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Paine Field Aviation Day 2014 Recap

Flying Heritage Collections P-47 Thunderbolt "Tallahassee Lassie" doing a very low pass at Paine Field Aviation Day

Flying Heritage Collection’s P-47 Thunderbolt “Tallahassee Lassie” doing a very low pass at Paine Field Aviation Day

2014 marked my third Paine Field Aviation Day (PFAD) and it signaled a great start to what is rumored to be a very extensive flying season.  Both Historic Flight Foundation (HFF) and Flying Heritage Collection (FHC) put in some effort to make this one of the best days yet.

Sadly, the clouds and rain loomed in the morning, which kept away a lot of the crowds.  Great for photos, not so great for attendance.  From the HFF side of the airport, it did seem very quiet compared to previous years.  But this year I joined the crowds on the berm for some amazing photos.

One Lone Test flight by Boeing Today and EI-LNF, destined for Norwegian Air International, returns to Paine Field

One lone test flight by Boeing today; EI-LNF, destined for Norwegian Air International, returns to Paine Field

Boeing didn’t have much in the air on this day, with a lone Norwegian Air International 787-8 making a quick test flight.  Some of my highlights though came towards the end of the flying program.

Flying Heritage Collections B-25, P-47 & P-51 Line up to await their turn for Departure.

Flying Heritage Collection’s B-25, P-47, & P-51 line up to await their turn for departure

John Sessions took the HFF DC-3 up in the air and shocked some people with the performance.  A DC-3 was not designed to go “yanking and banking” all over the sky, but the demo put on was amazing.  I was not alone on the berm in that I was shocked at just how that DC-3 handled and was amazed by what we saw.

BONUE: Watch the DC-3 Flight Demo

That one aircraft had the collective crowd in awe; when it returned to the Kilo 7 area, there was a round of applause.

It is not often you see a DC-3 doing this kind of demo!

It is not often you see a DC-3 doing this kind of demo!

There was another display that had my eyes on the sky, and although I had seen it previously it never fails to bring a smile to this AvGeek’s face.  The Olympic Flight Museum flew a UH-1 Huey & an AH-1 Cobra.  The birds “announced” their arrival earlier in the morning when I could hear the iconic “thump thump” sound from my house several miles away.  The two-bladed rotors on both of these Vietnam-era helicopters give an iconic sound.  They put on a fantastic demo, but having them take off and land right in front of the berm was great!

UH-1 Huey (foreground) and AH-1 Cobra (background) await their turn to Depart the Kilo 7 area for their flight demonstration

UH-1 Huey (foreground) and AH-1 Cobra (background) await their turn to depart the Kilo 7 area for their flight demonstration

Although crowds were down, the day went really well and to be honest, I am glad I went.  Now to keep working on those 2,000 photos!

   Malcolm Muir – Managing Correspondent 

Mal is an Australian AvGeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.

 @BigMalX | BigMal's World | Photos

1 comment to Paine Field Aviation Day 2014 Recap

  • Cook

    Fin report, Mal. The opening shot is a keeper. As – I guess – you have just learned, the basic DC-3/C-47 is a remarkably stable airplane. By design, it is not fast nor precise, but it will continue to fly and land with countless faults. The DC-3 was the “RJ” of my extreme youth and I enjoyed that simple Flying Machine well into the 70s. Perhaps not always ‘bullet proof,’ some experienced pilots regard the DC-3 and “God’s glider with engines.” I’ve also heard that she is an ‘ornery bitch’ (or worse) to fly with one turning and one feathered. As she stands, the DC-3 could never be certificated today; too many faults and liabilities. That said, the industry has yet to produce another flying machine that is happier in the air than on the ground. One example, that no sane person would attempt: At 85% of published MTOW and on a very long runway, A DC-3, from a standing start, took off and flew a standard circuit, to complete a safe landing. (Not a recommended practice, but an example of how robust this airplane is, was and remains.)
    Good to see you in action and your pix are great.
    -C.

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