We spent Sunday in Belle Chasse at the 2009 N’Awlins Air Show and it was AMAZING!
I haven’t been to an air show since I was in high school and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We started out early in the morning, stopping for breakfast before heading over to NAS JRB New Orleans. Even before 9 am, people were streaming through the gates and spreading out over the huge area next to the runway that the show took place on.
The Virtual Army Experience was on hand, so we all signed up for our “mission” and took our places in a Humvee. Virtual reality took over and we were transported right into another place and time – charged with taking out the enemies along the way. If being in combat is even a half a hair as loud and confusing as this was, we should all shake the hand of the next soldier we meet. (Actually, you should probably do that anyway)
After the VAE, we took a walk around the grounds, exploring all of the displays and meeting the proud men and women who were showing off their planes, jets, helicopters and more. There were so many different planes and jets display that I don’t know the names of, but here are some photos I took along the way.
The weather was slightly overcast and very windy, so the planned paratrooper jump was taken off of the schedule, but all of the remaining acts were top notch. There were acrobatic displays where the pilots made planes do things I didn’t think were possible. Just watching some of the stunts made my stomach drop, so I’m not sure how they managed to do it all without losing their lunch…
Then came the Raptor with an incredible display of speed and stealth. This jet moved so fast that it was past us before we ever heard the booming sound of the engines…
The main attraction for many at the show, however, was the appearance of the Navy Blue Angels. The jets were lined up along the runway all day…just waiting for the appearance of the 6 pilots who were the closing act of the air show.
Finally, the time had come…
Precision was evident from the moment they stepped onto the runway, lined up and walked in unison, each pilot breaking off to climb into his jet. Wheel blocks were removed from each plane at the same time, and the crew that was assisting them continued the precise execution of every move.
My hat is off to these talented pilots and I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to put on this year’s show. Since there is no show scheduled for 2010, I consider myself lucky to have been able to spend such a glorious day on the West Bank taking part in it.
If you don’t see the video above, click here
For more photos from the 2009 N’Awlins Air Show, you can visit my flickr photo page.
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