John "dfndr13" Kosak: Blog http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) John "dfndr13" Kosak 13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) Sun, 18 May 2014 23:08:00 GMT Sun, 18 May 2014 23:08:00 GMT http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v23/u415585705-o547468357-50.jpg John "dfndr13" Kosak: Blog http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog 120 90 George Washington University Hockey vs Richmond http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/george-washington-university-hockey-vs-richmond The second game of the year I shot of the Colonials crew was against the Richmond Spiders.  This game started out pretty even and for a while I thought the Spiders might have a chance.  However, after a while it just started to feel like the Spiders were chasing the Colonials or just getting caught out of position most of the night.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 04, 2013. Photo: John Kosak The Colonials had way too many opportunities to load up and release shots on goal throughout the night.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 04, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Which resulted in some really nice goals for the Colonials, like this one, which knocked the water bottle right off the net. 

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe first goal of the game, scored by George Washington's #25 Terhar, knocks the water bottle of the back of the Richmond Spiders net during their game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak The Colonials' goalie wasn't getting quite the same workout but was equal to the task more often than his Spider counterpart.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 04, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Lots of battles for the puck, but it really did seem like the Spiders were trying to play catch-up all night long.  Just for the record, GW's #25 is not the guy you want your goalie facing all alone as he is the team leader in goals scored.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Because that usually results in this.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak The Spiders didn't just give up and really player with heart the way they tried to block some of the shots.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Late in the game the Spiders did score enough to make it interesting.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak But the pressure from the Colonials was relentless, propelling them to a 6-3 win with more shots like this one.

Spiders at ColonialsSpiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak

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13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) ACCHL ACHL Arlington Ballston Mall Colonials GWU Garage George Washington Hockey Ice Kettler Capitals IcePlex Rooftop University VA team http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/george-washington-university-hockey-vs-richmond Mon, 17 Feb 2014 00:09:41 GMT
George Washington University Hockey vs Kutztown http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/george-washington-university-hockey-vs-kutztown I had fun shooting the George Washington University Colonials at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this season.  The rink they play on has a nice wide spot between the benches that allows you to shoot from inside the glass.  Of course this does mean that you have to keep your head up because the guys will try to check each other over any board they can!

The first game I shot this year was against the Kutztown Golden Bears.  This was back in October, very early in the season for both teams.  Skaters were still finding their feet and sometimes communication was a bit off.  That might explain why one of the best checks in this game was by a Kutztown player on one of his teammates, timing was just a bit off on that hit.

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 27, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Kutztown got on the board in the second period and I captured a goal celly that almost looked staged.

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 27, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Both goalies got a work out but the Colonials' goalie made this one look nice when he snatched it out of the air.

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 28, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Lots of action along the boards during this game, these guys definitely aren't afraid to hit each other.

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 27, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Lots of battling for the puck throughout the game.

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 28, 2013. Photo: John Kosak

The Colonials also had reason to celebrate scoring during the game as they managed to pot 4 goals, including this beauty.

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 28, 2013. Photo: John Kosak

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 28, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Unfortunately, Kutztown managed 5 goals and took home the win.

Golden Bears at ColonialsGolden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 28, 2013. Photo: John Kosak

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13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) ACCHL ACHL Arlington Ballston Mall Colonials GWU Garage George Washington Hockey Ice Kettler Capitals IcePlex Rooftop University VA team http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/george-washington-university-hockey-vs-kutztown Sun, 16 Feb 2014 23:46:51 GMT
I Shot the Olympics, Kinda... http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/i-shot-the-olympics-kinda I've been looking at the rosters for the ice hockey competition at the Sochi Olympics and realizing that I've had the opportunity to photograph a lot of these guys in the AHL and a few more in the NHL.  I've had a great relationship with the Grand Rapids Griffins, which started via their amazing social media presence.  A big thanks goes out to my friend John VanderHaagen and several other Griffins social media staff who have helped me out along this journey.  This journey has taken me to some fantastic places as I've shot not only in the Griffins home at VanAndel Arena in Grand Rapids, but I have met them on the road in Cleveland and most recently during the Calder Cup Finals in Syracuse New York.  My connections have also given me the opportunity to photograph the Griffins Alumni in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, ECHL games in Orlando and Las Vegas and another NHL game in Tampa.

Just looking back at the Calder Cup Finals featuring the eventual champion Griffins versus the Crunch reminds me of how luck I am.  Here is Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic) living up to the Syracuse Crunch name in the corner. [Left]  Here is a shot of the Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Tomas Tatar (Slovakia) getting double teamed by a pair of Syracuse Crunch players, who are really taking their team name to heart.  To say that the Calder Cup Finals between the Griffins and Crunch was a physical series would be an understatement.  These teams were definitely the best of the best and neither one wanted to give an inch. [Right]

Griffins at CrunchGriffins at CrunchThe Grand Rapids Griffins visit the Syracuse Crunch for Game Two of the Calder Cup Finals on June, 09, 2013. Photo: John Kosak

 

Game One of the Calder Cup FinalsGame One of the Calder Cup Finals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

Here is Gustav Nyquist (Sweden) sealing game one of the Calder Cup Playoffs with an empty net goal. [Left]  The War Memorial was a unique and really cool place to shoot a hockey game, what a great experience. [Right]

Game One of the Calder Cup FinalsGame One of the Calder Cup Finals

Game One of the Calder Cup FinalsGame One of the Calder Cup Finals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made the most out of my one opportunity to shoot Griffins Alumni and regular Wings during a Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena.  I managed to capture [clockwise from upper left] Howard(USA), Datsyuk (Russia), Kronwall (Sweden) and Zetterburg (Sweden).

Stoppage of PlayStoppage of PlayDetroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) holds onto the puck and protects himself from St. Louis Blues center Chris Porter (32) during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on April,07,2013. Photo: John Kosak Pavel DatsyukPavel DatsyukDetroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) watches the play during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday April 7, 2013 (Photo: John Kosak)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Niklas KronwallNiklas KronwallDetroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55) waiting for a faceoff during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday April 7, 2013 (Photo: John Kosak)

 

 

Wrap AroundWrap AroundDetroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40) is pursued around the net by St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) while St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) watches during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on April,07,2013. Photo: John Kosak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yes, I've been a lucky man.  I've got lots more where this came from.  Feel free to click on the pictures and go to the galleries where you see all the pictures.

 

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13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) AHL American Defense Forward Goalies Hockey Ice Hockey League NHL National Players http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/i-shot-the-olympics-kinda Sat, 15 Feb 2014 00:44:28 GMT
Women's Ice Hockey http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/womens-ice-hockey The last time I shot women's ice hockey was back in January of 2011 and it was actually a girl's U12 team.  This time i was treated to a game at Reston SkateQuest between the host Reston Raiders U19 Tier 1 young women's team and the visiting Lady Patriots from Warminster, PA.  These two teams played on the Olympic sheet, which doesn't seem that much bigger until you do the math.  It's the same length as an NHL rink at 200 feet, but its 15 feet wider, which means there is an extra 3,000 square feet of ice to play on.  Also, while it appeared that these young women weren't allowed to check each other, they certainly didn't shy away from what we like to call incidental contact.  I also didn't notice any real difference in the level of intensity as these women went after each other with great abandon.  It was a great game to watch.  [You can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the galery to see all of the pictures from this game, over 75 of them!]

Home Raiders Reston Hockey Women Girls Away Lady Patriots Women Girls Hockey

These two teams appeared to be very closely matched, but after the first few minutes I was thinking that the fairly well rounded team game being played by the Raiders could lead them to victory.  That was right up until the Patriots scored first just over 6 minutes into the game.  However, the Patriots were plagued by some bad penalties as well as a couple of suspect calls throughout the rest of the first period of play.  The Raiders took advantage of this and managed to tie the game on a Power Play with 6 minutes left in the first period.  At the End of the first period the game was tied at one goal each.  The Raiders led the shots on goal, out shooting the Patriots 14-5 during the first period.

Raiders Patriots Hockey Women Girls Raiders Patriots Hockey Women Girls

Both teams settled down to business in the second period, trading only a pair of penalties through the first ten minutes.  It was a great back and forth struggle with both teams getting breakaways and spending time cycling the puck in each team's offensive zone.  Both teams rang up 7 shots on goal each during this time but the Patriots were the first to score, taking a 2-1 lead on their 12th shot of the game.  The Raiders were not content to let the game slip away and took over the last 6 minutes of the period as they attacked the Patriots with four more shots, while only allowing one on their own goalie, finally finding the back of the net on their 25th attempt of the game to knot the score at two goals each.  The second period ended with the same score and the Raiders leading the shots on goal 27-13.

Hockey Girls Women Raiders Patriots Hockey Girls Women Raiders Patriots

The third period saw both teams dig in and play very good hockey with only one penalty early on.  The back and forth hockey continued for the entire period with the Raiders piling up the shots, throwing the biscuit at the Patriots goalie 15 times during the 17 minute period.  Lots of puck cycling again in the opposing team's zone.  More breakaways and lots of skating.  The Lady Patriots only took two shots in the third period, but the second one got past the goalie with only a minute left in the game.  After one last minute of furious play by the Raiders, the Patriots were able to celebrate a Saturday night victory on the Olympic sheet at Reston SkateQuest.

Hockey Girls Women Raiders Patriots Hockey Girls Women Raiders Patriots Hockey Girls Women Raiders Patriots Hockey Girls Women Raiders Patriots

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13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) Club Girls Hockey Ice Hockey Lady Patriots Raiders Reston Sport Team Women http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/womens-ice-hockey Mon, 10 Dec 2012 02:03:29 GMT
The Flying Circus Air Show http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/the-flying-circus-air-show The Flying Circus Air Show is one of the most enjoyable air shows I've ever had the pleasure of attending.  As of the end of the 2012 season, I've been six times.  The best part of having their own aerodrome is that they can have an air show every Sunday from May through October.  There are a number of aircraft that are based right on the airfield and a number of others that fly in each Sunday just for the airshow.  Watching the arrivals is half the fun.  They come in from all points of the compass starting about 11:00 AM after the gates open.

Flying Circus Air ShowFlying Circus The air show doesn't start until 2:30 PM, so you might wonder what they are doing arriving so early.  The answer is simple, they are giving rides.  Yep, for a very reasonable price you can get a ride in an open cockpit aircraft.  If you're really brave, you can even sign up for the aerobatic ride.  That's where you go upside down in the airplane.  Don't worry, you'll get a parachute to wear, which is standard issue for aerobatics.  I've never seen anyone fall out during a ride, but they do give you instructions, just in case.  The only one I've ever seen come out of a Flying Circus aircraft is the one who brings the American flag down to start the show while our National Anthem is performed.  It looks something like this:

Skydiver Parachute That's when all the stars of the show arrive on a really patriotic Cadillac.

CadilacFlying Circus Crew Did I mention that this was a great show for families?  At least Snoopy thinks so.

SnoopyFlying Circus Fun A few quick notes about the facilities.  First, they have real facilities, not your normal air show porta-poties.  Additionally, they have benches set up for the crowd, although you're welcome to bring your own.  Some seats have umbrellas for shade.  They also have food, which is pretty good but even better is the fact that it's reasonably priced.  So make sure you stop by Fifi's Cafe for some tasty treats while you enjoy the show!

Flying Circus

Sometimes things get a little out of control, like when the flying farmer shows up and swipes an aircraft during the show.  He's a pretty good pilot for a guy who cuts the grass.  Not sure what I'm talking about?  Then check out the show for yourself because you really do need to see it to believe it!

Flying Circus The show lets the men and women of the Flying Circus demonstrate the capabilities of these aircraft, many used to train pilots during the Second World War.  They do this with some formation flying, practicing bombing with "flour" bombs (the Black Baron has a bad habit of being in the wrong place during this demonstration), practicing tight turns while chasing after a roll of paper towels dropped out of the cockpit and trying to pop balloons with their propellers.

Ribbon Cutting There are a couple of aircraft that show up from time to time that aren't strictly WW-II era trainers.  Usually, its an aerobatic type of aircraft that shows up to put on an acrobatic display for the crowd.  More airplanes that go upside down and perform some amazing stunts in the air over the crowd.

Flying Circus One of the most impressive acts at the Flying Circus air show is the wing walking performance.  There are a number of brave men and women at the Flying Circus who are willing to head out on the wing of the Circus' silver and black Stearman.  It's an absolutely amazing sight to see a person climbing around the wings and fuselage of an aircraft while it does some amazing stunts, including going inverted!

Flying Circus Do yourself a favor, if you live anywhere near Bealeton Virginia, do yourself a favor and get to this show.  It's worth the drive.  To find out more about the show, including their schedule and directions, visit their web site - The Flying Circus

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13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) Air Aircraft Airfield Airshow Aviation Circus Classic Family Flying Fun Show Training WWII http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/the-flying-circus-air-show Sun, 02 Dec 2012 06:03:22 GMT
Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival 2012 http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/battle-creek-field-of-flight-air-show-and-balloon-festival-2012 This was my first visit to the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show.  I was completely happy with the entire experience.  Due to their excellent presence online, it was very easy for me to plan from my home in northern Virginia.  They have a web page, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  What really impressed me was how interactive they were, especially on Facebook where they would respond to most questions or comments the same day.  As a result, there were no surprises for me during the two events that I chose to attend during the four day long festival.

Sunset, Twilight, Aircraft, Airshow, Red Eagle, BiplaneRed Eagle Air Sports I dragged the family out Saturday night to see the twilight air show.  I'd been to one of these before and it was so awesome I couldn't wait to go to another one.  Unfortunately, twilight shows are pretty rare, so I jumped on this opportunity.  The evening was going to start with a balloon launch, but it was too windy to safely launch the balloons.  A number of people left after it was announced that the balloons would not fly, which really surprised me.  They missed a heck of a show as the sun went down.  Several aircraft took to the air to do aerobatic routines against the setting sun.  The picture above is the Red Eagle Airsports team.

Balloon Illume, Balloon, Illume, Airshow, Twilight, SunsetBalloon Illume

Well they didn't launch the balloons, but they did do the Balloon Illume.  If you've never seen one of these, put this show on your calendar for next year.  If it doesn't impress you, it will impress the kids as each balloon has a flamethrower that they use to heat the air that keeps the balloon upright.  When you get a large number of balloons and light them all up at once, it makes a great racket and the sight is one you won't soon forget.  Once they have lit them all up at once, they like to do this thing they call "Sparkle."  This is where the balloon pilots all light their flames up for short bursts at separate times.

Midway, Night, Rides, FunMidway at Night Another great feature of the Battle Creek Field of Flight show is their midway.  Not just food, like you find at most air shows, but lots of cool things to do.  The tower that they drop you from isn't exactly my thing, I might be more into the Ferris Wheel as they didn't have any roller-coasters.  Lots of rides and the USTA even brought their "Smash Zone" to show kids how to play tennis for free!  And just in case you were worried about what to do on hot days, there was the Water Wars Challenge where it was very easy to cool off.  Back to the show!

Glider, Jet, Sailplane, Night, Pyro, FireworksFire & Lights One of the awesome performers was Bob Carlton in the world's only jet powered sailplane.

Jet, School Bus, Flames, NightNight Light Did I mention the jet powered school bus?  Paul Stender drives a rather fast bus.  But at night he likes to create clouds of smoke with that jet engine.  Once he makes a nice large cloud, he fires up the afterburner.  The afterburner itself is fairly impressive all by itself, but when he fires it off inside the cloud he created, the results are, well... night and day!  If you look closely at the left side of the picture you can just make out the nose of the bus, which should give you some idea of how big that cloud really is.

Hoppers, Civilian, Jet, L-39The Hoppers Arrive I dragged the family back on Sunday.  It wasn't too difficult after the impressive twilight show, they were ready for more.  One of the first acts was the Hoppers, a civilian jet team that flies the L-39 Albatross.  The four aircraft put on a fantastic formation flight demonstration with numerous passes, making it a great for us photo geeks.

The HorsemenThe Horsemen The Horsemen, seen above, are another great act and one that is difficult for air shows to get, only the best end up with these guys.  Another formation flight team, these guys fly one of the most recognizable aircraft from WWII, the P-51 Mustang.  As if the sound of their engines weren't enough, these guys have their own score that enhances their performance.  

Starjammer, Elgin Wells, CustomInverted Starjammer Elgin Wells custom built his own plane to fly at air shows.  He's impressive during the day, but at night his aircraft does a little dance on the ramp to its own soundtrack, courtesy of Elgin Wells himself.  It also has thousands of lights all over the aircraft to light it up at night.  He was another one of the performers during the twilight show.

Knife Edge Pass Rob Holland is a blur as he passes behind Jack Knutson during their Firebirds X-Treme performance.  These two performers were part of a total of four who flew a number of preformances during the air show.

Firebirds, Airshow, Air, Show, AerobaticFirebirds 4 Ship Speaking of the entire group, here are the Firebirds in their 4 ship formation performance diving into their act: Matt Chapman leads in the yellow Embry-Riddle 231EX, Jack Knutson is in the red Extra 300 with "Firebirds" on the side, Rob Holland in the black and blue MXS and Bill Stein in the multi-colored Edge 540.

Sabre, F-86, Fighter, JetNorth American F-86F Sabre I am a huge fan of the older aircraft.  The current high performance aircraft are impressive, but watching the older birds strut their stuff is super impressive.  This was the first time I had seen a North American F-86 Sabre in flight.  Paul Wood of the Warbird Heritage Foundation did an amazing job showing off this bird to the crowd, including this perfect picture pass.

Boeing, Stearman, PT-17Waving Pass Continuing with my obsession for older aircraft I was impressed with the performance of John Mohr, which ended with this waving pass barely 10 feet off the runway.  The really impressive part was that he held this height off the ground for the better part of the length of the runway in front of the crowd.  Definitely appeared to be a crowd favorite.

Overall, I had a great time at this show and I am looking forward to returning in 2013.  It's a great excuse to get the family together in Michigan.  Next year I'm not missing the fireworks though.  Hope to see you there!

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13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) Aerobatic Air Aircraft Airshow Jet Photography Review Show Warbird http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/battle-creek-field-of-flight-air-show-and-balloon-festival-2012 Sun, 19 Aug 2012 19:23:38 GMT
Joint Base Andrews 2012 Air Show Review http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/joint-base-andrews-2012-air-show-review This year was a great time for me at the Joint Base Andrews Air Show.  My good friend and fellow photographer Mark was able to get us in on Friday, which is really the preview day.  Friday's are for DoD and their guests as well as a number of other special groups.  Generally this leads to a smaller crowd.  We also had great weather this year.  One other bonus was that while the near runway was still closed, the performers would be able to fly over it this year, allowing them to be much closer to the crowd than last year.

Blue Angels number 3 first thing in the morning.Blue Angel #3 Speaking of closer, when Mark and I got to the show line, we were able to walk right up and place our chairs on the fence, right in front of the Blue Angels aircraft.  I have never been that close to the headliner at any air show before and it lent itself to some wonderful pictures.  The picture above shows Blue Angel #3 sitting on the ramp directly in front of where we placed our chairs.  My 24-70mm lens almost wasn't wide enough for being this close!

NASA Super GuppyNASA Super Guppy After placing our chairs as placeholders on the fence line, both Mark and I proceeded to wander around the static display aircraft.  One of the highlights for me was getting an up close and personal look at one of the NASA Super Guppy aircraft.  This is a huge turbo-prop aircraft that is just amazing to see in person. 

Military Crew Helo Helicopter MarinesAH-1W US Marines Something I've been trying to do more of recently is getting pictures of the crews with their aircraft.  Some seem surprised that I want them in the picture and others are more than happy to pose for me.  I have a great deal of respect for these men and women who volunteer to protect our country as members of the Armed Forces.  This is one way I'm trying to remind others that there are real heroes out there who look out for us every day.

Air Show Fun You really get a feel for how low these performers are getting when you see them pass behind and below the aircraft sitting right in front of you.  You get some idea of that watching Sean D. Tucker as he slides his Oracle Challenger bi-plane behind and between Blue Angels #1 and #2.  Mr. Tucker puts on one heck of a show every time I see him.

Osprey MV-22 Flying DemoMV-22B Osprey A first for me was the actual flight demo by the MV-22 Osprey at this year's show.  I've seen plenty of them on static display at numerous air shows, but I have never seen the demo.  Watching this aircraft transition from helicopter to airplane was definitely worth showing up for this year.  The crew put on a fantastic demo for us.  The only unfortunate thing for me was that our great seats were too good at this moment.  The Blue Angels crew came out to run the engines during the Osprey demo and as a result none of my head on pictures turned out real well due to excessive heat haze from the running engines on the F/A-18s.  I still managed to get a few decent shots.

Red Bull Flyers The Red Bull crew was there this year as well.  This included a helicopter that did loops and rolls.  No, really.  The highlight for me was this shot where Kirby Chambliss is racing the Red Bull skydivers in his Edge 540 aircraft.  The sky divers nailed every landing, just off to our right on the flight line.  Kirby brought his Edge 540 down to ground level, sliding it down the runway and waving to the crowd.

Blue Angel Angels Crew Chief Smoke Preflight CheckSmoke Check So back to the front row seats.  This was the best access I've ever had, thanks to Mark!  I was right there for the afternoon engine run and to watch the crews polish the aircraft.  Then, for the first time, I was able to watch the launch pomp and circumstance from the preflight check seen above to the taxi out.  Seeing the precision with which these fine military men and women do their jobs always leaves me impressed.

Blue Angel Angels Sun SoloOut of the Sun Of course that means the Blues get up and do their thing.  And they do it well.  I caught #6 coming from behind the crowd and decided to follow him overhead the entire time.  I was very happy with how this shot turned out.  The entire show was really fantastic.  Lots of cool static displays for you to wander through, maybe not as much as at past shows, but with the budget cutbacks, it's hard for me to complain about the number of static aircraft at a FREE air show.  Lots of great airborne stuff as well, including the F-22 demo, a Harrier demo, a T-6B demo, the GEICO skytypers, the US ARMY Golden Knights parachute team, the Wounded Warrior flight team and several other acts.  Check out all the rest of my pictures from Andrews here.

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13defender@gmail.com (John "dfndr13" Kosak) 2012 Air Aircraft Airshow Andrews Base Joint Military Show http://dfndr13.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/joint-base-andrews-2012-air-show-review Thu, 05 Jul 2012 23:56:53 GMT