All of the military jet demonstration teams I’ve had the privilege of watching perform at least a couple maneuvers where two jets fly straight at each other and pass with “minimum separation.” The Blue Angels are no exception, and when I caught them at the 2022 Aviation Roundup in Minden Nevada the Number 5 and 6 pilots did several such maneuvers. This is fortunate as capturing the moment they pass each other in a photograph is very challenging and I needed every one to get a frame with both craft in it at the same time. The F/A-18E Super Hornets are approaching each other at 350 miles per hour each making their closure rate a cool 700. While my skills at shooting such things have certainly improved over the years, there is still a certain degree of luck involved as, even with the fast “burst rates” of modern cameras, it’s completely possible to have the shutter button fully depressed as the planes pass and get a frame where one plane is cut in half at the front and gone or cut in half at the back on the next frame. Indeed both happened to me on this very day. Therefore, I was quite pleased to see that my shutter fired with both birds in the frame on this one.
October 4th, 2022
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