2018 Fargo Airsho, Blue Angels

July 28, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Fargo Airsho: Thursday-Sunday, July 26–29, 2018

Dedicated to Bob Nelson, my best friend and photographic guru. Bob passed away unexpectedly in 2017. We attended dozens of airshows together. Bob loved Aviation photography. Whenever I had questions about aircraft, cameras, lenses, or settings, Bob had the answer. I would be on my own this year.

Thursday The 2018 Fargo Airsho begins with a Blue Angels practice session. It’s a practice session for me as well: I try to remember what settings work best. I’m also trying to shoot some videos. The sky is overcast and it’s very windy. I meet some people at the NDSU Rugby field and spend as much time talking as photographing. The Blue Angel Solo pilots fly their FA–18 ‘Hornets’ around until noon.
There was a 3:30 practice session. I stayed home and photographed it from my roof. We’re on the flight path and most maneuvers require the ‘Blue Angels’ to line up on the flight path, so they are either flying directly over our house or banking around our house.

Friday The Blue Angels practiced from 3:12 to 3:46 pm. I returned to the Rugby field. The sky was mostly cloudy but the clouds made for interesting backdrops. It wasn’t as windy or dark as yesterday.

Saturday The first day of the Fargo Airsho proper. Mom and I arrived early and set up on the north end of the flight-line. I took a break to photograph the aircraft on static display and talk with their pilots. The weather was perfect if not a little hot. It was partly cloudy, which is a good look for the Blue Angels: the white clouds break up all the blue. I brought my Sony a68 and a200 so I didn’t have to change lenses as often. One lens to track the tight formations and one for the wide bursts and smoke. It was a long day but I loved all the flying demonstrations.

Sunday I climbed my roof to photograph day two (four) of the Fargo Airsho. I also set up two microphones to capture the sound of the ‘Hornet’s’ F404-GE–402 twin engines. The show was cut short by rain. I quickly got off the roof before I slid off.

2018 0728 DSC03629The Blue Angels Split Their DiamondThe US Navy Blue Angels aircraft 1-4 flying in their 'Diamond' formation. #1 Commander Eric Doyle, #2 Lt. Commander Damon Kroes, #3 Major Jeff Mullins, and #4 Lt. Commander Nate Scott. Perform a 'Break' (Diamond Burner 270?) at the 2018 Fargo Airsho.

Direct Gallery Links

Galleries: everything can be accessed from the Master Gallery.
Individual galleries include: a Best of, Practice 1 July 26, Practice 2 July 26, Practice 3 July 27, Full Airshow July 28, and a partial Airshow from my roof July 29.
Slideshows: Best of, Practice 1 July 26, Practice 2 July 26, Practice 3 July 27, Full Airshow July 28, and July 29.
Movies: I didn’t capture anything worthy of posting.

Timeline Notes

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The pilot/organization links are where I found information for the photo descriptions. Usually Wikipedia if missing.

  • 11:12 US Navy Parachute Team: Leap Frogs with Governor Doug Burgham. Facebook
  • 11:15 F–4E ‘Phantom II’ 67478 of the NDANG ‘Happy Hooligans’ flown by Robert Becklund
  • 11:19 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ SJ 89–0472. 333 FS “Lancers” 4th FW at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC. Captain Hook, Major (training pilot)
  • 11:20 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ SJ 88–1684 333 FS “Lancers” 4th FW at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC. Captain Jeremy Schnurbusch, Lt. Col Chris Auger 11:28 am.
  • 11:32 Twin Beech 18, Matt Younkin
  • 11:32 F–16C ‘Falcon’ Major Nick ‘Waldo’ Zetocha. Aircraft 90–731 (‘OH’) “City of Toledo” of the 180 FW, 112 FS Ohio Air National Guard ‘Stingers’ F–16CG/DG block 42. They converted their block 25 aircraft received in early 1992 for block 42 in 1994. 11:43 pm.
  • 11:52 B–25J ‘Mitchell’ CAF “Miss Mitchell” 327493 12:02 pm.
  • 11:57 T–6 ‘Texan’ WW-II trainer painted as…
  • 12:16 Motorcycle jumps by Maneuver Motorsports 12:19 pm.
  • 12:28 FA–18 ‘Hornet’ Blue Angel #1 engine test
  • 12:42 Pitts S–2B (1985) by Paul & Jarrod Lindemann N51GF (white/green stripes) 12:52 pm.
  • 01:14 PT–17 ‘Kaydet’ 1941 Boeing-Stearman Model 75, Red Barron #5 by Paul & Jarrod Lindemann 1:25 pm.
  • 01:31 Extra 300L, John Klatt flies the low wing monoplane acrobat for Jack Links 1:34 pm.
  • 01:38 Aftershock, Mark Smith drives a 1940 Ford Fire Truck boasts 2 Rolls-Royce Bristol Viper Jet Engines= 24,000+ horsepower, 407 mph. 1:49 pm.
  • 01:59 US Navy Parachute Team: Leap Frogs 2:03 pm.
  • 02:06 Twin Beech 18, Matt Younkin is a third generation stunt pilot 2:15 pm.
  • 02:19 Taperwing Waco (1929) with a GE CJ610 (J85) jet engine 3,000 lbs. thrust, John Klatt flies the Jack Links jet Bi-wing 2:27 pm.
  • 03:00 FA–18 ‘Hornet’ US Navy Blue Angels ground crew with pilots 3:18 pm.
  • 03:00 No C–130 “Fat Albert” USMC Blue Angels support plane grounded with mechanical issues.
  • 03:20 FA–18 ‘Hornet’ US Navy Blue Angels aerial demonstration 3:59 pm., They taxi back at 4:05–4:07 pm.
  • 04:14 Static Displays (see list below)
  • 04:30 Walk back to the car.

On Static Display
NDANG F–4E, two F–15E ‘Strike Eagles’, B–25J ‘Mitchell’, three T–6 ‘Texans’, T–28 ‘Trojan’, TBM ‘Avenger’, and F–16 ‘Falcon’. Aftershock jet powered fire truck, UND has a Northrop Grumman RQ–4 ‘Global Hawk’ (wiki), the Civil Air Patrol 3363 has their Cessna 182 ‘Skylane’ N634CP and glider on display. (USAFX)

DSC00101Aftershock The Jet Powered Fire TruckMark Smith flies a US flag from Aftershock- a 1940 Ford Fire Truck, after racing Klatt's Extra 300L monoplane down the runaway. Aftershock is powered by 2 Rolls-Royce Bristol Viper Jet Engines= 24,000+ horsepower.


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