawn... Enjoy.
As soon as I got into the gate, the first thing to fill the sky was a skydiver carrying a giant American flag.
I guess it wouldn't be an air show if they didn't have these military planes on display. The cargo planes were bigger than they look in the movies. It was a little surreal, though, walking through the belly of a plane that once delivered troops overseas.
Now this part was stupid. It was some sort of "halftime show" starring "Otto" the copter that took commands from a pre-recorded announcer and responded by shaking it's head "Yes" and "No." It did some tricks including picking up a pylon, some flips, some loops and it even attempted to use a giant yo-yo. The yo-yo act was a huge failure, and I was already walking to the beer stand so that explains why I didn't get a photo for all you yo-yo fanatics.
It got interesting when they did a reenactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor. There were about 9-12 replicas of the Japanese warplanes that attacked the harbor and they simulated a dog fight by weaving around each other and multiple explosions of "bombs" were going off everywhere on the runway. It ended with what appeared to be a giant napalm strike. This was all pretty awesome until I noticed about 5 survivors from Pearl Harbor sitting in the front row. I didn't know if they were going to hit the deck or reach for the nearest weapon and shoot back.
After the F-15 demonstrated its speed and agility, it flew alongside a prop plane with only 15 feet between them. There was something symbolic and significant about this but I don't remember exactly what it was and the announcer was drowned out by the jet engines. It was cool nonetheless!
Last up, for me since I wanted to get back home and watch some football, were the Patriots. These jets are piloted by well-decorated military pilots and even some commercial pilots who are ex-military and fly these air shows as a side job. They would fly in formations completely synchronized with only 6 feet between their planes. You will see in the photos above that they would even fly with only 100 feet between them and the ground, and they would also fly straight towards each other at high speed and play chicken with each other.
Finally, here is a video of another sideshow act they featured during the show. In the video you will see a jet powered truck that is racing against a stunt plane. This thing burned over 100,000 gallons of deisel fuel during this race. The announcer kept calling it the world's largest bic lighter... har har. In the end it looks like the plane won the race. The cheap equipment didn't really catch the full race, but you get the idea.