Tall Tales From The Field

Death Valley Fighter Jet Captured!

You may remember last year I got the rush of my life when a fighter jet at Death Valley National Park buzzed right over me. The Ultimate Rush?

I went back to the same spot the other day and this time, I had my camera ready. Now I did not have a fighter jet fly right over me but this one was fairly close. The sounds of its engine penetrated my psyche but I did get some decent photos. I planned to video a jet flying over me but it never happened again while I was there for 2 days.  More photos of my Death Valley trip to follow soon.

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You don’t really hear the jets until they get close but I spotted this one coming in fast so I had time to grab my camera.

 

A fighter jet from nearby China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center flies over Death Valley National Park, California

The  fighter jet is stationed at  nearby China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center.

 

A fighter jet from nearby China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center flies over Death Valley National Park, California

You may not be able to tell, but I enlarged this image in Photoshop and the pilot was looking right at me. There is a second pilot in the back. I believe this is a F-16. I wasn’t using my zoom lens so he was pretty close.

 

A fighter jet from nearby China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center flies over Death Valley National Park, California

You want to be in continuous shooting mode to maximize the number of exposures you will get.  These jets move by really fast!

 

A fighter jet from nearby China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center flies over Death Valley National Park, California

As he passed me, the jet headed towards this mountain range, turning to the right and around Eureka Dunes.  It’s a pretty tight maneuver.  The sound from the thrusts of its engine reverberated off the  the side of the mountain.

 

A fighter jet from nearby China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center flies over Death Valley National Park, California

This all happened in less than 10 seconds.

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26 responses

  1. Cool! I’ve seen them making laps around the dunes too, hard to grudge them a little fun out there.

    On another note, which way to you drive to Eureka? How was the road?

    Like

    February 12, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    • I drove Big Pine Rd north from the crater area and after Eureka Dunes, exited towards Big Pine and Owens Valley. The road was fine the whole way.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 12, 2017 at 11:49 AM

  2. Fantastic! You did well to get such wonderful clear shots. I bet those pilots were having fun.

    Like

    February 12, 2017 at 1:20 PM

  3. Great story!

    Like

    February 12, 2017 at 5:46 PM

  4. That must have been some experience …. great camera work! Those shots took skill.

    Like

    February 12, 2017 at 6:48 PM

  5. Great photos! We used to get the Blue Angels flying over our house during air shows. I have a few similar to the one you took where you can see the pilot! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    February 12, 2017 at 7:32 PM

  6. Wow! Awesome shots!

    Like

    February 13, 2017 at 6:05 AM

  7. These are awesome shots.

    Like

    February 13, 2017 at 10:59 AM

  8. We live within a few miles of Nellis Air Force Base. When the planes take off in the morning and return in the evenings you can not talk on your telephone, they are so loud. One night recently they were so loud we thought we would have a visitor drop in any second. Thankfully, that did not happen!

    Like

    February 13, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    • I’m surprised they are allowed to fly over national parks and neighborhoods since they get so loud. I enjoy it once in awhile but would find it difficult to deal with on a regular basis.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 13, 2017 at 3:26 PM

  9. Amy

    Wow, cool shots, Michael! I like the enlarged photo especially. 🙂

    Like

    February 14, 2017 at 11:27 AM

  10. Pingback: GOOD LUCK

  11. Your reaction was good……

    Liked by 1 person

    February 17, 2017 at 12:46 AM

  12. Jill Sowders

    Awesome pictures! WE WERE THERE TOO! 2/13/17
    I had stopped the car to get out and take a picture of the beauty of the landscape and when my husband and I got out of the car, not 2 seconds later my hubby saw the jet coming straight at us, following the road like a runway…he was speechless and could not even speak! Then I felt the earth shake …completely took us by surprise…maybe 100 ft above our heads…we felt the rumble to our bones and it was exhiliarating !! I am so impressed with your photos- simply amazing.

    Like

    February 18, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    • Last year a jet buzzed right over me at the same location as this year, no more than 100 feet over me.For a second I thought he was going to crash. But it was quite a thrill after I regained my composure.

      Like

      February 19, 2017 at 9:20 AM

  13. Fantastic captures, that only you can do!

    Like

    February 19, 2017 at 4:02 PM

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