Patrouille de France Show Up Late

I am catching up on some things that happened quite a while ago.  The visit of the Patrouille de France to Mather for a display as part of their US Tour was a combination of fun and frustration.  I was covering the visit for GAR and had arranged to be there for the arrival, the practice and the show itself.  They were supposed to show up relatively early but they had some serviceability issues and, when they finally showed up, the sun was setting.

There was still some light when the first jets flew into the pattern.  As they taxied in, the light on them was rather nice.  By the time the last jets (of the day) showed up, it was dark.  The crews were very cheerful despite their difficult day and they spent a lot of time with some local kids for a French school.  They didn’t all make it though.  Two jets had diverted with problems and they would show up until late the following day.  The A400M didn’t arrive until after I had left and it headed straight out the following morning to go and fix the two stragglers.  The second day practice and flyby over the Golden Gate were scrubbed as a result with the flyby being achieved after the display rather than before.

It was a few days with a mix of good flying and disappointment but such is the way with aviation.

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