Ellington Field 12-16-2013

Ellington Field, Houston, Tx 12-16-2013  Photos and text by:  Bill Havel

This past weekend a fellow friend and spotter advised me that there were 4 Harriers from VMFA-311 on the ramp and one broke down QF-4E from Holloman.  He heard the Harriers were going to stay there all weekend and were to depart around 1500 hours on Monday.  Normally, I would have made the trip on Sunday but was feeling quite under the weather…..felt like flu hit me, so I didn’t make the trip.  Armed with this intel I made the trip over on Monday arriving around 1415 and wouldn’t you know it…..the Harriers were gone!  I couldn’t believe my luck….AGAIN, lol!  So, I decided to make the best of it by shooting the Phantom from a couple of different locations trying to get the best angle I could.  After all, I went to see that, too.  After that I sat in my car watching and listening to the scanner and heard the tower talking to a NASA T-38 pilot who was inbound for some touch-and-goes.  About the second time around here came a Tulsa F-16C, block 42 just above and behind him.  The T-38 turned right to land on 35L and the Viper did the same only to land on 4.  Tulsa flies the alert missions here so I’m guessing he may be a replacement airframe.  Of course he could have just been flying locals here as well……as they do that frequently.  Once they touched down I watched them taxi in and then sat back in the car.  No sooner than I did that I heard  the tower say ” your clear for the overhead”.  I look up and here comes a Hawkeye doing a beautiful carrier-break.  Wow, what a gorgeous site.  Bummer I couldn’t get the camera up and ready fast enough.  But, I did manage to get a shot or two of him landing……even if it was a good distance away.  Turned out it was a E-2D from VX-1 stationed at NAS Patuxant River, MD.  One of the guys who works the ramp told me he was there to get fuel and would be heading out shortly.  I thought to myself how awesome…I can get him leaving, too.  Well, needles to say his departure did not disappoint.  He was only a few feet off the ground when the gear when up.  He held that altitude till he reached the end of the runway before he pulled the nose up to a high AOA, and made a hard left turn practically standing it on its left wing.  What a killer departure and great way to end my spotting time.



EF 12-16-2013

4 thoughts on “Ellington Field 12-16-2013”

  1. Bill my man! hit the jackpot on the E-2D ….. love those tits up shot! wow…… lighting is perfect with that golden hour sun….. nice!!!! good prop blur! can;t ask for more….. Love those Phantom don;t we all…..

    1. Tits up?????? What exactly are you looking at Dave?? Lol. Yeah awesome shots Bill great lighting! How many more Phantoms are still flying, anybody know?

  2. Thanks guys. I really did enjoy this shoot. There is just something I like about the Hawkeye. Just a good looking airframe and something of a thoroughbred. And yes, the lighting was just perfect. My favorite time of day to shoot.

    And Bryan, Dave is referring to the landing gear retracting…..that’s how he puts it.