Saturday, June 18, 2011

Airplanes are a big part of any air show...some may say that without them, there isn't an air show. But as important, if not more so, are the people that make up an air show. Whether it is the pilots, ground crew, announcers, volunteers, or spectators, there wouldn't be a show without them. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the folks who made up the Jones Beach Air Show.

Waiting for the fog to lift...

Waiting for the fog to lift.

Chris Baranaskas, who usually flies the P-51 Glamorous Gal, checks out something just a bit larger.

Chris Baranaskas checks out the bombardier's compartment of Fifi.

"What do you mean, you look cooler in a flight suit???"

Angelo keeps everyone safe.

Tuskegee Airman William Wheeler with a young visitor.

And finally, here's Fred - we always have the best adventures!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NASCAR in The Poconos

We'll take a break from the air show for a little "roundy-round" action. This past weekend, NASCAR made the first of its two annual visits to Pocono Raceway. I've been going to Pocono for more than twenty years, in hot weather, cold weather, rain, fog, even a few snow flurries! We had typical Pocono June "race weekend weather" - overnight rain, low clouds and fog in the morning...Saturday's ARCA race was stopped twice, and ultimately ended early, because heavy fog made it impossible to see the track.

Kurt Busch led the field to the green flag, driving a backup car after wrecking his primary ride in Friday practice.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. comes to the attention of his pit crew. Although he remains winless thus far in 2011, he has seen a resurgence in performance, and Pocono resulted in another top 10 finish.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. comes to the attention of his pit crew.

The only on-track incident of the day, Greg Biffle spins coming off Turn 3 into the entrance of Pit Road. He didn't hit anything, and the spin didn't result in a caution.

Stock car racing is sometimes referred to as "Taxi Cab Racing" and at Pocono, we had a car that actually looked like a taxi cab. It's AJ Allmendinger's ride - Andrew Murstein, one of the owners of Richard Petty Motorsports, is president of Medallion Financial. The company is an investment company which specializes in loans to taxi owners. The car was painted to resemble the markings on current New York City taxis.

Pit stops are always crucial in a NASCAR race, but take on extra importance at Pocono. With its 2.5 mile length, and three different corners, Pocono sees teams employ a variety of different pit strategies to gain an advantage.

Time to make the donuts...Jeff Gordon celebrates after taking the checkered flag.

Time to make the donuts. Jeff Gordon celebrates his Pocono win.

Sunday marked Gordon's 84th career win in NASCAR's premier division, tying him with Darrell Waltrip in career wins. Despite what NASCAR says, he still needs one more win to equal Bobby Allison's career total.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Naval Aviation at the Air Show

2011 marks the Centennial of Naval Aviation, with a variety of activities scheduled to celebrate the anniversary. As part of the festivities, the US Navy sent a gaggle of aircraft, including two in special anniversary markings.

Here is an F/A-18C that spent the weekend.

And a pair of E/A-18G Growlers were in attendance, including one in special colors.

And for the Grumman fans, this old Prowler was in the house.

And finally, the Super Hornet demo team performed. These Bugs are loud when the depart!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jones Beach Air Show

Another year of the Jones Beach Air Show is in the books. While the show missed the USAF Thunderbirds (heading to their European tour) and the F-22 Raptor (grounded for safety-related issues) it turned out to be another outstanding performance.

The star of the show was Fifi, the only B-29 Super Fortress flying in the world. Fifi beat the setting sun to Republic Airport on the Wednesday prior to the show.

A low pass marked Fifi's arrival at Republic Airport.

The American Airpower Museum once again hosted the air show participants, which included the B-17 Yankee Lady, the A-10 East Demo team, the F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo team, as well as several civilian performers and War Birds.

Here, the A-10 returns to more ways than one. The airport had been home to the Fairchild Republic Corporation, which had a long, rich history of building aircraft for the US Air Force, and the Army Air Corps before that. The A-10 was the last aircraft produced by FRC at Republic.

Stay tuned - there's lots more air show to come in the days ahead!