Monday, April 6, 2009

Some whirly birds

Saturday found DaNece and I rushing to the local airport. Not to catch a flight per se, but to see a flight come in.

 

Tom over at Big Sky Chef emailed me to let me know that lunch-time Saturday would be a good time to swing by the Mustang Cafe for a meal, and that bringing my camera wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

 

We showed up early and it’s a good thing we did. Just as we were pulling up to the cafe we saw three helicopters come in for a landing:

 

As the dust and debris came blasting at us we promptly stood on the truck’s bumper and started snapping exposures as quick as we could. Within five minutes they were all lined up with military precision:

 

We went into the cafe, ordered some lunch and sat on the outside patio so we could continue snapping away. And as we did one of the pilots came over and gave us a little information about who these guys were. His name is Charlie:

 

They are a newly formed Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadron based out of Cherry Point, North Carolina. They were on their way home after flying some support missions in Camp Pendleton, CA. Their birds were AH-1 Cobras, as well as a Huey which serves as a support craft:

 

Of course I failed to get some of the specific info for their squadron, but thanks to the joy of the internet I found that they are technically referred to as the HMLA-467 Sabers, and even though they are based out of North Carolina, they were activated in California.

 

While we were eating our lunch we watched as a father and his two sons got a tour of the craft from one of the pilots, which I bet was an awesome treat for them. I have to admit, I was jealous:

 

After a while Tom showed up and we got to chat for a bit, watch all the birds take off, and then me and D headed into town for some errand-running. I took some video of the departure, but I haven’t had time to edit it yet, and I wasn’t terribly impressed with it so it might never see the light of day. :)

 

All in all it was a great opportunity, and big thanks go to Tom for the heads up!

15 comments:

Sillie_Girl said...

I am so glad you got a picture of Charlie... I might have to "borrow" it (I'll give you credit though) I had a good time :-)

Linda G. said...

An excellent adventure, Tombo! Lunch at the Mustang Cafe sounds pretty good even without the entertainment!

BIG SKY CHEF said...

Awesome pics & great link to food Review...Thumbs up!

Fram said...

Nice photos .... nice to have been able to see them ....

Semper Fi

TomboCheck said...

D - I'm glad he looked in my direction while I was snapping! :)

Linda - the lunch was great. A very surprising and refreshing menu. They are having a grand opening on the 18th which you should check out if you are in that neck of the woods. :)

Tom - thanks! It was great to meet you!

Fram - glad you enjoyed. It was a real treat to get to see in person.

melissa said...

Love these. They look so cool. I've been in tanks and shot military rifles, but never have I seen or been in a Marine bird. Awesome.

TomboCheck said...

Melissa - Oooo tanks sound fun!

The whirly birds were very neat to see. I was amazed at how loud they were.

Brenda Heisler said...

Great photos. I wish I'd been there. Only flight I had was years ago on vacation. Thanks for sharing.

TomboCheck said...

Brenda - Thanks! I've yet to take a ride in a heli myself. One day... :)

Prescottstyle said...

I heard those helicopters fly by but could not see em'.

TomboCheck said...

Prescott Style - somehow you slipped through my radar. :)

I saw choppers flying overhead the two previous weekends as well. Don't know where those were destined though...

"his-self" said...

Stumbled on your blog...great stuff. Love the Cobras...aka for us Viet Vets, "snakes" and their sister work horses Hueys, "slicks".

I'll be back....

TomboCheck said...

Glad to see you here his self, and thanks for the nicknames. :) I bet these are a trip to see doing their thing in real life.

ginger1103 said...

<3 I miss you Tex! even if I can only see you through pics till Jan! cant wait ill send you fingerpainting for the time being :)

TomboCheck said...

Ginger - Thanks for reading the blog. Hope Tex looks in the comments. :)