Homer's Travels: Offutt Air Show 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Offutt Air Show 2009

I've been to a couple of air shows in my life and on Saturday I went to number three. My first was the Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) air show and my second was the Red Bull Air Races in San Diego. I always go in thinking it will be meh! and it turns out to be be pretty good. Offutt's air show didn't disappoint.

The Offutt show was very similar to the NBVC show. Military aircraft - this time of the Air Force variety instead of the Navy kind - and civilian aerobatics. It was so similar to the NBVC one that I bet they use the same military standard operating procedures manual. Similar food. Similar souvenirs. Similar static displays. Similarly good.

The star attraction this year were the Blue Angels. Kind of ironic that we saw the Air Force's Thunderbirds at a Navy air show and the Navy's Blue Angels at an Air Force air show. They were pretty impressive.

Along with the Blue Angels there were the heritage flights where airplanes of different eras fly together. Offutt had two such flights - Combat air craft and Cargo air craft. Looking Glass, the flying command center stationed at Offutt, did a few flybys. The Army, not to be left out, demonstrated their parachuting prowess with the Golden Knights.

I ended up with almost 300 pictures. A small sample of the good ones can be found here.

There was one more similarity with the NBVC show. Offutt was smart to have various satellite parking lots with shuttle buses to take people to the base. The issue was at the end of the day when everyone flooded to the bus pickup to go back to their cars. Like the Navy, the Air Force knows nothing about traffic control. A serpentine line started forming and stretched for quite a ways. Every one was playing nice until two buses pulled up at the same time. When the second bus opened its doors, inconsiderate jerks, displaying terrible examples for their children, jumped out of line and ran to the second bus. Before you know it people in the original line were booing the people in the newly formed dumbass line. After complaining to some airmen, who had appeared too late to be of any good, we were shocked when the airmen told people to form two lines. A near riot broke out before the crowd gave in to the inevitable. People who had been in line for less than thirty minutes ended up on the bus before people who had been in line for almost two hours. Not fair.

To top it off, I burned my face and thighs to a crisp. Despite this and the lack of sensible crowd control, it was a very good air show. The Wife and I have decided though, unless there is something spectacular, this will be our last air show for awhile.


  1. Man, I haven't been to an airshow in years. I think the last one was the 50th anniversary of Edwards... back in the 90's!

    Sunscreen, my friend, sunscreen. And a big hat like mine! :)

  2. GH: I had my hat on (my Tilly) all day. I think my face was did in by the reflection off the concrete.