Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Falklands War Fly-By

Tim, Ant, Ben, Yaz, and I sat for hours out on Hampstead Heath waiting to see the fly-by commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War. The day was pleasant, but overcast. From our spot on top of a low rise in the Heath, we could see, for maybe an hour before the actual fly-by, dozens of specks forming up on the horizon. Their presence whipped us into a frenzy of anticipation, which was slightly deflated when it turned out that there was no roaring fly-by, since the specks were all helicopters. A helicopter seen from a few miles off doesn't appear to move very quickly. As far as we could tell, there were formations of Chinooks, Gazelles, and Lynxes.

Eventually the jets showed up. The above shot was taken just after the Red Arrows, the British equivalent of the Blue Angels, released red and blue smoke. The red and blue smoke appears as that purplish smudge across the skyline. The BBC website says that the Red Arrows flew in a V-shape to "to represent the Vulcan bombers that played a vital role in the war". There was some talk that a Vulcan would take part in the fly-by, but it couldn't be made flyable in time. Shame.

Two formations of Hawks and Hercules circled around and flew right over our section of the Heath.

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