I think this is an amazing flying formation. At the Reno Air Races 2021. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds.
I was on the flight line when this F/A-18 Hornet came by. Wait for it…. happy pilot! I did want to run up and say I could jump in that back seat on the next flight. At the Reno Air Races 2021.
The United States Air Force Thunderbirds close-up at the Reno Air Races 2021.
USAF F-35’s on the ramp at the Reno Air Races 2021. Reminds me how lucky I am to go on the ramps, behind the scenes. I was out there to load a Reno Air Races raffle prize winner into our T-6 from the Palm Springs Air Museum, and marshall it out and back. They were right next to us.
Ryan Goss was again on our support team at the Reno Air Races 2021 for the Palm Springs Air Museum. This time he brought both his sons. Jim, 19 tomorrow, had an interest in my camera so I let him shoot with it. Big upgrade from a cellphone to a Canon 1DXMkII, gave him a few lessons over the week. Actually I think he used it more than I did. He shot some outstanding photographs. Here is his photo of a U-2 going by.
Look close, at least one person getting a great view out the back. A USMC MV-22 Osprey at the Reno Air Races 2021.
My ride up and back to the Reno Air Races this year 2021 was the P-51 Mustang “Spam Can” from Planes Of Fame.Although I am on the team for the Palm Springs Air Museum, we are one big family. Pilot was my buddy Mark Moodie who also flew “Spam Can” in the race. That makes the third Mustang I have flown in to travel to the Reno Air Races.
The very cooperative United States Air Force Thunderbirds stopped exactly where I asked them to stop so I could get this photograph. At the Reno Air Races 2021.
It was only later that I found out that A-10 Warthog drivers are not allowed to pick up hitchhikers. At the Reno Air Races 2021.
The United States Air Force Thunderbirds last week at the Reno Air Races 2021. It is the Thunderbirds that caught my aviation imagination going back to the 1960’s. It is a thrill for me to see and photograph them.
I tried to get the pilot to swap airplanes with me. I had a perfectly good T-6 right there, all fueled and ready to go. At the Reno Air Races 2021.
The Palm Springs Air Museum P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly” passing up a P-51 Mustang. Ok yes the Mustang was on the ramp. Here at the Reno Air Races 2021.
Saturday morning I fly up to the Reno Air Races. I am on the team for the Palm Springs Air Museum. We are racing three airplanes, two P-51 Mustangs and a P-63 Kingcobra. We are also flying up our T-6 and a C-47. An entire Air Force! I will be flying up in another P-51 Mustang but if one of these guys could take me with them that would be great. I am all about being time efficient. Less travel time is good. Thanks in advance Thunderbirds if you could stop by and pick me up. Photograph from the 2019 Reno Air Races.
It is getting a little tired looking now but it flew the finals at the Reno Air Races in 2017. A story that is fun for me so just thought I would share it. I bought it about a week prior because I wanted a watch that I could actually see the hands quickly.
I went to the National Championship Air Races Reno with the team for the Palm Springs Air Museum. I flew up in the P-51 Mustang “Bunny” with pilot Tom Nightingale. I was the second person there for the Museum only because Tom had to get out of the airplane first before I could get out. The next day the rest of the team started arriving.
A week later Tom would be flying “Bunny” in the finals. He said to me “I need a watch where I can see the seconds better”. I said how about mine and the answer was yes. Tom put it on his wrist and flew the finals.
I have been wearing it daly ever since for flying in all kinds of airplanes, photo excursions and other adventures. Runs great but does not clean up anymore. Time to retire it and get another. But I am going to keep it and remember it’s “history”.
Photographed by me during the Thunderbirds flight demonstrations at the Reno Air Races 2019.
Flying back from the Reno Air Races a couple of years ago. Mark Moodie flying “Lady Alice” and Michael Pfleger flying “Lady B”. I was in the Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny”. It would have been great to have been in another aircraft to photograph all three.
When I was a kid, it was the United States Air Force Thunderbirds that captured my imagination. Guess they still do! Photographed by me at the Reno Air Races 2019.
Let’s take a break for some flying. The Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny” from start up to shut down around the pylons at the Reno Air Races 2019. I mounted a GoPro inside and there was some really great light making it seem like you are right in the cockpit.
That is me in the black t-shirt doing the start-up and sending it out. I was doing more than just photography at the Air Races and at Air Shows. Although you can see my camera hanging on my back. It is a Fujifilm X-T3 and 100-400mm lens. One of the reasons I avoid carrying a lot of gear, too much going on.
Just over a week ago at the Reno Air Races. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds brought incredible excitement and aerial precision. Daily their lengthy demonstrations roared over the crowd demanding unwavering attention. Although I shot plenty of photographs, sometimes I would just watch in awe. It was simply breathtaking!
Some more from the Reno Air Races just over a week ago. The Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny” from start up to shut down around the pylons. GoPro video with some really great light makes it seem like you are right in the cockpit. That is me int he black t-shirt doing the start-up and sending it out. I do more than just photography although you can see my camera having on my back. It is a Fujifilm X-T3 and 100-400mm lens. One of the reasons I avoid carrying a lot of gear, too much going on.
Another installment from only a week ago with the crew of the Palm Springs Air Museum at the Reno Air Races. This is really special… the aircraft is the World War II P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly”. There are perhaps four Kingcobras still flying. No passengers are allowed in aircraft during racing but this is a single seat aircraft anyway. I do get to fly and photograph from many other aircraft.
So this was a place for GoPro. Mounted to the side of the pilot’s flight helmet, you get a perspective of his line of sight from instruments to outside flying past the pylons. It really is just like being there. Turn up your sound too!
I have been absent here while I was at the Reno Air Races, doing most of my blogging on some of my own social media but mostly for the Palm Springs Air Museum, where I am also social media manager and photographer. I also work in flight operations and do get to fly in some very special aircraft.
So backing up some and working my way forward, I departed to the Reno Air Races on September 6th in a World War II P-51 Mustang “Lady Alice” as a flight of two with another P-51 “Wee Willy”. No question this was a pretty exciting way of getting places. Arrived in Reno 90 minutes later.
The National Championship Air Races in Reno is the most prestigious race in the fastest motorsport in the world. And this is the 3rd year I have been a crew member and photographer with the Palm Springs Air Museum race team.
Keep coming back for more posts from Reno. Thanks!
GoPro goes when I can’t go. Two reasons for that here… the P-63 is a one seat airplane, and passengers are not allowed in the races.
This is a rare sight indeed! The Palm Springs Air Museum P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly” flying the pylons at the Reno Air Races 2018. Turn on your sound! When our P-63 is in the air you can be sure it is likely the only P-63 in the air in the world.
Looking a little beat up now. But it has the distinction of flying the finals of the Reno Air Races 2017, Unlimited Class, in the Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny”. Back on my wrist it has done a lot of flying ever since. But for that race it was on the wrist of pilot Tom Nightingale who borrowed it from me.