Yesterday we went to Luke Air Force Base for Luke Days. March 21st and 22nd 2009. First let me say that whomever thinks that an airshow should be held in March in Arizona should be shot. To anyone out there thinking of holding an airshow in Arizona these are the only months to have one.... Ready.... got a pencil? November, December, and February. That's it. Second how is it no one had the idea to sell umbrellas at the airshow? Third, whats the point of having security, and a list of what you can and cannot bring in, then completely ignoring said list (sometimes).
So it began:
I wanted to get there before 9am but I guess not (I'm not bitter). Anyways we got there about 9:30, there was a mile long line to get into the parking lot. While waiting in this line we caught up with the line to get into the base and we let Mike and Daniel out to hold our place, while Chris and I parked the vehicle. Once we parked the car we found Mike and Daniel. These 2 OLD people behind us had a fit because they thought we cut in line. It mattered not to them that we explained that we all arrived at the same time and that Mike and Daniel were holding our place. The said they made their own family go to the back of the line (dumb assess). The old people failed to notice that other people up ahead were doing the same and their sacrificing their family was in vain. The line continued to grow and folded back on itself twice to the point that it was about 3 miles long. We did not get to the gate till around 11:00 (the airshow started at 10:45). The security screening was a joke. They funneled everyone through 4 lines, the 2 lines on the left were for people with bags. Seriously they should have had at least 2 gates open. The 2 bitchy old people didn't bring anything so they got in before us anyways (dumb asses). Backpacks supposedly weren't allowed in, yet they allowed people in with them. They spent all of 5 seconds looking in my camera bag and did not even look under the stuff on top (who knows what I might of been hiding in there). When we went to the airshow at Goodyear airport in 2006 there were dogs sniffing everything (but not this time). I do have to admit that the probulator mark 6 is less painful than the mark 5 or 4 (they chafe). Once inside we made a beeline for the flightline and found a spot right up to the fence. I later learned some people waited over 2 hours to get in to the parking lot only to give up and leave.
First thing we did was setup our chairs and (those of us who brought them) umbrellas. I then drank a liter of water. Chris set out to find an umbrella and buy some food and more water. I gave Daniel a Radio released his bonds and he ran off to take pictures of any and all airplanes he could find, as well as climb in as many as he could.
Before the F-22 Raptor was to fly Daniel came back with some Chicken Tenders and french fries. We watched the Raptor fly, which was awesome (way... way... better than the Thunderbirds), but just before it was supposed to join up with the P-51D, P-47, and A-10 for the heritage flybys I heard the pilot report a failure with the hydraulics, and it had to land early.
The remainder of the airshow was standard stuff (except for an aerobatic Helicopter). We all were quite hot. Daniel kept trying to steal my shade. This group of Chinese guys who were near us disappeared for a while, except for one who fell asleep. They returned for the Thunderbirds. During the Thunderbirds they sounded like a pack of paparazzi photographing Paris Hilton's Merkin.
For some reason all through the show someone saw fit to interrupt it constantly by running large buses back and forth right in front of the spectators. And I am not sure what this dudes job was but he was sure in a hurry to do it.
This was the first airshow I have been to at Luke that they had actual "armed" guards everywhere. Really?!?! Oooh I felt so safe. I'd like to write more about the airshow but it was too damn hot and too damn crowded to see any more.
So here are some pics.
Oh... One more thing. Redbull your drink sucks, and covering every cool looking aircraft in the show with your crappy logo sucks the big green one. Same goes for you too Geico.
I'd like to thank the following:
The people at Quantaray/Sigma for making a crappy zoom lens (90% of my pictures are blurry).
Luke Air Force Base for their ambiguous, silly, and un-enforced security rules.
My good friend hydrocodone (for my back) without you I would not have made it through the day.