Some late day departures after the Flag returns included F-15Es, F-35As, L159s and A-4s. You don’t know how long anyone is scheduled to be out but you find yourself hoping that they will all make it back before the sun sets so you can get some arrival shots in the nicest light available. Once they are gone, it is a case of watching the time and crossing your fingers. As it was, we got lucky. They came back in a steady stream with all of them showing up as the sun was at its best. Arriving over Cheyenne is not ideal from a sun angle perspective at this time of year but we still got some nice angles. Some turned tighter while others went wider so we got to try all sorts of angles out to see which picked up what light was remaining.
Before I say anything else, this shot is not original. I didn’t think of this and I certainly wasn’t the first to shoot it. Indeed, it is the exact opposite. This is a shot that I have seen from other people a bunch of times but that I have never achieved. The recovery for Red Flag has a lot of jets coming home at once. Jets will break into the pattern and will be turning final when more jets are coming in to the break. You can get jets coming in overhead directly behind the jet on final turn. It looks cool but I had not got it before. This time I got lucky. I don’t know whether I am pleased with the shot or just glad that I finally happened to get it!