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A Good Time for a Blue Angels Tribute

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I’ve just gotten a new S3 Viking and what better place to try it out than Pensacola NAS?  I’d just started up and was getting ready to taxi when who should happen by? An F-18 in Blue Angels colors! Then another…and another…six in all. They taxied to the active and took off in sequence. They stayed in the pattern and were doing T & Gs, though AI Smooth gave them a lot of go-arounds.


You don’t run into these guys just anywhere…



Lead is rolling…



Couldn’t resist following along…



Gear coming out. It wasn’t up long… Those are his squadron mates beyond.






Over the Gulf.



Note the centerline tank. I don’t think they use them for airshows.



Lined up, flaps down…



Crossing the beach…



Going around… On the ground you can see some of the less brightly colored examples. Must be females of the species.



Back at pattern altitude for another circuit.



These are courtesy of JF-Traffic 2005 and the Military Plus Pack #1 (I need to download MPP #2 one of these days). I had no idea they would be there, just blundered into it.


Note all the aircraft on the ramps in the last two shots. That would have been bare tarmac before the JF add-ons. I’m really happy with what they do.


Hope you enjoy these.



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Nice tribute John, that sure is odd timing that you should run into the Blue now, excellent shots.

Do I take you are back in the land of broadband? As these pictures would take ages on dial up.

@Sam I remember that shot, very impressive.

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Yes, we came home Friday evening and are indeed back on the big wire. I actually took these shots of the simulated BA over a week ago, but didn't have time to do anything with them before we left.


The resort only had dial-up, so I sat on them until returning home. Then came the accident, the day after we got back, which motivated me to get my act together and post these.


I did see a clip of amateur video that caught the beginning of the accident. It shows the main formation of four already grouped up and travelling pretty fast from left to right in the clip. The fifth is behind, maybe two or three A/C lengths, but on about the same heading and catching up. The sixth plane, the accident plane, comes into the scene at what looks to be the lead groups 10 or 11 o'clock position, almost on an opposite course, but low and pulling hard to port to roll in behind them. All were low; there were trees all along the lower edge of the shot, but #6 appeared lowest of all.


In my view he was pulling very hard, maybe too hard and too low (and with no g-suit). Within a few seconds he still seemed to be at about an 80 degree or greater bank angle and had turned most of the way back toward the heading of the main group, showing a bottom plan view to the camera. He appeared to be losing more height in the turn. In the last half-second of the clip his nose seemed to be dropping below horizontal though the bank angle still seemed very pronounced as he dropped behind the trees from the camera's perspective.


It's only speculation, but it had the appearance that he was pulling so hard that he either blacked out or had begun to stall. It appeared to be a really radical turn at a very low height.


There is also an unconfirmed report that the #6 aircraft clipped a pine tree at the end of the previous manuever, but no one seems too sure of it. It really doesn't seem credible that anyone would attempt a turn like that to rejoin in an aircraft that had just hit a tree.



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Hi John,

Thanks for the update, like you I can't believe that if #6 had clipped a tree that he would continue the display considering the incredible stress these aircraft must be under.

By the sound of it, in that last manoeuvre he got to the point of no return and with the nose dropping like that combined with a possible momentary black out, it's a recipe for disaster.

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Have to agree about the plus paks John, they definately add alot to flight sim.

I have Traffic and all the pluspaks, my airfields are literally flooding with AI. I can almost feel my CPU burning up! :mrhappy:

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