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Update, Aug 10, 2016: Looks like we're gonna have an exciting combo of foreign players at next week's Red Flag 16-4. ISRAEL, PAKISTAN, AND THE UAE. I've semi-confirmed this on a couple of Israeli-based news websites, but I guess we won't know for sure until photos start showing up online at the usual locations. Looks confirmed at this point, via Israeli news sites and one American news site.

Update, July 31, 2016: Got a bunch of new calendar titles NOW available on my calendar storefront:
(lulu.com/spotlight/saguaro_west_photography

List of new titles include the following:
Aerial Firefighting Vol 1 (nothing but waterdrop pics!)
Aerial Firefighting Vol 2
Aerial Firefighting VOl 3

Heritage Flight Conference 2016 - sgl ship photos
Heritage Flight Conference 2016 - mix of photos
Heritage Flight Conference 2016 - formations, coming soon!

Tora Tora Tora - Pearl Harbor reenactment, Vols 1 thru 3
LA County Airshow Vol 1 (Sat show)
LA County Airshow Vol 2 (Sun show)

Red Flag 16-3
Red Flag 16-1

Ed Force One at LAX

Star Wars Canyon: Spring 2016 #1
Star Wars Canyon: Spring 2016 #2

Hawgsmoke 2016: Action at Gila Bend
Hawgsmoke 2016: 75th FS at the Range
Hawgsmoke 2016: 74th FS at the Range
Hawgsmoke 2016: 107th FS at the Range
Hawgsmoke 2016: 47th FS at the Range
Hawgsmoke 2016: 163rd FS (Indian ANG) Jets

Update for July 20, 2016 -Am a bit late with this, but I just found out about this a few mins ago. A good buddy of mine, and former SoCal aviation photographer Wayne Thelwell, who later moved up to Sacramento, has passed away. He fought a rare form of cancer for several years until now. A good guy and very positive person, he will be missed. RIP, Wayne!

The B-29, "Doc" will make her first flight Sunday, July 17th!!!! More details to follow, from her restoration crew.

Hawgsmoke 2016 event calendars are now available. Thru my storefront or on ebay right now. lulu.com/spotlight/saguaro_west_photography

Items include one each from the range for the 74th, 75th, 107th, and 47th squadron teams. Another of just the Indiana jets (mostly static / ground shots). Another is a mix of squadron images from the range.

Hawgsmoke 2016 report, part one:

Hawgsmoke 2016, a bombing and gunnery competition, in the spirit of the discontinued USAF Gunsmoke& and William Tell events, featuring the famous and popular -at least amongst aviation buffs! - A-10 Thunderbolt II, aka the Warthog, aka the airplane designed around a gun&, was held June 1 thru 3 at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. Arrivals were June 1st, competition June 2nd, the golf tournament was June 3rd, with departures taking place in the morning of June 4th. Held biannually, this was the ninth event since it began in 2000. A-10 squadrons from around the country (and including the squadron in South Korea), sent pilots and planes (though a few just sent pilots only) to this Arizona base to determine the best
of the best, as well as for the camaraderie.Participating squadrons included the following:


25th FS - Osan AB, South Korea - Assam Dragons - pilots only*
47th FS - Davis-Monthan AFB Termites /DogPatchers
74th FS - Moody AFB Flying Tigers
75th FS - Moody AFB Tiger Sharks
76th FS - Moody AFB Vanguards - pilots only
104th FS - Maryland ANG Fighting Orioles
107th FS - Michigan ANG Red Devils
163RD FS - Indiana ANG Blacksnakes
303rd FS - KC Hawgs - Whiteman AFB
358th FS - Whiteman AFB - pilots only
354th FS - Davis-Monthan AFB Bulldogs
357th FS - Davis-Monthan AFB Dragons
AATC test squadron - Davis-Monthan AFB

*Ongoing confusion as to what the proper spelling of the Osan squadron's nickname. Many claim it is Draggins, but Dragons, makes more sense.

Crews / teams from Boise, Idaho, Nellis AFB and the test unit at Eglin AFB (reportedly now at DM AFB) did not participate.

The base provided three opportunities for the media to cover this year's Hawgsmoke. Day one was a visit to the base flight line and snowbird ramp, to observe and photograph arriving participants. Later during that day, was the Fallen Hawg ceremony. Day two was a visit to the Barry M. Goldwater range to observe the actual competition. This involved a rather long (3 hr) and hot bus ride out into the desert south of Gila Bend. But the resulting photos of the A-10 firing its famous gun, made the trip well worth it. A mix of approximately 30 photographers, videographers, and reporters attended this year's event.


BASIC A-10 FACTS
================
PROTOTYPE FIRST FLIGHT - MAY 10, 1972
PRODUCTION FIRST FLIGHT - FEB 15, 1975
ENGINE TYPE - TWO GE-100 TURBOFANS
THRUST - A LITTLE OVER 9000 LBS
SPEED - 450MPH OR MACH 0.75
GAU-8 SEVEN BARREL GATLING GUN - 30MM
RANGE - JUST UNDER 2,600 MILES
CEILING - 45,000 FEET
COST- JUST UNDER $19 MILLION


MISSIONS:
==========
CLOSE AIR SUPPORT (CAS)
COMBAT SEARCH AND RESCUE (CSAR)
FORWARD AIR CONTROL (FAC)



ORDNANCE:
(8 UNDERWING STATIONS / 3 UNDER FUSELAGE)
===========================================
SNIPER POD, THOUGH RARELY SEEN
MK 82 / 500LB BOMBS
MK 84 / 2000LB BOMBS
CLUSTER BOMBS
MAVERICKS
LASER GUIDED BOMBS
FLARES
CHAFF
JAMMER PODS
ROCKETS
SIDEWINDERS



VARIOUS PAINT SCHEMES
=======================
LIGHT COMPASS GHOST GRAY
DARK COMPASS GHOST GRAY
INTERMEDIATE MASK 10-A
A/C GRAY
GUNSHIP GRAY
MOTTLED WHITE OVER BLACK
JAWS, MOTTLED CAMO (NAMED AFTER AN EXERCISE)
CHARCOAL LIZARD, AKA EURO ONE
DESERT TWO TONE, EXPERIMENTAL
GRAY TWO TONE, EXPERIMENTAL



NOSE ART / MARKINGS
=====================
CLASSIC HAWG
ALTERNATE HAWG (ARKANSAS ANG)
SHARK’S TEETH (FLYING TIGERS)
SNAKE (INDIANA ANG)




SQUADRONS / BASES / TAIL CODES / NICKNAMES
===========================================
AD (ARMAMENT DIVISION)
3247 TESTS, EGLIN AFB


AK (ALASKA)
355TH FS - FLYING FALCONS - EIELSON AFB
18 TFS - BLUE FOXES - EIELSON AFB


AR (ALCONBURY)
509TH TFS PIRATES - RAF ALCONBURY


BC (BATTLE CREEK)
112TH FS MAD DUCKS - WK KELLOG AP


BD (BARKSDALE)
47TH FS TERMITES / TERRIBLE TERMITES / DOGPATCHERS BARKSDALE AFB, LA.


CT (CONNECTICUT)
118 FS FLYING YANKEES, BRADLEY FIELD



DM (DAVIS-MONTHAN)
354TH FS BULLDOGS - DM AFB
357TH FS DRAGONS - DM AFB
357 TFTS DRAGONS - DM AFB
333RD TFTS LANCERS - DM AFB
358 TFTS LOBOS - DM AFB
358 FS LOBOS - DM AFB


DP (DOGPATCHERS)
47TH FS TERMITES / DOG PATCHERS, BARKSDALE AFB, NOW AT DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB


EL (ENGLAND)
74TH FS FLYING TIGERS - ENGLAND AFB, LA
75TH FS TIGER SHARKS - ENGLAND AFB
76TH FS VANGUARDS - ENGLAND AFB


ET (EGLIN TEST)
3247 TESTS, EGLIN AFB


FT (FLYING TIGERS)
74TH FS, POPE, NOW MOODY AFB
75TH FS, POPE, NOW MOODY AFB
76TH FS, POPE, NOW MOODY AFB


ID (IDAHO)
190TH FS SKULLBANGERS - GOWEN FIELD, ID.


IN (INDIANA)
45 TFS HOOSIER HOGS - GRISSOM AFB
163 FS BLACKSNAKES - FORT WAYNE



KC (KANSAS CITY)
303 TFS KC HAWGS - RICHARDS-GEBAUR AFB, LATER MOVED TO WHITEMAN AFB

358 FS, WHITEMAN AFB


MA (MASSACHUSETTS)
131 FS DEATH VIPERS, BARNES ANGB



MB (MYRTLE BEACH)
353RD TFS PANTHERS, MYRTLE BCH, SC
344TH TFS FALCONS, MYRTLE BEACH, SC
356TH TFS GREEN DEMONS, MYRTLE BEACH, SC


MD (MARYLAND)
104TH TFS FIGHTING ORIOLES, WARFIELD ANGB, BALTIMORE


MI (MICHIGAN)
107TH FS RED DEVILS, SELFRIDGE ANGB


NF (NAIL FACS)
23RD TASS, DM AFB


NO (NEW ORLEANS)
706 TFS CAJUNS, NAS-JRB NEW ORLEANS


NY (NEW YORK)
138 TFS BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, HANCOCK FIELD


OS (OSAN)
25TH FS ASSAM DRAGONS, OSAN AB, SO KOREA


OT (OPERATONAL TEST)
4485 TESTS, EGLIN AFB


PA (PENNSYLVANIA)
103 FS BLACK HOGS, NAS WILLOW GROVE


SF
21 FS BLACK PANHERS, SHAW AFB


SM (SACRAMENTO)
2874 TESTS, SACRAMENTO AIR LOGISTICS CENTER


SP (SPANGDAHLEM)
81 FS PANTHERS, SPANGDAHLEM, GERMANY
510 FS BUZZARDS, SPANGDAHLEM, GERMANY


SU (SUWON)
25 TFS ASSAM DRAGONS, SUWON AB, SO KOREA


SW (SHAW)
21 FS BLACK PANTHERS, SHAW AFB


TC (TACOMA)
354 FS, TEMP, TACOMA, WASH


WA (WEAPONS ANALYSIS)
66 FWS FIGHTING COCKS, NELLIS AFB
66 WPS BROWN BIRDS, NELLIS AFB
422 TES, NELLIS AFB


WI (WISCONSIN)
176 FS BADGER MILITIA, TRUAX FIELD, WISCONSIN


WR (WOODBRIDGE)
81 TFW BLUE DRAGONS
91 TFS BLUE STREAKS
78 TFS BUSHMASTERS AND/OR SNAKES
509 TFS PIRATES, LATER WENT TO RAF ALCONBURY
510 TFS BUZZARDS
511 TFS VULTURES



Hawgsmoke 2016 report, Part Two:

BRIEF HISTORY:
================
Hawgsmoke pretty much replaced the worldwide USAF competitions, Gunsmoke, which was last held in 1995 at Nellis AFB, and William Tell. The person given credit to
the start of Hawgsmoke is Col Cliff Latta, of the 172nd FS.


2000 - Held at Battle Creek, Mich. Won by the 118th / CT
2002 - Held at Ft Drum, NY - won by 47th
2004 - Held at England Air Park, La. Cancelled by weather.
- Sometimes referred to as Hawgwash
2006 - Held at DM. Coincided with 30th Anniv of the ac type
- 140 aircraft flew in for the event, allegedly.
- Won by KC guys / 303rd
2008 - Held at Kansas. Idaho guys won
2010 - Held at Boise. Idaho won again
2012 - Held at DM - hosted by Bulldogs. Dragons won
2014 - Held at DM - hosted by Dragons. 47th won.
2016 - Held a DM - 47th hosted and won again
2018 - Will likely be at Whiteman and Kansas



BRIEF A-10 COMBAT HISTORY
===========================
DESERT STORM, 1991
BOSNIA, 1994-95
OPERATION DELIBERATE FORCE, 1995
OPERATION ALLIED FORCE, 1999
OPERATION ANACONDA, 2002
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, 2003-2009
OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, 2009-2012
OPERATION ODYSSEY DAWN, 2011, LIBYAN
INTERVENTION
OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE, 2014, ISIS
OPERATION TIDAL WAVE II, 2015, ISIS-SYRIA




NICKNAMED A-10S
=================
ACES, TEWS ARE WILD / JULIE ANN
ALLIGATOR (no text)
AMERICAN BOMBSHELL
ANGEL / BAD TO THE BONE
ANNABELLE II
APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
ARKANSAS WILD TURKEY
ARMOR EATER
(BART AND HOMER GO TO WAR)
BARTHAWG / EAT MY SHORTS
BATTLIN BADGER
BAVARIA
BAYOU BABE
BAYOU BABY
BE VEWY VEWY QUIET - WERE HUNTING IWAQIES
BELLE OF NEW ORLEANS
BERTS BEAST
BIRD OF PREY
BLACK LIGHTNING
BOOMER
BOSS HOG (2)
(BULLDOG SEARGENT)
BULLET EXPRESS (2)
BURMA TO BAGHDAD
CAMEL JOCKEY
CAMEL JOCKEY (w text)
(CHARGING MTN GOAT)
CHICKEN HAWK (AK 80-238)
CHILI - THE DECISIVE EDGE
CHOPPER POPPER
CHRISTINE
CHRISTINE / BE VEWWY VEWWY QUIET - WERE HUNTING IWAQIES
CITY OF WESTFIELD
COMBAT HAWG
CONAN
COOL CAT THE LAST TIGER
COSMIC STORM
CRESCENT CITYS DESERT DARLYN
CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE HOGS OF WART
DANGEROUS TOY
DARIN DAWNIE
DARLIN DEB
DAWG HAWG
DEATH FROM ABOVE (2)
DEATH PROOF
DEFENDERS OF THE FLAG
DEONOS DAY IN THE SAND
DESERT BELLE
DESERT DOC
DESERT DREAM
DESERT ROSE
DESERT STORM (2)
DESERT STORM 91
DESERT STORM HEROES
DESERT THUNDER
DEVIL HUNTER
DIRTY HOG
DOG DAY AFTERNOON
DOBBERS STING
DOESNT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS
DONT WRESTLE WITH A HOG
DRAGON (no txt)
(EAGLE GUNNER)
EAT THIS SADDAM
EL JEFE / DRAGON
(ENGLISH GRIFFIN)
ERIN O
ERIN O / THE LAS VEGAS OPTION
FAC U
FAIRBANKS
FALCON 1
FANG
FEAR NO EVIL
FIGHTIN IRISH
F.I.S.T.
FIND EM AND KILL EM
FIST / CARMELITTE
FLIRTIN W DISASTER
FLYIN RAZORBACK
FORTUNE TELLER
FREE KUWAIT - BROS IN ARMS
FREEDOM FIGHTER
FREEDOM WARHOG - TO FLY, FIGHT, BELIEVE
FROM THE ASHES A NEW BEGINNING
(GATOR)
(GARFIELD SHOOTING ODIE)
GAU-8 TERMINATOR
GENTLEMANS DELIGHT
GEORGIA GIRL
GIVEM HELL
GRIM REAPER
GUNSMOKE
(GUNNY HOG) - HOG POSING AS A GUNNER
HARVESTER OF SORROW
HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL
HEADHUNTER
HEAT SEEKER
(HELLS ANGEL)
HERE COMES THE JUDGE
(HOG 4 SEAGULLS 0)
(HOG AND LIGHTNING)
HOG IN ARMOUR
HOG IN SPACE
HOGWASH
HOGS BREATH SALOON
HOGSBREATH
HOLY #*&!^&!%@ (no txt) or CAMEL JOCKEY
HONEY BUNS / WICKED SENSATION
HUDSON HOWLER
ICE COLD KATY
ICE HAWG
INDIAN MAIDEN
IRAQI NIGHT-MARE
JADED
JULIE
JUSTICE FOR ALL
KC HAWGS
KELLY MARIES SECRIT WEAPIN
KIMBERLY ANN
KING O PAIN
KISS OF DEATH
LADY LUCK (clover not girl)
LADY LUCK / MRS ROBIN
LAKANUKI
LENNI MAY
LESLIE THE SEMINOLE WARRIOR
LIFES HARD WEAR A HELMET
LISA MARIE II (OSAN 80-0177)
LITTLE TRUNK II
LIVE AND LET DIE
LIVE FREE OR DIE
LIVE TO FLY, FLY TO KILL
LIZARD / TIGER 1
LONNIE MAE
LOOKS THAT KILL
LORDS SWORD (no text)
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER
LOVE MY MOOSE
LOW AND SLOW IS THE WAY TO GO
MAKE IT RAIN
MARTYR MAKER
MARY JANE / LOVELY LITA
(MARYLAND FLAG)
MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE
MEMPHIS BELLE III
MIDNIGHT EXPRESS
MISFIT
MISSI LYNN / WESTERN BEAUTY
MISTY I
MONGO
MR KLEAROKI
MUD, BLOOD & NO BEER
MUDDY
NEW ORLEANS LADY
NEXT.....
NIGHT OWL, FOREVER VIGILANT
NIGHT PENETRATION
NINJA
OLD SCHOOL, 78-0718 / MD
ODIE
ODIE-POO
OPERATION DESERT STORM
OUT OF THE BONEYARD
OWL
PANTHER
PANTHER 1
PANTHER PRINCESS
PARTNERS IN PEACE, VICTORS IN WAR
PARTY TIME AT THE BISTRO
(PATRIOT) (EAGLE W FLAG)
PHOENIX (no text)
PINEY WOOD ROTTER, 79-0142 / BD
PLASTIC MAN, 81-0955
PLAYER
PLAYHAWG
PLAYTIME
PLAYTIME - LIL LADY DIANE
PORKYS REVENGE
PRIMAL SCREAM
PUTT, PUTT GET OUTTA MY WAY
PYTHON
RAGE AGAINST THE NIGHT
RAID HOT MAMA
RANDI LAUREN BRENDA BETH
RED WHITE VOODOO
REGULATED LANGUAGE
REGULATED TANG
RIDERS OF THE STORM, 77-0200
RIP N TEAR
ROCKYS REVENGE
RUNNIN W THE DEVIL
(SALIVATING HOG)
SATANS REVENGE
SEAMAN
SECRIT WEAPON / KELLY MARIES
SHARPER THAN ANY TWO EDGED SWORD
SHIT HAPPENS WHEN YOURE TDY
SNAKE PIT
SOAR N BOAR
SPIRIT OF CHICAGO
STAUD
STEAL YOUR FACE
STEPHANIE ANN
STUPEFYIN THE ENEMIES OF FREEDOM SINCE 1941 (79-0095)
(SUN DRAGON)
SUNSET SPLENDOR
SUPER HAWG SANDY ONE
SWEET LADY / TWO 45s (77-245)
SWEET MEAT
SWINE TREK
TANK KILLER (no art just text)
TANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
TAWAKALNA DUDE
TAZZ
THATS ALL FOLKS
THE A-TEAM
THE BEAST
THE BEAST AGAIN
THE BEDROCK BOMBER
THE BOX SEAT
THE DAWG
THE DUCS PACN
THE FORTUNE TELLER
THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD
THE GREAT AMERICAN HOG (!!)
THE HEARTBEAT OF AMERICA
THE HOGSTER PIGOUT
THE HOBBIT
THE HUNTRESS
THE SLY FOX
THE UNKNOWN BOMBER / 23RD DEATH CARD
THE VIPER
THE WARRIOR
THUMPER
THUNDERBOLT WARRIOR
THUNDERSTRUCK (80-0250 IDAHO)
(TIGER)
TIGER 1
TIP OF THE SPEAR
TWO 45s
(TWO HOGS AT SUNSET)
UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY (2?)
UNKNOWN BOMBER
VALS AVENGER
(VALKYRIE VS RUSSIAN BEAR)
VANGUARD
VIEW TO A KILL
WAR PIG
WARHORSE (IDAHO 78-629)
WARTHOGS PAIR O DICE
WE GIVE NO QUARTER
WELL NEVER LET UP!
WHEN PIGS FLY / HOG 1
WICKED SENSATION
WILD THING
WILD THING / WHAT THE FAC DUDE
YANKEE EXPRESS
YOUR NUMBERS UP


DEBRIEF AND NEXT UP - 2018
==========================
Aircraft that flew in for the event began to head home on Saturday, June 4th. With the KC guys coming in third this year, and with the rule being that the host unit cannot host twice in a row, it is expected that the 2018 Hawgsmoke will be held in Missouri / Kansas. Aircraft would stage out of Whiteman AFB in Missouri, while competing on the range in Kansas.


A-10 fans, don't forget - Hawgsmoke 2016 coming up next week! 30 aircraft (on top of the local DM birds) are expected to arrive for the competition.

May 22, 2016 - RED FLAG 16-3 players list is out! Here are some of the major highlights.

F-35Bs from Yuma
F-22s from Langley
Growlers from Whidbey (138 and 209)
C-17s
F-16s from Andrews
F-16s from the famous Triple Nickel sq in Aviano
B-52s

Update, May 20, 2016 - THE B-29, DOC, HAS BEEN DECLARED AIRWORTHY!!!!!

Photos from a 2nd trip to Star Wars Canyon are now up at both Facebook and Flickr. Highlights were the orange trimmed VX-31 CONA F-18, Danish F-16 from Edwards for the F-35 program, and a Harrier.

Back from a recent trip up to Star Wars Canyon. Saw TEN jets through the day. Mostly NAS Lemoore stuff, but did see a couple F-16s and one F-15 from the Fresno Air Guard. The Vipers had South Dakota markings. Not sure what they're doing up at Fresno,but that's the word on where they're operating from. Photos are now up at both Facebook and Flickr, with a a few large prints up for sale on Ebay too.

Also, and this is UNCONFIRMED, but I was told a Dutch F-35 made nine passes through the canyon last Wed. Apparently a commercial was being filmed for the squadron. As I said, though, this is not confirmed.


Camarillo PBJ appears set to fly this Sunday. Doors open at the CAF museum at 10am.

May 5, 2016 - One of NASA's B-57s has been in the AV for awhile. I caught it today out at Plant 42. Photos have been posted on Facebook and the Flickr gallery. I've heard it goes back to Houston tomorrow.

Photos from the Collings Foundation's "Wings of Freedom" 2016 bomber tour stop at Riverside airport are now up on my Facebook page. They'll soon be going up on the Flickr gallery as well. They'll be there til Wed noon, then they move on to Santa Ana. They'll arrive in Van Nuys next Monday I believe.

I shot some great nighttime photos of the WW2 bombers at Riverside last night. Visit my FB page and check em out!


Ed Force One photos, in 4x6" print lots of 11, are now up for sale on Ebay.

Photos from the Heritage Flight training, DM AFB spotting, the rest of my Tucson trip, as well as the LA County airshow, are going up on the Facebook page as well as the Flickr gallery.



Don't forget! Riverside's airshow is this Saturday! 9am - 4pm. See www.riversideairshow.com



Julie Clark flies TWICE! And we get to see that famously dirty, dusty C-17 takeoff once again! Numerous aerobatic acts as well as the usual car show.



Apparently NO airshow this year for Holloman AFB. Likely cancelled due to the fact that they were unable to get one of the jet teams, so it looks like Phancon will be / might be the last public/semi-public opportunity to see the last QF-4s at the 82nd ATRS ramp.

LA County airshow 2016 underway! Tora Tora Tora demo was fantastic on Day 1, as well as the Texas Legends group. Shockwave has a new paint scheme since the last time I saw it. F-16 did a few flybys, as did a NASA ER-2 (U-2). Lots of aerobatics and pyro.

If you get there late, and don't get a front row seat, don't complain about how you can't see! No front row seat pretty much means you're screwed in regards to action on the ground, such as Shockwave, and even some of the Japanese warbirds who fly so low during the Tora demo, people in back couldn't see them!

Tucson trip photos from Davis-Monthan AFB and TIA

March 13, 2016: Don't forget, the LA County airshow, quickly becoming one of the best SoCal shows, is coming up this weekend. Headliners of course, are the Blue Angels, however the CAF "Tora" squad will be there, with nine aircraft, Zeros, Vals and Kate replicas, putting on a reenactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor. See lacountyairshow.com for details.

Update, Mar 13, 2016: I am back from the Tucson area. Covered the Heritage Flight training sessions, as well as the arrival days for the DM AFB airshow. Spent some time at TIA and Skyharbor, plus Gila Bend, Rattlesnake Bridge, Saguaro Nat'l Park's western section, and stopped at MCAS Yuma for half a day.

People........people, as photographers, we need to start policing each other once again. This used to be a common practice, but I guess since everyone is so obsessed now with not wanting to get involved (translation 'spineless'), or wanting to be politically correct, it has ceased. The viewpoint at MCAS Yuma has become so popular now that numerous safety issues are cropping up, usually caused by the European photogs. As I said, I was there last Friday, and almost immediately saw a British guy driving on the wrong side of the road. Trying to take a shortcut to go park by his buddies, instead of making a proper left turn and then driving over to his friends. This putz later came up to me with an angry tone of voice, demanding that I tell him where any other viewpoints might be. Well, I pretended not to know anything and just mumbled something about the fairgrounds. Next, we have the issue of photographers speeding up and down the dirt track that we all gather on to park and take photos. I believe it's just a matter of time before some child or adult is hit by one of these idiots. Not to mention the fact that all of the dust and dirt they're kicking up is NOT GOOD for digital SLRs!!! I am quite sure if one of us did it to them, they'd be having a fit. Right? Next up is, of course, the typical issue of these clowns going right up to the base fence to get photos of the flightline area. Frankly it stuns me that USMC base security tolerates this crap. So I encourage anyone who sees this, to call the police, or, if you have their number, base security (and yes I know I am probably committing treason in the photography world here, but I don't give a rat's ass). Most of us American photographers know better than to do this. Yes, most of us still take the occasional photo of the base, but my point is WE DO NOT GO RIGHT UP TO THE FENCE TO DO IT! NOT COOL!

There IS a secondary viewpoint - contact me for info on its location. The Eurotrash are getting away with too much crap! And it's usually us Americans who end up paying the price for THEIR BS.















Update, Feb 27, 2016: Info on the Collings Bombers visiting SoCal.......highlights include:

Riverside, May 2 thru 4
Van Nuys, May 9 thru 11
Camarillo, May 11 thru 13


See updated Events Page for further details / tour stops

Update, Feb 18, 2016 - LA County airshow has listed more performers. Mostly minor aerobatics, however the jet truck, Shockwave will be here, as well as a performance entitled "Tinstix" which involves the jet truck as well as two aerobatic airplanes and some pyro I believe.

I will be heading to Tucson to cover the Heritage Flight training event at DM AFB. This year, even though we officially say goodbye to the Phantoms, we gain the F-35s, which ought to be fun!

Update, Feb 16, 2016: The Heritage Flight Conference at DM AFB in Tucson is slated for March 3 thru 6, with arrivals set for the 1st and 2nd and departures on the 7th. F-35 slated to be involved this year.

Also: Julie Clark is slated to perform at this year's Riverside Municipal airport airshow on April 2. Her website schedule also shows her at the San Bernadino airfest once again like last year. Riverside's website also lists the C-17 being there once again, but I believe some of the info on their website is from last year's event.



Also, the Tora Tora Tora guys from the CAF, who are performing at next month's LA County airshow up here at Fox Field, will have two other California appearances - Salinas, and Sacramento. The Sacto show is Sept 24 and 25.

Update, Feb 14, 2016 - My Flickr galleries (Red Flag 16-1 stuff up now!)

Update for Feb 3, 2016: HAWGSMOKE will be held at DM AFB in Tucson, June 1 thru 4. June 1 is for arrivals, with the competition being held June 2 and departures on the 4th. Keep your eyes on www.hawg-smoke.com for further info.

Update, Jan 31, 2016: Just announced! TWO F-35s will be participating in the upcoming Heritage Flight Conference at DM AFB in Tucson. Also announced were the dates for PhanCon 2016, which will be in September, on the 12th thru 16th. Registration is reported to begin in February. Other than this year's Holloman AFB airshow (which has yet to be announced officially), this Phancon might be the last public / semi-public opportunity to see QF-4 Phantoms flown by the USAF.

Couple of upates for Jan 29, 2016: I spent yesterday out at Nellis for a one-day thing for Red Flag 16-1. Did not see any B-2s, the Wedgetail or the P-8 Poseidon, but saw lots of stuff, even though half of the recoveries did the dreaded left break, which puts them further from everyones' cameras. Swamp Foxes from Southern Carolina, appear to have aircraft there with three different shades of gray.

Also, for you Phantom Phanatics, you might want to check out www.voltraid-world.com - Voltraid is a German band that put out a song called "The Phantom Song". I found out about it through the Phantom Society's website, and today I was able to successfully order both the single for that song, as well as a previous full album the band released in 2013. The Phantom song is a fun one, and a good one, too. Borders between hard rock and metal. Great video for it too!

Update for Jan 27, 2016: Red Flag 16-2 players have been announced - not quite so large as RF 16-1. Highlights include Turkey (KC-135 and F-16s) and Italy (Eurofighters!), B-1s and B-52s.

Recently back from a trip up to central California, where I visited the Calif Aerospace Museum in Sacto, as well as the P-3 firebombers they have in storage there. On the return trip, I stopped off at the Castle Air museum, which has a fantastic collection. Right off Hwy 99 in Atwater. TWO B-20s, a B-52D, Avro Vulcan bomber, B-47 for starters! I then wandered over to the old Castle AFB property and checked out the old buildings that remain. Photos have been posted on my Facebook page, with many more to come.

Updates for Jan 13, 2016: Blue Angel #7 is in town! Photos posted on Facebook. Advance planning for this March's airshow at Fox Field.

Also, I have seen a 'preliminary' list of players for Red Flag 16-1. It's a big one if accurate. Here are some highlights:

MA coded F-15s, Mass Ang
F-22s from Tyndall
P-8 (!!)
F-15s from Fresno (!!)
F-16s from Aviano
F-16s from So Carolina
Aussie F-18s
Growlers, VAQ-138
B-1s
SJ-coded F-15s
UK Sentinel and Wedgetail

And others. Stay tuned. Begins Jan 25.


Update Dec 18, 2015: Made another trek out to Star Wars Canyon yesterday, the 17th. It was a 16 jet day, but only one color bird. An album of pics has been posted on both Facebook and Flickr.





Update Dec 14, 2015: Hemet Airshow for next year slated for June 4th.







Update Dec 6, 2015: Sad news. Aerobatic Mike Mangold has been killed in an incident with his L-39 jet at the Apple Valley airport. A passenger along with him was also lost.

Update, Oct 1, 2015: Red Flag 2016 schedule posted in the events calendar section. This is according to a post in the DLR.com message boards, and doesn't list a source, so I can't verify its accuracy.

Update, Sept 29, 2015: Pt Mugu Airshow a great success despite small crowd and weak static display. The Blue Angels and Breitling jet team were the headliners and both were great! Flares were used on the Breitling team's final maneuver on Sat. Aerobatics by Matt Chapman and Sean Tucker. HMLA-267 brought over a Huey "Venom" and did a brief demo. ATAC flew a Hawker Hunter and Kfir, but apparently the Kfir developed an iasue shortly after takeoff and it landed immediately. The CAF warbirds from down the road at Camarillo did a great job (Zero developed a mechanical problem and did not fly on Sat - haven't heard about Sun yet). They brought over their Hellcat, Bearcat, and I guess they own this Mk 14 Spitfire too. The P-51 "Manowar" was there too. A C-130J did a MAFFS waterdrop (rather surprising considering the Calif drought sitch).

There was a great deal of conflicting information that was posted on their airshow site, such as the false claim that no media pit was going to be there, so they seemed to discourage media types from sending in information / apps in hopes of getting press passes. Well turns out there was, in fact, a media pit after all! Not only that, but ramp passes were issued to some people, to gain access to one of the hot ramps. Also noticed that a lot of stuff on the 'prohibited' list were being allowed in - pop up tents, umbrellas, backpacks, and I even saw one small 'vehicle' type of thing. So much for security!!

I even saw a handful of non-service animals roaming around. C'mon, who brings a dog to an airshow anyways? Leave the furballs at home where they belong. You run the risk of being liable for anyone bitten and ALL dogs can bite, I don't give a sht what any dog lover says; many people are allergic, so if your dog climbs all over a person and they later have an asthma attack, you could be held liable for that as well, so what's the point in bringing these little flea-ridden bastards to an airshow? Are you going to clean up their poop at the show? Probably not, right? LOL There were also a lot of intoxicated people running around. There's GOT to be a way to have an airshow without alcohol vendors taking over. You'd think show organizers would not want to be held liable for anyone killed by a drunk driver after the show. Just NOT a good idea.

One amusing part at the end of the day was to see so many drivers being 'sheeple' and all trying to converge on one point getting out of the parking lot, creating a huge gridlock situation. HA! I went the opposite direction and was off base in 5 mins! Helps to look around people, for other options!

Photos are going up on Facebook and the Flickr galleries.

Update, Sept 25, 2015:  Don't forget! Pt Mugu airshow is this weekend! The majority of the static display aircraft arrived yesterday.   Blue Angels flew twice yesterday. Did not see the Breitling L-39s. Would imagine they might go practice today. C-5 is from Travis, C-17 is from Wright-Patt, had a China Lake VX-31 black tailed Hornet show up Thurs, as well as a handful of warbirds - including the PB4Y-2 Privateer from Arizona, an SH-60, and a Lemoore-based Growler from VAQ-129.  I did post a few 'straight outta the camera' pics late last night on Facebook. See www.pointmuguairshow.com for info on the flying schedule.

Update for Sept 9, 2015: NASA Super Guppy supposed to be departing March Field this morning about 1140am, according to FlightAware.

Red Flag 15-4 photos going up on both Flickr and Facebook.

Update, July 2015 - Photos from Red Flag 15-3 going up on the Facebook page. Next exercise is later this month. NO MEDIA DAY for RF 15-4.
 
QF-4 operations at Tyndall AFB are finished, according to C/A and AFM mags.

Update, May 14 - Spent Tuesday at Edwards AFB, photographing aircraft from the TPS ramp (briefly) and the media viewpoint along the runway at South Base. It was a VERY good day! Myself and one other photographer were there, escorted by the base's Chief of Public Affairs. Planes spotted spanned the eras of WW2 to the 21st Century. We saw the following: Grumman Albatross, Mig-17 UTI, L-39, some Arizona ANG Vipers with the AT tail code, an A-10 (!!!) from the 47th FS at DM AFB, SEVEN F-35s (all 3  branches of service), various Edwards Vipers, KC-135, KC-10 from Travis, C-17, NASA T-34 and F-15, ET coded F-15, Pax River F-18, Edwards F-22, and the NKC-135 Speckled Trout. Many of the a/c did multiple touch n gos. Photos are going up now on the Facebook page and Flickr gallery.

Update, May 13 - Mexican military personnel seen at Edwards AFB west gate, and were disrespectful to an American citizen, by using that individual's car hood as a temporary place to set gear down. WTF??

Update May 4, 2015 - click here to check out the initial batches of Chino airshow photos on Flickr.

Update, May 3 - Hightlights from this weekend's airshow at Chino included a Curtiss P-36 Hawk, AT-12 Seversky, Peashooter, several biplanes, Japanese Val and Zero, British Spitfire, German Me108 and FW-190, TWO Grumman Wildcats (one painted as a British Martlett), TBM Avenger, TWO Corsairs, B-25, ELEVEN P-51 Mustangs (!!), Skyraider, P-47 Razorback, Tigercat, Bearcat, Hellcat, TTWO T-33s, F-86, Mig-15, F-22 Raptor demo, and the CF-18 demo. Friday's twilight show was spectacular! Hope they do it again next year!

Update, April 27, 2015: Collings Foundation bombers coming to Van Nuys and Camarillo, April 29th thru May 1st. See my aviation events page, or the Collins Foundation site for specifics.
 
Update, April 26, 2015: Don't forget, the big Chino airshow is this coming weekend! The CF-18 demo will be there this year, as well as the USAF F-22 demo!  With humidity predicted to be between 28% and 48% Fri thru Sun, we may see some vapor coming off the jets!  See www.planesoffame.org for the schedule.  Tickets are $25 this year.  Also, keep in mind for Sunday after the show, that the CAP nazis will most likely be chasing people off the ramp as soon as the show is done, so if you want to continue hanging out, to watch departing a/c on Sunday, head to the south side of the main parking lot.
 
Update, April 10, 2015: Phancon 2015 dates / location announced.
 
Oct 12 thru 15, the Phantom Society will be heading over to AMARG.  Registration info to be posted in June, according to their site. 

Update for March 31, 2015: Went down to LAX yesterday and photographed a fair number of A380s and 747s. Lots of vapor comin off the larger a/c.  Photos now going up on Facebook. Will post on Flickr tonight.
 
Update, March 23, 2015: LA County Airshow Photos - now going up on Facebook as well as the Flickr page (flickr.com/photos/socal_airshow_review)
 
 
Update, March 12, 2015:  Just back from spending a couple of days out at Nellis for Red Flag 15-2. Caught the Norwegian tigertailed F-16, the Oklahoma boss F-16 with color Indian head, and VFA-132's CAG F-18 was out there (along with several other F-18s from the 'World Famous Golden Dragons').  B-52s and B-1s provided the heavy iron this time around. One BUFF was nicknamed 'Iron Butterfly'. 
 
Don't forget, the CAF's B-29 "FIFI" is now at Palm Springs.  It will be at the Air Museum until the 15th or so. Next stop is Van Nuys. Getting back to their Palm Springs visit, the B-29 is tentatively set to fly Fri, Sat, and Sun, with flight times of 9am and 1030am each of those days. The Air Museum is DOUBLING their admission price during FIFI's visit. (yikes!).  There is plenty of viewing outside the fence.
 
Besides the B-29, rides are available on several other aircraft (C-45, Stearman, P-51, and T-6/SNJ).  The CAF is not answering my emails regarding what forms of payment they accept, so buy a ride at your own risk. Riders are supposed to check-in one hour ahead of their flight time, however the PSAM is not letting riders in until 30mins prior to the first flight, so good luck to ya. I was very close to buying a ride (bombardier's seat) on FIFI, but I've gotten so fed up with the CAF's attitude and the attitude of the people at the PSAM, and with what looks like typical communication breakdowns (CAF and the PSAM don't seem to know what each other is doing), that I finally said 'forget it'.  Both groups need lessons in public affairs!  The female staff at the PSAM have such an angry attitude towards the public, I am amazed the place is still open.

LA County Airshow set for March 20 thru 22. Night show is the 20th at AV Fairgrounds. Performers include the Thunderbirds, Harrier demo, and the F-18 demo, along with some aerobatics. Tickets are $25 at the gate.

Update, March 1st, 2015: Spent three days out at Star Wars Canyon in Death Valley. Shot about thirty different aircraft, including the following: VFA-41 XO bird, VX-9 boss ( a real beauty, red & black w stars on the spine and giant vampire bat on the tail), UK Tornado, Edwards T-38, VFA-25 CAG,  two Edwards F-16s, two Fresno F-15s, and various other F-18s from VFA-2, VFA-137, VFA-14, and a couple of Growlers from VX-9. Tuesday was slow, saw only about 4 aircraft, and the weather was crapy - very high winds which kept the day cold all day long. Wed and Thurs were much better, saw over 10 aircraft each day, most of which came by in the afternoons.

Photos are now posted on the Facebook and Flickr pages.
 
Location: Crowley Point, in the far, far southwestern corner of Death Valley's perimeter, off Hwy 190, east of Olancha and hwy 395. Northwest of Baker and I-15 via Hwy 127, I believe, is the other route in. There are at least four primary viewing locations - the rest stop itself, several parking spots along the dirt road that leads east away from the rest stop, a 'saddle' between hillsides about a mile east of the rest stop - this location has a couple of high points further east, along with another saddle even further east than that. To the west, at the mouth of the canyon, there is a hilltop that gives you a good view, though likely that most photos would be 'belly shots'.  So there is plenty of room for everyone.  Panamint Valley, to the east, is also used for low level flight training, as is Saline Valley to the west.  There IS one more spot that has potential, but I have  yet to get up there and check it out, in terms of number of aircraft going by, so stay tuned on that one.
 
FYI, don't be surprised if you are approached by an arrogrant, bossy little egomaniacal photographer who goes out there on a regular basis, like the rest of us - he seems to get his kicks by TRYING to intimidate people he doesn't even know and blame them for what he perceives as 'damage' being done to the park (but in fact was likely caused years ago by many other photographers visiting the area).  I guess he can't handle a little competition from other photogs!  He's actively trying to discourage other people from coming up there by acting like a jackass.  I couldn't help but laugh my ass off at this guy's selfish, bossy attitude - he thinks he owns Death Valley and the rest of us are not allowed up there, lol.  I've contacted park staff about this situation to let them know other park visitors are being harassed by this guy.  Not sure if they will or can do anything, but thought I'd give it a shot just the same.  If he approaches you, and believe me, you'll know it, just ignore the guy.  He's a real punk that thinks he is God.  All bark and no bite, lol.  Little man that thinks he has lots of power, when in fact he has none. On top of that, rumor has it he's living off his wife's money!  No wonder he's bitter!

Update, Feb 8, 2015: Events page updated, notes from RF 15-1 added.

Update for Feb 6, 2014: Red Flag 15-1 photos going up on the Facebook page (now under Brian Emch - FB has been cracking down on people not using their true names for whatever reason),  as well as the Flickr gallery. www.flickr.com/photos/socal_airshow_review
 
 
Notes from Red Flag 15-1..........units participating included SJ F-15s, Lakenheath F-15s, Langley Raptors, Shaw AFB Vipers, Aviano Vipers (555th), South Dakota Vipers, B-2s, KC-135s (Ohio, Seymour Johnson, and McConnell), a pair of UK 'Sentinels' that perform a similar mission to the E-3; also flying were Aussie C-130s, VMFA(AW)225 Hornets, Growlers from VAQ-132 Scorpions, the usual Aggressor aircraft, and there were a couple of surprise transient C-2s that showed up on a 'gas n go' run.
 

Update, Jan 12, 2015 - FIFI tour dates announced! She will be in SoCal in early March. See event dates page.
 
Update, Jan 2, 2015 - Event schedule page of the site has been updated

Update, Dec 15, 2014 - Red Flag 15-1 players list! Media day has been announced. Deadline coming up very soon! Here's the list:
 
Raptors from Langley
F-16s from Shaw
DM EC-130s
F-16s from Burlington, Va.
F-16s from Sioux Falls, S.D.
F-16s from Aviano (famed Triple Nickel sq!)
Growlers from Whidbey, VAQ-132
U-2 from Beale
B-2s (!!)
VMFA-225 Hornets
E-8s
RC-135s
EP-3
P-3C
KC-135s from McConnell
DM HC-130s
E-3s
Aussie C-130s
UK Typhoons
UK F-15Cs (??)
UK E-3Ds
and the usual HH-60s and aggressors from Nellis
 

Update, Dec 10, 2014 - Just announced! The USAF Thunderbirds will headline the 2015 LA County Airshow, March 21 and 22.  FYI, the Blue Angels will return in 2016.
 
Update, Nov 18, 2014 - Caught a Navy Triton UAV at Palmdale today. Photos have been posted on my Facebook and Flickr pages.
 
Update, Nov 12, 2014 - First batch of Nellis airshow photos going up on my new Facebook page, as well as the Flickr gallery (flickr.com/photos/socal_airshow_review)
 

Update, Nov 4 - New calendar titles under development - Rainbow Canyon, this yr's Nellis Airshow, & Fall Colors
 
 
Update, Nov 2 - New pics up, at the SoCal News, page of this site  http://home.earthlink.net/~so_cal_airshow_news
 
 
Don't forget, Aviation Nation is coming up next weekend!  I haven't seen a schedule yet, but the F-35 and F-22 are both listed in their "aerial demos" portion of the Nellis AFB webpage for the show.
 
I also believe that the Palm Springs Air Museum will be doing something all day on that Sat, so if you can't make Nellis, check out the PSAM's event.
 
Update, Nov 1 - Back from 2 1/2 days out at Star Wars (Rainbow) Canyon / Crowley Point.  Spent late Tues, all of Wed-Thurs out at Crowley Point this week, have lots of new, exciting photos from that location. First batch of photos is now up on both my new Facebook page and Flickr.  I caught mostly F-18s (VFA-107, VFA-2, VX-9, VMFA-232) but did catch one of the Fresno F-15s as well.  Averaged about 5 different aircraft per day, with the avg number of passes being about 12 or so.  Looks like there are a handful of really good spots to shoot from up there. I may try to go back on my way home from Nellis.
 
Update, Oct 19 - Red Flag schedule for 2015 is now up on the Nellis AFB site:
 
RF 15-1: Jan 26 to Feb 14
RF 15-2: Mar 2 to Mar 13
RF 15-3: July 13 to July 31
RF 15-4: Aug 17 to Aug 28
 
 
Update, Oct 13 - initial batch of Apple Valley photos now up on my Facebook page. Or they WERE. Check out my Flickr gallery for the Apple Valley shots.

Update, Oct 12, 2014:
The Apple Valley Airshow was held Sat, Oct 11th. Performers included Tim Just, Jon Melby, Bill Cornick, Rob Harrison, an RC model airplane club, skydivers and a good number of aiurplanes from the POF museum in Chino - P-38, F4U, two P-51s, P-40, B-25 Photo Fanny, and the Yak-3. The FW-190 did not make it.  Also present on the ramp were the B-25 "Executive Sweet", a CJ-6, T-34, T-28, a privately owned seaplane, Stearman, and a pair of Chipmunks. Skies were great all day, it was about 90-95 degrees and they drew a big crowd.  Flybys were great and close to the crowd line.

Negs for the show - Unfortunately there were a large number of people walking around with huge-arse umbrellas, tall enough to block your view, and there were simply too many dogs out there.  I don't understand how these shows get away with having pets at the shows, when this is (or used to be) a county health code violation.  Might be time to start doing the 'media thing' at this show.  And the announcer made some really big mistakes during the show, one of which was claiming Pappy Boyington's WW2 Corsair squadron was VFA-127!!  WTF? They didn't even use the term VFA in WW2, not to mention that's a NAVY term, and Pappy's Black Sheep were Marine Corps of course.  He also really butchered pilot Chris Fahey's name while calling the show. Really just had to shake my head and cringe at times.
 
Somebody ought to send him and Rob Reider back to school so they can get their facts straightened out.  Sorry, I know this is harsh, but I just don't understand how somebody can screw up the name of Pappy's unit!  Isn't that basic military aviation 101??  I also believe passing around bad info like this is what is helping to dumb down America. And that's not a good thing!
 
Update, Sept 29, 2014:
Spring 2015 - FIFI, the world's only flying B-29 Superfortress, returns to Palm Springs! Exact dates TBD, so stay tuned....
 
 
Update, Sept 25, 2014:
The Airborne Laser 747 Testbed has been dismantled at AMARG. I was just sent some photos of it by a friend. Very sad thing to see!

Update for Sept 18, 2014:
 
Warbirds at Tehachapi!  2nd Annual Warbird Fly-in at Tehachapi airport, Saturday, September 27th. Arrivals tentatively expected at 930am, with flybys later on.

Aug 2, 2014 - Rest in Peace, John Emch (1935-2014). USAF Vet and USAF / FAA air traffic controller.  Systems Analyst for Lockheed Martin. Avid RC model airplane pilot, member of AV Tailwinds flying club.  Survived by wife Frankye, daughter Sandra, and son Brian. Two grandchildren, Frankie and Nathaniel.
 
So Long, Dad...........will see ya when I see ya.  Thank you for the aviation bug!  Til then, enjoy flying around in that big RC model airshow in the sky. 
 
 

July 30, 2014: New calendars.

I have wrapped up work on several new calendars - Hawgsmoke 2012 (24 mo), Hawgsmoke 2014 (12 and 24 mo), and Lightning Vol 3.  Check out my entire line of completed titles here: www.lulu.com/spotlight/saguaro_west_photography
 

162nd FW F-16 Viper spotted with spanish language text on the tail. WTF?? Is this suddenly the mexican Air Force? If this pisses you off as it does me, contact the oncall ANG PAO at ngbpa.oncall@mail.mil or call 703-627-7273. Or call the Air Guard's Press Desk at 703-601-6767.
 
Future of Hawgsmoke? Two sources posted tonight on Facebook (you know who you are) just a short time ago, claiming already that the 2016 Hawgsmoke will be held once again at DM AFB. I think somebody forgot that the plane is in imminent danger of being retired, so let's not jump the gun and get everyone's hopes up by posting inaccurate info.  Sorry, don't mean to be a buzzkill here, but seeing premature info published really gets under my skin sometimes.
 
Photographed 97 A-10s while in Tucson earlier this month. Just a ballpark figure. 31 of those were visiting team aircraft from outside Arizona (Maryland, Indiana, Whiteman AFB, and Moody AFB). The Michigan guys were not able to make it apparently.  I caught at least two that were recently retired from the Arkansas Air Guard.
 
Add for July 28 - FOUR of the A-10s I shot at Hawgsmoke were from the recently retired batch of the Arkansas ANG. They are as follows: 78-0614, 78-0586, 78-0626, and 79-0129.

Good news for A-10 fans...........the final hurdle is still yet to come but this is promising..........

Update for July 26, 2014:
AMARG Update: I took the Pima Air museum's bus tour of AMARG twice while I was in Arizona, so here's an update on what has changed since my last visit.
 
There has been a lot of aircraft movement, deletions, and arrivals since I was last at the Boneyard. With the retirement of the older KC-135s in full swing, the base has seen a large increase of the tankers in storage.  A new, very large hangar has been built across from the final check / wash ramps. This is designed to hold two KC-135s side by side.  A good chunk (maybe 50%) of the Phantoms still around, have been moved from Area 7 to nearby Area 11.  That Area 7 is now the main storage area for the tankers.  The two F-4Es that were painted up like Steve Ritchie's aircraft, have been relocated. One is now on Celebrity Row, the other is on display just inside the Irvington gate, and is one of the first three aircraft you'll see from the bus.  A nice surprise was the addition of a DM-coded F-4 mig killer on Celebrity Row.  Other CR additions include a T-34C, A Hawaii ANG F-15, a State Dept C-27, a DM-coded A-10C in Lobos colors, and an F-18 in Blue Angel #7 colors.  The Airborne Laser 747 testbed, which has been here for a couple of years now, has been moved from its original parking spot at area 29, to a similar position in Area 19.  It is still visible from Kolb Road, and still photographable from that point as well.  The number of C-5s has grown since my last visit, with many Memphis and Texas-based aircraft now in storage.  A few more Janet airlines 737s have arrived.  These are the all white jets with nothing but a red stripe down the fuselage and an N number - they shuttle employees to and from Area 51.   At least two of the SH-60 CONA helicopters are now here. Also just inside the Irvington gate is an AC-130 gunship. However it is directly across from the gate's checkpoint and very hard to get a decent shot of, since the tour guide asks you to refrain from taking pics until after you pass the gate.  By that time, you're almost past the gunship, so you don't get a very good angle. It does have nose art, but rather small compared to what many other AC-130s wear.

Back from Arizona, with another 6,000 images to go through! Hawgsmoke and Red Flag were great, although many times the clouds and sun did not cooperate. I made side trips to Gateway, McCarran and Skyharbor, too. New photos are now going up on my Facebook timeline, so check em out!
 
Calendar inventory on Lulu.com is currently  being updated a little bit at a time. I am trying to do between 10 and 20 calendars each day or night, so I hope to have the current completed group done by the end of August.  I have been able to drop my prices quite a bit, at least for now. I suspect Lulu keeps the prices reasonable in summer, during the calendar 'offseason' and then as the new year approaches they jack up production prices, so if you're interested in a calendar, contact me & order early!

July 6, 2014: Happy Fourth of July weekend!  Coming up next week is the biannual A-10 bombing and gunnery competition, called Hawgsmoke. This year it is being hosted by Davis-Monthan AFB. Arrivals are set for Wed, with the competition set for Thurs. Departures take place on Sat the 12th. With the Feds threatening to retire the entire A-10 fleet, this may be the last Hawgsmoke. 
 
Following that, I will then be moving on to Nellis AFB for a few days of shooting Red Flag 14-3 participants. 
 
While on the road, I am hoping to get a chance at some nice monsoonal weather in Tucson, and I am gonna try and shoot some star trails / Milky Way photos.  Going to head down to Tombstone to get a bucket list item checked off, lol.
 
Check out my YouTube channel, also under "SoCal Airshow Review".
 
Warning: be aware that if you post photos to a "group" on Facebook, group owners WILL use your photo without your permission, so take the necessary steps to guard against that - ie, big copyright text embedded in your image, large watermark, etc. I recently had this happen to me a 2nd time, and after complaining about it to Facebook, they not only took the photo down, but they turned around and lectured ME on the proper use of photos and rights! Even though it was MY photo being used by the owner of the Night Photography group - yet I am the one being threatened with being banned from Facebook!  LOL shows you how stupid Facebook is.

Update for June 27, 2014:
Pt Mugu's rarely seen NP-3 with the big radome up top was seen today doing touch n gos at Palmdale. Click the link below to see the pics.

NP-3 photos click here

Update, June 18th -
The Israelis have dropped out of participating in Red Flag 14-3, according to Nellis public affairs.
 
 
Update for June 15, 2014:
Japanese C-130 over Arizona Skies:
Japanese Maritime SDF crew coming to DM AFB for familiarization flights aboard a C-130R the Japanese have purchased from AMARG. It will be flying starting June 16th and will be ongoing for 90 days. Hoping to catch it in the air while I am there for Hawgsmoke.
 
Update for May 30, 2014:
Get ready Red Flag fans! The Israelis are coming back to Nellis for Red Flag 14-3! According to a May 29th Nellis AFB press release, here is the entire list of RF 14-3 players:
 
Seymour Johnson AFB Strike Eagles
Lakenheath, England Strike Eagles (American sq)
Shaw AFB F-16s
Nellis HH-60s
Moody HC-130s
Aggressors of course
Minot AFB B-52s
Ellsworth AFB B-1s
Aviano AB F-16s (sorry not Triple Nickel)
E-3s
Fairchild AFB KC-135s
Washing Air Guard's 176th Air Def Sq / Sector Ops Ctr.
       - not quite sure what to make of the last one. Could be
         just personnel only and not aircraft.
 
I will be out there the first 3 or 4 days of the exercise, which is set to run July 14 thru 25.
 
 
May 26 2014 update:
I have posted a lot of B -29 "FIFI" photos from Fox Field on both the SoCal Airshow Review Facebook page as well as the Flickr gallery, so go check em out! Prints are always available, as are calendars, etc. Coming up next? Road trip to Tucson, Arizona for "Hawgsmoke", July 9 thru 12, and on my way home, I will probably spend the first couple of days of Red Flag 14-3 at Nellis before returning to SoCal.
 
Chino's airshow saw FOUR P-47s in the air. The museum has added paint to their Razorback, as well as the Corsair.  An A-4 flew in from Arizona, as did the PB4Y-2 Privateer.  Highlights also included two performances by the Horsemen. One in three P-51s, the other in three F-86 Sabres. The F-22 Raptor demo was good. The team brought over two aircraft from Tyndall AFB in Florida. Lots of photos are now up on my Facebook gallery and on Flickr. Some of my Sabre formation shots are up for sale on ebay.
 
Update for April 8th, 2014:  'GREAT AMERICAN HAWG' VOL 1 NOW AVAILABLE.  New photo book, "The Great American Hawg", a 100 pg book (8x11, hardback) of A-10 Warthog photos is now ready. Features full page images from 2004 to 2013.  Includes static shots, nose art, flybys, and Heritage Flight photos.  I have three copies listed on ebay right now.  Next up, I'll be working on 'The Great American Phantom', and following that, 'Spirits of the Boneyard'.

Click this link to see photos from Plant 42 that I took yesterday (Fri, 2-21-14) - C17, F22, Janet 737, and F-15SA

Additional past airshow season images can be viewed here

Past airshow season photos can be viewed here

     All photography Copyright 1993 - 2014 
                         Brian Emch
                SoCal Airshow Review
              & Aviation Photography
         (Proud Patriot, and supporter
                 of the Minutemen)
       THIS IS AN ENGLISH ONLY
                      WEBSITE!
        

Patriotic Americans should read THIS infuriating piece of S.........click here to see just exactly what a traitor our President is.

I Shall Not Be Silent When Others Revile My Patriotism - (part of the Minuteman Pledge)
 
Land of the Free.......Because of the Brave.....(seen on ASB)
 
Our military veterans did not, and ARE not dying for the mexican flag. They fought, and are fighting for, Old Glory. PERIOD.
            - ME
 
"If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you're reading this in English, thank the military."
 
"If the pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough."
          - Robert Capa
 
"If you call yourself an artist, you won't get anything published. If you call yourself a photojournalist, you can do whatever you want."
         - Robert Capa
 
"You're drumming for Jesus Christ, not for Judas Priest" (Rosie, talkin to Mary Catherine Gallagher, on SNL)
 
"It's not a near miss! It's a NEAR-HIT!"
           - George Carlin
 
"Get on the plane!"
"(bleep) you - I'm getting IN the plane! Let the daredevils get ON the plane."
         - George Carlin
 
"It's all BS and it's bad for you"
        - George Carlin (we miss you George!)
 
"It's Michelin-On-Nike time!"
       - George Carlin
 
"Making people mad is a good thing"
     - John McCain (hehe, right on, Senator!)
 
"I don't take crap from anyone - bees
     included!" - J.M.
 
"I GOTTA have more cowbell!"
          - Christopher Walken
 
"Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women"
         - R.S.
 
"If you have to crop, you didn't do the job."
     - ME (King of the Crops, INDEED! LOL)
 
"I will stand, I will fight, as the sun goes down, I won't give in to fear" - JP
 
"I'm on the line, but I'll go down fighting!" - JP
 
"You wont break me, you wont take me, I'll fight you under blood red skies" - JP
 
 
Major League Baseball, an American icon, has officially become tainted, as far as I'm concerned. It's bad enough they bring in illegal aliens (usually Cuban or Latin American defectors) and hand these people rich contracts without them trying to gain citizenship here or the ability to speak our language. Some Angels players, who have been playing here for years, still use interpreters!  So now, on Saturday, June 11, here's the latest slap in the face to America by MLB - both the St Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers wore jerseys with their team names IN SPANISH!!!!!!!!  What the....?!?!?
 
I encourage all patriots to write/call/email their elected officials and begin demanding that they crack down on MLBs practices of signing non-citizens.
 
And now, yet ANOTHER insult to all Americans, DHS has decided in their incompetent wisdom, to yank the contract of a company currently making US Border Patrol uniforms here in the USA, and has given it to a company who will make them IN MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!   I encourage everyone to contact their elected idiot officials and demand that this be reversed!
 
 
I SUPPORT ARIZONA BILL SB1062, VOTED YES ON CALIFORNIA PROPOSITIONS 187 AND 8.
 

I SUPPORT INDIANA'S NEW RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAW!