Monday, June 9, 2008

Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House

Last Saturday was the Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House and Fly In at KBJC. It is a great local event to see planes on the ground and some aerobatic demonstrations. The last two years have been especially good. It is a free event with free parking which is a rare thing these days.

This airport previously known to us locally as Jeffco Airport has had an open house for a number of years. The fly in portion has been going for 12 years, and the open house has happened for many of those years.

This year, the Metro Airport Open House was especially important because the Rocky Mountain Regional Fly In will not happen this year. The Front Range Airport and EAA will no longer host that fly in, so they are scrambling to find an alternative.

The Location

The location is great any time. Great views of Denver, the continental divide, and the Boulder Flatirons in the distance. The Runway Grill Restaurant is a great place to eat there as well. Probably not an easy place to eat during the show though.

Saturday, the entire airport was especially nice with the open house happening.

Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House F-16s Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House B-17Flying In

Getting to the airport was easy. We fly there often, and it is very close. Actually from Longmont, it probably takes less time to drive than fly by the time you preflight and do everything else. Although today, I think the airplane parking was easier than the car parking.

We did have a bit of a surprise on our way through Boulder to KBJC. A B-17 was giving rides and came pretty close to us. With the mountains right there, it was a little constricted maneuvering with a huge B-17 close by. We did grab one picture though...

B-17 aerial

The air traffic otherwise was very easy for a fly in. One other person coming in for the parallel runway and a quick easy taxi to parking. Leaving was just as easy. Not what it is like for bigger air shows.

On the Ground

On the ground we saw the B-17 up close. It is big!

Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House B-17

Lots of different planes to see on the ground ranging from new military to old military to King Airs to the new Cessna 400. The Cessna 400 was there sporting the new logo on the tail; a little strange to see, but good for Cessna.

The Airshow

The Airshow was from 1pm-3pm. It was a nice amount. Not as big as some shows, but it had some good stuff. Starting off with a C-130 doing a drop demonstration and numerous fly bys.

Next was Patty Wagstaff. I have not seen her before, and she did a great show doing maneuvers I had not seen before! There was one maneuver where she was at a knife edge and twisting/waiving the plane. Lots of other different maneuvers too.

Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House Patty Wagstaff
Next item was a F-18 Hornet Demo team. They did a great job!

Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House F-18
Then the USAF F-16 West Coast Demo Team doing its demonstration.

Rocky Mountain Metro Airport Open House F-16
Both the F16 and F18 did a number of slow passes, rolls, inverted flights, and passes with full afterburners. On the picture above you can see the condensation from the high G maneuver. Pretty cool!

The Denver Post has an article about the show too.

Near the end of the show, I ran into an old friend having fun on the 2nd floor outside balcony of the terminal building. I will head there next year during the air show. Great vantage point for photos and seeing everything. He happened to borrow a friends lens and got some awesome pictures.

Till Next Year

Hopefully, I make it to another show again soon, but this will probably be the last local one. If you are in the area whether you are a pilot or not, go check it out. It is free!



Todd - said...

Looks like a great day of Aviation Fun. I checked on the link of your friends photos. The one titled "F-16 Viper going vertical on afterburners" was an amazing shot!

With only a handful of B-17s still flying I am glad you got a chance to see it. I had the opportunity to go for a ride in one a year ago and it was a memorable experience. I wrote a post about it here:

I highly recommend anyone that has an opportunity to see one does before there are no more in good enough shape to fly.

steve said...

This past Sunday the 14th Sept I saw a B2 low and slow about 1200 AGL in what looked like a base turn to final for JeffCo, any ideas?