Category Archives: CAF

Racing The Storm

Today it was back to clear and a million, but yesterday there were showers about. When we give rides at the CAF safety is our number one concern, so we don’t fly in any sort of threatening or inclement weather. But yesterday the main line of storms was still about 100 miles to the north and what we had locally was widely scattered and light, so we got our scheduled ride in. But it looked dramatic.

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Filed under CAF, Photography, Weather

Battening Down

It wasn’t a particularly strong or violent storm, but it looked dramatic. But you can never be too careful, so all of the aircraft were buttoned up and battened down.

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Filed under CAF, Photography, Weather

Early Morning At The Hangar

When you get there early, before everyone else, you can go talk to the planes all by yourself.

(Click to view full sized image)

  • From left to right:
  • Navion (silver)
  • F-24 (red)
  • P-47 Thunderbolt (in restoration)
  • F8 Bearcat (in front)
  • F6 Hellcat (in back, mostly just the prop showing to the left of the F8’s tail)
  • A6M3 Zero (green & gold, behind the P-51)
  • P-51 Mustang

Enjoy the silence.

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Filed under CAF, Panorama, Photography

High & Puffy & Straight

The deadline’s here. I only got two hours’ sleep last night getting things done, and then was up early to get out to the hangar.

It was a lovely day.

When I got to the hangar and turned on my computer, it went into an update that took almost two hours, so I was trying to work from my iPad for a while.

It was a lovely day.

It was warm-ish with just a little breeze, a wonderful day to fly. We had folks doing training, but I did not go flying. I spent most of the day inside doing auditing and accounting and Spanish Inquisition-ish things.

It was a lovely day.

At one point when we were sending up the PBJ, I went out and noticed this long, thin contrail cutting through the few light, whispy, thinly scattered clouds.

It was a lovely day.

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Filed under CAF, Photography

Again The Similarities

The race is on – tight deadlines, crushing pressure to get things done, the finish line coming into sight, not clear if I’m going to make it or not. Some times I’m feeling pretty good, then something pops up that slows me down and I’m starting to get a little panicked. But I suck it up, put my head down, and keep slogging on. Things get back on track, but the pressure never goes away.

A lot of it is routine, rote, and I’m already exhausted, so the mind wanders. There’s music to keep me going, but when you’re this tired and trying to focus but also just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other, the emotional roller coaster is open for business. One song will get me going, cranked up to an eleven, played on repeat two or three times. Another will remind me of something or someone and suddenly I’m on the verge of tears. Through it all, I have to keep moving.

Finally a milestone is reached. That’s great, even if it’s not necessarily the one that I was hoping to reach tonight. But the battle plan had to shift a bit so as long as we’re still making progress in putting the whole puzzle together, I’ll take it.

Through it all, I’m reminded yet again of the similarities and lessons learned in other activities that might seem to be completely unrelated.

Am I running a marathon? No, but that’s where the lessons and similarity comes from. The work for the past weeks and month have been back and forth between the real, day job and the upcoming audit for the hangar. For the past two weeks the major, monstrously huge hurdle for the immediate time has been cleared at work, so it’s been pedal to the metal on the audit, which starts on Monday morning.

It will be fine – I really can see the finish line. But it’s going to be close.

And I’m glad that I learned so much from running a marathon or three.

Maybe when both of these tasks are behind me I should do that again.

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Filed under CAF, Deep Thoughts

A MIG Divided

A MIG-17 to be precise. It’s owned by one of the CAF SoCal staff members (@highalphaairshows) and is having a little maintenance done.

Who knew that they came apart like that? Not me!

The tail end is largely just a shell to keep it aerodynamic and provide structure for the tail and the horizontal stabilizer.

By the way, these no doubt would have been classified, top-secret photos, costing the lives of dozens of CIA agents and operatives about the time I was born.

Here’s the business end which that tail encloses and covers. That’s a LOT of jet engine!

As sleek, powerful, and FAST as the MIG-17 looks when ready to fly, like this it’s just odd. Sort of like seeing your grandmother naked odd.

It’s a wicked machine for turning gallon after gallon of Jet-A into noise, with a top speed of just under Mach 1 as a side effect.

Not something you see every day!

 

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Photography

Clear & A Million

There was a winter storm earlier last week (another one moving in tonight) and the snow level dropped down to about 3,000 feet. The mountains north of Camarillo go up well above that, so they got fresh snow. But yesterday was cloudless, “clear and a million” in flying parlance, and our P-51 Mustang was out on the ramp…

It would have been a spectacular day to go flying, but this aircraft is still well above my pay grade.

Something to work toward in 2020, even if they’re just baby steps.

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Filed under CAF, Photography