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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Goodyear blimp touch and goes

i work along side a 10000 foot runway, a remnant of this place's former glory days. i remember watching our own air shows every day out back. A-5's, f-111's, F-15 and 16's, A-10's, KC-10 and 135's, C-5 and C-17's, and the occasional U-2 from up north. i've even watched Navy F-18's buzz the place. now we get to watch civilian aircraft take off and land. there are a couple of cool users out here that we watch do touch and goes like the Coast Guard's C-130:
click for other size options
Coastie touch

coastie c130 touch and

and go

coastie c130 go

there is a California Dept of Forestry repair depot for their helicopters, OV-10 Broncos and the S-2 Tracker bombers they bought from the Navy (ooooold skool, like Korean War old school)
cdf bomber

cdf bomber2

we've watched P-51 Mustangs, B-17 and B-24 bombers, and any number of other curiosities fly in and out of here. but until last week, i'd never seen a Blimp fly in and out, and do touch and goes!
approach

photos0011

touch

photos0018

and go

photos0034


the blimp was here for the first round of the March Madness basketball tourney, and was flying around the area for a couple of days. this day, they were doing a bunch of promo flights, landing occasionally and loading on another batch of lucky bastards. they made quite a few flights in and out, circling the field, doing touch and goes, and landing for another batch.
i know from various television shows that the blimp is pretty maneuverable, but i wasn't prepared for just how capable it was. the angles of approach and departure, plus the speed it could drop and rise amazed the hell out of me. i'm not sure about the angle of takeoff following the touch and go, but it had to be at least 30 degrees, and probably closer to 45 degrees. and from runway to about 500 feet up only took seconds. i would have loved to be sitting in that machine during the touch and goes. what a ride. and they pay those pilots money. just doesn't seem fair, does it?
for a look at all the photos in sequence from that day, check out my flickr set here

and one final note: HEY GOODYEAR BLIMP PILOTS!!! if you ever come back to this area, i'll trade you a cool and unique tour of the country's newest facility of this type, and even show you the blue glow in trade for a ride. no kidding! just think of the stories you will be able to tell your grandkids, looking down into the heart of a nuclear fire.... you won't be sorry. and just to make sure you don't feel like you've taken advantage of me, i'll downplay the coolness factor of going up in a blimp. just to save your feeling of course. oh, and i'll bring Donuts!

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1 Comments:

Blogger Old Gary said...

Your post reminded me of an old Coast Guard joke.

Why do you have to be 6 foot tall to get in the Coast Guard?

So you can wade ashore if your ship sinks.

3/27/07, 1:34 PM  

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