Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Baby's First Air Show
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We left early this morning to see the Geneseo Air Show, which is located a couple hours' drive west of here. Some colleg-time friends of ours live there with their kids, so we met them and they had us over for dinner too. Good to see them again!

This particular air show concentrates on World War II planes, although not all that many of them flew today, perhaps because of the torrential downpours in the morning and early afternoon. By the mid-afternoon the rain had cleared up so the show did go on, and we enjoyed various stunt planes and fly-bys (and a few WW II warbirds as they took off and flew home).

Kelley, however, most emphatically did NOT care for the extremely loud modern F-16 fighter jet that flew around for a good 10 minutes or so. She buried herself into Shelley's shoulder like she did on July 4th.

On the other hand, she did enjoy sitting in a helicopter and watching some of the quieter planes. Early on we bought her a cast-metal B-17 toy and she held onto it the whole day, even playing with it far too long on the ride home when she should have been falling asleep. It will be her favorite toy for a week or so: she particularly likes making it fly on its side, like she saw many of the planes do today, as they performed fly-bys.

The one big advantage to a rainy air show is the lack of people. I commented on this very fact to Shelley and friends as I entered a free drawing for a plane ride in the morning.

A spot of precognition and luck apparently: I won!

After the main show ended, I got my ride. In an L-21, vintage spotter plane. This is by far the smallest plane I've ever flown in, but despite that and the half-open cockpit - and somewhat surprising to myself - my adrenaline didn't kick in. At all.

The pilot who took me up had flown earlier in the day: he's an aerobatic performer, so he takes tiny planes up and hurls them around the sky for fun, showing extraordinary plane-handling skills, and the ability to take G-forces far beyond what most people would be able to handle.

He flew me lazily around the Geneseo area for some 20 minutes at about 1200 feet. It was amazingly beautiful up there, with it being so clear after the rainstorms, seeing the lake and farmlands and meandering river and oxbow lakes from above.

I deliberately did not take my camera so that I could enjoy the view more, although I kind of regret not having done so. (Actually, the cockpit was so small that I'm not sure there was room for it!) Shelley took some photos of us on the ground, though, so you can see the size of the plane.

Today we learned how well a B-17 wing protects against the rain. This one's from the the plane used to make the film Memphis Belle.

Kelley's into helicopters.

But not into F-16s.

The L-21 that took me up and around Geneseo.

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