Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Rose Parade B2 Stealth Flyover

Sunday was New Year's Day, as everybody knows, but didn't really register as such with me, since there was no Rose Parade, and consequently no B2 Stealth Bomber flyover to watch from my front yard, slightly groggy-eyed, at 8:00 a.m. sharp.  I've come to rely on it for the past several years, as my marker for the start of the New Year.  It's a much more exciting way to 'ring in' the new year than staying up until midnight on New Year's Eve. *yawn*

Monday morning I finally got my flyover.

Here's how it goes down: First, the Goodyear Blimp appears on the scene.  Last year it motored right over my house en route to the parade; this year it flew in from the southeast and I spied it over my neighbors roofs across the street:

The blimp usually appears 10-15 minutes before 8.  Then you just watch the northern sky and wait.  This year I was getting a little antsy when, according to my iPhone, it was a couple minutes past 8, with nothing happening. I was about to tweet my frustration when I heard the roar approaching from the west.  It's tricky, because the sound somehow seems to precede the plane in a weird way. It's hard to describe.

Then it got very still, almost like you're in the eye of the storm.  I almost thought I'd missed it, when I spotted the B2.

Again, the whole thing is a little hard to describe.  It just appears to glide without any effort whatsoever, and makes very little sound at all at this point. It gradually descends, on a perfectly controlled trajectory, as it approaches the parade route.

Once it goes below the edge of the mountaintops, it becomes extremely hard to see.  Then I run inside and watch it swoosh over the Rose Parade on TV.

On a lark, I just did a quick YouTube search, which turned up this really great video (not by me) of the Stealth on approach; you can see it banking and everything, and it's extremely cool:

Happy New Year from Creatures of Prometheus!

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