NAF El Centro Air Show Videos Part 1

Some videos from the air show.

First, a walk around the static displays:

Next, the C-17 aerial demonstration

Finally for this post a combination clip of a B-1 Lancer bomber flyby and the F/A-18 show

I think there will be a couple more next week, including the Blue Angels show, and then I am done.

NAF El Centro Air Show

Last weekend was the 2009 Air Show at the NAF El Centro base in, guess where, El Centro, California. Weather was fantastic as usual and lots of interesting things to see. The main event is always the first Blue Angels exhibition of the year (they train in El Centro all winter) but I very much enjoyed the C-17 demo and the B-1 bomber flyover. Something new this year was the “inaugural” acrobatic air race that they plan to have at many more air shows this year: two Pitts planes flew side by side, the winner being the first one to complete all 9 acrobatic maneuvers. Quite exciting and a very close finish.

I hope to have some video from the event online during the week but until then you can see some pictures at my Flickr Air Show set.

Any Tips for Video in the Plane?

I’m finally ready to take some video from the cockpit when I fly but wondered if anyone had any tips for what makes an enjoyable video, and what makes a really dull one. I’m also curious about whether you prefer to see the view right over the prop, or maybe you prefer the camera looking to the side of the nose ?

I’m going to mount my Aiptek GVS HD camera on the passenger side front glass, shoot at 720p and feed the COM into the camera so we have ATC chatter. The camera is pretty no frills but has done a really good job so far in my on the ground tests. But once it’s attached to the window I don’t plan to move it so no panning of the sky, or close up of what a great job I’m doing on the localiser backcourse approach 🙂

Anyway, any and all comments appreciated.

Bad Weekend in San Diego

This past weekend saw two plane crashes involving Cessna 172s operating to or from my home base, Montgomery Field in San Diego.

The first one was on Friday when a plane en route from San Diego to French Valley (Temecula) was observed going down in the ocean about 30 miles west of Oceanside. After an extensive search, no body was found although plenty of debris from the plane was evident. Much has been made that the pilot was a “novice” and that he was not talking to any ATC facility once off the ground. This accident baffles me since if you look at a map of the area it should be impossible to wrongly navigate this trip.

oceanside airport - Google Maps

First this is a trip that student pilots make a lot during training out of MYF so the routes to it should be very well known. But mostly, it is easy because you just follow the coast. Weather was VFR so no reason why he could not see the land. To be so far off the coast makes me wonder if there was something more going on for the pilot to be so distracted to be flying in the opposite direction with such obvious navigational clues. Sad for a life to be lost, and for the flying club that lost one of it’s rental fleet.

The second accident occurred Saturday night when another 172 crash-landed just off Interstate-5 near Camp Pendleton (just north of Ocenaside) on its way from Orange County airport to KMYF. The three people on board suffered a range of injuries, at least two of them are still in hospital. According to an eye witness report the pilot stated that the engine had quit and he had been unable to restart it. Faced with a choice of the freeway or the beach the pilot tried for the latter and hit an unseen ravine. Not knowing where the engine out happened but in daylight the pilot may well have been able to see many places around that would have made decent landing strips. Hopefully all the people will recover well.