USA South West - El_Centro
Page 8 of 14
Around El Centro the desert became green again and the airfield was found in no time. It was already late in the afternoon, but the light was still very good to take some photos, and we enjoyed the view of an C-2 Greyhound, that was doing practice approaches. That was the highlight of the day! Furthermore we saw quite a lot of Harriers and Hornets, that were supposedly for training at El Centro. After some days on the road it was also for the first time that we saw other photographers at an airfield.
When we left to look for a Motel we missed a black painted T-34 Mentor coming in, which we should get the next day. A quick look at the civil airport of El Centro revealed some Cessnas of FedEx, but they were out of reach of our cameras.
A motel was once again easily found and that evening we were dining a Mexican restaurant within walking distance, where we enjoyed really excellent food and had a few drinks
a short evening stop at El Centro
After the usual Motel breakfast we hurried to the airfield and placed ourselves near the corner where two taxiways are joining the runway. Standing on the bank of drain channel made it possible to photograph over the fence without any hassle.
The next morning we were as lucky a the day before as many sorties were flown with training bombs, most probably to a range nearby, as many aircraft returned without their weapons load. Once the aircraft returned they were armed and refueled again for the next mission. It seemed that this was most probably an exercise prior to deployment to some dessert place…
El Centro - F-18 Hornets and visitors
The photo possibilities for Harriers – single- and double-seaters, with or without radar noses- and Hornets, some also in special colours, were numerous, and the results very satisfying, so we changed to the other side of the runway for the take-offs, which allowed some photos from the front, but most aircraft were already quite high, and two lucky opportunities when Harriers returned with a break just overhead.
As it was Friday the flying stopped at midday and we were not too unhappy about that as we were able to hit the road a bit earlier, thus arriving at the airshow in Thermal a bit earlier than foreseen.