Seattle SeaFair 2009 - Blue Angels

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Took the family on a week long holiday to Seattle, and guess what was happening at the same time? Why SeaFair of course! Coincidence? I think not!!

The big draw at SeaFair were the hydrofoil races. SeaFair though, is a series of events including the races, parades, various festivals, and of course, the Blue Angels. Mostly though, it's about partying on the lake!

Honestly, I had to work quite hard to get these series of shots. Take offs were taken south of the tower at Boeing field, landings of the F-18s from Ruby Chow park, landings of the C-130 from Musuem of Flight (other end of the runway from the park). The show itself is over Lake Washington - which I shot from Genesee park, the other side of the lake on Mercer Island, and attempted from a friend's-friend's boat at the southern end of the flight box (way, way, too far for any useable Blues shots - but great for the partying boater pics!). So these pictures span a period of 4 days. The choice position of course, would have been on the log boom - but I was unable to swing that. Sad face. Other promising spots which I did not get to try was on the I-90 bridge. Oh well, something to look forward to next time!

Used a Nikon D300, w/ 70-300mm VR lens - Bernard Zee

At the Museum of Flight, the Blues pilots file past on their way to their planes to loud cheers and applause.

Here, they're taking off in formation from Boeing Field - officially known as King County International Airport.

The stool I borrowed was a little too short to clear the fence. Another foot would have been ideal - but alas, I had to work to what I had. Shot from further back, standing on the stool, on a concrete block. I'm dragging the ladder next time, no matter that it doesn't fit in the car!

The formation closes up soon after takeoff.

Downtown Seattle can be seen in the background.

The solos take off. Yes, the numbering is a bit off. But it's just the survey flight.

Really should have gone back to Boeing field on sunday. But I was able to get some very nice non-airplane shots from the boat instead!

Someone has a nice view from the tower. Yes, I'm jealous!

Shot from Genesee park, the diamond formation does a flyby.

The diamond 360 from the other side of the lake.

Friday would be a good day to get on the log boom, as it's free! Got to get there early though, as they pretty much close it to boat traffic by mid morning.

The solos fly past in formation.

These are shot from the Lake Mercer side. Still pretty far away...

Start of the Left Echelon Roll.

Which has me looking out for the Sneak pass! Check out the crowds on the I-90 bridge and hills!

View of the boats tied to the log boom behind #5. The transonic shock waves can be easily seen as visual distortions coming off the fuselage.

This is a cropped shot of the sneak pass as he pulls up (viewed from Genesee park on the other side of the lake). You can see the visual distortions from the transonic shock waves, as well as some vapor forming.

Pulling up from the high alpha pass. The crowds on the Mercer island side of the I-90 bridge can be seen.

A bit of vapor action as the formation of 4 breaks apart.

One of the 2 seaters pulling some G's.

That little public beach on Mercer Island was so crowded people happily waded into the lake to get a better view of the show!

A nice, high energy turn, with wonderfully loud jet noises to go along with it!

Hot and no breeze means the smoke hangs around to muck up the view. Gives a bit of an artsy flare to the line abreast loop though.

Opposing pass while inverted.

Part of the Seattle skyline in the background.

Tracking the blues overhead.

Opposing pitch up.

A bit tough to be so far away from the action. But nice backgrounds as a consolation.

Looking good on the break!

High Alph pass from the Mercer island side.

Tail end of the High Alpha pass.

An unusual head on shot of 2 of the Blues.

A cool transition on the inverted tuck over roll.

The planes are about this big in most of the shots! Nice scenery though.

The sun throws some interesting shadows in the haze.

The Fleur de Lis.

All 6 planes crossing close to center stage.

Even though it was hot and relatively low humidity, there were still some vapor shots to be had!

The Delta breakout starts over Mercer Island.

The Delta pass signifies the end of the show over the lake.

The Delta makes it way over Ruby Chow park.

Passing overhead.

The solos pitch up to break and land.

Viewed from Museum of Flight.

Nice and tight!

An exciting view of #1 as he makes his landing approach.

Here's the 2 seater coming in for his landing.

The sun's gleaming off #3's wings as he passes overhead to land.

Here's Fat Albert airlines over Lake Washington. Lots of people watching!

Shot from Mercer Island, he was a bit far.

Shots like these remind me of San Francisco Fleetweek. As far as I know, only Seattle and San Francisco will there be boats and hills as backdrops in the air show.

Back at Boeing field, the C-130 makes a high speed pass.

Then comes in on a steep approach, and landing.

Have to move to the other side of the runway as Fat Albert lands different than the F-18s.

Thanks for the show!

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