F/A-18A+ Hornet Aggressors – part 2

Part 2 continues and concludes the series of photographs of F/A-18A+ Hornets which landed in Springfield, Illinois due to a malfunction in one of the aircraft. The black-tail Hornet remained in Springfield.   Click on any picture for a larger image.
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After the two 18s departed, rain came but had almost stopped when this 18 landed. I do not believe it was one of the two which accompanied “black tail” earlier.
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Note the “AF” on the inside of the new arrivals left vertical stabilizer. AF is the tail code for this unit.

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I do not know what the string-looking this is that appears to be  coming from the right wing tip. It had not appeared in earlier pics, and this was my last picture of this 18. Someday, {‘ll learn how to retouch the pic and make it “disappear,” but I DO like the pic even so.

A voice (my photo angel, perhaps) seemed to whisper in my ear that I should return to the fence with my camera, and I did. There I saw the pilot of “black-tail Bug” putting the covers over the engine tail cones. He probably had covered the air intakes, too, but I didn’t see that. It was a quiet time; not another airplane on the ramp and almost no breeze. It was a touching moment: the warrior putting his “horse” to bed for the day. I took one picture and left him to savor the time for himself.
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The next morning, with the sun at my back, I took a few pics of “black-tail Bug.”
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Wednesday morning, July 3, the sky was clear in the east when I arrived at AeroKnow Museum, so I took advangage of the sun to take a few final pictures in perfect light . . .

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End of Part 2.

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