During my shooting time at NAF El Centro, we’d heard that some jets from VFA-204 “River Rattlers” were operating out of NAS North Island in San Diego.
I’m always up for shooting something different, so I didn’t need much persuasion to endure the four-hour round-trip from El Centro.
It was a nice day, so shooting from the beach was no hardship, and it wasn’t long before our drive was rewarded with a C-130T operated by VR-53 from JRB Andrews, a unit that I’ve never seen before.
It wasn’t long before a pair of F/A-18As returned from a mission overhead, and yes the River Rattlers had arrived. They both flew a pretty wide circuit and landed straight on to us, without even providing a hint of a topside opportunity.
Again this is a unit that I’d never shot before, well not in this striking scheme anyway. I’d shot a single grey example at Roswell years ago.
A single VFA-204 jet came into view, and thankfully gave us the angle we were looking for. Who said you can’t get anything from chasing jets?
We didn’t shoot much, but quality over quantity I’d say.