sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, April 9, 2018

Monday Madness


So there I am...

...Cruising through Death Valley in my old, but not old 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser (highly modified), minding my own business in the Panamint Mountain Range, enjoying a beautiful spring weekend when the roar sounded like a thousand lions, the ground shook like an earthquake and...










Two BUFF's arrive, flying low, feeling mean... (if you know the Jody call you can complete it, if not, it doesn't matter. Napalm sticks to kids and all that.) When I say that they were flying low, they were BELOW me, and I wasn't airborne.


Were they on their way to Nellis AFB (Las Vegas) after making a survival kit contents check? There was no way to ask them. I could only hope that their flight had nothing to do with Wing Attack Plan R...and precious bodily fluids.


They are trained to fly LOW

When I was a kid, this scene from Dr. Strangelove made me want to become a USAF general (equivalent rank to a Navy Ensign).  

All kidding aside, watching B-52's flying two grand above the deck, loud and proud sounded a lot like freedom.

28 comments:

  1. Yeah, those Naval ranks are so confusing.

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    1. So long as you simply default to think that any naval rank is higher than general in any other service, you're on the money.

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  2. Some years back I heard some noise outdoors. Shortly after I stepped outside, a Buff mad a low pass over my house. Impressive.

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    1. They make you want to wave the flag.

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  3. That behemoth,designed during the Truman administration, is still convincing people that peace beats war.

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    1. There is something about seeing them come in right on the deck that can not fail to impress.

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  4. A memory to relish. I would like to see that.

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    1. It is not unusual to see fighters in Death Valley, routing through the mountains below the radar, and even the B-1B Lancer, but the B-52's are a rarer sight. They also run their ranges at night...so you don't see them, but you KNOW they're overhead.

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  5. Awesome sight for sure. Practice does make perfect. Hubby used to see them fly over the house here, when he was growing up and England AFB was still a thing.
    Thanks for taking time to share the view with us!

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    1. I'm sure that you saw your share during your time with the USAF, LindaG.

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    2. I saw a few when we were at Beale, and yes, here and there. But I never get tired of seeing them fly.
      Kind of like the C-5s, U-2, or any other plane. They just make me smile.

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  6. If you go out by the Speedway, you can see them at Nellis all the time along with the rest of the different planes. and, we can watch the Thunderbirds practice whenever they're home

    There are some great thongs about Vegas and that is top on the list

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    1. There are a lot of good things about Las Vegas. New Vegas has a WICKED traffic problem. Old Vegas, was manageable.

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    2. That my friend is an understatement. Also, the strip and downtown are no where near as much fun as they were years ago. They have that California gouge mentality now.

      Love the Southpoint though

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    3. What fun is a slot machine that doesn't pay out in coin?

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    4. One of the events for "Supras In Vegas" is a day at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is reeeal close to Nellis. There were times the jets downed out the cars with open exhaust on the strip.

      I just loves me some full afterburner takeoffs!

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  7. The sound of freedom, indeed.

    Back in the early '80's, I had temporary employment with the BLM doing vegetation transects east of Cedarville, CA about 15 miles into Nevada. IIRC, the highest terrain was about 7000 ft. The job was contracted for six weeks.

    We were regularly treated to flybys by B-52's, A-4's, F-4's, and some others I can't recall now. I'm sure some of the action was from the Top Gun school.

    The Buff's did not go below the terrain, but a few passes were low enough to "count the rivets". The fighters did, and more than once, we looked down into a passing cockpit.

    One day, I happened to look up just in time to spot a pair of approaching A-4's at distance to the northwest. I grabbed my binoculars and swung around to search in the opposite direction. Sure enough, I spotted two thin smoke trails that came up from behind a distant ridge, over, and then down on the deck again. Inbound F-4's. Several seconds later they all merged, and the F-4's went vertical out of a nearby valley and split apart. The A-4's popped up as well, wheeling around in hot pursuit. The action then headed south and beyond my view. Yeah, baby. Where's my flag?

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  8. One of my favorite sounds, a jet screaming by. Hand salute.

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  9. Usta watch the Buffs take off, laden with both external and internal bomb loads at U-Tapao AB in Thailand. They did not really LEAP into the air with that load. You can guess where they were going...

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    1. There weren't that many arc light strikes in Laos (as opposed to Vietnam where we were 'officially at war') but they did happen and were logged as navigation errors. Naturally there were people like me calling them in through FAC's, but that was at the end of the madness. I recall being a mile or two distant from B-52 strikes and feeling them through the ground.

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  10. There is just something wonderful about the sound.

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    1. 8 big American jet engines pushing that big nasty fuselage full of bombs.

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  11. BUFF's are amazing creatures. The first time I ever got "up close and personal" with one was down at Chanute AFB. The sports car club would hold autocrosses on the flightline, and several of us would drive down from Joliet to attend the.

    Since Chanute was a training base for B-52's, they were everywhere. And there was one on the ramp they let us civilians crawl through.

    I swear, the bomb bay was bigger than my parent's first house!

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    1. The bomb bay is large, but surprisingly narrow.

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  12. What an awesome day out! I would have LOVED that!

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    1. It's surprising what adventures unfold when you're driving on dirt - like going up a canyon only to find that the road once there, is at the bottom of a canyon.

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  13. I get that feeling everytime the Yankee Lady flies over my driveway.
    Old school.

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