I have posted about the JetStars that were stored at Klamath Falls. There were three airframes that we got a chance to check out. We were given a great opportunity because they also opened up the jets so we could look around inside. It was fun poking around inside what was once the premier form of executive transport. It was also interesting to see the difference in the configurations with things like the throttle quadrants looking very different between the jets.
We were standing out to the east of the runway at Klamath Falls when the Erickson team was practicing their display ahead of the show at Sentry Eagle. I was looking in the wrong direction when someone called out that the Bearcat was diving in on us. I swung around and pulled the camera up at the last minute. Needless to say, I did not get the greatest shots of the plane but it was coming right at me so I will go with the best I could get. It was pretty cool having a Bearcat buzz right over my head!
On the morning after our arrival in Klamath Falls, we headed out to a location that was hopefully good for getting shots of jets departing to the north in the morning. What we hadn’t counted on was that the based aircraft would be practicing their display for the air show the following day just after we got there. This was a four ship display that involved some sporty departures and then beating up the airfield from various directions and in various combinations.
They launched four F-15s in stream. The first jet up was the specially painted aircraft that the unit has had for a while but which I had not seen previously. It was joined by two more single seaters in unit markings and the last of the four was an F-15D that wasn’t carrying any unit markings. They would keep it really low after getting airborne and then cross the fence at speed and with burner locked in.
Then they would each pull hard to the vertical and blast upwards. The first one caught me off guard a bit – not ideal since this was the special paint jet. It turned out I got some shots of it, even though I found myself, twisting awkwardly to try and keep it in view. The others I had a slightly better idea about and was ready to track them as they went.
If you don’t know I like JetStars, you have not been a regular reader of this blog. If that is the case, I have a real soft spot for this jet. The original business jet and a plane that looks so cool even decades after it first flew. If you did know, my apologies for being so repetitive. On the evening that Mark and I arrived in Klamath Falls, I saw a post on the JetStar Facebook group about some JetStars in the city. A Brit, Kev Perry, had posted some shots of them. I decided to contact him, and he gave me some good information about where they were and the team that looked after them.
The next morning found me and Mark at their front door asking if we might come in. The team couldn’t have been more accommodating. Two of the jets were parked up on the ramp in the morning sun looking fantastic. They let us take any shots we wanted. They also told us about a third jet that they had in their hangar so it would have been rude to not wander across and take a look. Photographing a jet in the hangar is not as cool as in the morning sun but three JetStars in a morning is not something to miss.