The F-18’s Friday Night Fly Over

by Orville and Wilbur

What was all that noise last Friday nite (27JUL2012) about 5PM?

It was F-18 Jet Noise – the “sound of freedom”’ as everyone who has ever worked at NAS Patuxent River knows.

Two passes were made over Eagle County, Colorado last night with the second pass so low across the Valley floor in Avon – it set off car alarms in parking lots.  ECT folks have never seen a Jet fly over that low in Eagle County.  CLICK ON the photo below to enlarge it.

If you look closely you can see the two F-18’s are flying West to East toward Avon…and the big Water Tank (south-east corner of the Homestead neighborhood in Edwards) can be seen here in the lower left of the ECT’s photo.

As you would expect the ECT folks correctly ID’d the aircraft (F-18) traditionally flown by the Navy and Marines (not the Air Force folks).

These F-18 pilots where not waiting around for folks to take photos – they were extremely fast and hard to photograph.  The ECT’s second photo clearly shows the unmistakable silhouette of the two F-18 Strike Fighters.  Apparently, the pilots were more interested in the West to East low altitude Flight Path over Avon than they were with the Eagle County Rodeo held down valley at the same time.  Curious 5PM timing.


Eagle County is no stranger to F-18 Aircraft as can see seen below.  This photo is from a few years ago with the young man (who never had any trouble getting elected Eagle County, Commissioner) standing in front of this Marine F-18 parked at the County’s “Jet Center”.  VMFA-112 is a reserve Marine F-18 Fighter Attack Squadron based in Ft. Worth, Texas and stopped into Paul Gordon’s Jet Center for a quick visit and a splash of JP-8.

If ECT readers have more information on last nights unusual Fly By please contact the ECT.  Semper Fi.



9 responses

  1. Semper fi to that! Saw them from our house on Wildridge. Makes the hair stand up doesn’t it. Just returned from a USMC officer reunion in Arlington from my class at Quantico prior to Viet Nam. Thanks for the pics and info. L Morgan

  2. Not knowing who ‘Orville and Wilbur’ are, I find it interesting that of all MCAS and NAS in the country, you mention only Pax River, just across the Patuxent River from Solomon’s Island (yeah, I know the punctuation has changed) and Dowell, MD–my hometown. My brother, a retired Marine LCOL helicopter pilot, and his civilian wife both retired from NAVAIR, having completed their assignment with the Osprey. What is now the Naval Rec Center-Solomons, used to be the Naval Ordnance Lab (NOL) and my grandparent’s farm abutted the north side.

    • NAS, Patuxent River? ECT folks spent some time working at the Chesapeake Test Range (back in the day) where Navy Test Pilots were given their training. You should see some of the films of what “a bad day at the test Range” looked like. WOW! ECT alway’s enjoyed reading Approach and of course were members of Tailhook.
      The Blue Angels were still flying their A-4 Skyhawks at the time, they hadn’t made their transition to the F-18’s…
      By the way…how is that election coming?

      • First saw the ‘Blues’ during ‘Navy Days’ when they first flew the F-9 Panther, circa early 50’s. I think they changed the name to Family Day or some such. When the price of a movie ticket went to 25 cents, we ‘locals’ could take the launch from NOL to Pax River and then the shuttle bus and see the same movie for a dime. ( Had to sneak through the fence, though.)

        As to the election, we placed a distant second against a very well known name who campaigned on that alone. Oh well, we brought the issues to the table. State wide, I know personally 5 other like-minded candidates, all of whom lost. This does not bode well for the Republican Party nor the State and country.

  3. I was building a house in Avon back around 1980. I was on the roof when 2 Navy F-8 Crusaders flew by very low in full after-burner. They were flying just below the speed of sound so I didn’t know that they were coming till they flew by and scared the heck out of me and the crew! They didn’t stick around. I don’t think that they wanted to be identified. It was back when Rocky Mt. Airways had a airport at Edwards. They have rules against low passes over populated areas! One of the pilots ( Leader), probably knew someone in the Avon area in both cases.

    • ECT believes it was Avon that had the Airport, not Edwards.
      The Navy’s F-8 (F8U) Crusader was capable of supersonic flight but only under special conditions. Mach 1.2 possible only under the best of conditions.

      The later wing-fuselage designs of the F-14, F-18, F-16, F-15 was a radical improvement for sustained Supersonic flight. That’s why today’s fighters all have a combined wing-fuselage design that deals with the shock wave that builds around the aircraft as it breaks through to supersonic flight.

      • ECT is correct! The airport was at Avon. However, the F-8 Crusader was capable of Mach 1.86, 1225 mph. I said that they were in full afterburner and under the speed of sound. They did that short burst of speed to attract attention or get away fast. I grew up in Japan during the Vietnam War around USAF and Navy bases and was in the USAF. I was accustomed to that kind of activity. I am talking to a guy that was on that roof with me in Avon that day in 1980. He remembers it well. He was under the impression that there was a sonic boom. There was not a sonic boom. We actually used Rocky Mt. Airways a couple of times at Avon. Scary. 4-engine STOLS.

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