Boeing VC-25A 92-9000 carried the body of former President Gerald Ford from Palm Springs to Andrews Air Force Base on Saturday, December 30, 2006.
A classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite was launched into orbit from Space Launch Complex 2 West at Vandenberg Air Force Base by a Delta-II rocket at 1:00 PM PST Thursday, December 14.
The Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force hosted Pilot Maker Day at the Camarillo Airport on December 9, 2006. Three North American Texans and a Beech Mentor buzzed the airport.
Since 1974, the 146th Airlift Wing has flown Lockheed C-130E Hercules. On Saturday, December 2, 2006, the 146th Airlift Wing conducted its last C-130E flight. The C-130Es have been replaced by Lockheed-Martin C-130Js and are being transferred to Little Rock Air Force Base.
The planet Mercury passed directly between the Earth and the Sun on Wednesday, November 8. First contact occurred at 11:12 AM PST. Final contact occurred at 4:10 PM PST.
The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-17 Block 5D-3 spacecraft was lofted into orbit from Space Launch Complex 6 (SLC-6, pronounced slick six) by a Delta-IV rocket shortly before dawn, at 5:53 AM PST on Saturday, November 4, 2006.
The Edwards Air Force Base Open House was held over the weekend of October 28-29.
I photographed the static displays at the Edwards Air Force Base Open House with two cameras to create stereoscopic pairs. To see the airplanes and helicopters in 3-D, cross your eyes until the two images line up.
The USAF Thunderbirds put on their usual precision flying performance each day of the airshow.
A media contingent spent several hours photographing the air traffic on the main runway at Edwards Air Force Base on Wednesday, October 25. The air temperature was in the 70s. The wind was blowing 17 miles per hour, gusting to 23 miles per hour.
On October 21, 2006, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 499 hosted an informal fly-in at the Santa Maria Airport. The Seattle Museum of Flight's Douglas DC-2 was joined by a Lockheed model 12A Electra. Both airplanes are restored in TWA livery. Several vintage light planes were also on display.
On September 30, 2006, the Santa Barbara Airport hosted Airport Adventure, a salute to local aviation emergency responders. A number of airplanes, helicopters, and fire trucks were opened up for the public to examine. The show featured flybys of a North American T-28 Trojan and a Grumman F8F Bearcat. Five more T-28 Trojans arrived later in the morning. A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter demonstrated the retrieval of a crewman as it hovered overhead. A Cessna Citation and a pair of Aerovodochody L-39 Albatrosses made two passes over the airport.
Aerial tankers have been fighting the Day Fire for many days. On Monday, September 25, the tanker action was concentrated over Santa Paula Canyon, just a few miles from Ojai. Lockheed P-3 Orions from the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station shared the sky with Lockheed P-2 Neptunes from the Fox Field Air Attack Station. Bell 205 and 212 Hueys paraded back and forth above the Santa Paula River.
Tankers fought the Day Fire from the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station for ten days, from Monday, September 18 to Wednesday September 27. Three Lockheed P-2 Neptunes and four Lockheed P-3 Orions were photographed during the period.
On Sunday, September 10, the 146th Airlift Wing hosted a Family Day Luau. A Lockheed C-130E Hercules and a Lockheed-Martin C-130J Hercules were opened up for people to tour. Two North American B-25 Mitchells, a Grumman F8F Bearcat, a Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat, a North American T-28B Trojan, and a Beech T-34 Mentor made several passes over the airfield and then parked next to the Hercules for the crowd to examine at close range.
A wildfire broke out northwest of Goleta on Saturday, September 9. A variety of tankers and air attack airplanes arrived at the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station to fight the fire Saturday afternoon.
The Santa Maria Airport and the Santa Maria Museum of Flight hosted the annual Thunder Over the Valley show over the weekend of August 25 - 26. A highlight of the show was the presence of the Seattle Museum of Flight's Douglas DC-2, which had just been painted in TWA livery by Art Craft. In addition to a variety of warbirds and trainers, there were several military helicopters and McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornets from the U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Air Force.
Many airplanes and helicopters arrived at the Santa Maria Airport on Friday, August 25.
Static displays, Saturday, August 26, 2006.
Flying displays, Saturday, August 26, 2006.
The Camarillo Airport hosted an airshow over the weekend of August 19 - 20. The airshow was sponsored by Chapter 723 of the Experimental Aircraft Association and featured flying performances by the airplanes of the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.
Flying displays, page 1.
Flying displays, page 2.
The annual Independence Day fireworks show over Goleta.
The first Boeing Delta-IV rocket to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base lifted off at 8:33 P.M. PDT Tuesday, June 27. The launch was postponed to the end of the 19 minute launch window due to winds at the launch pad.
Three aerial tankers and a pair of Air Attack planes came to the Santa Barbara Air Attack Station to fight the Perkins Fire in the Los Padres National Forest on Monday, June 19. As of Monday, June 26, the Perkins fire was 100% contained, having burned just under 15,000 acres.
A Minuteman III missile was launched on a suborbital trajectory toward Kwajalein Atoll from LF-04 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:22 A.M. on Wednesday, June 14. A nearly full moon illuminated the landscape during this 3-minute 10-second exposure.
Airplanes that participated in the Quiet Birdmen Airshow and Barbecue on Monday, June 12, took off and landed at the Camarillo Airport. The vintage warbirds of the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force were joined by the Curtiss P-40N Warhawk and Douglas SBD Dauntless of the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino, Wayne Getchell's Hawker Sea Fury, and the sole airworthy Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, as well as several aerobatic performers.
The 2006 Van Nuys Rockin' Air Fest marked the end of a forty-six year tradition at the Van Nuys Airport. New hangars will be constructed on the area where the airshows have been held. Several of the aircraft that appeared at the Air Fest departed or were towed to their usual parking places on Monday, June 12.
The only airworthy Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, NX92879 made its first visit to California in many years. It belongs to the Commemorative Air Force and is based in Texas. It appeared at the Van Nuys Rockin' Air Fest on Sunday June 11. It spent several days at the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force at the Camarillo Airport.
On Wednesday May 31, the Evergreen International 747-273C Supertanker flew from Boise, Idaho to the San Bernardino Airport with a load of 20,000 gallons of water that it dropped in a demonstration of its potential as a firefighter. This was the final demonstration in a tour that took the Supertanker to Sacramento California, the Aberdeen Proving Ground Maryland, Scott Air Force Base Illinois, Tallahassee Florida, and Boise.
The 2006 Chino warbird airshow really stood out for the number of long unseen participants that pushed even the Northrop N9M flying wing off the schedule. It featured flights by the Planes of Fame Boeing P-26 Peashooter, Seversky AT-12 trainer version of the P-35, and Bob Odegaard's Goodyear F2G Corsair with an R-4360 twenty-eight cylinder radial engine. Sunday was overcast and much cooler than last year. The cloud deck descended in the afternoon, so that the Air Force General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon frequently disappeared into the clouds during its aerobatic display.
Flying displays page 1: National Anthem Formation, World War I Dog Fight, Goodyear F2G Corsair Aerobatics, and Silver Wings Stearman Biplane Wing Walker.
Flying displays page 2: Pacific Theater Navy Flight
Flying displays page 3: Korean Air War, U.S. Navy F-18 Hornet Tactical Demonstration, and European Theater Flight
Flying displays page 4: Air Power Formation Flight, U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Jet Tactical Demonstration, and Heritage Flight
The Cloudsat and CALIPSO satellites were launched into orbit by a Delta-II rocket at 3:02:16 AM PDT Friday April 28.
Due to a failure of the CALIPSO Satellite to communicate with its ground support network in France, a Delta II rocket did not powerfully launch it and the Cloudsat into orbit on Friday, April 21 at 3:02 AM PDT. Residents of the Santa Ynez Valley, obscured by clouds, were not roused from their beds by the roar of the mighty rocket. On Saturday evening, the launch was postponed due to the unavailability of a KC-135 tanker to refuel the NKC-135B Big Crow telemetry relay airplane that will be flying over the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles south of Vandenberg Air Force Base during the launch.
The Experimental Aircraft Association's Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast arrived at the Santa Barbara Airport on Monday, April 17, 2006. On Tuesday and Wednesday Aluminum Overcast carried aviation enthusiasts aloft on nostalgia flights. On Thursday it departed for Riverside.
On Saturday, April 16, I visited Falcon Field near Mesa. It is home to the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. North American B-25H Mitchell Barbie III and Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Liberty Belle are visiting Falcon Field.
On Thursday, April 13, I parked on the south bank of the Salt River at the end of 40th Street to photograph the departures from Runway 07L at Sky Harbor International Airport.
On Wednesday, April 12, I visited Luke Air Force Base, Goodyear Airport, and Sky Harbor International Airport. Luke Air Force Base is home to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons of the 56th Fighter Wing and the 499th Fighter Wing. Many retired airliners are stored at the Goodyear Airport.
On Tuesday, April 11, I checked out several photography locations at Sky Harbor International Airport.
On Tuesday, April 11, after I checked out Sky Harbor International Airport, I drove east to the Williams-Gateway Airport.
On Friday, April 7, I spent some time on the south bank of the Salt River at the end of 40th Street taking pictures of the airplanes at Sky Harbor International Airport.
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-10, N450AX 10 Tanker Air Carrier was sighted flying westbound over Goleta at an altitude of 12,000 feet at 7:56 A.M. on Thursday, March 30.
On Friday, March 24 an Antonov Design Bureau An-124 Ruslan flew from Keflavik, Iceland to NAS Pt. Mugu, California. Flight ADB7836 arrived at 12:51 PM PST.
Three Space Technology 5 satellites were placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Pegasus-XL booster launched from Orbital's Lockheed L-1011, N140SC Stargazer at 6:03 A.M. PST on March 22, 2006.
On Wednesday, March 15, 2006 the 737-800 Short Field Prototype paid a short visit to the Santa Barbara Airport. Flight BOE271 departed from Edwards Air Force Base at 11:04 AM PST and arrived at Santa Barbara at 1:21 PM PST.
The failure of a fin securing pin to retract resulted in an abort of the attempt to launch NASA's Space Technology 5 satellite. The next launch attempt will occur no earlier than Wednesday, March 22. Orbital Science's L-1011, N140SC Stargazer is seen returning to Runway 12 at Vandenberg Air Force Base with the Pegasus-XL booster.
On Tuesday, March 14 a pair of Volga-Dnepr An-124 Ruslans flew from Wheeler Sack AAF, New York to the Southern California Air Logistics Center at Victorville, California. Flight VDA3424 arrived at 12:35 PM PST and flight VDA3400 arrived at 2:20 PM.
On Thursday, March 2, I spent a few hours on the hill above Imperial Highway photographing the traffic on the south runways at LAX.
Page 1 of the Air Traffic at Los Angeles International Airport, March 2, 2006 display
Page 2 of the Air Traffic at Los Angeles International Airport, March 2, 2006 display
Delta Airlines 767-232, N102DA Spirit of Delta was the first 767-200 operated by Delta and will be the last to be retired. It made a last tour of the United States before its retirement to a Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. In preparation for its retirement, it has been painted in the livery it wore in 1982. It arrived at Los Angeles International Airport for the last time on February 27 in a major rain storm.
On the morning of February 28 the storm abated. I drove to LAX to photograph Spirit of Delta. N102DA made a local flight around Santa Catalina Island with a load of lucky passengers. It then departed for Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington.
While I was at LAX, I photographed dozens of airliners.
Page 1 of the Air Traffic at Los Angeles International Airport, February 28, 2006 display
Page 2 of the Air Traffic at Los Angeles International Airport, February 28, 2006 display
A Minuteman III missile was launched on a suborbital trajectory toward Kwajalein Atoll from LF-10 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 12:01 A.M. on Thursday, February 16. The ascent of the missile was monitored by a crew aboard HALO II, a modified Gulfstream IIB with a large infra-red telescope.
Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale is home to two collections of vintage airplanes, Blackbird Airpark and the Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark. Both airparks are located on Avenue P, adjacent to 25th Street East. Blackbird Airpark is the only place where you can see an SR-71A, an A-12, and a D-21 drone together. There will eventually be over 40 airplanes on display at Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark.
Boeing's Canadair T-33, N416X and the first Boeing 757-200, N757A which now serves as the F-22 Avionics testbed, arrived at Air Force Plant 42 at Palmdale on the morning of February 13.
Polikarpov I-16 Type 24, N30425 is visiting the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 "Zero", N58245, which has been undergoing long-term restoration at the SoCal Wing, has been sold to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It will be disassembled and shipped to Hawaii in the near future.
Proteus, N281PR stayed overnight at the Santa Barbara Airport on January 11, 2006. It departed at 6:40 A.M. on January 12, about 25 minutes before sunrise. It flew to Kwajalein Atoll by way of Honolulu.
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