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