Paul Filmer's 2009 blogGAR Entries

NOV 28 2009
NAF El Centro

It happened to coincide with my two days off, so after work on Tuesday I flew to San Diego and drove the two hours to El Centro in readiness for Wednesday morning; where we were greeted at the base by PAO Michelle Dee and the Executive Officer Cdr. Mitchell before being left in the capable hands of Petty Officers Inman and Probert.

Our first short stop was the ramp in-between a line of F/A-18 Hornets and T-45 Goshawks and, while everyone snapped away in the heat-haze, I was of course more drawn to the older aircraft sitting forlornly in the distance. The aircraft in question were a pair of A-6 Intruders with one looking very sorry and battered indeed.

The majority of our time was spent at the LSO shack which of course presented some wonderful opportunities for photos, but apart from the VFA-115 “Eagles” CAG and a colour bird from VMFA(AW)-121 “Green Knights” there was a distinct lack of transients that day; yet the traffic remained steady all the same.

The highlight for me was the C-2A Greyhound that appeared in golden light and then proceeded to bash the circuit. This turned out to be significant as the date, 18th November, actually marked the 45th anniversary of the C-2’s first flight. I don’t know if the crew or any of the other shooters realised the significance afterwards, but it certainly wasn’t lost on me as I could have shot this machine all day.

My second day was spent outside the base where there are numerous opportunities for both landing and take-off shots and, despite a potential RAF Merlin shoot in the wild being scuppered by a technical issue, it was still well worth hanging around to capture some different angles.

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2009-11-29 - Sagar Pathak
Great article and amazing pictures as usual! Well done!

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