F/A-18E Super Hornet of VF-14

On July 19, 2013, the pilot was en route from his California home base to visit his family is Syracuse, New York when weather en route caused him to drop into Springfield, Illinois and wait two hours until the weather improved. What I lucky break for me . . . and YOU! He visited AeroKnow Museum and said he’d be happy to show me the “Super Bug.” As we approached the airplane, I told him that when the larger Hornet first appeared, photographers were not permitted to photog from 12:00 unless the air intake covers were in place. He said that I could take this picture but would discourage any close-ups. Click on any pic here for a larger image.

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The clouds were extremely perfect during the visit.

 

 

 

 

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This airplane is the one assigned to the CAG (Commander Air Group, and has more colorful markings than others flown by VF-14. The unit had recently returned from a combat tour and had been touched up by the paint crew.

 

 

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The pilot’s “bone dome” and flight gear had been placed next to the left main wheel while he visited the FBO and waited for clearance to complete his flight to Syracuse

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FA18E-n  The pilot raised the canopy to let some air into the cockpit and lowered the entry steps before checking out at the FBO and returning to the airplane to depart Springfield.

 

 

 

 

 
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I walked back the pilot, but was out on the tarmac with another pilot whose family had visited AeroKnow Museum. This is how I was present when the gentleman who had shown me his 18 started engines and initiated taxi to Runway 22. The pictures of his take-off, looking into the sun with my long lens SLR, were disappointing, and I didn’t include any here. In the course of taking pictures of military aircraft since opening AKM, I have never met a friendlier, eager to answer my questions, accommodating, not-rushing-me pilot than the pilot of this F/A-18E. I thanked him profusely as we returned to the FBO. What a terrific encounter! 🙂
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Moving out.

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God speed, SuperBug!

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