Avalon Airshow 2007 – Day 5

Today can best be summed up as 40 degrees on the tarmac, 40+ knots wind and dust everywhere. We had dust sticking to our sunscreen, dust on our food, dust in our mouths, dust in our eyes – crazy.

The high winds kept many of the lighties from flying into Avalon, so we had a few moments of peace & quiet, then the warbirds came in and suddenly Green 2 was full. With the Roulettes, RAAF Museum heritage flight & Mustang, Bob’s Mustang, the Yak 9 and a Harvard, we had a warbirds tarmac that was almost full. Yay :)

During the day, we had a chance to go and see Chuck Yeager – he was checking out the cockpit of an F-18 so we hung out near by and took pix (a few at a time, so we didn’t crowd the place out :) Word is he may be near a P-51 Mustang later during the show, which would be great (‘cos hey, that’s the tarmac I’m on – can you say “Full Access”? :)

Not long after, one of the Super Hornets went up with the RAAF Chief on board – it was only a quick flight due to the airshow starting around 2:30, but it seemed to go OK. I was sheparding a RAAF photographer around – he was using a mega-lens but finding it a bit hard due to the wind – he gave me the camera to see what “fun” it was to keep steady in the 40+ knot winds. Ouch!

With the warbird tarmac full and things going quiet, I took some time to get a few photos of the warbirds, then we headed back to the tent to relax. The guys from FightPath TV came by and I escorted them around the warbirds area. They were due to interview the Roulettes so, after they came back from their show, the guys did their interview while I organised a few sessions tomorrow with the warbirds pilots.

Most of us were pretty amazed that the Roulettes went up given the 40+ knot winds over the site. The Airvan and Caribou both looked like they were hovering during their low speed passes due to the high winds.

Chopper 2, the Rescue Helicopter that’s always around when the Roulettes do a show, came in and dropped off the Roulettes ground crew. There was dust everywhere thanks to their prop-wash then it left. Meanwhile, the Roulettes crew took down their tents before they were blown away. Chopper 2 came back a while later with the Roulettes pilots, again kicking up some dust and wind that knocked us about.

A USAF B-52 did a low fly-by down the runway at around 1,000′ then turned around and came by at high speed at 1,000′. It was pretty amazing.

The rest of the day was spent trying to avoid the dust and doing what we could to help aircraft coming in, going around the loop and so on. Eventually the RAAF Heritage Flight and the Mustangs left, doing a quick beat up of the field and a bit of a show from the Mustang.

Later in the afternoon, the winds shifted around from northerly to westerly and then, shortly after, southerly. With this came a drop in temperature of about 5 degrees and all new dust being blown back at us. Rain was on the horizon and a few drops were coming in. If we get the rain as predicted, at least it’ll end the dust :)

Around 6pm a few of us went to dinner at AGO (a BBQ dinner of sausage and hamburger :) then I headed for home. I have to start early tomorrow morning and I’ve seen a few “night shows” already, so I figured it was better to head home, relax and come in very early.

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