Saturday, April 9, 2016

Lakeland 2016

2016 Sun 'n Fun
The thundering roar of an old warbird. Everything else stops as heads turn toward the sound. I couldn't see anything until slowly the beautiful beast climbed above the viewers tents. A B17 was taking off. WOW! Throughout the day we would be awed by P51s, F4Us, P39, B25 and some others I couldn't identify. But the sound, the thunder, had me turn my head every time.

Best looking planes at the show
Later in the day came the new guys. F22 is an old friend, but this was the first time I had seen a demonstration flight. I didn't see the F35 but it was there. Neither of the big military demonstration teams performed, but the Golden Knights opened each morning by bringing in the Flag. (My friend Duane told me that about half the crowd understood the phrase "Remove your covers" on opening day.)
Nose art...on the tail
Former training squadron

The aircraft displays were great. To spend the day just walking around new airplanes and equipment is a real pleasure. But as often been said, the real joy is the people. These shows are in fact, Homecomings.  While 90% of the conversation is centered around things that fly, talk of family and work and health also occasionally crept in. Off limits this year was any discussion about politics. The aerobatic performers and the numerous formation teams were all spectacular. But for me the best was the final act of the day. A flyby of a P51 with an F4U in tight formation. Breathtaking.

I'm told this show isn't as big as Oshkosh. We'll see.

Video Notes: Lakeland Departure

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