My grandson, Braydon Wiebe and I attended the first day of the Abbotsford Air Show on August 13, 2000. I had intended to spend another lazy day at home when the phone rang. It was Braydon. I was told that his dad and mom had prior commitments and were not able to take him to the air show. What could a granddad do in these circumstances?
The show, as usual, was a tremendous display of civil, commercial and military capability. There was also an impressive display of aircraft from days gone by. Braydon was most intrigued with the sounds and the abilities of the old war birds such as the Supermarine Spitfire, the P51 Mustang and the Australian navy Seafury. (The Seafury, which is a propeller driven aircraft, shot a Mig interceptor down during the Korean conflict.) As always the Canadian Snowbirds went through their very remarkable displays of aircraft, pilot endurance and ability. Braydon and I thoroughly enjoyed the day from both a weather and entertainment point of view. As the show drew to a close, Braydon wanted to stay to see the planes all leave for home, but settled for a walk through the huge static displays. When the traffic jam leaving the parking area cleared we also started for home. He asked if we could come back the next day and watch them leave.
At 08:00 the next morning we were sitting on the edge of the ditch at the East end of the main runway watching the planes leave! We took my camera and binoculars and got some tremendous pictures and views of the departure of this incredible collection of mostly military might. The photos with this article show the US surveillance AWAC taking off. An American Airforce B-1 bomber is making a low pass just under the sound barrier. The white ring around the rear section is the atmosphere being compressed to fog due to the high speed of the pass. We think we may have seen the best part of the air show the morning after it ended. Kids, especially grand kids, have some really good ideas. We should listen closely.
Photos and article by Arthur George
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