Tag Archives: f/a-18D

Surprise Sharpshooters Visit

My Saturday morning trip to Boeing Field was to see the Gulfstream test jet covered in this post.  I wasn’t expecting much else other than the usual traffic but I was very happy when I pulled up early to see three F/A-18D Hornets from the Marine Corps training unit, the Sharpshooters.  They were parked on the other side of the field  but had people around them and one was already strobing.  It looked like they were going flying.  All three soon powered up and taxied out.

The taxiway on that side of the field has a kink in it which provides an interesting angle on the jets as they taxi up together.  I was wondering how the departures would look since the weather was heavily overcast and a gray jet with a gray sky is not ideal.  The first jet got airborne and climbed quickly which was disappointing.  However, the number two kept things a lot lower as they gained speed which helped a lot.

About an hour later, I heard them call up on approach.  No run in and break at this airfield.  The traffic over the top for SeaTac makes that more complicated so it was straight in approaches for all three jets.  They did run down a decent distance and then turned off to return to their parking spots.  That was a bit of a bonus.  I don’t know whether they were flying again later as I had other plans but a launch and recovery was welcome.

Salty Dog Hornet Goes Tanking

The never-ending test program for the KC-46 Pegasus involves testing with a variety of receiver aircraft.  Recently, the Navy has deployed jets to Boeing Field to work with the tankers.  While I was there, it was a Boeing F/A-18D Hornet that was sent across.  Operating with the call-sign, Salty Dog, the Hornet blasted out of the field ahead of its tanker.  They were scheduled to be up until after dark so I didn’t hang around for their return.