Category Archives: Video

Sky Boom

We’ve got a bit of weather moving through tonight – I love this! And with an iPhone with a pretty good video camera built in, I can share:

It also does pretty good frame captures:

There actually is the faintest trace of the bolt still visible in that last shot – click on it to blow up the image to full screen size to see it.

It’s still booming out there, but about fifteen minutes ago another cell passed right over us, it started pouring, and the temperature dropped about 15°F in about five minutes. I’ll watch from inside for now.

 

 

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Filed under Photography, Video, Weather

Ford Tri-Motor

We got some unusual stuff flying about CMA and on the CAF SoCal ramp today, even by our standards.

Our PBJ (B-25) is done with it’s annual inspection and was back flying training missions. We had a Vietnam era Huey helicopter come in and take three groups of riders out.

I didn’t get to go on either aircraft – I have an audit starting Monday and had no time for flying today, which is a sad, sad commentary on the state of the world.

But I did come out of my padded room long enough at one point to see the EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor up and taking riders. You just don’t see one of those every day!

 

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Video

El Nino

I don’t know if this has officially been declared an “El Nino” year by the National Weather Service (or whoever’s in charge of such things) but it sure feels that way to those of us getting drenched.

In an “El Nino” year, there’s a warm patch of Pacific Ocean water that forms around Christmas time (which has something to do with the name – google it) and the end result is an unusually wet winter in California. We get these “atmospheric rivers” that start funneling huge, wet, relatively warm storms onto the California coast, one after the other for days, one onslaught after another.

Whether official or not, this is what we get:

(I wasn’t driving, thanks!)

At this particular moment, the weather radar looked like:

(Image from Wunderground, despite their competitor’s ad, which I find somewhat hilarious and ironic and just a bit creepy.)

It’s quiet now, mostly, but there’s a lot of unstable air behind these fronts, and another couple of fronts to follow about every eighteen hours, so tomorrow and Monday look soggy as well.

While this might be beneficial in terms of alleviating our constant water shortages and drought in California and the Southwest states, it’s not so good in terms of the flash flooding and mudslides.

Welcome to California! If one thing doesn’t kill you, it’s opposite thing will!

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Filed under Los Angeles, Video, Weather

Spectacular SpaceX Launch

Tonight SpaceX launched a large weather satellite out of Vandenberg just after sunset. We know from experience that this can lead to some truly spectacular views in the Los Angeles area.

Since we’re now in a home at the top of a hill with a decent view to the west (Vandenberg is to our northwest and they’re launching to the south, so the rocket goes directly to the west of us) instead of one at the bottom of a hill (this hill, in fact) with the hill blocking the horizon to the west, I was hoping we would get some decent views. I was not disappointed.

With advance warning of the launch, I decided to try my first FaceBook Live streaming video of the launch. There were lessons learned and things to do better next time, but I think that it turned out pretty well all in all. You can watch it:

HERE

It starts as we’re about a minute or so before launch and in the background you can hear the audio from the SpaceX webcast. You’ll also hear the dulcet tones of me and my gravelly, nasal voice trying to give some sort of running commentary, and occasionally going a bit ape. Did I say that we had “decent” views? Try “spectacular” views!

You can fast forward to about 3:45 to when I first see the rocket coming up over the hill. At 5:05 the first stage shuts down, the stages separate, the second stage lights off and heads south to deliver the satellite to orbit, and the first stage starts puffing clouds of gas from the cold gas control thrusters as it maneuvers. (This whole thing is utterly amazing and colorful and freaked out more than a few people in LA who didn’t know what was going on.)

At 08:20 the first stage re-entry burn starts as the first stage slows and aims for landing back at Vandenberg. (It fell below the hill again after the burn ended so I couldn’t see the landing, but it did occur and was perfect.) From there on I follow the second stage and satellite, which was visible all the way to second stage engine cutoff!

That’s freaking amazing, just astonishing.

Enjoy the video, and if you’re in the LA area, keep an eye on the SpaceX feed (or on my FaceBook and/or Twitter feed) for the next dusk launch.

In ten years I would love to see these things be weekly events. In twenty I would love to see them daily.

We’re spreading off of this planet and becoming a multi-planetary species!

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Filed under Space, Video

Wings Over Camarillo Preview

The air show is tomorrow and Sunday. I was out at the hangar tonight getting my financial ducks in a row (I am the Finance Officer for the CAF SoCal Wing, need to get cash boxes and paperwork ready for our various revenue points such as our PX booth [T-shirts, hats, toys, etc], our Beer Garden [margaritas, sodas, water, and snacks as well], our membership booth, and our ride sales) and took the time (I could I not!) to watch a few of the planes coming in and doing their practice routines.

Allow me to share!

(Click on image to enlarge to full size)

Our ramp has some sweet aircraft on it! Not only are our warbirds there, but there’s a P-38 Lightning, a Corsair, and a Warthog!!

Then the F-18’s started coming in and practicing. (Having two F-18s taking off in formation on full afterburners is an ASTONISHING thing to experience, even if it does leave you saying “What??!!” a lot for the next couple of hours!)

That sunset!! And then our Zero taxied in.

It would have been sweet to have the good camera (I didn’t, I went to the hangar straight from work) but this doesn’t suck!

I hope to see some of you this weekend out in Camarillo. For the rest of you, watch for pictures here and on my other social media.

For the really, really good photos (to be taken by pros who aren’t simultaneously running around like lunatics trying to be the finance guy) you can follow the CAF SoCal feeds on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Panorama, Photography, Video

No Context For You – July 08th (Video)

Sometimes the pocket supercomputer/library/entertainment/communication/ubertools just get a mind of their own. There are some odd things found on there some times.

As someone who earned a check writing computer programs for many years back in the day, I have a general belief that the machines do what we tell them to – we just often don’t understand what we’re telling them to do, so we act baffled when they do it.

I haven’t checked this frame by frame, but it doesn’t seem that there’s anything nasty or indecent in it. The likelihood of that being true is helped considerably by the fact that my life is pretty boring and mundane.

This may or may not be a good thing.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Video

Vapor In The Cabin

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in the hot & humid South, but it hasn’t been that rare for me to be getting onto a plane in the hot & humid South. Yet I’ve never seen this before:

  1. It wasn’t black or grey smoke
  2. It didn’t smell like anything dangerous
  3. It was cold as hell
  4. No one else seemed to be paying it any attention…

…so I just ignored it and didn’t start screaming. (This, by the way, is the reason so many horror movies don’t end after five minutes of set up. No one wants to be embarrassed or exposed as the simpleton who sees anything odd about a guy in a hockey mask, carrying a machete, covered in blood. So we all just ignore it and “go along,” which is fine until teenagers start to get hacked to death at an isolated cabin.)

Given the weather, people’s reactions, and the fact that I saw it again on the connecting flight in Charlotte, I’m guessing it’s some new kind of super fast, super powerful cooling system which the planes hook up to while on the ground to keep them at a slightly bearable temperature inside. The white mist isn’t smoke, but water condensation of some sort. Very similar to the “fog” you see coming off of a horizontal fridge at Baskin-Robbins during the summer.

Just so long as they’re not putting me under a tombstone that says, “He saw the smoke but figured it was normal.”

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Filed under Flying, Travel, Video