The DEA's Bell 407.

The DEA’s Bell 407 lands in the Seattle rain

The traveling American Heroes Air Show visited Seattle’s Museum of Flight on May 21 for the first time since 2012. The helicopters-only show, which was held in Austin earlier in May and is scheduled for Los Angeles in June, does not feature traveling aircraft. Rather, it gathers local rotorcraft from military bases, police, fire, EMS services, federal agencies, and private firms for what amounts to a public one-day fly-in. Agencies are encouraged to set up informational/recruiting tables at the events, which are free and open to the public.

The 2012 Seattle event featured several military craft, including a Chinook transport and an Apache attack helicopter. The military aircraft were withdrawn from this year’s event not long before the show, leaving just a handful of helicopters on display: the DEA’s Bell 407, a Schweitzer two-seater, a Robinson R44 on inflatable floats, an R22, and Airlift Northwest’s Agustawestland A-109-E.

An R44 on floats isn't an everyday sight.

An R44 on floats isn’t an everyday sight

There were other aviation events around Puget Sound the same day (Paine Field’s big aviation day in Everett, Wash., and Alaska Airlines’ annual aviation day for high school students at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport), so that, combined with the rain, made for light attendance, but also made it really easy to spend lots of time with these cool aircraft.

It's Seattle - who cares if it's raining?

It’s Seattle – who cares if it’s raining?

 

Now *that's* a landing flare.

Now *that’s* a landing flare

 

The Schweitzer 300C has been around in some form or another since the 1960s.

The Schweitzer 300C has been around in some form or another since the 1960s

 

A trusty Robinson R22.

A trusty Robinson R22

 

The DEA's Bell 407.

The DEA’s Bell 407 being parked. Helicopters either land on a wheeled platform, or simply get muscled around the airfield.

 

The DEA's Bell 407.

The DEA’s Bell 407 arriving in a typical spring rainshower

 

The Schweitzer 300C has been around in some form or another since the 1960s.

The Schweitzer 300C has been around in some form or another since the 1960s

 

The DEA's helicopter sported a surprisingly colorful livery.

The DEA’s helicopter sported a surprisingly colorful livery

 

I wanted to take this one home.

I wanted to take this thing home

 

The museum's B-247 even looks good in the rain.

The museum’s B-247 even looks good in the rain

 

Airlift Northwest's AgustaWestland is basically a flying ambulance.

Airlift Northwest’s AgustaWestland is basically a flying ambulance and seemed to gather the most attention while I was there

ASSOCIATE EDITOR - SEATTLE, WA Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural, aerial, aviation, and commercial photographer, a freelance photojournalist, and a confirmed AvGeek.

http://www.zeraphoto.com
Taking a Behind the Scenes Tour of the CNN Airport Network in Atlanta
5 Comments

I love airshows.

I grew up a few km from CFB Shearwater, where there used to be a huge airshow every September. We lived close enough that the planes often formed up and flew right over our house at low altitude. I remember walking down a busy street 2 blocks from my place and seeing an F-15 do a very low, slow turn right over the Honda dealer. Stunning.

And the actual shows were even better. Snowbirds, Blue Angels, SkyHawks, Harriers, water bombers, acrobatic bi-planes, etc. There were also amazing grounds displays with things like the C5 Galaxy. I really miss it. Now Shearwater’s runways have been turned into Helo Pads, and the US Military won’t come to international air shows any more.

Francis Zera

That’s a great memory, Mark — thanks for sharing!

I love going to airshows, too, regardless of how big or small.

OUTSTANDING work Francis! Really enjoyed this piece.

Francis Zera

Thanks very much, Thom!

Phoenix

GET TO DA CHOPPAH!!

/obligatory

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *