Tag Archives: nas Whidbey island

Some P-8s But Not Many Markings

A trip to Whidbey Island at the end of last year resulted in some encounters with the local P-8 Poseidons.  The disappointment was that they weren’t exactly showing off loads of unit markings.  With one exception, they were rather anonymous.  I’m not sure whether they had been recently received and were later to get squadron emblems or not.  I hope so.  Fortunately, the light was nice at that time of year so I got some images I was pleased with.

Not Many P-3s Left So This Was a Treat

When my friend Paul first told me he was going to be in Seattle over the holidays, I thought we wouldn’t be able to get together.  However, circumstances changed, and it turned out we could go out and check out the local aviation scene.  We had been getting some stuff locally but a check on ADSB showed a P-3 and an EP-3 out at Whidbey Island and we debated whether to make the run north.  In the end, we went for it.  The EP-3 had been out a while already and it did return before we got there but we were not going to come up short.  A P-3 made its return with some lovely December sun on it.  It flew a bunch of patterns which meant the chance to try different spots to get some images, so we were rather pleased with the outcome.

I Should Just Enjoy the Old Pods

I have seen some pictures recently of Growlers bouncing at Coupeville with the latest jamming pods on the underwing pylons.  I was hoping that the jets I saw from the Rooks might be carrying the new pods.  Instead, they were using the older pods.  At first, I was disappointed by this but then I realized that this was the wrong way to look at things.  The new pods will be around for a long time and the chances are I will see them a lot in the future.  Making sure I have some shots of the older pods on jets as the bounce is something to make the most of before they are gone.  We only miss stuff when it is going away so time to think ahead.

CAG Growler is Clean

A trip to Coupeville is always going to be a bit hit or miss.  Will the weather play ball, will the jets show up, how much will they bounce, how many of them will there be, will they be RAG jets or operational squadrons?  All sorts of options.  I was really happy that the weather suited a pattern direction that was better for photography, but it was mainly cloudy so not quite as good-looking light.  It was the Rooks of VAQ137 that were bouncing so that was cool, and they brought their CAG jet.  Getting this in its nice colors was cool.  The jet was operating clean which was slightly disappointing but, fortunately, the other jets that came in were carrying pods.

Ault Field Morning Arrivals

I had taken a day off to go to Coupeville earlier this year.  Since I was heading to Whidbey Island for the day, I went to Ault Field at the beginning of the day to see if there was any traffic.  I went to Moran Beach to see if anything was coming in when the light is still favorable in that location.  I actually got pretty lucky.  There were a bunch of Growlers already up and about and they were recovering before I had to move off.  Some squadron jets including some in special schemes were coming in.  Recovering overhead me while others were on the approach, it felt pretty busy.  Here are some of the shots from that morning.

Sunny FCLP With a Color Jet

With a nice forecast, the wind in the right direction and an indication of some operations, I figured a day off was worthwhile and headed up to Coupeville to see if I could get some Growler operations.  I was pleased to see the fire trucks getting ready when I arrived, and that the meatball was at the north end.  Looked like I was going to be in luck.  Yes and no!  I did get some ops and plenty of patterns but only a couple of jets actually showed up.  Fortunately, one of them was a squadron color jet so I was able to get a bunch of shots to play with.  I also shot a load of video so here is the edit of that too.  Could have been a busier day but they finished up and the crews headed off so I did the same.

Clippers Bashing the Circuit

A visit from my buddy Paul was a good reason for a day off and a trip to Whidbey Island.  We had some ideas about what we wanted to see but anything was going to be good.  The weather was nice so we were in luck.  One thing we got a lot of that I was not expecting was C-40 Clipper traffic.  Two of the jets were out and about.  They weren’t just moving people around though.  They were clearly getting some training in as they flew pattern work for a long time.  We were able to get shots of them multiple times.

Talk to Me Goose – Oh That’s Right, You Can’t

Top Gun 2 is in production at the moment.  There has been much activity around the Super Hornets on the west coast and their involvement in the film with one jet getting photographed a bit in Pete Mitchell’s colors.  What I didn’t know was that the production has been on the road.  While up at Whidbey Island we saw a Super Bug launching towards us.  Based Growlers are of interest and Super Bugs less so but we still shot it.  As it got closer, it was clearly painted up differently and we realized we had Maverick’s plane in frame.  It flew a straight out departure and we didn’t see it return before we left but it was kind of a pleasant surprise to get it at all!

Lots of P-3s, or One P-3 Lots of Times

Paul and I headed to Whidbey Island on the hunt.  We would be happy to shoot a variety of stuff but P-3s were the goal.  Whidbey still has them but they are disappearing fast so get what we can.  As it turned out, we got a ton of P-3 action but it was all with the same plane.  It flew a bunch of circuits after returning from a training sortie and then finally landed.  However, it wasn’t done.  A crew change and they were back up.  That plane got some use that day.  We could hear another engine running but it obviously wasn’t going flying.  Here are lots of shots of one specific P-3 instead!

Drop Tank By the Road

Sometimes you find the oddest things by the road.  Just outside NAS Whidbey Island, there is a drop tank sitting by the road.  I have no idea what it is doing there.  It seems to be on someone’s yard.  The shape was not something that looked like a Navy tank (which you might expect). I thought it looked like something from an F-111.  Fortunately, It had a data plate which showed a serial that seems to suggest a Fort Worth General Dynamics product so I guess F-111 is probably it.  Anyone know the story?