MCAS Miramar Air Show 2009
October 7, 2009 by Jamie
This past weekend we went to one of my favorite events of the whole year the Miramar Air Show. We decided to rent photo equipment this year to get the best shots possible. We brought along our 5D Mark II which I paired with our 70-200mm lens but we rented a 50D along with a 400mm 2.8L lens for Bryan to shoot with. Let me tell you something about this lens, it’s huge and heavy. We honestly had no idea just how big this lens was before renting it, probably something we should have researched because it was a lot of effort to carry it around. Plus going to the air show requires a lot of walking even though we got a good parking spot this year (more on that later). After going through the security check point we made our way to the grand stand and found a seat at the very top. Sitting at the top was important because we wanted to be able to set up the huge lens without bothering anybody behind us. However, I’m sure the people to the immediate right and left of us weren’t very happy. Bryan set up his camera plus the huge lens on our mono-pod, this limited his range of motion but he took some really great shots. It almost looked like he was flying right next to some of the planes. Because I had the Mark II I ended up shooting a lot of videos.
There were many of the same performers as last year such as the Patriots, the Oracle Challenger and the Blue Angels. There were also a few new performers, such as the Canadian Snowbirds. The Snowbirds are very much like the Blue Angels as far as the way they perform except that their formation is larger; they use nine planes, and their planes are older. One notable absentee performer was the F-22 Raptor. I am actually really disappointed that they did not bring back this amazing jet, it really was a crowd pleaser last year and my favorite performance I’ve ever seen at an air show. I assume it wasn’t there because of the recent developments over the fate of the F-22 which is really too bad because it truly is a sight to see.
The weather last year was very mild which was nice but this year it was just sunny and hot. Even though we wore hats and drank lots of fluids we couldn’t handle the heat and we walked back to our car before the show was over. We ended up missing the Blue Angels but we were exhausted. One thing we noticed when we got back to our car was the amount of people who sat in the parking lot just watching the show. We got up at 5am so we could get to the show early and get a good parking spot which was located at the West Gate of the base and also right on the runway. Last year we got parked out in the boonies, in a gravel lot. The spot we got this year was perfect for watching the show, plus it’s free. So next year we will probably not even buy tickets, just drive into the parking lot, have a tailgate party and watch the show. Hopefully the F-22 will make a triumphant return.
See more photos of the air show in the GALLERY.