BZ's SF Fleetweek '10 - Patriots

Photo Gallery

The Patriot Jet demonstration team is pretty much the only private precision jet team flying. Every other jet team is sponsored by the military (even outside the U.S.). Over the years, the number of planes they fly has grown from 2, to 3, to 4. The Patriots will soon be (2011 season) flying 6 jets regularly in their routine - which is the number that the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels fly!
Nikon D300 w/ 150-500mm Sigma OS lens - Bernard Zee

The Patriots Jet team starts their smoke from way out there, and make a huge sweep arc in front of the waterfront to start their show.

I usually associate them with Fry's electronics, but Hot Line construction is also a major sponsor.

They are known for their colorful Red, White, and Blue smoke display. How Patriot-ic!

The colored smoke does set them apart from the Blues or T-birds, who just stick with white. Here's an post card like shot with San Francisco's Coit Tower and the Telegraph Hill neighborhood.

The Patriots fly the Aero L-39 Albatros, painted gloss black.

With the right light, they look really slick!

Here's a view of them passing downtown SF.

Looping overhead in formation.

The L-39 is a high performance jet trainer developed by Czechoslovakia, and used by over 30 air forces around the world.

From the end view, can be seen the 2 pairs of jets headed towards each other. From the side, they look like they barely missed each other!

Sort of an artsy shot with parts of the U.S. flag from the Sockeye in on the shot.

The sun sparkling off the plane makes it look like a jewel.

They really do look like they're cutting it very close!

A pair of L-39s flying close overhead.

Making a sharp turn in front of Alcatraz.

Flying in formation past the Yatch club.

The Patriot diamond by Fort Mason.

Hey, I caught a decent cross shot!

One of the larger shot blocking boats help to frame the plane in this shot with Alcatraz.

The team had some very nice and visually interesting moves.

The planes fly pretty close to the crowds, so it's not too hard to get a decent shot.

Yeah, there's still that fog beyond Golden Gate Bridge (which did thankfully clear up just in time for the Blues)!

Crowds on Alcatraz and on the boat get a nice view of the pass.

Look at all the foreground boat things we have to shoot between! Cool shot with the jet exhaust trail visible over Angel island though.

The other plane swoops by to show its underbelly to the boat people.

I really like this shot. The vapor off the wingtips can be clearly seen - and even looks painted (which it is not) as he makes a sharp turn!

Another solo shot with a nice background.

Formation loop.

On their last pass, they go smoke on eastward.

Another great show by the Patriots! Though I overhead one of the boat tour guides call them the Thunderbirds... wanted to yell out a correction, but eh - didn't want to seem obnoxious.

I have a clean shot of their final pass, but thought this one with the mast of the District Harbor Tug (it was the USS Mazapeta YT-181) and a couple of onlookers was more interesting.

BZ SF Fleetweek 2010 Gallery Index