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April 9th, 2014 · General

Please support our next Arlington Flyover in honor of the interment of USMC 1st LT Bruce Gutzloe on 22 April with a donation that will go to fuel and flight operation costs for the 7 aircraft involved. Below is a bit of what went on at our last flyover.

Arlington Nat’l Cemetery Fly Over for MAJs Sizemore and Andre

The Turn In. We’d been in holding for probably 20 minutes or so near the NOTTINGHAM (OTT) VORTAC (a VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) beacon and a tactical air navigation system (TACAN) ) in southern Maryland, along the Patuxent River near the town of Nottingham. Andrews AFB was a bit to our north and the President was supposed to be heading out on AF1 at some point that morning. That had me/us worried that we may end up being an airborne scrub if he was delayed and the Secret Service wanted a sterilized air environment for his helo transit from the White House to Andrews. Flopper (my pilot) had made it known to the other L-29 aircraft during the brief that he had 53 fewer gallons of gas than they did because of the no tip-tank mod his aircraft had, so we had a bit more of a pucker factor than the other aircraft had in terms of holding time.

Tooling around in our holding pattern, 10 mile legs, inbound to the OTT VORTAC, we heard our controller slide our Time on Top (TOT) target from noon to 10 past to 20 past the hour, making the whole evolution a bit dicey in my mind. Not being too familiar with the L-39 fuel system, with its litres of fuel or whatever former communist fuel display system that jet had only added to the entertainment.

Finally though, we received the signal to “Push”, and all the aircraft, at their different holding altitudes, edged their noses to the northwest and began their inbound transit. It was going to work out fine after all.

Contribute to our next Arlington Fly Over at IndieGoGo

http://igg.me/at/guetzloeflyover

or at the Warrior Aviation home page at:

www.warrioraviation.org

 

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Arlington National Cemetery Missing Man Flight

April 3rd, 2014 · General

To an aviator being laid to rest, hearing those jets fly overhead and knowing one is headed to the heavens with you – that is what we want to do.

We began an IndieGoGo funding campaign to get operational funds for our next planned Arlington flight.  Please consider contributing.  Every cent will go toward fuel for the 4 L-39s, the 2 P-51s and the F4U Corsair that will participate.

http://igg.me/p/arlington-nat-l-cemetery-fly-over/x/6983336

or, you can visit the Warrior Aviation web site and read about the team there and contribute.

http://www.warrioraviation.org/

Again, please consider contributing, and if you can’t please share this link on your blogs or with your friends!

My friend Mike Pollock took this shot of our flyover last September for the Sizemore-Andre interment.  Thanks, Mike!

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Vandy 1 and Yak 9

March 29th, 2014 · General

Looking at some photos from the Manassas Air Show last year and I like this one.  Vandy1 with Mark “Crunchy” Burgess on the stick and a Yak 9 flown by Sean “Pinball” Carroll fly in formation.

Dislike the frozen prop on the Yak.  Need to shorten the shutter speed and increase the f/ stop a bit to get the same exposure but also get the spinning disc of the props.

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RADM Jeremiah Denton, RIP

March 29th, 2014 · General

Rear Admiral and later Senator Jeremiah Denton has passed away.  As one of the senior prisoners of war during the Vietnam conflict, shot down in his A-6 Intruder attack aircraft.  RADM Denton displayed what could be called the absolute pinnacle of character, integrity and honor during his days of captivity and later as a Senator from Alabama.  Many of us remember his words as he and his fellow POWs arrived back on US soil after 7 and a half years in the Hanoi Hilton when he said:

We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances”

I met RADM Denton many years ago, in the summer of 1974, as he was the guest speaker at the Change of Command at Fighter Squadron 43 when my dad turned over command to RADM Denton’s Hanoi Hilton prison mate CDR Ned Shuman, the first returned POW to assume Navy command.  This picture shows RADM Denton as he arrived for the ceremony:
(below) My dad is here on the left, with RADM Denton giving his prepared remarks.
A true American, without question, this bit from his obituary at Al.com says it well:

Denton in the Senate strongly supported then-President Ronald Reagan and Reagan’s buildup of weapons such as the MX missile and development of a space-based ‘‘Star Wars’’ anti-missile shield.

But Denton in an interview in November 2005 said he likely would be best remembered for two events, one when he was a prisoner of war in 1965-1973 and one that happened just after his release from North Vietnam in February 1973.

Denton, who served more than three decades in the Navy and retired in 1977 as a rear admiral, was shot down in July 1965 while flying an A-6 Intruder attack plane on a bombing mission about 75 miles south of Hanoi.

Denton, a Navy commander when he was shot down, endured years of torture and solitary confinement while imprisoned in or near Hanoi. He often tried to organize resistance by his fellow POWs as one of the senior captured U.S. officers.

During a TV interview arranged by the North Vietnamese in May 1966, Denton blinked his eyes in Morse code, repeatedly spelling the word T-O-R-T-U-R-E.

A native of Mobile, AL, Senator Denton served his state and his nation as a senator from 1981 to 1987, and was Alabama’s first Republican senator since Reconstruction, a true testament to his love of country (AL.com)

As we always say to Naval Aviators as they head out on that final deployment, “Fair Winds and Following Seas” means a downwind recovery.  We wish you a good 20 knots of wind down the angle and the carrier with a bone in her teeth.  Godspeed, Admiral.  Thank you for all you did, from a very, very grateful nation.

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Warrior Flight Team to honor WW2 USMC Aviator with Arlington Flyover

March 16th, 2014 · General

As they did in September of last year, the Warrior Flight Team will help provide flyover honors at Arlington National Cemetery for USMC 1st Lt Bruce Guetzloe, a WW2 Corsair aviator who passed away in August of last year.

Mark the date – 22 April at 1300, Arlington National Cemetery.

To help defray the cost of these absolutely essential missions to honor our departed heroes, if anyone would like to contribute to the self-borne expenses of these flights, head over to the Warrior Flight Team page where you can donate.  Thanks!

News Release:

Flyover of Arlington National Cemetery to Honor WWII/Korea Marine Fighter Pilot to be performed by Private Group after DOD Declines.

Private group to fill-in at their own expense to honor USMC 1st LT. Bruce A. Guetzloe at Arlington Burial on April 22, 2014

Washington, DC February 25, 2014:  A pending flyover of military aircraft flown by private citizens will occur over Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA on April 22, 2014 at approximately 1:00 pm in honor of the interment of United States Marine fighter pilot, Bruce A. Guetzloe, 1st Lt, who died in August, 2013.

Warrior Flight Team along with their affiliate Warrior Aviation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships in aviation related fields to wounded serviceman from Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has committed to perform the flyover at their own expense after the proper waivers, flight plans, and clearances have been obtained from the Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service and Federal Aviation Administration.

The flyover, if approved by the TSA, DHS, FAA and appropriate authorities itself will consist of four tactical jet aircraft, 2 P-51 Mustangs and one historical F4U Corsair identical to the war bird aircraft that Lt. Guetzloe flew in the Pacific Theatre during WWII and later in Korea.   All participating aircraft and their respective pilots (all veterans themselves) will  be donated by their owners.

Lt. Guetzloe, originally from Minneapolis, MN, saw action in the Pacific primarily aboard the USS Franklin (CV 13) during WWII.  Guetzloe flew a F4U Vaught Corsair with VMF 452 “SkyRaiders” during his service on the Franklin until March of 1945 when the Franklin was severely damaged by a Japanese bomber with a direct hit on the magazine which resulted in a catastrophic loss of life.  The Franklin, nicknamed “The Ship That Wouldn’t Die” was the flagship of the American Invasion fleet at the time.  Guetzloe was medically discharged after being diagnosed with polio during the Korean War.

“The family is deeply honored to have these distinguished veterans honor my dad with this flyover.  It is a tribute to their resolve and the dedication and honor of the men and women of the United States armed forces that has made this salute possible.  They have our thanks and the thanks of a grateful nation for their continued service to the United States of America,” stated Doug Guetzloe, eldest son of Lt. Guetzloe.

 

http://www.warrioraviation.org/

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Syria

February 27th, 2014 · General

Absolutely gut wrenching photo of what is happening in Syria.  From Powerline blog:

The Obama administration’s Syria policy has been a fiasco. I don’t think anyone seriously tries to defend it. That said, the humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding in that country is not the responsibility of the U.S. government. It is the fault of Bashar Assad and his minions, and al Qaeda and other radical Muslims who have forcibly taken over the opposition to Assad. The human catastrophe in Syria is almost beyond reckoning. You can look up the numbers, but what stunned me was this photograph, taken late last month. The scene is Yarmouk, a district of Damascus that is populated largely by Palestinian “refugees” and has been the scene of heavy fighting. The U.N. gained access to Yarmouk and passed out food there. These people are hoping to get something to eat.

The opening line in that blurb, “The Obama administration’s Syria policy has been a fiasco.” I think speaks volumes about what the past 5+ years have been like with regards to international relations and the US as a bulwark against global relations deterioration and rot.

When I think of the supposedly “brilliant” military people who have backed this President and voted for/supported him, “leaders” like Colin Powell and Stanley McChrystal, I really have to question the process and people who see them as “leaders”.  If these, and other military “leaders” of our recet past saw a competent “commander-in-chief” in Barak Obama, they are dumber than the doorknob on the barracks door of the newest boot camp greenhorn buck private.  “Smart diplomacy”, my ass.

 

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Seagull and Moon

February 12th, 2014 · General

Not much eagle-wise this afternoon, but this big ol’ waxing gibbous 92% moon was hanging up there so I played around with the seagulls, trying to get a half-way decent gull-on-the-moon image. It was tough (as usual) of getting that best combination of settings. Trying to get both images in focus when one is 250,000 miles father away is not easy, either. This was about the best of the lot.
 
As usual, click on it and click again for a bigger view :)
 

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I’m A Lazy Poopie Head

February 4th, 2014 · General

I’m sorry.  I have been so wrapped up in so many other things that I keep neglecting the blog.  I shall do better.  Promise :)

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Moon, Saturn and Mercury

December 1st, 2013 · General

Had wanted to get some Moonrise reflection off the Potomac this morning but the sliver of a waning crescent moon didn’t provide enough of a reflection.  So, I ended up just trying to get some generic moonrise at dawn pics.  This one turned out nice – with the light just above the moon being Saturn and the one to the lower left being Mercury.  Not certain what the other two lights are.

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Astro Stuff

November 24th, 2013 · General

Some various and sundry Astro things to wet your cosmic explorer tastebuds!

Moon, jet and contrail.

When you think about how much of the sky is taken up by the moon, you are probably talking about a bajillionth of an percentage or something like that. So, when you are sitting there and it looks like a passing jet might come close to it, let alone fly right across the face, the odds would be…what…astronomical?

A second later…neat to see the exhaust of the jet in there, too.

Partial eclipse from a few weeks ago.  West bank of the Potomac river in Northern Virginia (Woodbridge).  I was harshed a bit by that layer of clouds, but there was just enough of a gap to get this.  Very neat!

A few minutes later it looked like the eyes of the Sun Demon were eyeballin’ me!

Looking for Comet ISON this morning proved elusive, so I turned around and nabbed a shot of Jupiter with 4 of its largest moons strung out in its equatorial plane.  Taken with a Canon 5D Mk III and a 400mm zoom lens, .25/sec exposure, f/5.6, ISO 160.  Coolness to bring a pinpoint of light in the night (well, early morning) sky into something tangible.

 

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